Just a week before the NAIAS show in Detroit, Cadillac is at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), an international technology trade show, with its high-tech Provoq concept. Another iteration of GM’s E-Flex platform, like the Chevy Volt and the Opel Flextreme concepts, the Provoq shares some basic features with those cars, but derives its power from a fuel cell instead of a petrol or diesel engine. And unlike the coupe-like Volt or the micro-van Flextreme, the Cadillac is a crossover, with cargo space and room for five, lending a practical air to the otherwise futuristic concept.

Fuel for the fuel cell is stored in a pair of 10,000psi (700bar) tanks directly beneath the cargo floor. The 13.2lbs (6kg) of hydrogen stored there give the Provoq a range of 300mi (483km), 280 of those miles coming from the hydrogen, the other 20mi from stored electricity. The drive system is composed of two motors, one for the front, another for the rear. The combined power of the motors is 110kW, although the hydrogen fuel cell is only capable of delivering 88kW of continuous power. The lithium-ion battery pack can deliver 60kW at peak for acceleration, although it cannot sustain this and only stores 9kWh of energy. All of this adds up to respectable performance, even by petrol-power standards: 0-60mph takes just 8.5s and the Provoq can carry on to a top speed of 100mph - more than adequate for highway cruising anywhere but the Autobahn.

The exterior design of the Provoq is perhaps less innovative than its drivetrain, but it’s still very attractive and modern-looking. The grille and front fascia have a definite look of the CTS to them, and and the upswept lines tracing back along the waistline from the front fenders give an aggressive look to the otherwise rounded and refined CUV. The grille itself is ‘active’; it opens and closes its louvres as necessary to meet the cooling needs of the fuel cell stack while minimizing wind resistance. From behind the concept is somewhat less engaging, but it does look surprising production-ready, which is a good thing. Underneath, the Provoq gets a full aerodynamic treatment to improve efficiency even further. The Provoq can also be charged from either the left or right sides thanks to convenient charging ports. Unique stealth door handles add a custom feel while maintaining the Provoq’s focus on aerodynamic efficiency.

Inside, the Provoq has something of the feel of an airplane’s cockpit, with blue-lit instruments and console displays glowing behind the button-filled steering wheel. The stick-like gear selector adds to this effect, while leather upholstery and satin chrome accents give the look of luxury. Many of the interior materials are made of recycled or recyclable materials, as well as some biologically-derived materials. The headliner is wrapped in a recyclable soy-based material, for example, and the carpet is made of recycled polyester and jute - such steps help keep the image of the Provoq in line with that of its powertrain: efficient, green and sustainable.