Despite the fact that most everyone who has laid eyes on the Cadillac Elmiraj concept coupe loves it, General Motors insiders are still trying to prove the business case to build the car. And it's certainly not a guarantee.

"I want to see this car go into production badly. Very badly," Ed Welburn, GM's Global Head of Design, told Autoblog. But the Cadillac design studio is busier than it's ever been before, and the company is working on prioritizing which cars deserve to get the billion-dollar price tag needed to research and develop a new model.

No matter what happens, Welburn says the car has made its mark on Cadillac

In the past decade or so, the concept car has become less of a fanciful idea used to show off ideas and more of a test car that shows the media, general public and company executives what a production car could look like, if the designers had their way. It's pretty easy to tell when the concept car is going to turn into a production car – top executives try to be tricky and say things like, "If we were to build this car, it would look a lot like the concept."

Welburn waffled more than usual on the Elmiraj. He kept talking about how busy the Cadillac design studio is, and priorities for the brand. And just how darn busy they all are. He's clearly rooting for the Elmiraj. During our interview, he had to turn away from the car, which was spinning around on a stand nearby, because there were fingerprints on the bumper that were catching his eye and bugging him. No matter what happens, he said the car has made its mark on Cadillac:

"Even if it does not go into production, it will have a significant impact on production cars," he said.

It makes sense that GM is hesitant to commit to the two-door Elmiraj, as the coupe market in the US is pretty small. Americans prefer their cars bigger, and value things like how easy it is to get into the back seat over sleeker, sexier car designs.

Cadillac is going to get a large premium car well above the XTS, but it won't be a coupe like the Elmiraj, at least not initially. CEO Dan Akerson this summer said the brand is getting a large sedan in the next two years. That sedan will take on the BMW 7-Series and Mercedes Benz S-Class, a rear- and all-wheel drive car loosely based on the Cadillac CTS, and its expected to share a lot of the Elmiraj's design DNA. Whether a two-door model joins the sedan is apparently still very much up for discussion.


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  • 92 Comments
      Neutral President
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cadillac really needs a big, audacious flagship coupe/convertible. I think that's crucial to the Cadillac brand image.
      no1bondfan
      • 1 Year Ago
      GM should take money from their advertising budget and allocate it toward building this car. I know that wouldn't cover everything, but it would help. Seeing these out on the street would do much more for their brand equity than a few ads ever could.
      Paul M
      • 1 Year Ago
      In other news, the world is round...
      IBx27
      • 1 Year Ago
      Called it!
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      This car is just so beautiful. But I can understand the reticence. The Allante was also pretty, but sold poorly.
      njn17845
      • 3 Months Ago

      At least make the 4 door version with suicide rear doors

      Greg
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is not a single thing about that car that I find attractive.
        ze_german
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Greg
        What is your definition of automotive beauty?
        BG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Greg
        How about the Murano convertible? Is that more to your taste? It is sort-of a coupe, relatively rare, will make you stand out.
          ravenosa
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BG
          At least the Murano convertible would be less embarrassing to drive than most Caddys.
      Technoir
      • 1 Year Ago
      It looks too huge to be practical....Giant land barges are out. Give it the proportions of a 4 series and then maybe.
        Chris
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Technoir
        Maybe you should get your eyes checked because "land barge" is not what comes to mind when I see this. This doesn't look any bigger than some of the current coupes I see from MB and BMW.
      Kimura
      • 1 Year Ago
      If GM doesn't built it they are retarded. Full retard.
      AddLightness
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is the exact kind of niche/flagship car that Cadillac should be making. It embodies the unique classical Cadillac design that other luxury car makers cannot hope to imitate. There\'s an element of historical elegance that the Elmiraj has that mixes perfectly with their modern design language; it just screams AMERICAN in a good way, sort of like how Porsche screams GERMAN.
      sk
      • 1 Year Ago
      They have learned their lesson it looks. Cadillac cant even sell enough of their $40K ATS ((sells less than 3k units a month compared to 11k BMW 3 series - and thats just in the US.). This after investing billions in these cars.Cadillac just doesnt have that brand equity to compete with the like of BMW and Merc. On top of that,people who can afford such expensive cars like this Elmirage are the ones that you all love to hate-the one per centers -and we know how eager they will be to buy government/ democrat/ union made/ supported cars.
        INCREDIBLE BOB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sk
        SORRY, BUT IGNORANT.... The ATS is in short supply, whether you or I like it or not, and is outselling projections. Because Cadillac is "on the way back", there is no way that they would have planned to sell the same or more than the BMW in the first year, or for several years, if ever. Your Elmiraj comment is also off base -- it's the "show car" that will be followed by the 4 door production version. Your understanding of the 1 percent folks may be lame, but the large Cad 4 door will be priced for the 10 per cent folks.
          express2day
          • 1 Year Ago
          @INCREDIBLE BOB
          Rebates on the ATS for many months now have been too high to blame sales issues on short supply.
          express2day
          • 1 Year Ago
          @INCREDIBLE BOB
          @John 64 new ATSs may represent a large dealership but it would not be unusual for the truly HIUGE Caddy dealerships to have 100 to 250 new ATSs in inventory.
          John
          • 1 Year Ago
          @INCREDIBLE BOB
          64? Really???? 64???? That must be a HUGE dealership to have 64 units of any one car sitting around. Our largest dealers around here typically don't have more than 10-15 of the same vehicle unless its a truck where you have a lot larger options spread.
          adam1keith1980
          • 1 Year Ago
          @INCREDIBLE BOB
          I think unlike the average person on Autoblog, people who save up for an entry-level luxury car would go for the European luxury brands. For these people, it just sounds so much better to say "I drive a Mercedes-Benz" or "I drive a BMW" than "I drive a GM" or "I drive a Toyota."
      teamplayers99
      • 1 Year Ago
      It is statements like this that make me want to run into the street screaming "WAKE UP" at the populous in their turgid, practical, soulless crossovers. "It makes sense that GM is hesitant to commit to the two-door Elmiraj, as the coupe market in the US is pretty small. Americans prefer their cars bigger, and value things like how easy it is to get into the back seat over sleeker, sexier car designs."
        BG
        • 1 Year Ago
        @teamplayers99
        Um, most crossovers really aren't all that practical, despite what their suburban leasers think. Many don't have much more useful interior room than a station wagon, but they also do not have the comfort or people/cargo capacity of a real minivan. In other words, neither fish nor fowl.
          Chris
          • 1 Year Ago
          @BG
          That's because all most crossovers are is essentially jacked up compact sedans. The rest of them are either jacked up midsize sedans and wagons. In the eyes of the folks who buy them, crossovers are much more "hip" and "cool" than any minivan or station wagon. Crossovers are the product of everyone and their third cousin deciding back in the day that they needed to git them a big ole truck (SUV) to haul their family around, and then turning around and complaining about things like ride quality and gas mileage. Because of those people, we no longer have real SUVs, like the Bronco and K5 Blazer, just dull crossovers with no rugged capabilities whatsoever to appease those who want a minivan, wagon, or sedan, but don't want to be seen in one.
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