The Cadillac Ciel concept was one of the more important vehicles to be displayed at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The extravagant concept was an uber-luxurious four-seat convertible which the company used to usher in a new era of Cadillac design.
There’s no doubting the Ciel was an impressive machine, one which looks more than capable of fending off its German rivals in terms of style and grace. The Ciel looks like it could even do battle, in terms of style, with the likes of Rolls Royce and Bentley when it comes to ferrying the well-heeled to-and-from their operas, garden parties and other dreary social events.
There was a time when the Cadillac Ciel would have been fitted with a massive engine, like a V16 – just think back to the Cadillac Sixteen concept from 2003. But these days even Cadillac have to face up to the fact the world is changing. So instead of an engine fit for a tank, the Ciel is equipped with a twin-turbocharged 3.6 litre direct injection V6 and an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery.
The car’s name, Ciel, translates to ‘Sky’ in French. The name was chosen to underscore the car’s open air motoring character. Clay Dean, global design director for Cadillac, said of the car: “The Ciel is about the romance of the drive. It emulates the great touring cars seen on the greens at Pebble Beach, but with a modern flair that projects Cadillac’s vision for the future.”
The four-door Cadillac Ciel embraces the social aspects of a recreational journey, with generous room for two couples. It evokes the spirit of the classics with a long, low proportion. Due to rear-hinged rear doors and the lack of any B-pillar, when the doors are open there is an uninterrupted view of the stylish interior.
With a wheelbase of 125 inches – about 12 inches longer than a CTS sedan – there is plenty of room inside the Ciel. The cabin is neatly split in two by a large ‘floating’ center console that runs the full length of the passenger compartment. The center console provides a mounting point for an online infotainment system for each passenger, allowing them to browse the internet while on the move.