Is this a Ciel Redux? The concept has been a long time coming:
a large, luxurious super-coupe halo Cadillac.
When these concepts debuted in Detroit, heads exploded with visions of cruising an American highway at extreme speed in extreme luxury.
The Evoq hit the market as the XLR–interior design aside, it was visually quite close to the concept, but not an outstanding example of a successful translation from concept to production. What it seemed to lack was the presence of the concept… and it did still pale in comparison to its direct competitor. So, not a home run as far as product introduction goes, but what one can certainly say in its favor is that is actually became a production car. The Cien had a semi-cameo as Ewan McGregor‘s vehicle of choice in “The Island“, but that was the last we saw of it. And what happened to the Sixteen?
And what will come of the Ciel?
Those points aside, the Art&Science form language may be the primary reason Cadillac still exists as a brand and is enjoying such success at the moment. It’s satisfying to see this evolution of the form language so successfully incorporating organic, flowing surfaces.
If you’d like to see more, check out the gallery below. Obviously, I mostly enjoy the development sketches, but the photos clearly show an appropriate level of attention to detail in the exterior design, superb execution of interior, and perhaps evidence of the existence of an overriding mandate of reservedness in the treatment of surfaces and details.
Even the crest benefits.
This self-restraint seems to pervade the entirety of the exterior, while allowing a bit more creative freedom inside.
[toggle title_open=”Close Cadillac Press Release” title_closed=”Official Cadillac Press Release” hide=”yes” border=”yes” style=”default” excerpt_length=”0″ read_more_text=”Read More” read_less_text=”Read Less” include_excerpt_html=”no”]CARMEL, Calif. – Cadillac today revealed the Elmiraj Concept, a grand coupe expressing the pure enjoyment of driving and exploring new dimensions for Cadillac’s ongoing expansion. The Elmiraj Concept showcases a new vision for luxury driving and the top of the brand’s expanding range.
“Cadillac is fueled by the creativity of our designers, led by Ed Welburn,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president, Global Cadillac. “Elmiraj provides a look inside the Cadillac Studio on how we envision performance and luxury for the next generation of luxury drivers.”
A modern update to the classic format of a two-door grand coupe, Elmiraj is a pure expression of streamlined design and engaging rear-wheel drive performance.
At 205 inches (5207mm) in overall length, Elmiraj is four-seat coupe with presence and poise. Taking up from where the memorable Ciel Concept left off, Elmiraj is a statement of pure luxury and performance with a purposeful character and proportion.
The concept advances Cadillac’s philosophy of dramatic design and performance, and its commitment to lightweight, agile cars. Elmiraj is constructed with chassis and structural elements of an ongoing Cadillac vehicle development project slated for future production. This new vehicle architecture expands the brand’s commitment to lightweight RWD performance, exemplified in the ATS sport sedan and the all-new and elevated 2014 CTS launching this fall in the U.S.
“Elmiraj advances Cadillac’s provocative modern design and performance, contrasted with bespoke craftsmanship and luxury,” said Mark Adams, Cadillac design director. “It explores performance driving, as well as how we’re approaching elevating the Cadillac range and new dimensions of Art & Science philosophy.”
Elmiraj is powered by a 4.5-liter twin turbocharged V8 delivering an estimated 500 hp. The engine takes the baseline technology from the new Cadillac Twin Turbo V6 featured in the upcoming 420-hp 2014 CTS Vsport edition, and expands it to the classic performance format of a V8 engine.
Dramatic Exterior Proportion
With a heritage of imaginative designs, Cadillac approaches concept cars as a method for projecting design forward rather than simply exaggerating or “teasing” future production models. Elmiraj was created from this mindset, and therefore suggests new territory for Cadillac Art & Science.
“This concept is the second chapter, following the Ciel Concept, of our exploration of the personas of true luxury,” said Clay Dean, executive director of advanced design. “This project originated around the simple persona of “the drive,” or the visceral experience of driving a great luxury coupe. It’s an expression of the confidence and poise you feel driving a high-performance car, which we feel is an essential element of top-level luxury.”
