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Cadillac Elmiraj The Second Chapter +VIDEO

Cadillac Elmiraj  (select to view enlarged photo)
201? Cadillac ELMIRAJ

SEE ALSO: Cadillac Elmiraj Pebble Beach Unveiling +VIDEO

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, New York Bureau
The Auto Channel

The mid-August trifecta of auto enthusiast events brings us the Pebble Beach Concour d’Elegance in California’s Monterey Peninsula, the Woodward Dream Cruise in Southeast Michigan, and the Bonneville Speed Weeks on the salt flats of Utah. The thought of all three of these events together gives perspective to the Cadillac Elmiraj, a two-door grand coupe.

How’s that you say? Elmiraj’s name in itself as an interpretation of the Mojave Desert El Mirage dry lakebed, that other land speed venue, and making the Bonneville connection for this streamlined Cadillac. Elmiraj’s exquisite design and long hood certainly is suited for Pebble. And, powering the Elmiraj with a 4.5-L twin turbocharged V8 estimated at 500HP engine, and not some new e-motor, is certainly apropos for cruisin’ Woodward Avenue…or New York’s Park Avenue.

Cadillac Elmiraj  (select to view enlarged photo)

The second appearance of Cadillac’s Elmiraj was last week in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood to an invited cadre of automotive journalists and also lifestyle media. Cadillac interior design manager Gael Buzyn described in detail the Elmiraj and the design approach he and his colleague Niki Smart, responsible for exterior, used in defining this concept. The Cadillac Elmiraj is graceful, bold and has a lot of presence. Following in the “tire tracks” of the Ciel concept, it is the second chapter in a three chapter story.

The Cadillac Elmiraj has a lot more reality in terms of being a concept that could be produced and marketed and is, as was said by Cadillac, doable. The team of Buzyn and Smart, both working from GM’s Advanced Design Studio in California, looked back to Cadillacs of the 1960s. Their goal was to define the signature of the Cadillac brand moving forward. Target vehicles for the design are exemplified by the Mercedes-Benz SL, the BMW 6, and the Bentley Continental GT.

The Ciel concept communicated that Cadillac is back; the Elmiraj is to communicate that Cadillac is back and on the road. The third chapter, as was said, will communicate Cadillac has arrived.

Immediately, no instantly, with the debut of Elmiraj the web media was abuzz with photos, descriptions and of course opinions. Some pundits chose to ask the question is this just another concept that will go nowhere. Another mirage, playing off the name.

My sense after listening to Cadillac is that the Elmiraj will have a real life. The opportunity is great with retiring baby-boomers disposing of their family-haulers and seeking more expressive modes of personal transportation. A car that will carry two comfortably and occasionally carry four can have a life in today’s market, not only in the U.S. but in many urban centers of the world.

Cadillac Elmiraj  (select to view enlarged photo)

Just one example of a design concept in the Cadillac Elmiraj is the rear bucket seats each containing a valet feature to ease entry and exit. The front bucket seat slides 10 inches forward while the rear bucket seat slides 4 inches forward to meet the passenger, then slides him or her back into position once seated.

Full detail on all the design features of the Elmiraj can be found here on The Auto Channel and can be seen here at this link. More information on the Elmiraj concept can be found from Cadillac at:

Cadillac Elmiraj  (select to view enlarged photo)

Cadillac insiders tell me that Elmiraj will make its next appearance in Detroit to an invited audience and then make its way to Germany and appear at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Let’s hope the Cadillac Elmiraj concept becomes a market place reality. It has merit and potential buyers in the waiting. From listening to Cadillac, my sense is it will come. The name Elmiraj may not. Perhaps something new is better suited to this 21st Century execution of the 1967 Eldorado. Let’s see what Chapter 3 reveals.

© Larry Nutson