Cadillac has been teasing us with concepts for a super-sized, super- luxury two-door coupe longer than Betty White has been a Golden Girl.
But the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Cadillac Elmiraj Concept, unveiled at the recent Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California could, fingers-crossed, actually make it from blue-sky concept to production reality. They may even call it ‘Eldorado’.
The reason for the optimism is that Cadillac reportedly has a full-size four-door sedan in its product plans – in effect a replacement for the long-departed yet much missed DeVille—with a launch date sometime in 2015. Spinning-off a coupe from a sedan isn’t that costly.
If the Cadillac high-ups think there might be a business case for a rival to the upcoming new Mercedes S-class coupe, or even Bentley’s Continental GT, or they really think the Caddy brand would benefit from a true halo model, it might just get the green light.
Let’s hope so, because this thing is breathtakingly beautiful in a classic, elegant, tug-at-your-heart-strings kind of way.
In true Hollywood style, the thing is huge. Bow to stern it measures a whopping 205 inches, which makes it more than a foot longer than the Bentley and around three inches longer than that other Cadillac road-going behemoth, the Escalade.
Cadillac’s advanced design studio in North Hollywood developed the car’s pillarless-coupe styling which was supposedly much-influenced by one of my favorite Caddys of all time, the classic 1967 Eldorado.
I love the flow of the roofline, the powerful ‘bonnet’ bulge, the high, high waistline and massive 22-inch alloys. This is Hollywood-inspired glamour at its finest.
As you might expect, the Elmiraj has the power and performance to go with its flagship status. Under that massive hood is a 4.5-liter V8 with twin turbochargers delivering a healthy 500 horsepower.
One of the coolest features of its leather-lined cabin is actually the rear seat. A problem with any two-door coupe with a 121-inch wheelbase is that the rear seat passengers often feel like they are in a different zip code. Getting in tends to require an inelegant, head-down, butt-up shuffle to the back seats.
Cadillac designers have come up with a nice solution. When a door is opened, the appropriate front seat powers forward 10 inches followed by the rear bucket seat, which moves forward by four inches. Step in, sit down and the seat then glides backwards. Brilliant.
But let’s be sensible here; in this day and age, large luxury, indulgent two-door coupes are a hard-sell to the bean-counters. Let’s hope there’s a little bravery at General Motors to turn the Elmiraj from a shimmering mirage to a showroom model.