Cadillac today revealed the Elmiraj Concept that showcases a new vision for the top of the brand’s expanding range.
“Cadillac is fueled by the creativity of our designers, led by Ed Welburn,” said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president, Global Cadillac. “Elmiraj provides a look inside the Cadillac Studio on how we envision performance and luxury for the next generation of luxury drivers.”
A modern update to the classic format of a two-door grand coupe, Elmiraj is an expression of streamlined design and rear-wheel drive performance. At 205 inches (5207mm) in overall length, the four-seat coupe takes up from where the Ciel Concept left off.
Constructed with chassis and structural elements of an ongoing vehicle development project slated for future production, this new vehicle architecture expands the brand’s commitment to lightweight RWD performance says Cadillac.
“Elmiraj advances Cadillac’s provocative modern design and performance, contrasted with bespoke craftsmanship and luxury,” said Mark Adams, Cadillac design director. “It explores performance driving, as well as how we’re approaching elevating the Cadillac range and new dimensions of Art & Science philosophy.”
The concept car is powered by a 4.5-litre twin turbocharged V8 delivering an estimated 500hp. The engine takes the baseline technology from the new Cadillac Twin Turbo V6 featured in the upcoming 420hp 2014 CTS Vsport edition, and expands it to the performance format of a V8 engine.
“This concept is the second chapter, following the Ciel Concept, of our exploration of the personas of true luxury,” said Clay Dean, executive director of advanced design. “This project originated around the simple persona of ‘the drive,’ or the visceral experience of driving a great luxury coupe. It’s an expression of the confidence and poise you feel driving a high-performance car, which we feel is an essential element of top-level luxury.”
The vehicle’s proportion is designed to communicate power and performance say the designers. A long dash-to-axle front profile, an old Cadillac signature, gives the coupe a performance-oriented form. The long wheelbase and clean body side help accentuate the car’s dimensions.
The cabin sits within a fuselage where taut fender lines spline through the full sectioned body. Cadillac’s vertical light signature is represented in both the headlamp graphic and tail lamp. A feature line in the sheet metal extends the full length of the body side, connecting those vertical front and rear elements.
“Elmiraj is about poise and proportion,” said Niki Smart, lead exterior designer. “We wanted a mature statement for Cadillac, where simplicity and subtle adornments create a purposeful presence.”
Two vents in the car’s long hood are functional, acting as hot air outlets for the twin turbo engine. Elmiraj has 22-x-9-in. aluminum wheels are backed by large ceramic brakes with Cadillac monoblock calipers. The car’s blue exterior finish wears the brand’s Vsport designation, Cadillac’s new level slotting directly under the high-performance V-Series.
The face of Elmiraj experiments with new visual elements, yet is identifiably Cadillac. The wide grille emphasises the car’s road presence. The Cadillac Crest appears in a conceptual form, streamlined and tailored to the car’s overall design.
On the inside, the upper section of the instrument panel is a single piece extending across the full width of the car, while the lower forms a cockpit space tailored for performance.
“A concept provides not only an opportunity to explore new design ideas, but to pursue new techniques for elegant craftsmanship and materials,” said Gael Buzyn, lead interior designer.
Backlit titanium trim curves flow from the cowl to the doors, dividing the upper camel leather from the wood trim. Cadillac Studio craftsmen handpicked fallen Brazilian Rosewood, a wood veneer typically used in home furnishings and musical instruments. The wood is hand-cut into three dimensional sections for improved control of the grain flow.
The car’s instrumentation features an analog tachometer and speedometer that are transparent. Directly behind the analog gauges sits a wide screen display which projects driver information and the output of a front-mounted camera. A 10-inch touchscreen for navigation and connectivity can be concealed inside the instrument panel when not in use.
The 2+2 layout features seats designed to mix driving comfort with luxury accommodation. The rear bucket seats each contain a valet feature to ease entry and exit. The front bucket seat slides 10 inches forward while the rear bucket seat slides 4 inches forward to meet the passenger, then slides him or her back into position once seated. The rear bucket seats recline for additional comfort.
“We were influenced in particular by the 1967 Eldorado, both its actual design and the fact that in its time that car was a very stark contrast and a new direction. More recent design like the CTS-V Coupe and the ELR are provocative,” said Dean, the advanced design director. “Both of these cars were major statements of performance and luxury and drove Cadillac forward into new territory.”
Designers at General Motors’ advanced design studio in North Hollywood, California, under the direction of Frank Saucedo, led the development of the car’s interior and exterior. Elmiraj was hand-built by in-house craftsmen in Michigan.