Evoq's Bold Design, Technological Innovations Embody Cadillac's Vision for Art & Science
Evoq proves that when form follows function, it can do so with boldness and distinction. And with the introduction of this luxury roadster concept, Cadillac gives tangible form to its vision to be a global automotive leader in both design and ingenious technology. Evoq, first introduced at the 1999 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, is a rear-wheel-drive two-seater with a retractable hardtop. Its crisply tailored lines establish an expressive design direction for future Cadillac models. At the same time, the concept vehicle boasts strong performance, starting with a supercharged version of the next generation Northstar V8 engine featuring an intercooler and continuously variable valve timing.
Evoq also showcases a host of advanced - yet feasible - technologies, either available now or currently under development. The technologies include Night Vision, Forewarn® Back-Up Aid rear obstacle detection system, rear vision cameras replacing outside rearview mirrors, a vertically-anchored tire and wheel system and Communiport®, a mobile multimedia information system with voice-activated navigation, electronic mail and entertainment capabilities.
"Evoq illustrates our vision for the global luxury market, to create vehicles that blend elements of art and science for the benefit and pleasure of its drivers and passengers," said John F. Smith, Cadillac general manager. "With its combination of individual style and driver-focused technology, Evoq is a forerunner of what you will see in future Cadillacs."
While Evoq builds on Cadillac's significant heritage of design leadership and innovative technology, it is decidedly not retro, according to Smith.
"Evoq captures the emotion of great Cadillacs in the past, but in a totally forward-looking way. It signals Cadillac flair and ingenuity for the new millennium," Smith said.
Cadillac and GM Design Center staff worked closely together to develop the future Cadillac design philosophy embodied in Evoq, according to Wayne Cherry, head of the General Motors Design and Portfolio Development Centers. "Evoq is a bold statement. It is immediately identifiable as a Cadillac, and at the same time it presents itself clearly as a qualified member of the international league of luxury two-seaters," Cherry said.
Kip Wasenko, Evoq's chief designer, said the roadster's styling was designed around the idea that electronic technology can be expressive as well as functional.
"As an expression of Cadillac's philosophy, Evoq is much more than a show car. Evoq communicates Cadillac's vision of art and science by projecting an image that is technologically very advanced," Wasenko said.
Visual brand character cues found in Evoq will be carried forward to future Cadillac models. Among Evoq's design elements are a strong full-length spline line across the body, a trapezoidal sail, vertical headlamps, vertical taillamps, full-width CHMSL (center high mounted stop lamp) and the classic Cadillac egg-crate front grille. An updated version of the Cadillac wreath-and-crest emblem is featured on both the front and rear.
Evoq's all-steel body panels are painted Argentanium, a pewter color with a lot of "travel" from light to dark values, varying widely under different lighting conditions. Bronze glass windows add emphasis to the concept car's modern industrial design appearance. The "less is more" philosophy is accentuated by the lack of exterior door handles. The remote keyless entry fob not only unlocks the doors, it also opens them slightly. This feature preserves the clean, sheer look of Evoq's profile while adding an aerodynamic benefit. With the push of a single button, Evoq's hardtop retracts into the back window and sail, then folds down under a deck lid that raises and then closes over the hardtop unit. "The unique design of the power retracting hardtop enabled us to maintain the coupe's rakish profile without the compromise usually involved with creating a convertible," Wasenko said.
According to Wasenko, Evoq has the upscale style, the enduring quality and the high performance needed to compete with the world's best luxury roadsters.
The chassis of Evoq is dominated by two solid hydroformed rails that run from the front to the back of the car. This development by GM Advanced Vehicle Engineering provides Evoq with a very stiff structure, giving it a strong performance base both with the hardtop up or down.
Although Evoq's 168.6-inch (4282mm) length is shorter than most other premium two-seaters, it has a comparatively long wheelbase of 108.5 inches (2756mm). The result is that Evoq has extremely short overhangs in the front and rear, along with a long dash-to-axle profile that is typical of classic sports and luxury cars.
Evoq was packaged with a number of feasible technologies intended to enhance precise all-weather control, active safety and in-car entertainment and information technology. Evoq's technology also is geared to reduce exhaust emissions and optimize fuel economy relative to other engines of comparable power output.
Evoq represents the first application of the widely acclaimed Cadillac Northstar V8 engine to a rear-wheel-drive configuration, and previews technology that will be seen on a next generation of the Northstar System. The new 4.2 liter all-aluminum V8 has been "crowned" by a fully integrated supercharger/intercooler unit, for which GM has a patent pending, and comes with four-camshaft continuously variable valve timing plus a new low-friction valvetrain. The result is "power on demand" over a broad torque band, providing excellent passing capability while at the same time offering impressive fuel economy under normal driving conditions. The engine produces 405 bhp (302 kW) at 6400 rpm and 385 lb.-ft. (522 Nm) of torque at 4000 rpm. The engine has been comprehensively upgraded for the increased power levels. These upgrades include a steel crankshaft, heavy duty pistons and connecting rods, iron inserted main bearing bulkheads, specific valves, and four-layer head gaskets.
