The new Cadillac Ciel concpet shows that Cadillac can still design breathtaking cars when they put their minds to it.
Careful Cadillac, we've been hurt before. Having stood next to the old Sixteen concept and gazed upon it with awe, I know that Cadillac is capable of making amazing cars. Cadillac teased us for years with rumors that the Sixteen would be put into production, until we finally gave up hope. Cadillac has just unveiled a new concept at Monterey, and we're praying that this time the bean counters won't let such a beautiful concept fall by the wayside.
It's called the Ciel, which is French for "sky", and it is probably the most elegant design to come out of Cadillac since the 2003 Sixteen. The Ciel is a four-door convertible which Cadillac says was inspired by sunset drives north on the California coastal Highway 1. The rear has suicide doors without B-pillars, and an interior which actually seats four adults comfortably, a rare thing for a convertible. The interior is a luxurious mix of wood and leather. Cadillac tells us that the interior is meant feel somewhat boat-like, a theme which worked well for such other large convertibles as the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe.
The Ciel is certainly large, its 125-inch wheelbase is a full foot longer than that of the CTS. This hulking mass sits on 22-inch wheels, probably a necessity, as anything smaller would look disproportionate. The Ciel has a twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 mated to a hybrid system using lithium-ion batteries. It's good for 425 horsepower and 430lb-ft of torque, which, again, is pretty much a necessity for a car this size. There are some gimmicky touches as well, as befits a concept car. All of the seats are both heated and cooled, and contain drawers for sun glasses, towels and other accessories for your drive up the coast.
When the sun goes down and there's a chill to the air, there are retractable blankets to keep all three passengers warm. There are even aromatherapy controls in the armrests, although we think that anything which takes away from the smell of wood and leather is inadvisable. Cadillac talks a lot about how the Ciel invokes the spirit of old touring cars, but it is also clearly a very modern design. We love the Ciel, and our only worry is that Cadillac won't want to commit to such a bold undertaking. The last photo is of the Cadillac Sixteen.
Cadillac has also provided a promotional video about the Ciel. Enjoy.