Cadillac would have us believe that the Provoq is simply a showcase of the new hydrogen fuel-cell flavor of the E-Flex technology GM is working on.
When pressed about its form factor, I was told that this was chosen to best match what consumers want (to show the green technology in a customer friendly crossover package).
Let’s look at what we know…
The Provoq matches up very nicely with the dimensions of other vehicles built on the Theta chassis. Width, height, length, track all match either exactly or within a tenth here or there (the deviations are in places where you often see differences in platform-mates.
GM is known to be working on a Premium version of Theta to be shared between Cadillac and Saab – the Cadillac version has even been spied.
SAAB has unveiled their 9-4x BioPower concept that is almost certainly 99% of the production version that should be in production within a year or so.
Cadillac’s SRX, though award winning, has not sold nearly as well as Cadillac would have hoped. Since it is a unique version of Cadillac’s high-cost Sigma chassis – it would make sense for them to replace it with something that shares components with a wide range of products and could be profitable at lower volumes (though they would certainly hope for much higher volumes than the SRX by hitting a lower price-point).
The Provoq doesn’t just seem to take design cues from the new CTS – it seems to have a 95% production ready interior (just put in a slightly more down-to-earth gauge cluster) – something we don’t see often in pie-in-the-sky concepts. Also, put some 18″ wheels in place of the 21’s, real door handles on the outside, and wipers front and rear – and this is ready to roll.
While putting the E-Flex system in the Provoq in order to give the press something with a nice green glow to talk about in the same breath as Cadillac and GM is a worthy goal in and of itself…all the pieces point to this being a thinly veiled preview of Cadillac’s new small crossover. E-Flex might just be a way to take the discussion and focus away from Cadillac and SAAB showing similarly sized crossovers at the same time (SAAB gets to show a very production ready version while Cadillac gets to mis-direct the public by talking about the E-Flex technology). Both brands benefit by not ‘looking’ like they are co-developing product.