Hot on the heels of the announcement that Cadillac will be receiving a classy coupe version of the Chevy Volt comes yet another Caddy concept. Called the Ciel and unveiled yesterday at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, this huge concept gets power from a 425 horsepower twin-turbo V6 and an advanced hybrid drive system.
The Ciel is a big deal…literally. It’s wheelbase (the distance between the middle of the front and rear wheels) is 12 inches longer than the Cadillac CTS sedan, and the Ciel Concept has a total length of over 200 inches. Yet the four-door droptop has seating for just four, probably because it is packed with advanced technology…with a green touch.
Rumors out in cyberspace have suggested that GM is working on a twin-turbo version of its award winning 3.6 literV6 engine. The Ciel is equipped with just such an engine, putting out a claimed 425 horsepower…nearly as much as the 2012 Chevy Camaro SS, lending more credence to these rumors (and in my mind making it all but certain.) Backing the turbocharged engine is a hybrid drive system hooked to lithium-ion batteries, though the press release all but glazes over these details. A shame, because I think the drivetrain is really interesting, and I hope more than a concept.
Cadillac isn’t talking fuel economy or driving distance, and its unlikely that the Ciel will ever come to production in its current form. Even if it did, the sheer size of the thing would drive its fuel economy rating down into the teens, hybrid system or not. But I think the designers hit the nail on the head. This Caddy looks futuristic, and the powertrain is itself an engineering masterpiece that, more than this concept car, I hope finds its way into production. But it isn’t the only thing to be excited about.
Convertibles can get cold, so how do Cadillac-quality retractable blankets sound? Pretty good if you ask me. The personal device storage area packs wireless charging for your phone or Bluetooth, and a power assisted transmission shifter deploys when the engine is started, all Batman like (at least how I imagine it). It packs lot of luxury into this large car, but there’s still room for sustainability. Italian Olive wood is used throughout the car, but GM designers collected and used all the wood from a single, fallen tree, going so far as to photograph the individual pieces to ensure that the grain is in sync throughout the car. That is next level green luxury.
It certainly isn’t the greenest car in the world, and its probably in the same weight class as a small battleship. But in a lot of ways, the Ciel is a throwback to when GM, and Cadillac in particular, used to push the envelope and build truly world class cars. I’m in love with it, but what about the rest of you?
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.