Cadillac Sixteen
Click image to enlarge

Detroit, Michigan – Cadillac unveiled its answer to the super luxury Maybach automobile in Detroit on Sunday evening.

“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.

Aimed at “today’s generation of exceedingly well-heeled customers of discerning taste,” the rear-wheel-drive Sixteen has a 32-valve V16 concept engine that displaces 13.6 litres and produces 1000 horsepower and 1000 lbs.-ft. of torque. The engine 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.

Cadillac Sixteen
Click image to enlarge

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 16-inch rotors.

The aluminum hood is long, giving the Cadillac Sixteen tremendous dash-to-axle dimension; the wheel arches were designed to accommodate the huge 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.

The engine compartment features dual panels hinged about a center spine that runs the length of the expansive hood – the hood panels are power-operated.

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.

Cadillac Sixteen
Click image to enlarge

Seats are upholstered in hand-stitched, Tuscany leather, and 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 colour that matches the leather upholstery. The dash, door panels, and front and rear consoles are trimmed with walnut burl veneer inlays.

Electronic amenities include a rear-seat DVD information system, Bose sound system, and the fifth-generation OnStar in-vehicle safety and security communication system.

“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,” said Lutz.

Connect with Autos.ca