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Photos by Cor Steenstra and GM Media, video and text by GM Media.
Cadillac revealed the Elmiraj Concept, a grand coupe expressing the pure enjoyment of driving and exploring new dimensions for Cadillacâ€™s ongoing expansion. The Elmiraj Concept showcases a new vision for luxury driving and the top of the brandâ€™s expanding range.
â€œCadillac is fueled by the creativity of our designers, led by Ed Welburn,â€ said Bob Ferguson, senior vice president, Global Cadillac. â€œElmiraj provides a look inside the Cadillac Studio on how we envision performance and luxury for the next generation of luxury drivers.â€A modern update to the classic format of a two-door grand coupe, Elmiraj is a pure expression of streamlined design and engaging rear-wheel drive performance.
At 205 inches (5207mm) in overall length, Elmiraj is four-seat coupe with presence and poise. Taking up from where the memorable Ciel Concept left off, Elmiraj is a statement of pure luxury and performance with a purposeful character and proportion.
The concept advances Cadillacâ€™s philosophy of dramatic design and performance, and its commitment to lightweight, agile cars. Elmiraj is constructed with chassis and structural elements of an ongoing Cadillac vehicle development project slated for future production. This new vehicle architecture expands the brandâ€™s commitment to lightweight RWD performance, exemplified in the ATS sport sedan and the all-new and elevated 2014 CTS launching this fall in the U.S.
â€œElmiraj advances Cadillacâ€™s provocative modern design and performance, contrasted with bespoke craftsmanship and luxury,â€ said Mark Adams, Cadillac design director. â€œIt explores performance driving, as well as how weâ€™re approaching elevating the Cadillac range and new dimensions of Art & Science philosophy.â€
Elmiraj is powered by a 4.5-liter twin turbocharged V8 delivering an estimated 500 hp. The engine takes the baseline technology from the new Cadillac Twin Turbo V6 featured in the upcoming 420-hp 2014 CTS Vsport edition, and expands it to the classic performance format of a V8 engine.
With a heritage of imaginative designs, Cadillac approaches concept cars as a method for projecting design forward rather than simply exaggerating or â€œteasingâ€ future production models. Elmiraj was created from this mindset, and therefore suggests new territory for Cadillac Art & Science.
â€œThis concept is the second chapter, following the Ciel Concept, of our exploration of the personas of true luxury,â€ said Clay Dean, executive director of advanced design. â€œThis project originated around the simple persona of â€œthe drive,â€ or the visceral experience of driving a great luxury coupe. Itâ€™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.â€
The dramatic proportion communicates power and performance. A long dash-to-axle front profile, a Cadillac signature, gives the coupe a performance-oriented form. The long wheelbase and clean body side characterizes the carâ€™s spacious dimensions and elevated status.
The fast cabin sits within a fuselage where taut fender lines spline through the full sectioned body, literally blending art and science. Cadillacâ€™s vertical light signature is represented in both the headlamp graphic and tail lamp. A gently applied feature line in the sheet metal extends the full length of the body side, connecting those vertical front and rear elements.
â€œElmiraj is about poise and proportion,â€ said Niki Smart, lead exterior designer. â€œWe wanted a mature statement for Cadillac, where simplicity and subtle adornments create a purposeful presence.â€
Elmiraj contains design elements emphasizing Cadillacâ€™s capabilities for engaging driving performance in its production portfolio. Two vents in the carâ€™s long hood are functional, acting as hot air outlets for the twin turbo engine. Elmiraj has 22-x-9-in. aluminum wheels are backed by large ceramic brakes with Cadillac monoblock calipers. The carâ€™s rich blue exterior finish wears the brandâ€™s Vsport designation, Cadillacâ€™s new level slotting directly under the high-performance V-Series.
The face of Elmiraj experiments with new visual elements, yet is unmistakably Cadillac. The grille emphasizes the carâ€™s substantial road presence. The Cadillac Crest appears in a conceptual form, streamlined and tailored to the carâ€™s overall design. This design idea for a revised crest reflects the fact that Cadillacâ€™s unmistakable symbol has evolved dozens of times through history to mark new eras or design achievements.
The interior of Elmiraj blends elegantly crafted luxury and generous space with driver-focused performance elements. The upper section of the instrument panel is a single piece extending across the full width of the car, while the lower forms a cockpit space tailored for performance.
â€œA concept provides not only an opportunity to explore new design ideas, but to pursue new techniques for elegant craftsmanship and materials,â€ said Gael Buzyn, lead interior designer.
Backlit titanium trim curves from the cowl to the doors, dividing the rich upper camel leather from the wood trim. Cadillac Studio craftsmen handpicked fallen Brazilian Rosewood, a wood veneer prized for its use for hundreds of years in home furnishings and musical instruments. The wood is hand-cut into three dimensional sections for perfect control of the grain flow.
The carâ€™s instrumentation features an analog tachometer and speedometer that are transparent. Directly behind the analog gauges sits a wide screen, high resolution display which projects driver information and the output of a front-mounted camera. A 10-inch touchscreen for navigation and connectivity can be concealed inside the instrument panel when not in use.
The 2+2 layout features high-performance seats, designed to support spirited driving while also delivering luxury accommodation. Elmiraj passengers might actually lobby to sit in the back. The rear bucket seats each contain a valet feature to ease entry and exit. The front bucket seat slides 10 inches forward while the rear bucket seat slides 4 inches forward to meet the passenger, then slides him or her back into position once seated. The rear bucket seats recline for additional comfort.
Many of the most celebrated automotive designs through history have been luxury coupes
â€œWe 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 design like the CTS-V Coupe and the ELR are provocative,â€ said Dean, the advanced design director. â€œBoth of these cars were major statements of performance and luxury and drove Cadillac forward into new territory.â€
Designers at General Motorsâ€™ advanced design studio in North Hollywood, Calif., under the direction of Frank Saucedo, led the development of the carâ€™s interior and exterior. Elmiraj was hand-built by in-house craftsmen in Michigan.