[Video] Cadillac Elmiraj Concept: Could This Hint at Caddy’s New Halo Car?
A decade ago, Cadillac forever changed my perception of the brand and what it could be with the debut of the astonishingly beautiful and powerful Cadillac Sixteen. Designed at the very birth of the Art and Science design language, the Sixteen represented the future hopes and dreams of the once great American luxury car that had fallen on some rough times.
Since then, Cadillac has gone through a rebirth that is the envy of the mythical phoenix itself. The CTS brought the brand back from the brink, and the latest models have given Caddy’s bench some serious depth.
Two years ago, Cadillac pulled the silks from the Ciel concept, a convertible to usher in the next evolution of Cadillac. It was, and is, stunning. Not too long ago, Cadillac told us we could expect a new halo car to sit above the XTS and some hints at that halo car could appear during Monterrey Motor Week.
Lo and behold, Cadillac introduces the Elmiraj Concept Coupe, essentially a hard-top version of the Cadillac Ciel. And, my stars, it is, if anything, even more beautiful than the Sixteen and the Ciel combined. With a 500 horse, 500 pound-feet 4.5 liter twin-turbo V8, it has the Vsport power to match the aggressive design.
Whether or not the Cadillac Elmiraj makes it to production, it is all but assured that bits and pieces of it will been found in future Caddies. That being said, my fingers, toes and eyes are crossed hoping the Cadillac Elmiraj will see the light of day.
Check out the two videos with the Cadillac Elmiraj in action and the photo gallery, and geek out on the press release below.
2013 Cadillac Elmiraj Tech 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|
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.