Evoq uses the GM 4T60 LE electronically controlled transmission with Performance Algorithm Shifting, an exclusive Cadillac technology that acts like a manual gearbox during high-spirited, aggressive driving.
A new four-channel version of Cadillac's stability enhancement system, StabiliTrak, has been evolved for Evoq's rear-wheel-drive configuration, the different suspension and unique tires and wheels. The system uses directional sensors networked with the car's suspension, steering, anti-lock brake and traction control systems to assist the driver in maintaining control during unpredictable situations.
Evoq features a new tire mounting technology from Michelin called the Pax System. Relying on clamping forces around the rim, this vertically anchored run-flat tire and wheel system reduces rolling resistance and improves fuel economy under normal conditions, compared to conventionally mounted tire/wheel systems. The design provides added safety in the run-flat configuration because the tire is anchored to the rim. In addition, the system enhances styling by allowing larger wheels on Evoq (19 inches in the front, 21 inches in the rear).
One of the technological advances featured on Evoq is Night Vision, which uses thermal-imaging technology to help a driver detect potentially dangerous situations well beyond the range of the car's headlamps. The infrared sensor is mounted in the front valence panel, with the image projected on the EyeCue™ head-up display that appears to be over the front edge of the car's hood, in the driver's peripheral vision. Cadillac will be the first to introduce the safety benefits of this technology to drivers by offering Night Vision on the 2000 DeVille.
Evoq utilizes neon lighting in the rear, providing both a styling element and safety enhancement. Because neon turns on faster than incandescent lighting, it transmits information faster to the driver behind Evoq during a braking situation. Neon also provides more uniform lighting across the surface, which means the intensity remains the same at different viewing angles. Evoq's interior, which also has a high-technology feel, was designed to be consistent with Cadillac's philosophy of enhancing safety by allowing drivers to keep their "hands on the wheel, eyes on the road."
At the center of the console, two flat-panel screens display images captured by the rear-vision cameras. Mounted in the doors of Evoq's exterior, the cameras pop up and take the place of rearview mirrors when the ignition is activated, and retreat into the doors for safety and to prevent theft when the ignition is off. The side-by-side screens on the console give a panoramic view of the scene behind the car.
The Forewarn Back-up Aid rear obstacle detection system uses three sensors in the back bumper, one radar and two ultrasonic, to detect when Evoq is nearing an object as the driver backs up. When an obstacle is detected, even if it's unseen, the system's electronic control module alerts the driver by appropriately illuminating three banks of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) on the instrument panel to indicate the closeness of the sensed object.
An example of technological innovation and another first for the Evoq roadster is Communiport, a revolutionary new multi-media communication and entertainment system for the road. This demonstration of wireless communications, computing functions, on-board turn-by-turn navigation and car audio with hands-free voice activation and text-to-speech response is being provided by systems integrator Delphi Delco Electronics. Powered by the Microsoft Windows CE® operating system, the powerful in-dash mobile multimedia system features a flat-panel, reconfigurable color display and intuitive speech technology that listens to and responds to driver commands. Delivering the benefits of interactive speech technology, connectivity, information-on-demand and enhanced entertainment to the vehicle, Communiport integrates car audio, computing, navigation and wireless communication through hands-free voice activation. With Communiport's infrared data interface, information can be easily transferred to and from a personal data assistant (PDA) as well as delivered from a desktop computer that enables electronic mail to be sent and received, and real-time news bulletins, stock updates and other critical business information to be downloaded.
Designed to help drivers keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road, Evoq also utilizes steering wheel controls and an EyeCue head-up display. EyeCue is the first application of a fully reconfigurable head-up display that can switch back and forth between in-dash computing and Night Vision.
The Communiport system builds on navigation and convenience services from OnStar, the comprehensive communications system currently available on all Cadillac models. Evoq comes with the vehicle architecture needed for OnStar, which provides services such as route support, remote door unlock, theft detection notification, stolen vehicle tracking, emergency services, remote diagnostics and convenience services such as hotel and restaurant location and reservations.
Evoq also features the Bose 4.0 entertainment system, the revolutionary sound system first introduced on the 1998 Cadillac Seville. The 425-watt system was designed to fit the acoustic characteristics of Evoq's environment in order to produce concert-quality sound with the car's top either up or down.
The instrument cluster is a further development of the one used on the Seville STS, with cold-cathode tube technology and revised graphics. The specific Evoq seats feature enhanced width in the seat area, extra support for the shoulder and back and a long cushion for added thigh support. The leather seats are a light oak with embossing and dark blue accents. Interior door panels are a light oak color, matching the light oak wool carpeting.
Smith said Evoq will play a key role in Cadillac's renaissance.
"Although Evoq is a concept vehicle, it was designed with technology that will be available to Cadillac customers in the next few years," Smith said. "What's important is that Evoq is completely consistent with our future direction in the way it rekindles the power, emotion, expressive design and ingenious technology that have always marked great Cadillacs."
Story by Cadillac