By on November 28, 2013

2013 Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

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.

2013 Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

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.

Cadillac Ciel concept

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.

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54 Comments on “Mark Reuss More Or Less Confirms Elmirajish Flagship: “You Make A Statement With A Coupe”...”

  • avatar

    I dunno. Elmira-J sounds kinda redneck. Elmira-J. I’m saying it right, right? ;)

  • avatar

    The name may sound strange but there is no despite that the car looks amazing!!!

  • avatar

    Since it will be a low volume car anyway, I agree that a coupe would make a much better statement than a sedan would initially. LTS Coupe, Twin Turbo V8, Rear Wheel drive Grand Tourer. I like the sound of that idea.

  • avatar

    Hello Cadillac, to make a statement you’ve got to actually *make* it. So shut-up and make it and please call it something that doesn’t sound like the name of a pig “Elvira”

  • avatar

    I think this car is a great approach for Cadillac; they need to continue to think in many different directions, forwards and backwards, and not be reluctant or hesitant and end up, once again, irrelevant like Lincoln.

    I don’t like the name however, it’s too hard to pronounce on immediate sight and I don’t think that bodes well for any marketing program, car or otherwise – Suzuki Kizashi (sp?) anyone.

    I’d ixnay on the Eldorado name, it was impressive at first (1967) but became a buffoon on wheels by the ’70’s

    • 0 avatar

      I disagree. I think ‘El Dorado’ is still one nameplate that can bank on its former glory. I think, to many, the name hearkens back to Cadillac’s (and America’s) heyday in the 1950’s and 1960’s and really carries some panache. I always thought that reverting to the European, alphaneumeric names was a pathetic move to imitate instead of lead the competition with bold names.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    Cadillac really needs to build this car or something like it as a halo vehicle.

    Have the pricing start around 65k. Target the 6-series BMW and the E-class coupe.

    • 0 avatar

      With all the money it will undoubtedly require, you’ll need a Buick and Chevrolet version to amortize the costs.

      I can picture a large Buick at ++ size the LaCrosse selling, but not a Chevrolet.

  • avatar

    we’ve been teased by these since before the Sixteen. don’t hold your breath. if it does ever come to fruition let’s hope GM has sense enough to keep it firmly under wraps until introduction and be sure to have ample units on the blacktop in conjunction with media spend. you’d suppose a 100 year old company could get it right.

    • 0 avatar

      If only the engineers and designers could keep it under wraps and out sight of meddlesome execs and bean counters! I was hoping the bankruptcy would sweep away most or much of what had become an unaccountable, almost government-like bureaucracy, but they’re very good at self-preservation.

    • 0 avatar

      They’ll make it, but it’ll end up FWD with AWD optional, have a V6 only, and be CVT. Or a hybrid.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The 7 Series is not even a coupe, the S Class sedan outsells the Coupe,so where is the logic behind this 2 door idea, are we harking back to the Eldorado era?

    • 0 avatar

      They think “making a statement” means doing something ‘out there.’ That’s only one way, but often the statement ends up being “We don’t get it.”

      Two v. four doors does not a halo make. Halos are things that people want (even if only to learn more), hence it attracts them into the dealersip. As noted, most people do not want or like coupes. They will look at it, see it has two doors and think: “Oh, never mind.”

  • avatar

    The reason I’ve never looked twice at Cadillac’s $45,000 cars isn’t because they don’t have a $90,000 car. It’s because their $45,000 cars aren’t very good.

    A flagship won’t suddenly make the volume cars’ 4 cylinder engines, cramped cabins, and CUE suck any less.

  • avatar

    Don’t change anything. OK, door handles are acceptable, but why not leave that detail as is, key fob actuated (I guess). And please, don’t add any asiatic-style insect carapace folds and creases ‘for interest’. Here we have the room to stand back and admire the totality of the lines.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I thought the ELR was to be the halo vehicle; now I’m confused. Will there be two money-losing halo vehicles?

  • avatar

    This is a really beautiful car. Not sure why they don’t bring it back as an Eldorado, or is that name permanently stained by GM’s past?

    • 0 avatar

      The Eldorado name was never stained, it was a full-sized coupe and the public just moved away from the type when the malaise era mandates emasculated the engines. A coupe won’t sell in volume, but some of the pizzazz could rub off on the better-selling sedan version. That must be what Reuss is thinking.

      • 0 avatar

        Like Lincoln’s MK11 halo car.

        Stunning design, brought people into the Lincoln showrooms and that played out over the next 12 years, even, though, the MK11 was a two year car. The beautiful loss leader worked its magic and Lincoln, and by extension, Mercury and Ford, benefited, highly.

  • avatar

    Well, one can hope Cadillac brings back a ‘Halo’ vehicle with the stature of the Elmiraj, and I quite like the name, preferring it to Eldorado. It is new(spelling) and distinctive, and does roll off the tongue sounding quite exotic … El..mirage. But like its meaning, it might only be a mirage and disappear never to be seen again until the next Cadillac mirage appears.

    Cadillac would be remiss not to step out and take the chance on a vehicle having the gravity of the Elmiraj. The only question would be, where to price it? Price it for the same economic demographic that bought the Eldorado, or a step beyond? I would throw everything at it and price it at SL pricing, with the vehicle wholly complete, no options, but paint/colors/trim, leaving only the option of a performance version like and ‘M’ or AMG and maybe AWD.

  • avatar

    if they actually bring this out, this will be the first Cadillac that–in styling at least–merits the name. It looks great. A sedan would look great, too.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Finally, a Cadillac that looks like a Cadillac.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    The Cadillacs of old were never the standard of the world. Perhaps the flashiest in the world. Now that Mercedes cars are completely overstyled, they are in with a fighting chance.

