Cadillac is expected to announce Friday (18/8/00) the production of the Evoq sports car likely in 2002, say US press reports (16/8/00).

Quoting a spokesman for Cadillac, the reports confirm the announcement - after 20 months of speculation - is to be made at the Concours d'Elegance, Pebble Beach, California.

GM`s $39 million investment to retool its Corvette plant, Bowling Green, Ky., to produce a new model has increased speculation by industry analysts that the car in question is the Evoq.

The car, to be powered by a supercharged version of GM's new-generation, 4.2-litre Northstar 32-valve V8 engine said to produce 405 horsepower, is to be the first rear-wheel drive Cadillac with the Northstar V8.

To be made out of composite plastic, as production difficulties forced the automaker to ditch plans for an aluminium body, the Evoq will also include Night Vision, Stabilitrak electronic stability and its Communiport voice-activated navigation, e-mail and information system, that runs on Microsoft`s Windows CE operating platform.

The high-powered two-seater, considered the highlight of the 1999 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, becomes the first GM production car to share the basic Corvette platform since the Corvette was introduced back in 1953.