: Introducing the Cadillac Ciel Concept

Lord Cadillac
08-18-11, 11:00 PM
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Cadillac today unveiled the Ciel concept, an elegant, open-air grand-touring car inspired by the natural beauty of the California coast.

The Ciel – pronounced “C-L,” the French translation for sky – is a four-seat convertible that opens a new chapter in Cadillac’s design and product ascent, pushing the brand’s Art & Science philosophy into a new stratum. Ciel is a new expression of Cadillac’s historical grandeur, as well as a celebration of open-air motoring.

“Large, expressive luxury is innate to Cadillac and the Ciel recalls that heritage, while suggesting where the brand can go in the future,” said Clay Dean, global design director for Cadillac. “Authentic luxury is driven by experiences, not just products, and Ciel is about the experience of the journey.”

The spacious and elegant Ciel is a grand gesture that explores themes driving Cadillac’s explorations into range-topping flagship luxury. It is powered by a twin-turbocharged version of the 3.6-liter Direct Injection V-6 engine, paired with a hybrid system using lithium-ion battery technology.

Coastal inspiration
Driving California’s Highway 1 in an open car while the sun sets, from Big Sur north to Monterey, is the type of journey the Ciel team envisioned during its design.

“The Ciel is about the romance of the drive,” said Dean. “It emulates the great touring cars seen on the greens at Pebble Beach, but with a modern flair that projects Cadillac’s vision for the future.”

The four-door Ciel embraces the social aspects of a recreational journey, with generous room for two couples. It evokes the spirit of the classics with a long, low proportion. The doors are French-style, with the rear doors hinged at the rear – there is no B-pillar – to reveal a sweeping view of the dramatic interior. Distinguishing fender lines run from nose to tail, and nickel-plated bright work accents the body lines, enhancing the visual length of the car and honoring Cadillac touring cars of the past.

Ciel’s exterior flows seamlessly into the cabin, with the body color rolling over on top of the interior door panels. Like the exterior, the passenger space is accented with sweeping nickel-plated trim. It divides the body-color upper sections from a complementing beige lower color. Italian Olive wood, machined aluminum and hand-tipped leather are elements that flow through the interior, complementing the primary colors with warm, rich tones.

“There is authentic craftsmanship in the way the exterior and interior elements meld, much like a vintage wooden boat,” said Gael Buzyn, interior design manager. “It is romantic, not only in its form, but the materials – nothing smells as good as real wood and leather. It blends together for a rewarding feeling of uncompromising luxury.”

Ciel literally and figuratively reflects the driving experience along the California coastline. The Cabernet paint color, developed specifically for Ciel, is inspired by the rich translucence of a glass of red wine held up to the sunlight.

A prominent, polished aluminum windshield frame serves as in important structural element of the vehicle, as well as aesthetic one, recalling classic open cars of the past. Additional exterior cues, including a shield grille and vertical lighting elements, are pure Cadillac, but suggest a more organic interpretation of the brand’s signature design language that emphasizes the artistic and natural sides of it. The body sides, for example, are more rounded, sweeping upward. Bright work is used to bring contrast to the deep paint color, but plays a more supporting role.

The car rides on large, beautifully finished wheels that feature brushed nickel plating over milled billet aluminum, matching the materials and appearance of other trim. Carbon ceramic brake rotors are visible behind the 22-inch rims, a visual clue to the Ciel’s foundation of performance.

And owing to Cadillac’s heritage of advanced technology, the headlamps and taillamps feature LED lighting elements – including a unique daytime running light graphic on the front of the vehicle that is generated with gradated LED lighting.

Elegant, authentic details
Simplicity, authenticity and spaciousness were the guiding principles when it came to developing the Ciel’s interior.
“With the Ciel, the journey is the thing, so the interior is a place of uncompromising comfort and elegance, with technology that only makes the journey more enjoyable,” said Buzyn. “Simplicity and lightness ensure nothing distracts from the open driving experience, while the color and materials lend the feeling that the vehicle’s environment blends with the surroundings.”

A wheelbase of 125 inches – about 12 inches longer than a CTS sedan – provides generous space. Luxurious seats are bisected by a “floating” center console that runs from the instrument panel to the rear of the interior. It effectively creates a very personal space for each passenger and houses access to hidden connectivity portals for each person in the vehicle – allowing them to make dinner reservations, check the weather at their destination or even upload photos of the trip via social media sights.

Simplicity is also the watchword with the Ciel’s instrument panel, which features a minimalist gauge cluster that doesn’t impede or distract from the outward view. But while reserved in its form, it exemplifies Cadillac’s attention to details and its priority on authentic materials. The climate vents, for example, are mostly hidden and their airflow is distributed indirectly.

