By on August 19, 2011

Phew! Can you say “American Rolls-Royce Drophead?” In sharp contrast to its last concept, the awkward subcompact Urban Luxury Concept, the Ciel is pure old-school Caddy. A huge car with huge presence. Of course, this exact car will never go into production, but it’s good to see more flowing lines, subtle surfaces and classical elements working their way into Caddy’s sharp-edged, stealth fighter design language. After all, the cartoonishly vertical headlamps indicate just how close the pure “Art & Science” approach is coming to an evolutionary dead-end. In any case, with rumors circulating of a “true flagship” going into production around 2015, the Ciel is sure to rile up the Cadillac faithful. [Press release here]

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60 Comments on “Cadillac Ciel Concept: A Vision Of GM’s Flagship Future...”


  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Cue “Games People Play” by The Alan Parsons Project.

  • avatar

    And now back to reality where you are getting a fwd flagship based on the Malibu.

  • avatar
    M 1

    There is no good reason I wouldn’t have sex with this car Right Now.

  • avatar

    American Rolls-Royce Drophead? Amazing!!

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    What a beautiful car. Talk about a halo. If they could build this and also distribute some of its cues onto the junior Cads, the division would have nothing to worry about.

    Lincoln, hopefully you are doing more than watching and listening!

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      When I saw Ronnie’s recent Look What I Found piece on the Continental, I was thinking that the way to revive Lincoln would be to create another such beauty, in limited numbers, even if they lost money on each one produced, just to redefine the brand as a leader in style and technology. And the Ciel is just what I was thinking of for that task.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    Very nice, but who knows how it will all end? I am not happy about that. Ciel? What is that? How about resurrecting a classic Cadillac name. Besides, the “Cadillac faithful” are all in their 80s, the few that remain. And one more thing, why is it that every time I move my mouse on an article, I get about 20 pop-ups? Sorry for all the questions.

    • 0 avatar

      Avoid the double underlines to avoid the popups. I agree that they are highly annoying, but remember that if you click on an ad that pops up, TTAC gets money.

      We don’t want our favorite TTAC writers to starve, no? As I remember, they had to push out our old friend founder Robert Farago because he cost too much and not enough people were clicking on ads …

      D

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Ed wants many Americans to starve, or else he has managed to avoid learning much of anything about economics for someone of his years.

      • 0 avatar

        David Dennis, I would refute your interpretation that Robert was “pushed out”… but I appreciate the overall message. I don’t love advertising, but it’s a fact of life. My mission is to make TTAC worth the annoyance of advertising, and (ironically) one of the most effective ways to help us succeed is to click an ad every now and again. As the saying goes, don’t hate the player, hate the game…

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Ciel? What is that?

      ContInEntaL

    • 0 avatar
      akcaptruth

      “Ciel? What is that?”

      You know… if you can’t use a dictionary or the internet to figure out this kind of diabolically complicated linguistic reference, or if you don’t realize there are in fact other languages besides English… or if you can’t listen well enough to actually hear the guy in the video say Ciel is the French word for ‘sky’ , then maybe you should just realize that Cadillac isn’t marketing this car to you.

      The Italian “Cielo” would be cool also — but Cadillac was right to pick the French, given their roots. Great name.

      Bold, handsome car: indelibly Cadillac.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        I like the car, heard what the guy said, but stand by what I said. Sometimes there are double meanings to words – and that makes the name even more perfect.

        Or maybe you didn’t know there are other languages besides English?

        I’ve lived in plenty of places where languages other than English were spoken. I’m quite fluent in several languages and would give you a demonstration – except I’d like to keep things civil.

      • 0 avatar
        mpresley

        No need to be snarky. Besides, the extent of my Cadillac French is Sedan or Coupe de Ville. Very d’ elegance. On the other hand, it is catchier than CTX, DBX, Triple X, and the rest of the Acura-esque alphabet soup they’ve been using, lately.

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        Couldn’t do Cielo. Buick already used it for a concept. Ciel works well for a concept, though.

