Cadillac has canceled its plans to build a plug-in hybrid or extended-range electric version of the SRX crossover, a new report suggests. According to Reuters, General Motors put the program on hold because it was not financially viable.
Rumors of an electrified Cadillac SRX first surfaced in December 2010, when Reuters reported that the Voltec drivetrain from the Chevrolet Volt was being adapted to the Cadillac crossover. Installing the Voltec system in more vehicles was claimed to help GM amortize its development costs for the drivetrain. The company is already upgrading its Detroit-Hamtramck factory so that Volt production can reach 60,000 units annually by 2012.
One month later, GM CEO Dan Ackerson told reporters that the company was looking to employ a plug-in hybrid system for the Cadillac SRX. It would have been based on the drivetrain developed for the Saturn Vue plug-in hybrid — which never saw production — rather than the Voltec system. Instead, Ackerson asserted that Voltec technology would underpin a minivan or hatchback like the Chevrolet Volt MP5 concept.
According to Reuters, GM was testing development prototypes of a hybrid Cadillac SRX. However, the project was scrapped because the SRX platform is already two years old, so by the time a hybrid version was ready for production, the platform would be too dated. It was believed that a production electric-assist crossover based on the extant SRX would be costly and lose money when it went on sale.
Reuters claims that the next-generation SRX platform has improved features and is more cost-efficient, making it better suited to development of a new drivetrain. In other words, some kind of electric vehicle may debut on a future Cadillac SRX platform. It seems certain GM will spread its extended-range electric technology to other vehicles, but they may not debut for a few years’ time.