Showcars or concept cars used to be exercises in fantasy, showing the public the sort of vehicles people would be travelling in many decades in the future. Sometimes they got a bit outrageous with fancy ideas that would never become reality. But over time, concept cars have become previews of near-future products and designers use them to gauge response to some of the ideas they are exploring.
Cadillac’s latest showcar, called the CELESTIQ, has been conceived for that purpose – to present the brand’s vision of innovation and purpose in a 3-dimeensional form that will be the basis of its all-electric flagship sedan in future.
“The CELESTIQ showcar is the purest expression of Cadillac,” said Magalie Debellis, Manager, Cadillac Advanced Design. “It brings to life the most integrated expressions of design and innovation in the brand’s history, coalescing in a defining statement of a true Cadillac flagship.”
Looking to the past for ideas
In developing the showcar, the design and engineering teams immersed themselves in the artisanship and customization that defined early Cadillac sedans such as the bespoke V16 powered coaches of the pre-war era, and the hand-built 1957 Eldorado Brougham. The CELESTIQ is the culmination of that heritage, created today with innovative production methods and new technologies.
“Those vehicles represented the pinnacle of luxury in their respective eras, and helped make Cadillac the standard of the world,” said Tony Roma, Chief Engineer. “The CELESTIQ showcar — also a sedan, because the configuration offers the very best luxury experience — builds on that pedigree and captures the spirt of arrival they expressed.”
The designers drew further inspiration from classic architecture such as the mid-century masterpieces of architect Eero Saarinen, along with other iconic American designs, which made era-defining statements when introduced and endured with distinctive timelessness.
Realizing and infusing those influences within a General Motors’ Ultium-based EV architecture enabled a clean-sheet expression for the CELESTIQ that considers the entirety of travel as a curated experience — one intended to evoke an emotional response. The result is a car that makes a magnetic first impression and cultivates a permanent personal connection.
“We’ve combined the beauty of function with the beauty of form,” said Laetitia Lopez, Creative Designer, Cadillac Colour and Trim. “We had to reconsider all aspects to immerse the customer, all of their senses, and create a connection with the vehicle through the finest genuine materials, exceptional detailing and advanced technology.”
The show car previews some of the materials, innovative technologies and handcrafted attention to detail harnessed to express Cadillac’s vision for the future. Highlights include 5 high-definition, advanced LED interactive displays, including a massive 55-inch-diagonal advanced LED display, along with expected industry-firsts such as a variable-transmission Smart Glass Roof and Ultra Cruise. The latter will be General Motors’ next evolution of available handsfree driver assistance technology which Cadillac plans to offer with the CELESTIQ.
Smart Glass Roof
The Smart Glass Roof features Suspended Particle Device technology that allows for 4 zones of variable lighting. This allows passengers to fine-tune their cabin experience for completely personalized comfort and visibility. Additionally, the huge advanced LED display introduces a passenger display with electronic digital blinds, an active privacy technology which is designed to allow passengers to enjoy video content while blocking it from the view of the driver. While they are previewed on the showcar, these technologies and others will make CELESTIQ the most advanced vehicle ever from Cadillac when it goes on sale.
The launch date for the CELESTIQ production model has not been indicated but GM is investing US$81 million (about RM360.6 million) to support its assembly at GM’s Global Technical Centre the heart of the company’s engineering and design efforts. The CELESTIQ will be the first production vehicle built there since the facility’s inauguration in May 1956.