If you want to know where Cadillac is headed in the near future, look no further than the Elmiraj Concept revealed at Pebble Beach on Thursday. It is the second showing of what will be a new flagship rear-wheel drive sedan, following the Ciel Concept of last year.
The Elmiraj Concept makes a gran coupe of the Ciel drop-top and gains a 500 horsepower 4.5 liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine based on Cadillac's new 3.6 liter 420 horsepower turbocharged V6 which is coming to 2014 models this fall.
At 205” in length, the Elmiraj is 3” longer than Cadillac's largest car, the XTS. The Concept Cadillac says is based on a new rear-wheel drive architecture that is production intent and will spawn a new model by 2015.
If the look is strikingly familiar, it should be. Inspiration for the Elmiraj as well as last year's Ciel comes from the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado. That car was a milepost for a bold change in Cadillac's direction back then as is the Elmiraj today.
It has the same grand standing appeal as the now highly collectible Eldorado but mixed with Cadillac's modern hard edged Art & Science design language. It's almost a perfect marriage of modern style and the classic proportions of the original Eldorado.
“Elmiraj advances Cadillac’s provocative modern design and performance, contrasted with bespoke craftsmanship and luxury,” said Mark Adams, Cadillac design director. “It explores performance driving, as well as how we’re approaching elevating the Cadillac range and new dimensions of Art & Science philosophy.”
Large 22” wheels anchor the long and stately proportions of the Elmiraj, tied together with unapologetic chrome trims that give the car a streamlined proportion. A chrome line comes from the front headlamps and ties nicely into a sharp greenhouse surround.
Inside, the cabin gets typical concept car flourishes of leather lined goodness and polished wood that is shaped in ways a tree never bent in the wind. It's lavish of course, and echoes a design feel and look not far from production cars Cadillac currently offers.
While large the Elmiraj is a 2+2, seating only four. A production version will likely be a four-door with five passenger seating. If a coupe like the Elmiraj comes as well this seating arrangement might very well survive.
That said, the Cadillac Elmiraj features a valet rear seat function which pushes the front seat forward 10”, then brings forward the rear seat 4” to allow for easier exit for rear passengers. The rear bucket seat slides back into position and also has the space to recline.
While Cadillac hasn't specified a time certain or a price range for their new rear-wheel drive flagship series, we expect to see something in 2015 as a 2016 model with a price point north of $70,000.