With Aston Martin bringing the Toyota iQ-based Cygnet
on the market next year, and BMW working on a new generation of front-wheel drive minicars
, there’s no reason why America’s leading luxury automotive label, Cadillac, can't bring out a version of its own. Today, on the eve of the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, Cadillac has given a preview of just that, a luxury-oriented minicar dubbed the Urban Luxury Concept.
Conceived and designed in the Los Angeles area, where tight, confined parking areas for apartments, office buildings and even suburban homes are part of everyday driving, the concept weaves Cadillac’s iconic design elements into a form that eschews conventional vehicle design to answer the needs of those metropolitan motorists.
The design is marked by a sharp profile, supported by forward-sweeping body lines that combine to suggest motion even when the vehicle is stationary. The 19 inch wheels are pushed to the edges of the body--a design that creates almost no overhangs, leaving more space inside. In fact, the car’s wheelbase is 97.1 inches (2,467 mm), but the overall length is only 151 inches (3,835 mm). The interior room is bolstered by a wide, 68.1-inch (1,730 mm) stance and 56.9-inch (1,446 mm) height.
The small hatch seats four, with easy access to all seats available via a pair of scissor-type doors that extend outward and rotate forward when opened. This allows for a roomy cabin, which, as with any Cadillac, is trimmed in premium materials and features the latest technology. Touch-pad screens and projected readouts take the place of most traditional gauges and serve as the audio and climate system controls.
A large windshield and twin skylights create an open, airy feeling and enhance the feeling of spaciousness inside. The conventional center stack of controls is replaced by a divided interface that creates more space at the forward section of the interior. Blue and grey leather dominates the interior space and is contrasted by fabric selected for its high-tech look and feel. The interior is finished with carbon-color wood inlays, brushed aluminum accents and ceramic materials.
Power comes from a new hybrid drivetrain consisting of a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine employing electric assist technology, engine start-stop function, brake energy regeneration and a dry dual clutch transmission. Cadillac claims a projected fuel economy of 56 mpg in the city and 65 mpg on the highway for the Urban Luxury Concept.