Offering a look at the thinking destined to influence the character of a new range-topping model from GM's luxury division, the Cadillac Elmiraj Concept got its grand reveal at an event held in conjunction with the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. "The Elmiraj advances Cadillac's provocative modern design and performance contrasted with bespoke craftsmanship and luxury," said Mark Adams, Cadillac design director. "It explores performance driving, as well as how we're approaching elevating the Cadillac range and new dimensions of Art & Science philosophy."

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Stepping beyond the Ciel Concept that was shown at Pebble in 2011, the Elmiraj Concept is billed as "a pure expression of streamlined design and engaging rear-wheel-drive performance." Born in GM's Los Angeles-based advanced design studio, this modern-day update of the classic 2-door "grand coupe" took its name from California's legendary El Mirage dry lake but drew its initial inspiration from the iconic 1967 Eldorado. Like that trend-setting Cadillac, it too relies on elegant proportion to effectively communicate a feeling of poise and power. The Elmiraj's bold front end reinforces that mission, counterpointing a prominent grille and signature vertical LED headlamps with a new "conceptual" take on the classic Cadillac Crest that features a simpler and more contemporary appearance. The car's sweeping roofline resolves into a short deck that is complemented by a rear fascia that introduces its own tastefully understated variation on the division's Art & Science motif.

Finished in deep blue set off by subtle but effective brightwork accents and not-so-subtle 22-inch alloy wheels, the Elmiraj Concept rides on a new lightweight platform that shares a number of elements destined for use in an upcoming Cadillac production model. Under its long, sweeping hood sits a 4.5-liter twin-turbo V8 that makes 500 horsepower and borrows much of its basic design technology from the division's new Twin Turbo V6 that will be used in the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport Edition. In keeping with its own Vsport designation, the Elmiraj also is fitted with fade-banishing carbon-ceramic brakes.

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Rendered in camel leather paired with handpicked fallen Brazilian Rosewood veneer, the finely crafted cabin of the Elmiraj reflects a mix of luxury and performance. The dramatically contoured dash features an instrument cluster with a transparent analog-style speedometer and tachometer, as well as high-res display that provides ancillary driver information along with data from the front-mounted camera. A centrally positioned 10-inch color touchscreen allows easy access to the car's navigation/infotainment systems and tucks into the dash when not in use. Seating in this roomy 2+2 consists of four individual sport buckets. The front units have 10 inches of fore/aft travel, while the rear buckets incorporate a valet feature that lets each automatically slide forward four inches to ease passenger access before returning to their original position. As an added touch, they also feature reclining backs.

While the Elmiraj Concept won't be heading for production in its current state, expect many of the elements found on this striking one-off to turn up in the showroom at some future date. They'll likely be part of a new flagship model Cadillac is creating that will drive the division onward and upward into new, even more premium territory.

Other Cadillac News...

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Cadillac has recently upgraded its Certified Pre-Owned program benefits


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