Last week, Cadillac revealed the all-new Elmiraj Concept - a vehicle that showcases a new vision for luxury driving and 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."
The Elmiraj is considered a more modern update to Cadillac's classic and well-known two-door grand coupe design, with a streamlined style and intense rear-wheel drive performance.
The Elmiraj, an extension of the earlier Ciel Concept, offers comfortable seating for four people and adheres to an ongoing vehicle development project and commitment to lightweight rear-wheel drive performance cars, such as the ATS sports sedan and the all-new 2014 CTS which launches this fall.
Nestled under the hood of the approximately 4,000-pound concept is a 4.5L twin-turbocharged V-8 producing approximately 500 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. The powerplant uses baseline technology from the new Cadillac twin-turbo V-6 (LF3), soon to be seen in the 420 horsepower 2014 CTS-V sport. The dual vents in the car's hood are functional, and act as hot air outlets.
"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."
Dramatic proportions give the Elmiraj an appearance that screams power and performance. The Cadillac-signature long dash-to-axle front fascia as well as a long wheelbase and clean body side suggest the car's spacious dimensions. Cadillac's notorious vertical lights are represented in both the head and tail lamps.
"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."
The Elmiraj sits on 22x9-inch aluminum wheels backed by ceramic brakes with Cadillac monoblock calipers. The Vsport designation, Cadillac's new performance level slotting directly below the high-performance V-Series, is clearly represented on the exterior.
The Elmiraj is unmistakably Cadillac, simply updated and enhanced with new styling cues. The grille gives the front fascia an expression that demands respect. The Cadillac crest has undergone a conceptual overhaul, streamlined and tailored to the car's overall design.
The spacious interior of the Elmiraj is functional and luxurious. The instrument panel is composed of two sections - the top being a single piece extending across the full width of the car, and the lower forming a cockpit space tailored for performance, with features like a transparent analog tachometer and speedometer, along with a widescreen, high-resolution display communicating driver information and output of a front-mounted camera. A 10-inch navigation and connectivity touch screen can be concealed inside the instrument panel when not in use. Black titanium trim runs between rich upper camel leather and wood trim made from hand-cut fallen Brazilian Rosewood.
The cockpit holds high-performance seats, designed to support both driver and passengers during spirited driving, and the rear bucket seats each contain a valet feature to ease entry and exit. Front bucket seats slide forward 10-inches and rear bucket seats slide forward 4-inches to meet the passenger, before sliding back into position once seated. The rear bucket seats also 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 designs 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."
The Elmiraj was designed at the General Motors Advanced Design Studio in North Hollywood, California, under the direction of Frank Saucedo, and was hand-built by in-house craftsmen in Michigan.