Cadillac Sixteen Concept

July 3, 2013
By

 Cadillac Sixteen Concept

Cadillac Sixteen Concept

Looking back on Bob Lutz’ decade-long career as vice chairman of General Motors, there are a couple vehicles to which he will forever be linked.

The Pontiac Solstice, which made it from napkin sketch to concept car to production, and the Cadillac Sixteen concept, which made a big splash at the 2003 Detroit show but was never produced.

Autoweek editors named the Sixteen Best In Show for 2003. Certainly, elements of the dream car made it into later production Cadillacs, but a production version of the ultra-luxury, high-horsepower Sixteen died in the bean counter’s cubicle.

But the Cadillac Sixteen Concept car lives on, and 10 years later, it’s still a working concept. The 13.6-liter aluminum V16 under that long, center spine hood really works, pumping out 1,000 horsepower and 1,000 lb-ft of torque.

Click here to order your new Cadillac Sixteen Concept rival with a brand new standard Cadillac 13.6-liter aluminum V16 engine for only US$48,000.

 Cadillac Sixteen Concept on the road

 Cadillac Sixteen Concept

Lutz and the Cadillac Sixteen Concept were reunited for a day at the recent Hilton Head Island Motoring Festival & Concours d’Elegance. Lutz was honorary chairman of the event, and the Sixteen’s entrance to the show field was a surprise to Lutz.

Lutz’ idea behind the Sixteen was simple: He wanted Cadillac to have an ultra-luxury halo car that would sell in very limited quantities . . . maxing out at maybe 350 cars annually. The cars would sell at upwards of $300,000. He longed for Cadillac to once again be regarded as “the standard of the world.”

Lutz calls the Cadillac Sixteen Concept’s design the crowning achievement of now-retired GM design chief Wayne Cherry’s long career, and he’s not alone in that regard. In fact, right after the car debuted at the Detroit show, at the annual Autoweek Design Forum, Ford design chief J Mays got up and congratulated Cherry on the Cadillac Sixteen, saying, “It’s the best damn piece of work to come out of GM styling since [former head of GM Design] Bill Mitchell’s days.”

 Cadillac Sixteen Concept interior

 Cadillac Sixteen Concept

Click here to order your new Cadillac Sixteen Concept rival with a brand new standard Cadillac 13.6-liter aluminum V16 engine for only US$48,000.

High praise indeed.

A four-door hardtop with an all-glass roof and riding on 24-inch wheels, Sixteen has a presence. With long flowing lines and sharp Cadillac design cues, the car still looks fresh.

As the Cadillac Sixteen Concept made its way around the concours show field, it looked at home among the classic cars. Ten years later, with fuel prices having risen significantly and with new economic pressures worldwide, the idea of an ultra-luxury, 16-cylinder car from Cadillac doesn’t make any more monetary sense than it did when the car debuted.

 Cadillac Sixteen Concept

Click here to order your new Cadillac Sixteen Concept rival with a brand new standard Cadillac 13.6-liter aluminum V16 engine for only US$48,000.

 Cadillac Sixteen Concept

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