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Could the big, 'bold' Ciel make Cadillac great again?
The promise of a hulking new convertible has car aficionados buzzing about the luxury brand's potential comeback
 
Cadillac's proposed Ciel convertible may be big, but it's also more efficient than the brand's "luxury barges" of the past, thanks to a hybrid system and lithium-ion battery.
Cadillac's proposed Ciel convertible may be big, but it's also more efficient than the brand's "luxury barges" of the past, thanks to a hybrid system and lithium-ion battery.
Cadillac/GM

The video: In recent years, Cadillac has struggled to compete with European behemoths Mercedes and BMW. But last Thursday, General Motors' luxury brand introduced a new concept car that could change that. (View video below.) In Palm Beach, Calif., a few days ahead of the Concours d'Elegance car show, the automaker unveiled the Ciel convertible, a larger, "bold" car that is both an homage to giant Caddies of decades past (the Ciel is as long as Mercedes' S Class), and, with a V-6 engine paired with a hybrid system, a nod to the future. While the convertible is still just in the concept phase, Cadillac says the car, or one much like it, will be available in 2016.

The reaction: The Ciel "recalls the era when Cadillac was known as the 'Standard of the World' and is another sign that Detroit continues to make a comeback," says Jay Akasie in the International Business Times. It's stunning that "General Motor's luxury brand wasn't afraid to bring back the politically incorrect car for which it is best known: The luxury barge," says Chris Woodyard at USA Today.  Perhaps that's because the Ciel is big without being wasteful, thanks to a hybrid system powered by a lithium-ion battery. Regardless, the Ciel is "simply gorgeous," says Jonny Lieberman at Motor Trend. This is a Cadillac that could thrive in China, Russia, and the Middle East, where status cars with big price tags are all the rage. See for yourself:

 

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