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.

  • 2011 Cadillac Ciel Concept
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    3.6-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    425 horsepower
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2011 Cadillac Ciel Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 413046

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.


2011 Cadillac Ciel Concept Interior
- image 413053

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.


2011 Cadillac Ciel Concept High Resolution Exterior
- image 413054

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?

2011 Cadillac Ciel Concept Exterior
- image 413045

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.

2011 Cadillac Ciel Concept Exterior
- image 413050
  • Leave it
    • No word on production
    • Even if production was green-lighted, many of the features would not transfer over
Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
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Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (342) posted on 08.23.2012

Neither on us expected that this Ciel will bring a good start for Cadillac.

  (328) posted on 08.22.2012

I told you that Cadillac was really unexpected. See? This Ciel is a heavenly-luxurious from the exterior to its interior. I can’t believe that they can do best like this.

  (517) posted on 08.22.2012

Cadillac Ciel looks great. You will surely have a great luxury ride with this amazing vehicle. I think they should continue releasing it.

  (446) posted on 02.7.2012

This four-seat convertible concept car comes with a magnificent design that gives an enjoyable and spectacular experience. Everyone can enjoy an open-air touring with this 2011 Cadillac Ciel Concept.

  (580) posted on 02.6.2012

This concept car is very elegant, and this is best for men who want to impress women. This looks aggressive yet luxurious. I love the overall concept of this car.

  (428) posted on 10.24.2011

I don’t know what to say on this one, it is so aggressive and the platform that this car had is very confusing although I can see that it is a luxurious car. I wonder if when will be the debut of this one?

  (463) posted on 10.21.2011

Whoa! What a cool, impressive car I have seen! The interior is wonderful and so with its exterior. The color black brings the sophisticated look of it that make it look more elegant, inside and out.

  (830) posted on 10.19.2011

Cadillac Ciel Concept is really so aggressive on its appearance most especially on its front design, and its body paint gives more angst on this one. I am just absolutely hoping that they would really put this one on production.

  (630) posted on 10.3.2011

This one totally a stunning concept. The birth of Ciel obviously showed what is a luxury and convertible car is. Indeed, a classy glamour car in our generation.

  (449) posted on 09.23.2011

Very impressive car indeed. I like the concept of this car. All the part of this car is really great. However, I don’t know if the performance of this car is great.

  (558) posted on 09.19.2011

The concept of this car is like a Mercedes Benz car. But this car is too long than Mercedes Benz car. This car has a good performance and this car has 425 horse power with long car body, its enough horse power for this car.

  (248) posted on 09.16.2011

I like the interio of this car. Gold color is one of the best attractive color of a car. The performance of this car is also great because this car has 425 horse power.

  (1211) posted on 09.12.2011

Such a supreme old classic cars turned into a luxurious yet state-of-the-art designs, not bad for a 425 horse power. Oddly to think that there’s a blanket storage, much more interesting for the compartments for the sunglasses and sun protectors for a great match.

  (448) posted on 09.8.2011

As expected from this luxurious brand! I was truly impressed on the speed performance of the car. The styling of the vehicle makes it more elegant. I really like the long-wheel base of this concept.

  (256) posted on 09.8.2011

When I saw the front vehicle, it reminds me of the BMW 6-series. Well, the styling of the vehicle is quite awesome as well as its figure performance. Sadly, that we can’t see this car in the Frankfurt Motor Show. 

  (342) posted on 08.22.2011

Yeah same thing here. I also like the look of the car even if it has a lot of edges. The design is almost the same with Roll Royce’s collections. Aside from that, the performance is really great but why is it that there is no word for production.

  (399) posted on 08.22.2011

As expected from the Cadillac, it has an elegant and luxurious detailing that makes the car so gorgeous. The Ciel is kind of different from the standard production of Cadillac since it comes up with a longer wheel base. I hope to see this car in the showroom.

  (474) posted on 08.22.2011

I like the name meaning of the car and I agree that its styling is kind of heavenly. The design is aesthetically beautiful and the powerful engine of the vehicle is a big bang. The Cadillac should think for a possible production for this vehicle.

  (10) posted on 08.22.2011

Stupid Ford.
THEY should built this. THIS is Continental all the way. I’m tired of Lincoln being POORLY warmed over Ford products.

  (30) posted on 08.19.2011

I have to admit, I start to love cars just because of cadillac... and I have a lot of respect for this mechine!!
I knew that sooner or later Cadillac will go back to their origins. those kind of cars are Cadillac’s unique thing that separated between them and the other companies. But it gone a long time ago and it looks like Cadillac didn’t has- sense the dissapering of the old cadillacs- any thing unique or special. I think that this is a good idea to make a car like this, and it might compete agianst the Mercedes CL Or the BMW 6-series (which is mt guess)...

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