Tuesday, November 16, 2010

LA Show 2010: Cadillac's Urban Luxury Concept is an Aston Martin Cygnet Killer

If you want more proof that Cadillac is once and for all abandoning its "bigger is better" mentality adapting to the times, here it is: the Urban Luxury Concept, a design study for a supermini-sized city car (think Aston Martin Cygnet) that will have its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show tomorrow.

"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 the Los Angeles area, the car's styling is typical of Cadillac's current design language with plenty of hard edges and vertical head lamps and tail lamps. To make it look more conceptual, the designers threw in a pair of scissor-type doors that extend outward and rotate forward when opened.

The Urban Luxury Concept has an overall length of just 151 inches (3,835 mm), but rides on a 97.1 inch-long (2,467 mm) wheelbase with the 19-inch wheels pushed to the corners. Cadillac says the interior room is bolstered by a wide, 68.1-inch (1,730 mm) stance and 56.9-inch (1,446 mm) height. Despite the small footprint, the company claims that the three-door hatchback features a "roomy" interior.

For the Urban Luxury Concept's motivation, GM's engineers developed a prototype hybrid propulsion system that includes a turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder engine employing electric assist technology, engine start-stop function, brake energy regeneration and a dry dual-clutch transmission. The company claims that theoretically, 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 look 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."


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