When asked to create a “dream car” from GM parts, the company’s North American President, Mark Reuss, described a hybrid vehicle in which no mention was made about mpg or emissions.

Although the hardware he’d drop in place of the 7.5-liter V-12 gutted from a 2002 Cadillac Cien concept would be green, the car Reuss spec’d was distinguished by still-significant gas-electric horsepower and torque in the mid 400s and blazing lap time capability.

Not actually built, this is what Reuss would do.

The opportunity for this brainstorming exercise was a discussion with Car and Driver , and while no hint was made that the Cadillac ELR would echo these themes, it at least shows the proclivities of one key executive at GM. While the 2009 Converj was beautiful, Reuss said he loves the 2002 Cien whose angular body "defined" Cadillac for him.

So as an ultimate, he picked his favorite Cadillac and sketched it out sensibly enough for today's environmental and fuel efficiency conscious times, but stacked the deck decidedly in favor of power to weight so the fun-to-drive factor was definitely not left out.

The Cien's carbon-fiber monocoque chassis and body comprised the one car that most inspired Reuss, Car and Driver says. So, why not convert it into the ultimate Volt?

Indeed, if his wish list is at all accurate, it means GM knows how to make an all-wheel-drive hybrid vehicle weighing within a few pounds of the Volt but with triple the horsepower and approaching double the torque.

As Car and Driver observed, Reuss knows full well what GM could concoct if its engineers were turned loose. Before his present role, he led architecture engineering, launched GM’s performance division, oversaw global virtual development, and ran Holden in Australia.


So when people talk about wanting to see a Volt SS, or other high-performance variants, here’s one more proof that GM understands, even if it is playing cards close to its chest.

But what do you think? Is this “parts bin special” the best GM could do? Or do you doubt it could be done? If optimistic, what do you think a car like this would cost? Could you come up with something better? More power? Lighter but less powerful than the 3,800 pound vehicle here? Different body style? How would you balance the equation?

Fisker Karma? Tesla Model S? GM's president says from existing parts he could build an EREV like this that would trounce either in the quarter mile or around a race track.

And, more importantly, will there ever come a day when GM would create something like this? Perhaps after several more years when the electrified vehicle shakeout has had some time to run its course? How close do you think the Cadillac ELR will come to this imaginary benchmark?

Naturally, many more economical and practical Voltec designs could also be built, and likely would come first, but we thought it revealing to see what kind of vehicle GM’s president would envision as most entertaining for himself.


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