  • avatar

    I’m normally severely prejudiced against domestic cars, but that kind of design would certainly make me think twice. It’s very interesting and attractive.

    But can we produce all that lovely hand craftsmanship at less than the cost of a Bentley?

    It also looks like it was designed very specifically for life in the California Coast (which I recognized from the video), where the weather is nice 90% of the time. It might do well in Florida, too, and that happens to be where I live, so it’s great. But 95% of the country isn’t’ like Florida or California, so it seems like a really limited niche on which to launch a flagship.

    D

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      California and Florida are about 15% of the country by population. Also it would work in Texas and other dry southern states so the % climbs way above 5%. For those climes that are too wet it has a roof!

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I live in coastal San Diego, which must have the best weather in the US. I probably see a convertible with its top down at least once a week, or at least once every two or three weeks. Most of them are aging Jeeps though, not the countless SLs, Carrera cabriolets, retractable hardtop 3-series, Gallardos, Aston Martin Volantes, or anything else that sells for more than 4 figures.

      • 0 avatar
        kenzter

        Same thing in LA. Most of the top-down convertibles I see are tourists in their Mustangs and Sebrings. But the owners of the SLs, Z4s, etc seem to keep the top up, at least on their commute. Could be different on Sunset or PCH though.

        As for the Ciel, it is exactly what Cadillac needs. That is one hot car.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    Is it just me or does that grill look like it’s shading towards a Mazda grin?

    The overall design seems to have strong echoes from the ’50′s (and the kind of futuristic designs they made back then). It’s actually quite interesting.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Zachman,

    your dream come true – GM put name of the car on its sides!

    I’m not a fan of recent Cadillac designs, but this one is beautiful!

  • avatar
    Crabspirits

    This automobile looks brilliant.

  • avatar
    Jimal

    While I still wish they could have done something based on the Sixteen concept, this isn’t bad. I’m not in Cadillac’s target demographic but I appreciate that they’re trying to go up market.

  • avatar

    The art&science styling DOES NOT WORK WELL with their large cars.

    What cadillac needs to do is evolve the STS into a car the size of the Deville but produce a new, cutting edge style that can compete with the S-class and BMW 7. They need an upmarket luxobarge car badly.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Now THAT’S a Cadillac! Ok Lincoln, ball’s in your court. How about a Continental 4-door convertible with suicide doors? We’re waiting.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    Take away the dinner plate sized grille emblem and I think that if I were to imagine a 2012 version of a 1962 Lincoln Continental convertible, it would look exactly like this. This is not a bad thing.

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I mis read the original headline, I thought the model name was Cien. Which was my favorite Caddy concept.

    This, is beautiful. Not my cup of meat, but still…

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I take one look at this car and the only thing I hear in my head is, “America, hell yeah!” And I mean that as a good thing.

  • avatar
    turbobrick

    Call It ELdorado? Now that is what a top level Cadillac is supposed to look like. I really like those ’67 Eldo tail lights.

  • avatar
    NN

    like the Sixteen, this is another beautiful concept that proves Cadillac’s designers do know what a proper higher end Cadillac should look like. Unfortunately the brand’s best defining products of the past 10 years exist only in concept form. I hope that changes. This is a proper American luxury vehicle halo, what the R8 is to Audi, the Ciel is to Cadillac (except you can buy an R8).

    Is the Zeta/ATS platform able to be expanded to carry a vehicle of such wheelbase?? If not, then there’s no hope for this being done properly (i.e. no FWD), and one would therefore ask why they are even wasting resources getting us all excited over this.

  • avatar
    Ubermensch

    The driver of that concept car is about 50 years too young. Are the doors that thick so you can stash oxygen bottles in them a la the umbrella pocket in the Passat?

  • avatar

    Trying to envision it with a roof, as that might presage the upcoming flagship. Hope the greenhouse will be taller, or visibility will be awful, and the wheel openings will not be so cartoonishly large.

