A Stylish Crossover
The four-door Provoq is either a small SUV or a sporty wagon, a class of car currently known as a crossover. One of the original design parameters of the Provoq was that the alternative fuel system couldn't intrude on the interior space. With the low, center mounted batteries -- which also give the Provoq a low center of gravity -- and the fuel cell stack mounted in the engine compartment, that mission is mostly accomplished. Even when compressed, hydrogen is not as dense as gasoline, so the hydrogen tanks take up a certain amount of space. Even so, there's still room for a decent-sized rear cargo area and 60/40 split folding rear seat.
Being environmentally conscious about your vehicle choice can sometimes mean that you're willing to sacrifice some of the interior refinements that you would typically find in a luxury car. Not so in the Cadillac Provoq. In fact, it offers superfluous touches like "hand-wrapped leather with French seams" on the seats; ambient lighting on the door panels, footwells, sills and even beneath the seats; and USB ports for all your electronic devices. You can also put your cell phone into the cell phone holder, which is Bluetooth-ready and capable of inductive charging. No need to bring your iPod along -- the hard drive can store thousands of songs and maps for the navigation system. The instrument cluster has configurable LCD displays, while the center stack has the controls for the air conditioning and heat plus the
To keep the ride comfortable, the Provoq sits on a four-wheel independent suspension, with Macpherson struts in the front and a four-link system in the rear. Neither is an especially revolutionary suspension, but the Provoq isn't meant for high-speed cornering at Laguna Seca. There are no hydraulic brake lines -- the Provoq uses a brake-by-wire system. This means the brakes are electronic. Each stop the vehicle makes will extend the Provoq's range slightly, as the regenerative brakes recharge the batteries.
It may take a while to get your hands on a new Cadillac Provoq. General Motors has no immediate plans to make a production model, and no pricing estimates have been given.
To find out more about fuel cells, hydrogen and concept cars, follow the links below. They'll provide you with a lot more information.
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More Great Links
- General Motors. "Cadillac Provoq Fuel Cell Concept Delivers Clean, Petroleum-free Performance and Signature Design." Feb. 15, 2008. http://www.cadillac.com/_res/pdf/08NAIAS_Cadillac-Provoq-Concept.pdf
- Popular Science. "Hot Hydrogen-Powered Cadillac." Jan. 8, 2008. http://popsci.typepad.com/popsci/2008/01/hot-hydrogen-po.html