Are you ready for an even more expensive Volt?

Imagine the look on the face of the poor schmuck who bought a Chevy Volt to impress liberal women when a Cadillac Volt comes rolling up beside him. Such is the fate of the beta male, my friends. Even when we drop ridiculous amounts of money on status symbols for the smug, somehow we’re out-smugged.

I’m saving my money for the Corvette Volt, which really would be the perfect ride for a mid-life crisis. And a good thing too, because I’ll need 20 years to save up to get one.

The General announced today that the Cadillac Converj concept has been approved for production, although in keeping with Caddy’s alphabet-soup naming it will be called the ELR…

The Volt is indeed pricey — the model we tested came in at $44,680 before the federal EV tax credit — because the underlying technology, namely the 16-kilowatt-hour battery, is expensive. Rolling out the Voltec drivetrain in a Cadillac won’t do much to change that, because it won’t increase volume enough to bring economy of scale, Bragman said, but it will make it easier for consumers to accept the price.

That’s why you see luxury brands like BMW, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz rolling out upscale hybrid sedans.

“That cost is more easily masked in a car like this,” he said. “GM can better accommodate the price without the sticker shock. You expect a Cadillac to cost a lot. You don’t expect a Chevrolet to cost a lot.”

Excellent point, although it stands the promise of electric cars on its head. These things were supposed to make driving less expensive in the long run through savings on gas. The Volt ended up being so costly that you can afford a Prius and 100,000 miles’ worth of fuel for the same price. So now they’ve gone in the opposite direction, marketing the electric engine not as a solution to a budget crunch for a middle-class family but as a status symbol for the well-heeled green-about-town who wants you to know (a) he’s loaded and (b) he cares. I wonder how long it’ll be before the Caddy’s out-selling the Volt. Probably … not long:

[A] new study by CNW marketing raises a red flag, finding that the potential buyers GM is most counting on are rapidly losing interest in the Volt. In March, 21% of so-called Early Adapters said they were “very likely” to consider buying a Volt, while 38.1% said they were “likely” to do the same. That slipped to 14.6% saying “very likely” in July, and 31.1% “likely.” Among EV Enthusiasts, reports the CNW study, the number of those likely or very likely to consider Volt fell from a combined 71% to 51% during the same four-month period.

“It’s way too early to tell, but the signs aren’t encouraging,” said CNW’s chief analyst Art Spinella. When it comes to mainstream consumers Volt has all but slipped off the radar screen, only about 3% of new car buyers likely to consider the Chevrolet Volt, the analyst added.

The big problem is the plug-in’s price, CNW data indicate.

The Cadillac’s sticker price should be somewhere south of $57,000. Here’s a promo video. I can’t lie: It’s looking good. Picture me rolling with a jaunty “You Can’t Hug Your Children With Nuclear Arms” bumper sticker affixed just so. Epic.

Update: Dude.