Bringing back the car of the American Gangster.
The lore of the American gangster, standing on the running boards dawning the fedora, Thompson in hand—mayhem in the works. Cadillac has always been the icon, the gangster clad in automobile guise. Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill, Tony Soprano and Al Capone all drove Cadillacs. Planes and razor-edged design themes have created an intimidating design language fit for the likes of La Cosa Nostra.
The now decade old Art & Science design philosophy was born in the 1999 Evoq concept, the styling motif now hedges on 17 years, albeit with subtle changes to keep it fresh in the minds of the consumer. A fresh interpretation of the angular—creased bodywork that defines the modern Cadillac look is long overdue…but may now be at hand. Needing something dramatic to enter the controlled-foray set forth by the Mercedes S-Class Coupe and Bentley Continental GT, Cadillac clothed its revitalized Art & Science ensemble over a pillar-less hardtop coupe.
Dubbed the Elmiraj (named for the dry lakebed in the Mojave Desert), the muscular coupe exceeds the lengthy Bentley Continental GT by over a foot, at a truck-length of 205-inches. Previewed with a 4.5 liter V8 breathed on by twin turbochargers, Elmiraj promises 500 hp, as well as adherence to Cadillac’s strict engineering disciplines of rear wheel drive and lightweight materials. Sitting on 22×9 inch wheels shod in 265/ 35 Michelin tires, the Elmiraj showcases opposed-piston brake calipers and carbon ceramic brake rotors, paying no notion that the car will be a slouch in the handling spectrum. The wreathless Cadillac emblem hones in on the modern approach to styling and the new direction Cadillac is taking under the leadership of Johan De Nysschen.
Styling cues combine with function in an effort to alleviate the turbocharged engine of unwanted heat, via ventilation in the curved and creased hood. The whole package evokes an essence of classic gangster, not seen since the penning of the 1967 Fleetwood El Dorado or the 1928 armored green monster that Al Capone used to own. Seemingly, this is the car that epitomizes the Cadillac name and aura, aggressive styling coupled with high performance and presence, emanating grandeur and alerting others to move. The Elmiraj sits well as a flagship within Cadillac's design language, yet lacks the needed endurance to carry the brand into the future.
The Elmiraj should be adapted to fit the mold of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It should offer platform architecture and a design aesthetic that carries over through other models in the line up. Serving as a flagship, variations in platforms would need to be instigated. The Elmiraj could be offered in a full-size luxury sedan, coupe, and an elite long-wheelbase variant. The model would highlight the cutting edge of technology that Cadillac possess and feature the latest in autonomy and hybrid drivetrains. A full-size competitor to Tesla, the Elmiraj in sedan form could claim the full-size luxury electric vehicle market all for itself. Adopting a Silicon Valley approach as to a older Detroit mindset.
A 90-kWh motor offered in hybrid and fully electric trims would partner with the 4.5-liter V8 providing a healthy output. Cannibalizing sales from the proposed Ciel would be a poignant issue. The Rolls-Royce Ghost and Bentley Mulsanne do not take sales away from the Flying Spur nor the BMW 7-Series. The Ciel would sit in a class above, catering to elite clientele eager to make a statement. The Elmiraj would be Cadillac's proper answer to the S-Class. A restatement of American luxury on the world stage.