    • 0 avatar

      I suspect that you don’t know your history. Cadillacs were in fact the standard of the world at one time. They invested in precision manufacturing well ahead of its time (look up the story about disassembling cars, mixing up the parts and reassembling fully functional vehicles; a remarkable feat at the time).

      I won’t argue with you if you claim that they lost their way, but they were great once. Ostentatious too, for sure. But certainly out ahead of anything else mass produced.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    I think that the statement can be made if the car is a coupe, or a sedan. It just needs to be no excuses better than the competition. I think that can be achieved. What it would take is a lot more leadership than most management seem capable of (at any company).

  • avatar

    “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.””

    About fracking time a suit gets it. Bravo Mr. Reuss. Next up, actual model names perhaps?

    EDIT: Also bring back the pre 1962 classic shield and diamond look for the logo, will look killer on the grille and trunklid. The 2000 era crest/shield were just an incredibly retarded take on the ’62-99 shield and crest my mom could have photo-shopped in 20 minutes. Your new wider shield look is to reminiscent of Pontiac IMO, it reminds me of the 70 Deville where it was thought the crest could just be droped and customers hated it. Try a regular shield and wide “V” underneath. Go Goodfellas on it, you’ll be surprised how many people identify with it vs the neo techie BS Cadillac has been trying to pull for the last thirteen or so years. Fusion of design and technology/art and science my ass.

  • avatar

    Bah. It’s not a brown, diesel powered, manual, AWD, shooting brake and it will cost more than $15K.

    So clearly it sucks.

  • avatar

    I think they should just call it “eldorado” because some yahoo int exas will confuse it with a sikh name that they already confused with a muslim name, and gunfire will ensue.

  • avatar

    What a vehicle. The Cadillac brand needs this. Build it. I’m sure the Newport Beach, Ca crowd would be all over it.

  • avatar

    @z9: I sure wish I knew. Even the downsized FWD DeVille looked half decent and became a rather good car once the 4.5 and 4.9 engines arrived, but the Eldorado was oddly proportioned (it looks smaller than it actually is) and kinda ugly…

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Fugliness has reached a new depth.

    And some complain how bad the Chev SS looks.

  • avatar

    bout effen time there was a cool caddy coupe. the cts coupe is fugly.

    As for the name, ElDorado would be cool, but i always liked Coupe DeVille.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr Mk3

      This is what Cadillac needs. Moving down market in search of volume killed what little cachet the brand had by the time they spread their proverbial buttcheeks and dropped the Cimmaron. The suits need to face the fact that Cadillac will never become an entry level luxury leader, the segment is too saturated with established players. Leave the low end to Buick and take things skyward, give GM something to be truly coveted that isn’t a Corvette for once. Cadillacs should make a bold distinct statement, not mimic the Germans. The market for Euro style luxury without the garbage quality is already taken by Lexus, time to do something different.

  • avatar

    tone deaf idiot

  • avatar

    “You make a statement with a coupe. You don’t make a statement with a sedan.”

    That is SO SO SO SOOOOOO true. There are so few sedans I find attractive and would want to own, that I could probably count them on one hand. G37 and (R.I.P.) Kizashi are the fist two to come to mind.

    I had been driving our 2005 Focus ST for a few months (lady and I swap cars periodically) and I got to like it a lot more more than I had before… except it was a SEDAN. And SILVER on top of that. I realized that I could never love that car because it was just so ugly and conformist.

    …moot point on that now, since it got totaled last week. But that’s another story. :-o

    Mazda needs to take heed to those words. Stylish sporty cars get people into showrooms, even if they tend to leave in vanilla sedans. A Mazda 6 coupe and a 3 coupe would be a smart idea to turn some heads and increase traffic into dealerships. They don’t need RWD, rotary, or anything else. Just a couple nice 2-doors with their best engines and tech.

  • avatar

    Rather than investing $$ in a low volume full-size coupe, Cadillac would be better served to develop a “4-door coupe” and a CUV (both would sell in higher volumes) off the Omega platform to go along with the proper flagship sedan.

    The coupe can wait until the 2nd gen of products from the Omega platform.

  • avatar

    I think that Cadillac is pricing themselves out of their own market.

    In the “good old days” when college was cheap and manufacturing jobs were plentiful (and provided pensions), “empty-nesters” would have enough money to splurge on a Cadillac to enjoy in their “golden years”.

    Now, even the “bargain-priced” ATS is out-of-reach for the dwindling members of the “middle-class”, who have to penny-pinch and watch their 401(k) like a hawk to keep out of the “Alpo-Eaters” club.

    In other words, if Caddy wants to compete with the non-US luxury marques for a share of the 5% who can afford this stuff, then good luck.

    (The ELR pricing was the last straw for me) :-(

    Edit: There’s always Powerball winners, though :-)

    • 0 avatar

      I sense disappoint in your comment. Disappoint generated by diminishing expectations.

      While the middle class shrinks due to globalization and our pathetic passivity, the two percenter’s income grows, and the size of that market grows. That has to be factor in Cadillac’s marketing strategy.

      Luckily, that demographic trades often or have short leases, and that will put a lot of unreachable cars in reach for those of us with less treasure to spend.

      Cars are so reliable and durable these days, that the acquisition of of a gently used up market vehicle that is cared for and kept for the long run, is a reasonably good investment for anyone with a reasonable decent income who manages it well.

      I have preached the ‘Buy a used luxury model’ for years, as I think that they are the best vehicle investment out there, especially as we move into the mode of diminishing use of vehicles in the urban areas and back to the early post war use of cars as weekend and special occasion cars. Most urbanites will just rent and not buy, whether retired or Millennial’s.

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