We’ve heard lately that Cadillac has approved the development of a true flagship model (not to be confused with the neo-DTS that is next year’s XTS sedan). The new car will gun for luxury heavyweights such as the S-Class Mercedes, 7-series BMW, and Audi A8.
While we might have thought that a flagship Cadillac would try to ape the proportions, feel, and Teutonic mission of these cars, Cadillac has thrown us for a loop with today’s unveiling of the Ciel concept convertible. While the Ciel (French for sky) is a nod back at the 4-door convertibles of the past, if you squint a bit you can see what is really being shown off here. This is a statement by Cadillac that their future product offensive will not shy away from what made a Cadillac a uniquely American expression of luxury.
Additionally, this is also a preview of some of the styling elements that will make their way into a future flagship sedan. Interestingly, this design seems to marry the current Art & Science design motif with the classic lines of Cadillacs of the 1960’s – we see more than a hint of the 60’s Eldorado convertibles in the lines of this new car – suggesting a slight change in Cadillac’s styling direction that more faithfully recreates some of the glory day look.
Truth be told, we’d like to see this toned down a bit and sticking a bit closer to the look Cadillac has captured with the current CTS line – but the truth of the new styling direction likely lives between these two extremes.
Powered by a twin-turbo 3.6l V-6 with direct injection and 425hp, this likely not only previews the top engine of the upcoming flagship, but may also be showing us what power might be under the hood of the upcoming ATS-V competitor to the BMW M3 as well.
Riding on a 125″ wheelbase on 22″ wheels – the 203″ long convertible is a grand Cadillac like we have not seen in a while and is within spitting distance of the size of the long-wheelbase versions of the current Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series. Tone down the front styling and put a sedan roof on this car and you might have a pretty good impression of where Cadillac is headed.
We’re excited to see where Cadillac is going with this car and expect we’ll see something along these lines in a few years.
Check out these videos, the first talking to the design team that brought this car to life and the second giving lots of beauty shots of the car on the California coast that inspired the 4-door/4-seat convertible’s design.