By Jeffery Gilbert, CBS Detroit
ANN ARBOR, MI — (WWJ) Cadillac’s sleek new Elmiraj concept car will give you an idea of where the brand is heading, as it tries to compete with upscale imports from BMW and Mercedes.
The Elmiraj is making its Detroit area debut, after being shown to limited crowds in New York and California.
“This concept car is meant as an exploration,” says Cadillac product planner Hampden Tener. “What will the future direction of Cadillac design language evolve to?”
Cadillac won’t say whether we’ll see a future luxury coupe similar to the Elmiraj. It won’t confirm persistent reports that we will soon see a high end Cadillac flagship to compete directly with BMW’s 7-series and the Mercedes S-Class.
Video: Cadillac Elmiraj Concept Vehicle
New models like the XTS at the high end, and especially the entry level ATS have boosted Cadillac’s sales 30 percent so far this year.
“Were really seeing the early results of the expansion of our product line,” said Tener. “We continue to be the fastest growing full line luxury brand.”
The Elmaraj concept vehicle was shown at a media event in Ann Arbor where Cadillac highlighted a performance V-sport version of its XTS big car.
Tener says the XTS V-Sport will have some sporty styling cues, and a twin turbo 410 horsepower V-6 engine.
“The V-Sport idea gives us a way to bridge the gap between our mainstream luxury vehicles and the high end V-Series luxury vehicles.”
The XTS will receive a number of updates for the 2014 model year. They include parking assist, smart headlights, and optional rear seat entertainment.
There’s been a lot of speculation on the Internet about the Cadillac logo on the Elmiraj concept. It’s slightly larger, and doesn’t feature the traditional wreath.
So far, Cadillac executives have said there not ready to announce any changes in the historic logo.
“Our designers take liberties and try to advance all the areas of the car, and explore new directions,” said Tener. “They had their way with the logo to see how they could make it evolve and progress along with the shapes and lines of the vehicle.”