Cadillac Concepts Are Great. Why Aren’t They Ever Made?

Cadillac has a history of making stunning concepts.

Monterey Car Week is in full swing, and, as is recent tradition, Cadillac unveiled a new concept at Pebble Beach: the Escala. In 2011, Cadillac pulled the covers of the drop dead gorgeous Ciel then in 2013 the very promising Elmiraj, both absolute dream cars, both never became a reality. The Escala on the other hand seems grounded, yet equally stunning. Which gives me hope. My first car was a ’93 STS and my dad’s ’76 Eldorado was what got me into cars, so suffice to say I’m somewhat of a Cadillac fan. So it pains me to be taunted and teased with incredible designs that could actually redefine the brand, but never see the road.

The Cadillac Cien was a sharp mid-engined V10 supercar. The Sixteen was a beautiful ode to pre-war excess and opulence. And the Ciel and Elmiraj seemed to graft the Sixteen’s essence on to realistic future Caddies. All of them would have easily completed the company’s mission of over a decade: to shake the Boca-Raton-cruiser image and bring the fight to the Germans on the luxury-performance front. They say in every every announcement, that the concept is “signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.” But alas, when the promised design languages hit the road, all we get is a new badge and some translation of the concept’s grille. Like shooting for the stars and landing on the hill, in your backyard (still a great hill, though).

Which is why I hope the Escala is different. Cadillac’s newest concept seems less like a concept and more like a smoothed-over, refined CT6. The proportions are right, and the design is simple and elegant. Don’t tell us this will remain a concept, Cadillac. Just say the Escala is heading to production. Please. I won’t hold my breath.

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