PEBBLE BEACH, California -- Cadillac, hinting at a possible flagship sedan down the road, unveiled the Ciel concept, an open-air grand-touring car that recalls the Eldorado and DeVille from the past.
The four-seat, all-wheel-drive Ciel -- pronounced "C-L," or French for sky -- has a longer wheelbase than a CTS sedan.
As part of a plan to enhance the brand's global sales reach, GM executives have been studying a new Cadillac flagship to challenge the BMW 7 series, Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S class.
General Motors Co. called the Ciel "a grand gesture that explores themes driving Cadillac's explorations into range-topping flagship luxury."
Clay Dean, global design director for Cadillac, said at the debut here on Thursday that the architecture underpinning the Ciel is all new and that Cadillac is working on vehicles of this size.
"We wouldn't be showing it if we didn't have any intentions of doing anything with it," Dean said.
Dean also emphasized that design details seen on the concept -- namely its deep purple paint job and rich wood, and earthy leather interior tones -- would appear on upcoming Cadillac production vehicles.
The Ciel convertible was developed at GM Design's North Hollywood design center in California.
"Large, expressive luxury is innate to Cadillac and the Ciel recalls that heritage, while suggesting where the brand can go in the future," Deane said in a statement. "Authentic luxury is driven by experiences, not just products, and Ciel is about the experience of the journey."
Cadillac has discontinued the DTS and STS sedans and will replace them with a single model, the front-wheel drive XTS, next year.