Transparent gauges deliver their information within a detailed, brushed-aluminum housing that has the intricate depth of a high-quality chronograph. They offer dual readouts – analog and digital – as well as an information hierarchy. Additional interior features include:

Sloping bolsters on the seats that allow passengers to slide into the seats more comfortably
A personal device storage area on the front of the console with inductive charging and Bluetooth connectivity
A power-assisted transmission shifter that deploys as soon as the engine is started
Lighting in the armrests that combines a natural light well for daytime driving and ambient lighting for nighttime drives
Door storage areas that are inspired by premium fashion accessories and open with high-quality zippers
Pull-out blankets are available for all three passengers and retract automatically
All the seats have heating and cooling features, along with a drawer containing sun lotion, sun glasses and towels, as well as aromatherapy that is controlled from the rear armrest.
But perhaps the defining element of the Ciel’s cabin is the incorporation of Italian Olive wood on the doors, instrument panel, console and the front seatbacks, adding warmth and craftsmanship to a car designed to provoke an emotional response.

“Milled solid wood delivers richness and a sensual feeling of authenticity in the visual impact of the grain, its feel and aroma, which a veneer simply cannot,” said Buzyn. “Even in our high-tech, connected world, luxury customers crave touches of old-world craftsmanship – the Ciel simply reflects that with a blend of the latest technology.”

Italian Olive wood is a premium yet sustainable material and the material used in the Ciel came from a single fallen and recycled tree, from a west coast producer of premium olive oil. It was painstakingly prepared, including drying in a kiln, before it was cut for the concept vehicle. The numerous pieces were then photographed so that the grain could be matched precisely. Each component was hand-milled and finished by expert woodworking craftsmen.

The rear seating area is detailed with elegant flourishes. The rear seat passengers can pull a leather tab, which reveals a cashmere blanket that stretches across the seating area to ward off a chill. The wood trim in the rear center console opens to reveal a small humidor, stocked with a few cigars.

“From the materials used to create it to the space and experience it offers passengers, the Ciel represents a unique perspective on luxury, but not the only one,” said Dean. “Along with other concepts, such as the ULC, Cadillac is demonstrating that the bandwidth of the Art & Science philosophy is wide, indeed – and we’re going to make it even wider.”

The Ciel was developed at GM Design’s North Hollywood Design Center, which is managed by Frank Saucedo. Niki Smart was the lead exterior designer, with Buzyn leading interior development.


Lord Cadillac
08-18-11, 11:20 PM
The Cadillac Ciel looks like a modern Cadillac Fleetwood to me... I have VERY little doubt we're seeing the next design language for Cadillac here. And I have even less doubt that the upcoming flagship will take MANY cues from it...

Lord Cadillac
08-18-11, 11:24 PM
More pictures...

08-18-11, 11:43 PM
Wish we could see the whole car

Tommy Deville
08-19-11, 01:05 AM
I haven't posted in awhile. I follow Cadillac on Facebook & I just had to say somthing. The car is HOT! I love how it takes it's styling cues of Cadillacs past. The front reminds me of a 50's fleetwood. The rear deck, sides with the suicide doors have this length about them that remind me of the 60's Caddys. I really REALLY love it!

08-19-11, 03:44 AM
That car is beautiful, but I'm really wishing GM wouldn't have killed the Ultra V8 project right now. Really, a CTS engine in that car?

08-19-11, 08:25 AM
That is a beautiful Caddy!

08-19-11, 08:40 AM
twin turbo v6 isn't a CTS engine ... plus it's got low speed electric only propulsion

The Tony Show
08-19-11, 11:20 AM
Gorgeous. Build it, even if it's special order only and the production run only ends up at 50 units.

08-19-11, 02:01 PM
I like it! And that's the first time I ever liked a concept car!

Cadillac needs to bring back an Eldorado convertible :)

08-19-11, 03:27 PM
Did they use a CTS-V hood as the Ciel's trunk lid?? :bouncy:

Lord Cadillac
08-19-11, 04:06 PM
Good eye(s)! I think so!

Did they use a CTS-V hood as the Ciel's trunk lid?? :bouncy:

08-19-11, 04:27 PM
Did they use a CTS-V hood as the Ciel's trunk lid?? :bouncy:

Good eye(s)! I think so!

Looks close - i doubt it's the same exact shape

but i do like that they took that styling cue and adopted it ... gives the back end much more character than something like this:


08-19-11, 06:17 PM
Looks sweet. But I just don't see how it's going to have any more chassis integrity than the massive convertibles from the 60s.

I know they will say "high-strength steel" "undertray bracing" etc etc. But I don't buy it. You can't have more than 2 seats if you want a convertible with decent handling. Unless you don't care. I suppose a boulevard cruiser can suffer cowl shake.

Afi Keita James
08-19-11, 06:49 PM

08-19-11, 09:19 PM
will this car in production or just for show..
this is a very nice Cadillac after Sixtenn

08-19-11, 10:06 PM
Pretty much hate it. The font end looks like it should be the back and the brake ducts look like exhaust outlets. It doesn't help that I think most guys that drive convertibles also have mustaches and bags of candy with them at all times. Women can drive this, as long as they drive it in reverse so it looks normal going down the road.

