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Pebble Beach Concours: Cadillac looks into the future

August 21, 2011 |  3:22 pm







Clearly besotted with the motoring romance of the days of yore, Cadillac has pulled the wraps off a far-flung concept car called the Ciel at Pebble Beach’s Concours d’Elegance.

This massive, four-door, four-seat dreamliner is simultaneously an homage to Cadillacs of a similar stature from the 1950s and ‘60s and an indication of the aspirations GM has for its premium brand over the next five to 10 years. 

The name (pronounced ‘See-El’) means ‘sky’ in French, a fact relayed by GM’s interior design manager Gael Buzyn and senior creative designer Charles LeFranc, both of whom are French. 

Ciel_int The pair said the car was conceived, styled and built by hand in GM’s Burbank design studio and will be working the auto show circuit around the world for the next several months as GM uses markets like Europe and especially China to gauge consumer interest. 

Buzyn said that the goal of the Ciel was to “redefine optimism” both for the Cadillac brand as a whole and for the type of relaxed, top-down touring that large cars like this once represented. He said the design team used California in particular as a point of inspiration and imagined occupants cruising from Los Angeles to Northern California’s wine country for a long weekend.

This led the team behind the Ciel to develope the unique ‘Cabernet’ color of the exterior and a similar color for the Ciel’s leather. Italian olive wood also lines the cabin.

This concept is powered by a 3.6-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 that Cadillac says puts out 425 horsepower and also features a hybrid system utilizing lithium-ion batteries. 

Given the speculative nature of this car, and the fact that Cadillac was mum on the car’s prospects for production, it’s likely this power plant would change or at least evolve by the time the real thing did land in dealerships. 

If the car does come to fruition, expect it to land at or near the top of Cadillac’s expanding lineup, which will see the addition of the smaller ATS sedan and full-size XTS in the next two years. Given that position, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a price tag in the neighborhood of $100,000.
--David Undercoffler / @LATimes_Driven

Photos: Above, the Cadillac Ciel concept at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Credit: David Undercoffler / Los Angeles Times

Below: Cadillac Ciel concept. Credit: General Motors