Shortly after announcing that the Converj Concept was giving birth to a production version called the "ELR", Cadillac went to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and unveiled their newest concept car, the Ciel.
Pronounced as "C-L", which translates to ’sky’ in French, the Ciel is a four-seat convertible tourer that completely blows the lid off of Cadillac’s new design language, taking it to a level that we’ve never seen before.
As a brand that built its name on the popularity of its old-school grandeur, Cadillac is returning to that game plan while adding modern-day luxury to the mix. The Ciel is the epitome of a large and expressive luxury car that suggests how Cadillac’s rich history can sync perfectly well authentic luxury and high-end technology of today’s time.
"Large, expressive luxury is innate to Cadillac and the Ciel recalls that heritage, while suggesting where the brand can go in the future," said Clay Dean, global design director for Cadillac.
"Authentic luxury is driven by experiences, not just products, and Ciel is about the experience of the journey."
UPDATE 09/07/11: Cadillac’s return to prominence comes as a result of an aggressive approach by GM to revamp the entire line-up and return it back to its stature as the premier American luxury brand. In line with the development of a new production flagship car, Cadillac may have its sights set on green lighting the recently-launched Ciel Concept. While nothing is official as of yet, we believe that a production version of the Ciel is all but certain. The more important question is how is it going to be packaged relative to what the concept car looks like. Hopefully, we’ll have some answers sooner than later.
Find out more about the Cadillac Ciel Concept after the jump.
In its attempt to bring back the glory days of Cadillac luxury, General Motors designed the Ciel Concept to emulate the great touring cars of the past while combining it with a modern flair that projects Cadillac’s vision for the future.
With a long, low proportion that features French-style doors and rear doors hinged at the rear, the B-pillar-less Ciel Concept is the evocation of a modern-day classic. The fender lines run the entire length of the car with nickel-plated bright work serving as accents to the car’s body lines, enhancing the overall look while paying homage to Cadillac’s glorious roots.
Cadillac dressed up the Ciel in a special paint color - Cabernet - that’s reserved only for the concept car and was inspired by the "rich translucence of a glass of red wine held up to the sunlight." The windshield frame, together with the shield grille, and the vertical lighting elements, are all Cadillac originals. The aforementioned frame also serves the purpose of providing an important structural and aesthetic element to the car. As for the vertical lighting set-up, the headlamps and taillamps all feature LED lighting that include a daytime running light graphic on the front end of the car.
The car rides on a set of beautifully finished 22" wheels with brushed nickel plating over milled billet aluminum with carbon ceramic brake rotors behind it.
Back when open-air grand-touring cars were the perfect highway joyride partner, Cadillac is bringing it back with a modern interpretation that epitomizes the perfect bridging of timeless metamorphosis.
Where most concept vehicles usually go the route of futuristic design set-ups, the Cadillac Ciel takes a different route, opting for an interior that highlights simplicity, authenticity and spaciousness.
"With the Ciel, the journey is the thing, so the interior is a place of uncompromising comfort and elegance, with technology that only makes the journey more enjoyable," said Gael Buzyn, the Ciel’s interior design manager. "Simplicity and lightness ensure nothing distracts from the open driving experience, while the color and materials lend the feeling that the vehicle’s environment blends with the surroundings."
The defining element of the Ciel’s interior is the prevalent use of Italian Olive wood on the doors, instrument panel, console, and the front seatbacks. As a premium, yet sustainable material, Italian Olive wood comes from a single fallen and recycled tree from a west coast producer of premium olive oil that was painstakingly prepared before it was cut for the concept vehicle.
The Italian Olive wood evokes warmth and craftsmanship, especially for those customers that appreciate the art of old-world techniques. Similar to the exterior, the passenger space of the Ciel is accented with sweeping nickel-plated trim, dividing the body-color upper sections from a complementing beige lower color.
As for the design of the Ciel’s back seat, it’s got plenty of elegant and luxurious touches, including a wood trim in the rear center console that opens to reveal a small humidor. This humidor conveniently comes with a set of expensive cigars. There’s also a pull-able leather tab on the rear sets that stores a cashmere blanket, providing enough warmth for those looking to stretch their legs.
The center console runs from the instrument panel to the rear of the interior, effectively separating each passenger from the other and thus creating personal space. The panel features a minimalist gauge cluster that serves as the personification of Cadillac’s attention to details and its priority on authentic materials.
Each of the seats have their own cooling and heating features to go with a special drawer that includes, among other things, sun lotion, sun glasses, towels, and aromatherapy.
Ambient lighting on the armrests are also available for the romantic nighttime drives, as are transparent gauges that come in a detailed, brushed-aluminum housing that has the intricate depth of a high-quality chronograph.
With all the fascinating design elements of the Cadillac Ciel, it’s still important to note the powertrain housed under its hood. In this case, the Ciel comes with a GM-sourced 3.6-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine with direction that produces an output of 425 horsepower and augmented by a hybrid system using lithium-ion batteries.
Will It Be Produced?
Cadillac has not announced if the car is headed for a production designation, but considering the elaborate detail that went in building this concept, we’d be surprised if the American automaker pushes for a road version anytime soon.
That being said, you still can’t take anything away from this one-top, luxury grand tourer. It’s the perfect example of old classics having a place in today’s world if the people behind it know what they’re doing. And from the looks of things, Cadillac scored big time with the Ciel Concept.
Aesthetic design is W-O-W
Luxury amenities are top-of-the-line
No word on production
Even if production was green-lighted, many of the features would not transfer over