The dramatic proportion communicates power and performance. A long dash-to-axle front profile, a Cadillac signature, gives the coupe a performance-oriented form. The long wheelbase and clean body side characterizes the car’s spacious dimensions and elevated status.
The fast cabin sits within a fuselage where taut fender lines spline through the full sectioned body, literally blending art and science. Cadillac’s vertical light signature is represented in both the headlamp graphic and tail lamp. A gently applied feature line in the sheet metal extends the full length of the body side, connecting those vertical front and rear elements.
“Elmiraj is about poise and proportion,” said Niki Smart, lead exterior designer. “We wanted a mature statement for Cadillac, where simplicity and subtle adornments create a purposeful presence.”
Elmiraj contains design elements emphasizing Cadillac’s capabilities for engaging driving performance in its production portfolio. Two vents in the car’s long hood are functional, acting as hot air outlets for the twin turbo engine. Elmiraj has 22-x-9-in. aluminum wheels are backed by large ceramic brakes with Cadillac monoblock calipers. The car’s rich blue exterior finish wears the brand’s Vsport designation, Cadillac’s new level slotting directly under the high-performance V-Series.
The face of Elmiraj experiments with new visual elements, yet is unmistakably Cadillac. The grille emphasizes the car’s substantial road presence. The Cadillac Crest appears in a conceptual form, streamlined and tailored to the car’s overall design. This design idea for a revised crest reflects the fact that Cadillac’s unmistakable symbol has evolved dozens of times through history to mark new eras or design achievements.
Exquisitely Crafted Interior
The interior of Elmiraj blends elegantly crafted luxury and generous space with driver-focused performance elements. The upper section of the instrument panel is a single piece extending across the full width of the car, while the lower forms a cockpit space tailored for performance.
“A concept provides not only an opportunity to explore new design ideas, but to pursue new techniques for elegant craftsmanship and materials,” said Gael Buzyn, lead interior designer.
Backlit titanium trim curves from the cowl to the doors, dividing the rich upper camel leather from the wood trim. Cadillac Studio craftsmen handpicked fallen Brazilian Rosewood, a wood veneer prized for its use for hundreds of years in home furnishings and musical instruments. The wood is hand-cut into three dimensional sections for perfect control of the grain flow.
The car’s instrumentation features an analog tachometer and speedometer that are transparent. Directly behind the analog gauges sits a wide screen, high resolution display which projects driver information and the output of a front-mounted camera. A 10-inch touchscreen for navigation and connectivity can be concealed inside the instrument panel when not in use.
The 2+2 layout features high-performance seats, designed to support spirited driving while also delivering luxury accommodation. Elmiraj passengers might actually lobby to sit in the back. The rear bucket seats each contain a valet feature to ease entry and exit. The front bucket seat slides 10 inches forward while the rear bucket seat slides 4 inches forward to meet the passenger, then slides him or her back into position once seated. The rear bucket seats recline for additional comfort.
Many of the most celebrated automotive designs through history have been luxury coupes
“We were influenced in particular by the 1967 Eldorado, both its actual design and the fact that in its time that car was a very stark contrast and a new direction. More recent design like the CTS-V Coupe and the ELR are provocative,” said Dean, the advanced design director. “Both of these cars were major statements of performance and luxury and drove Cadillac forward into new territory.”
Designers at General Motors’ advanced design studio in North Hollywood, Calif., under the direction of Frank Saucedo, led the development of the car’s interior and exterior. Elmiraj was hand-built by in-house craftsmen in Michigan.[/toggle]
Cadillac Elmiraj Specifications
|Body Style||4-passenger, 2-door grand coupe|
|Height||55 in / 1397 mm|
|Width||76 in / 1930 mm|
|Length||205 in / 5207 mm|
|Curb Weight||Approx. 4000 lb / 1814 kg|
|Engine||4.5-liter Twin Turbo V8|
|Power||500 hp / 373 kW|
|Torque||500 lb-ft / 678 Nm|
Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com.