Urban Luxury Concept – Perhaps It Is A New GM

GM’s Cadillac Brand May Offer Up European Luxury and Efficiency In A Game Changing Platform

Now that GM has issued its IPO stock and is well on its way to becoming a member of the private market again — thanks to being saved by the Obama administration and Democrats — the question still remains as to whether or not the old GM will reinvent its cars in addition to its cost structure and become a truly New GM.

Seems there is indication that GM’s top brand, Cadillac, may be abandoning its “bigger is better” mentality and adapting to the times… here it is: the Urban Luxury Concept, a design study for a supermini-sized city auto (think Aston Martin Cygnet) that received its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week.

“While small in size, this concept is an exploration of what Cadillac could be in the future, as the brand continues to focus on redefining industry standards for advanced vehicle design and integrated technology,” said Don Butler, vice president for Cadillac marketing.

Conceived and designed in GM’s advanced design center in Los Angeles, the car’s styling cues match those of Cadillac’s current design language with abundant hard edges and vertical head and tail lamps.

The Urban Luxury Concept has an overall length of just 151 inches, but rides on a 97.1 inch-long wheelbase with 19-inch wheels mounted deep into the corners. Cadillac says the interior room is bolstered by a 68.1-inch  width and 56.9-inch height. Despite the small footprint, the company claims that the three-door hatchback offers a spacious interior.

For the Urban Luxury Concept’s propulsion, GM’s engineers developed a prototype hybrid system including a turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder engine employing electric assist technology, engine start-stop function, brake energy regeneration and a dry dual-clutch transmission. Cadillac maintains that the combination of these technologies in a vehicle like of this size could offer projected fuel economy of 56 mpg in the city and 65 mpg on the highway.

It may not be like Cadillacs on the road today, but “it shares the comfortable and high-tech elements that owners have come to associate with larger, traditional luxury sedans,” said Frank Saucedo, the car’s lead designer. “As more customers demand premium features even in smaller vehicles, a vehicle like the Urban Luxury Concept could be a solution.”

Hopefully the US public will accept such a new premise of a car and be offered the amazingly luxurious small, efficient vehicles like Europeans enjoy. I’m a German car fan, but this little car from Cadillac rocks and catches my attention. Luxury doesn’t have to mean huge and inefficient. Prudence, propriety, and responsible resource use can go hand-in-hand with impressive luxury… and GM may be on the road to proving as much.


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