Last July GM CEO Dan Akerson confirmed that the automaker’s Cadillac brand was working on a flagship sedan larger than the XTS, to play in the big leagues with the BMW 7 Series, the Mercedes-Benz S Class and the Lexus LS, on sale by 2015. While at the recent Los Angeles auto show media preview, Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North American operations, strongly hinted that the big rear wheel drive platform may first appear as a coupe, not a four door sedan. “That’s the car Cadillac needs,” Reuss told USA Today. “You make a statement with a coupe. You don’t make a statement with a sedan.”
Obviously, the bigger money maker would be a sedan with greater production numbers but Reuss echoes the comments of a lot our readers vis a vis the Cadillac brand: bring back something big and brash, unapologetic about being a Caddy coupe, maybe even name it Eldorado after the most expensive Cadillac coupes of yore. Cadillac says that the Elmiraj is named after a dry lake bed in California famous for land speed attempts, but the alliterative connection to the name Eldorado can’t be a coincidence.
The design team responsible for the Elmiraj seems to understand what made the Cadillac brand “the standard of the world” in its heyday. “It is back to the American optimism of the ’60s,” says Gael Buzyn, who designed the interior. Niki Smart, who headed the exterior design team seems to understand that Cadillac was the brand for people who had arrived, who had made something of themselves. “This is for people who’ve done all their fighting, have earned their stripes.”
A coupe based on the same bones as a top shelf sedan could act as a halo for both the sibling sedan and for the entire Cadillac lineup.
The Elmiraj is the second act of what Cadillac says is a three act play regarding their new top of the line car. Before the Elmiraj coupe dazzled people at Pebble Beach this summer, the Ciel four door convertible was such a big hit on the show circuit in 2012 that they brought it around again in 2013. The third act is being teased by Cadillac as an “arrival”, without saying whether it’s going to be another concept vehicle or the actual production flagship, be the first one a coupe or a sedan.