A Stunner at Pebble: Cadillac Ciel Concept
This is not Cadillac's upcoming flagship. But something similar could be.
Cadillac tells us that this is not a direct preview of its rumored flagship, but we think it should be. The Ciel — pronounced "CL," it's the French word for "sky" and not, according to Cadillac, stolen from some German luxury brand — concept unveiled on the eve of this year's Pebble Beach weekend has all the presence of any great halo car. The long, low, all-wheel-drive droptop has four doors (rear-hinged in the back), and the open-air cockpit just makes it easier to see the jaw-dropping interior.
The sheetmetal is a striking interpretation of current Germanic styling trends — the sharp fender crease flowing down into the front fascia, headlights stretching back into the fenders — executed within the accepted boundaries of Cadillac's "Art & Science" design language. It does not adhere too strictly to either of these concepts, though, adding a bit of organic curvature where you might expect planes and angles. The huge, 22-inch wheels hide carbon-ceramic brake rotors, and the wheelbase is a long 125 inches.
Inside, there's the usual concept-car pizzazz, with holographic instrumentation, touch-sensitive pads on each door handle for each individual passenger's climate controls, and Snuggies (okay, maybe they're just blankets) that deploys from the side of each passenger-seat headrest to offer chilled companions a warming swaddle when the driver refuses to raise the roof. Perhaps the coolest touch, though, is the wood trim in the recessed portions of the front seatbacks. Full sheets stretch from waist level to shoulder height, and look magnificent. They also look tremendously improbable for a production car.
The whole concept, in fact, seems improbable, but that's because it is. Never mind the Ciel's twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6, hybrid system, and lithium-ion batteries. (Estimated output: 425 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque.) Cadillac spokespeople told us outright that this car is not a precursor to the yet-to-be-decided-upon flagship. However, a Ciel with a fixed roof — and, sadly, probably without the suicide rear doors — would make for a far-more-feasible and only slightly less entrancing ambassador for the brand than this version. That the critical dimensions very closely mirror those of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class shows where the company is looking. And once the standard version of such a vehicle was launched, maybe Cadillac could then start thinking about a convertible.
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This car takes it back to the 1920s and 30's of ultimate luxury. The long sweeping curves, the extended hood and not to mention suicide doors. Who in their right mind doesn’t want to bring those back? Ill tell you who those pansy smart car divers! Ill take two of these forget the hybrid system line the interior with baby polar bear fur have it run off of leaded fuel! Oh and I want a sign to pop out the back that gives the finger to all those hippies that say this car is tasteless. Get some class and quit sniffing your own farts!