CADILLAC CONCEPT CARS
Concept cars allow manufacturers a way to illustrate certain styling elements and design themes or features that may be integrated into future production models. This year we are showing five Cadillac concept cars, courtesy of GM Design, from 1953 to 2011.
The LeMans, a luxurious, two-passenger sports convertible
revealed at the 1953 Motorama, combined elegance with a 250-horsepower V-8 engine. The fiberglass concept featured a long rear deck, panoramic wraparound windshield and a front-end that previewed the look of Cadillacs to come. This example, one of four
built, was updated with a new engine and tailfin treatment when it was gifted to Fisher Body’s James “Bud” Goodman in 1959.
The Cyclone was among the last cars designed under the
direction of GM Design Vice President Harley Earl. Featuring Cadillac-style tailfins, sliding doors and a one-piece clear plastic canopy top that disappeared into the rear deck for storage, it was a testbed for futuristic styling and advanced technology including a Doppler-based proximity warning system. Bill Mitchell later updated the design by reducing the fin size for a more streamlined look.
The Evoq was introduced in 1999 to reveal Cadillac’s new Art
& Science design language. The two-seat roadster featured sheer forms and hard edges; a bold new egg-crate grille with an updated wreath and crest; complementary vertical head and tail lamps; and a retractable hard top that disappears into the trunk area. In 2003, the Evoq made its production debut as the Cadillac XLR.
The Sixteen was a modern interpretation of Cadillac as
Standard of the World, evoking the brand’s glorious past to make a progressive statement about its future. With grand exterior proportions, premium interior materials and a 16-cylinder, 1000-horsepower engine, it was crafted with great attention to detail Inside and out. General Motors’ designers drew extensively on the traditions of the coach-built era, employing the distinctive talents of leading artisans to deliver a striking
design that still awes today.
The Ciel was developed at GM’s North Hollywood Design
Center and debuted at Pebble Beach in 2011. Pronounced “C-L,” French for “sky, the Long, low proportions of this four-door convertible pushed the brand’s Art & Science philosophy forward while celebrating the era of open-air motoring. Spacious and elegant, Ciel was a hybrid that paired a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 engine with lithium-ion battery technology, making it not only a fashion statement but one of innovation as well.