  • avatar

    THAT is a Cadillac. It’s the first one in years (save maybe the Sixteen) that a time-traveler from 1964 would instantly recognize as such. It’s got the arrogance, the proportions, the over-the-top-lux interior, the right heritage brand cues and detailing, even the tailfins. If this is really where they’re going, Akerson and co might actually pull this revival off.

    • 0 avatar
      jpcavanaugh

      Your opening sentence took the words out of my mouth. I am not crazy about the name, but at least it is a NAME and not a jumble of letters and numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      Although I’m not sure I like the word – but I think with ‘arrogance’ you’ve hit exactly what a luxury American automobile should embody. It’s “I worked my ass off and made it to the top and I’m gonna damn well flaunt it”. It’s “I’ve got more money and more style than you’ll ever have, and here is the car to prove it.” It’s a big, bold statement of status in a classy way without resorting to bling. That’s what Cadillac’s are about.

  • avatar
    340-4

    Looks like someone at Cadillac still knows what a Cadillac should be.

    This, along with an accompanying sedan, would be a car that people would aspire to own.

    Style, heritage, technology, and no compromise.

    Lincoln, string your racket.

  • avatar
    86er

    I’m quite fond of the illusion of exposed fenders.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Pop the badges off, stick some flags on the fenders, and you’d have a nice CCP parade car.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    I loathe GM. I f*rt in the general direction of the UAW.

    But, d*mn, that’s one fine looking automobile.

    Just get Toyota or Honda to build it.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Woooooooo. *Drools*
    Now this IS what a Cadillac should look like.

  • avatar
    SWComp

    Hell freaking yes! A real Caddy. Dump the DTS and make this NOW!

    Sign me up for a year old, CPO one at 60% of MSRP :)

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    It’s great to see coopetition. Lincoln needs to reinvent itself; Ford said so; but there’s a question of what product will lead that way. GM does its best to put together a Lincoln concept car and send it over — here, we have to pretend it’s a Cadillac, but we’ll never build it, and it will have the slab-side and suicide-door signatures of your cars. Could you make this please, Ford?

  • avatar
    carguy

    I know its just red meat for the faithful but this is one seriously amazing Caddy. GM would be mad not to take some major design cues from this into their future products.

  • avatar

    Great proportions and nice use of the Lincoln Continental DNA…they might as well take it, since Lincoln sure as hell doesn’t care about it any more.

  • avatar

    sweet ride… too bad it’s like the school bus for the blind kids, great concept but they’ll never see it.

  • avatar
    Nick

    The nose could use work, but the rest? Wow. Side view, rear view, and interior are gorgeous. Don’t let me down GM! Be bold.

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    Boss Hogg your car has arrived! Only thing missing are the bull horns…

    Certainly not bad looking – it is a nice departure from the ultra-angular designs Cadillac has been churning out for the last 10 years or so. Hopefully the production model will be more compact; the overhangs are a bit much especially when combined with a wheelbase that would make a long bed F250 jealous.

  • avatar
    stuki

    This is the kind of car Caddy needs; or at least ought to have. Ostentatious, expensive and pointless, yet able to instill a kind of magic less money can never get you.

    Keep it below $100,000 by refraining from silly money cues like teak decks, and it ought to be every non blue blood’s dream car.

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    So it’s up to me to be the contrarian, eh? Ok, well IMO this is bloody hideous … at any price.

    Sure, slab-sided land yachts with pseudo-tailfins might be an obvious nod to Cadillac’s history, but let’s not forget there’s a reason why the brand is little more than a footnote in the luxury car business today.

    Oddly, I do see some French influence in the Ciel’s design. The high cowl and pronounced tapering to a boat-like “stern” is a classic French cue. Reminds me of the 1969 Citroen DS my father dragged home one night. Wonder if the Ciel will offer pneumatic suspension and mouse-fur upholstery too?

  • avatar
    IronEagle

    Gorgeous. Needs more tailfin. It also seems to be a stretched XLR by the size. Perhaps a 1/2 size bigger would be great for more rear legroom.


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