RELEASE: January 5, 2003
Cadillac Sixteen: A New
General Motors' Vice Chairman Bob Lutz reveals the Cadillac
Sixteen concept vehicle at its gala unveiling at the Detroit Opera
House in Detroit Sunday, January 5, 2003 as part of the North
American Auto Show. GM Photo
|DETROIT - The Cadillac
Sixteen is classic automotive seduction with the panache of Cadillac's
In form, power
and opulence, the 2003 Cadillac Sixteen embodies the timeless qualities
of an exceptionally luxurious super-sedan with its sleek, gemstone
appearance. The rear-wheel-drive Cadillac Sixteen brings forth the
exclusivity and grandeur of the custom-built Fleetwood coach cars of the
1930s for today's generation of exceedingly well-heeled customers of
"The Sixteen is a modern interpretation
of everything that made Cadillac the standard of the world and can
again," said Robert A. Lutz, GM vice chairman for product development and
chairman of GM North America. "It's a reminder of a glorious past as well as
a progressive statement.
"Cadillac's tradition is rich, but in the
next several years it will be introducing vehicles as solid, dynamic and
beautifully designed as anything it's ever done. And Sixteen is a harbinger
of this new era."
General Motors' Vice Chairman Bob Lutz drives the Cadillac Sixteen
concept vehicle onto the stage at its gala unveiling at the
Detroit Opera House in Detroit Sunday, January 5, 2003 as part of
the North American Auto Show. GM Photo
The name speaks to the car's powerful 16-cylinder, 1000-horsepower
engine and Cadillac's heritage as a maker of fine luxury automobiles.
Cadillac's reputation grew exponentially during the '30s in no small
part because of the development of the automotive industry's first V-16.
The Cadillac Sixteen's grand exterior proportions create an unparalleled
presence; its splendid interior is meticulously handcrafted and urbane.
"The Cadillac Sixteen proportions were
crafted with great attention to detail and homage to classic design," said
Brian Smith, the Cadillac Sixteen's exterior designer. "The Cadillac Sixteen
evokes an era when luxury cars were hand-built."
General Motors' designers drew extensively on
the traditions of the coachbuilt era in crafting the Cadillac Sixteen,
employing the distinctive talents of leading artisans for the upholstery,
instrumentation, interior wood and metal elements, and aluminum body panels.
As an exterior statement, the Cadillac
Sixteen's proportional composition is bold. The aluminum hood is long,
giving the Cadillac Sixteen tremendous dash-to-axle dimension; the wheel
arches were designed to accommodate the beautiful 24-inch polished aluminum
wheels. The four-door hardtop incorporates an all-glass roof and is without
B-pillars. Crisp-edged lines of the midnight silver aluminum body panels
accentuate the Cadillac Sixteen's striking appearance.
Even the engine compartment, with its
sculpted design, has drama. With dual panels hinged about a center spine
that runs the length of the expansive hood, it makes an event out of opening
the engine bay. The hood panels are power-operated.
|"The engine bay really pays
tribute to the V-16," said Wayne Cherry, GM's vice president of design.
"It's like a setting for a diamond, clean and simple. The under-hood was
designed with the same care and attention as the interior.
"The interior is a pure expression of
design," said Cherry.
"Premium materials in luxury refinement
are fine woods, precision-cut metals and crystal. They've all been
combined and balanced in harmony in the Cadillac Sixteen."
1000 Horsepower V16 Concept Engine - GM Drawing
Warm luxury, contemporary style
The interior theme is evocative of the posh accommodations of 1930s-era
Cadillacs, but with contemporary style. For instance, the dashboard features
a center-mounted Bvlgari clock.
The hand-stitched, Tuscany leather
upholstered seats nestle the occupants. The right rear seat features power
adjustable slope to recline like a chaise lounge. Warm, hand-woven silk
carpets the floor in a light cream color that matches the leather
upholstery. The dash, door panels, and front and rear consoles are trimmed
with walnut burl veneer inlays.
"The lighting is architectural, enhancing the
mood and desirability of the Cadillac Sixteen's interior space,
complementing its shapes and colors," said Eric Clough, interior designer.
"Technique combines with technology for a sophisticated, pampered ambience."
Meanwhile, the custom-designed crystal on the
cluster dials offers subtle cues of the Cadillac Sixteen's precise
engineering, elegance and craftsmanship.
One thousand horses
While GM designers drew inspiration from the ultra-luxury sedan's ancestry,
the Cadillac Sixteen is thoroughly modern in its powerplant and
The Cadillac Sixteen's
32-valve V-16 concept engine displaces 13.6 liters and is mated to a
four-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. The engine
features fuel-saving Displacement on Demand technology, debuting in 2004
on some 2005 GM models, which shuts down half of the cylinders during
most driving conditions and automatically and seamlessly reactivates
them for more demanding conditions, such as brisk acceleration or load
hauling cylinders when the driver needs the engine's full power. The
engine produces 1000 horsepower and 1000 lbs.-ft. of torque.
1000 Horsepower V16 Concept Car - GM Drawing
The extensive use of aluminum components and
structure provide substantial weight advantages. The aluminum-steel chassis
employs high-arm SLA suspension up front and independent semi-trailing arm
suspension in the rear. Four-wheel steering enhances the Cadillac Sixteen's
maneuverability. The front and rear brakes are six-piston calipers with
1000 Horsepower V16 Concept Engine - GM Drawing
|Electronic amenities include
a rear-seat DVD information system, Bose sound system, and the
fifth-generation OnStar in-vehicle safety and security communication
system. The head and tail lamps feature LED technology.
All told, the Cadillac Sixteen is an
ultra-luxury automobile of the first order.
"This car offers premier refinement and
craftsmanship," said Cherry. "Its ultra-contemporary technical detailing is
"The Cadillac Sixteen is befitting of the
great Cadillac tradition as the standard of the world."