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Cadillac Unveils Ciel Convertible Concept

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On: Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 9:05AM | By: Chris Weiss

Cadillac Unveils Ciel Convertible Concept

Last Wednesday, when Cadillac announced that it was producing the Converj plug-in concept as the ELR, it mentioned that it would launch a concept the following day at the Concours d'Elegance Pebble Beach. If you read it quickly, it appeared the concept was going to be the next version of the ELR, since the entire press release save for the last paragraph was about the ELR. But if you read a little closer, Cadillac simply said: "Cadillac will reveal another new concept car on Thursday, Aug. 18, at a special event prior to the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance."

The new concept isn't the next iteration of its plug-in, but a classicly styled convertible that it calls the Ciel.

The Ciel, which is pronounced "C-L" and not "seal," is an open-topped four-seater inspired by the California coastline where it debuted. The car's name comes from the French word for "sky," a fitting name for an airy convertible. The Ciel is designed to meld Cadillac roadster heritage with more modern, cutting edge design elements.

Global Design Director Clay Dean explains: "Large, expressive luxury is innate to Cadillac and the Ciel recalls that heritage, while suggesting where the brand can go in the future. Authentic luxury is driven by experiences, not just products, and Ciel is about the experience of the journey."

The car's front-end resembles Cadillac's current line, but gets more extreme styling elements like the narrow, vertically-situated LED headlamps and large shield grille. Moving back into the cabin, the Ciel evokes a sense of romance and freedom, offering a four-seat interior perfect for two couples, and a long, low, swooping profile. In fact, the Ciel is 12 inches longer than the CTS sedan, providing ample interior room. The lack of B-pillars leaves the rear doors to be hinged at the back rather than the front. The car is accented on the inside and out by nickel-plated trim against its Cabernet paint scheme—another element inspired by the California coast.

Inside, elements like pull-out cashmere blankets for passengers, rear-console cigar humidor, console storage area with inductive charging and Bluetooth, and accents like Italian Olive wood, machined aluminum, and leather envelop driver and passengers in comfort and luxury.

While it's not quite a plug-in, the car is driven by a combination of direct-injected twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6 and a lithium-ion powered hybrid transmission that delivers low-speed, all-electric driving.

Cadillac displayed both the Ciel and a few of the classic roadsters that helped inspire it over the weekend in Pebble Beach.

Photo Gallery (click a thumbnail to enlarge)



dwalter | 10:18AM (Thu, Aug 25, 2011)

Great looking car. Love those taillights.

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