08-19-11, 10:08 PM
I will give it a pass on the doors. Suicide doors are wicked.

08-19-11, 10:11 PM
This car is really hot to me, I bet it the under 21 crowd that does not like it. I am in product development and have no doubt that we are looking at a design language they are playing with for the Omega. Lots of late 60s Eldorado on the rear. The front will never see a production car as its not insurable. I love the side profile as well as the rear. That hood is long enough to stuff a 5th gen v8 in there as well and with the large tunnel going down the middle its for sure a rwd car.


08-20-11, 12:27 AM
if this car is Hard Top roof like XLR and not soft-top ( i hate soft-top) and it will be really cool..
it will kick bentley continental ass and all of the other brand...
Plus the Traditional V8 Cam in Block in there with special sound.

08-21-11, 12:27 AM
Real Caddy tail-lights! I hope they take lots of cues from this. We need a new flagship model that is bold like the Caddys of old. Awesome looking car.

Lord Cadillac
08-21-11, 09:30 AM
Looks sweet. But I just don't see how it's going to have any more chassis integrity than the massive convertibles from the 60s.

I know they will say "high-strength steel" "undertray bracing" etc etc. But I don't buy it. You can't have more than 2 seats if you want a convertible with decent handling. Unless you don't care. I suppose a boulevard cruiser can suffer cowl shake.

In my opinion the convertible is only for "cool" factor. This design is going to go into the full-size flagship planned for the Omega platform. We'll probably see a similar theme influence on the rest of Cadillac's lineup as well.

08-21-11, 09:39 PM
I agree, the convertible is just a cool factor, I suspect the real car will have a roof similar to the current CTS/Sixteen. GM is just testing the waters with the overall design of the front, rear and sides. I suspect the front end of any such car would look more like the Converj. However there was a time when GM made wonderful full size( and I mean much larger than the DTS) convertibles that were amazing machines. I fondly remember them as a kid riding around in the folded up part and staring up at the stars.

BTW, the Ciel has a length that is just about the same size as the current DTS, S-class, 7 series. So its going to be reality in some form close to this.

08-22-11, 09:26 PM
Interesting size notice...

Ciel concept - overall: 203 in., wheelbase: 125 in.
2011 DTS - overall: 196 in., wheelbase 116 in.

wow - longer overall & all of it plus more in the wheelbase. Sounds like an adult may fit in back.

I'm very intrigued by this. Will it be making the car show tours this winter?

08-23-11, 08:32 AM
Okay, I'm in the "under 21" crowd and I'm in love with this car. Kids today... pfft. :lol:

Furthermore, @ MacMuse, adults fit very comfortably in the back of a DTS in my experience. Last summer, five of us fit quite comfortably in a rental DTS. :)

Cadillac Tony
08-23-11, 10:46 AM
Interesting size notice...

Ciel concept - overall: 203 in., wheelbase: 125 in.
2011 DTS - overall: 196 in., wheelbase 116 in.

The DTS is actually 207.6 inches long.

08-23-11, 01:32 PM
You can't get tech specs from kbb, edmunds, etc anymore. Their database is so shoddy, it's embarassing.

08-23-11, 11:44 PM
I'm seeing a lot of '67 Eldo in this beast. Skip the suicide doors and the 4-door vert. Make a real coupe and sedan, and a 2 door, large vert if there's cash. Oh...and I will laugh if there's no V8 option...

Lord Cadillac
08-24-11, 06:38 PM
Just one more quick pic...

08-24-11, 07:33 PM
My 6-year old does not like that car.

Lord Cadillac
08-25-11, 11:20 AM
It probably scares little kids. It looks menacing...

My 6-year old does not like that car.

08-25-11, 12:12 PM
He doesn't like my Camaro either. He likes mommy's Enclave. He is not my son.

08-25-11, 12:13 PM
It'll probably grow on me. It does look menacing. Reminds me of the old Caddys in those spy movies that the FBI guys always drove.

08-25-11, 06:43 PM
I think the FBI guys usually drove Lincolns and the pimps and evil guys drove the Elodrados/Cadillacs, excluding the Presidential Cadi Limo.

I had not thought of a 2 door version, thats intriguing. My first car was a 79 coupe-deville-Fleetwood, possibly the most incredibly well built car of all time.

I too would laugh if there is no V8. I am a bit disappointed its shorter than the DTS.

08-26-11, 10:21 PM
Where is the order form? Sign me up for the Ciel!

08-30-11, 07:20 PM
I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!!! It’s everything a Cadillac should be - over the top, outlandish, luxurious, extravagant and "REAL" Cadillac tail lamps!!!!

08-30-11, 09:16 PM
I WANT ONE!!!!!!!!!! It’s everything a Cadillac should be - over the top, outlandish, luxurious, extravagant and "REAL" Cadillac tail lamps!!!!

Ditto. Just raise the front end sheet metal about another 4 - 6 inches so I could get into my driveway without leaving half the front end on the asphalt.