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General Motors Company (GM), Ford Motor Company (F): Is This the 2016 Cadillac Eldorado?

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The Cadillac Elmiraj concept car, a big two-door luxury coupe powered by a twin-turbo V8, was unveiled by GM in Monterey, California last week. Photo credit: General Motors.

Will this big luxury coupe become the 2016 Cadillac Eldorado?

The short answer is probably “not exactly” – but it could be closer than you think.

It’s a concept car called the Cadillac Elmiraj, and it was unveiled by General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) last week as part of an unfolding, multiyear plan to turn Cadillac into a serious global luxury contender.

But even though General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) was pretty clear that the Elmiraj won’t go into production as-is, it’s worth a much closer look if you’re interested in Cadillac – or in the future prospects for General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’s stock.

These Cadillac concept cars aren’t just flights of fancy
To understand how the Elmiraj fits into the Cadillac turnaround story, we need to go back a couple of years to another Cadillac concept car, the Ciel.

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The Cadillac Ciel concept car was first shown in Monterey two years ago. The new Elmiraj carries many of the same styling themes. Photo credit: General Motors.

I called the Ciel a “shocking statement” at the time, and I still think it was – and is. Up to that point, GM CEO Dan Akerson and other senior General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) executives had talked about their ambitious plans to remake Cadillac, but we hadn’t seen anything that showed us where they were really aiming to take the brand.

And while the Ciel wasn’t intended to become a production car, it showed that the plan was a good one. It was different from current production Cadillacs, but clearly evolved from them – and just as clearly, it was much more opulent and upscale. But it was still very much a Cadillac in a way that anyone familiar with today’s cars — or the Cadillacs of old — would instantly recognize.

And now we have the Elmiraj, which is also instantly recognizable as a Cadillac — and instantly recognizable as the Ciel’s sibling. I think that’s important. Here’s why.

Why the Elmiraj might actually be a future Eldorado
Concept cars are often just flights of fancy, a chance to try an idea or let a promising designer stretch his or her wings. From the moment I saw it, I thought that the Ciel was a lot more than that, and I’m even more convinced now that I’ve seen the Elmiraj.

From behind, the Elmiraj is instantly recognizable as a Cadillac. Photo credit: General Motors.

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