Back in the day, there was a clear line between sports cars, which were for young people (or guys going through a mid-life crisis), and luxury vehicles, which were for the older set. Sporty autos were simple, clean, minimalist machines with humongous engines. They were built for speed and fun, not comfort. Brands like Cadillac, on the other hand, were slow-moving land yachts, with plush, over-stuffed interiors and boxy outsides that were meant to look like the great ocean liners of the past. They didn’t take off, they departed from the harbor with grace and distinction. The two types of vehicles could not have been further apart in design, features, or customer base.
With the unveiling of the Ciel (pronounced “C-L”), what was left of that ever-thinning line between sport and luxury has been blown to Hell. This vehicle, which is quite honestly breath-taking, weds wicked performance and decadent luxury into one awe-inspiring package. It even manages to toss in a nod to economy cars, with its turbocharged V6 engine mounted to a lithium-ion battery pack. After all, with a name that’s derived from the French word for “sky,” it wouldn’t make sense for the Ciel to not be just a little bit green.
Make no mistake, though: this isn’t granddaddy’s Caddy, not by a very long shot. Nor is it a high-falutin’ Prius. It’s the perfect cruising machine, unbeatable for relaxing drives along California’s sea coast or, with its retro elements, perhaps a spin down Route 66. The Ciel can easily accommodate four adults, and do so in comfort with its olive wood interior, built-in sunscreen dispensers, and heated/cooled seats. The pillarless suicide doors hearken back to great luxury rides of the past, while the sleek lines and minimalist instrument cluster suggest the simple elegance of modern styling. This magnificent machine brings past and future together splendidly, and looks jaw-dropping good while doing it.
Word on the street is that a production version will be available as early as 2014. In the meantime, you can get a close-up look at the Ciel by watching this video. Anticipated sticker price for the street model: well over $100,000.00, and worth every penny.