Cadillac Cien Concept
The Cien is a 2-door, rear mid-engined, high-performance concept vehicle from General Motors’ Cadillac brand created to “holistically illustrates Cadillac’s fusion of design and technology in a modern mid-engine, two-seat supercar”. Unveiled in January of 2002, the Cien concept’s debut coincided with the brand’s 100th anniversary, with “Cien” being Spanish for 100.
Cadillac says that, “in keeping with the brand’s role as a technology flagship for General Motors, the V12-powered Cadillac Cien concept car is a befitting icon to usher in the brand’s 100th anniversary.”
Drawing on 100 years of rich Cadillac heritage, Cien honors Cadillac’s tradition of bringing innovative technology and trend-setting design to the luxury segment.
During its first century of leadership, Cadillac has claimed a number of industry ‘firsts’ and major engineering advancements including the introduction of electric self-starters, significant improvements in engine technology and the development of sophisticated suspension systems.
The same emphasis on bold, trend-setting design that has set Cadillac apart among luxury marques in the past is the essence of the Cien and of Cadillac as it enters its second 100 years.
“The Cien concept combines V12 power and dramatic proportions in a striking, modern design that is unmistakably Cadillac,” said lead designer Simon Cox, executive director of GM’s Advanced Design Studio for Cadillac in England. “This concept is a most appropriate medium to celebrate Cadillac’s past, present and, above all, it’s future.”
The Cien was designed at General Motors’ Advanced Design Studio in England and built as a fully-working road-going vehicle in collaboration with UK-based engineering and motorsport company Prodrive.
Cadillac’s Art & Science design philosophy is characterized by dramatic proportions and clean dynamic surfaces that reflects not only the technology found within the vehicle, but also the technology used to create it.
“With the Cien, we strived to create an ultra-high-performance expression of design and technology,” says Cox.
The Cien’s low, sleek appearance is inspired by the latest F-22 Stealth fighter aircraft. It has produced a different look and proportion for Cadillac and further demonstrates the reach of the brand’s identity.
Trapezoidal air inlets are milled into the front-end surface of the Cien, graphically forming Cadillac’s shield-like grille, which incorporates a centrally mounted wreath and crest insignia. These air inlets — which feed the front-mounted radiators — are flanked on either side by vertical headlamps, together creating the unmistakable ‘face’ of Cadillac.
In profile, Cadillac’s characteristic crisp-edged feature line runs the length of the body, suggesting tension in the surface, and also adding to the dramatic stance. Another taut line intersects the first, sweeping from the tail through the sail panel to the front of the vehicle. These main feature lines work together to give the Cien a dramatic and unique look, especially when viewed from above.
The body and monocoque chassis are produced from carbon fiber composite. Derived from race car technology, the technology is both lightweight and strong.
Electronically controlled air inlets and outlets are integrated into the Cien’s body side. These active vents open and close as necessary for cooling. Air is also directed to the V12 engine via intakes beneath the two characteristic sail panels.
The Cien’s rear view embodies Cadillac’s distinctive design heritage with fin-like vertical taillights, and a wide center high mounted stop lamp (CHMSL), which spans the rear deck, along with the characteristic centerline crease. The Cien also features an active spoiler that adjusts automatically depending on the speed of the vehicle, and a removable targa roof panel for open-air motoring.
The blue glass on the Cien was inspired by sport-performance eyewear, enhancing the vehicle’s modern, high-tech look.
The concept sits on 19-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels wrapped in Michelin 245/35R19 (front) and 335/30R21 (rear) tires.
The Cien features high-tech structural materials and Cadillac’s leading-edge technologies, including:
- Night Vision — uses thermal imaging to help a driver detect potentially dangerous situations well beyond the range of the vehicle’s headlamps. The image is relayed to the driver via a heads-up display projected on the windscreen.
- OnStar — GM’s high-tech telematics system.
- StabiliTrak — advanecd stability control system.
- Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist — parking assistant using sensors integrated into the rear of the vehicle.
- Communiport — integrates the car’s audio, computing, navigation and wireless communication through hands-free voice activation.
The interior of the Cien features a digital instrument display relaying all of the vehicle’s functions, including diagnostics and satellite navigation, to the driver. LCD screens display images from the rearview cameras. A state-of-the-art entertainment system designed to match the car’s unique acoustic characteristics is incorporated into the cockpit.
Dark anodized aluminum accents reflect the Cien’s cool, technical appearance, and contrast the rich classic feel of the Bridge of Weir leather. The interior has a strong vertical theme, revolving around the car’s center console, which houses Cien’s controls, and the modern, yet classical clock – designed by Bulgari and inspired by their Rettangolo wristwatch. The interior further complements the concept’s lightweight theme, utilizing carbon fiber and aluminum structural elements in a design that combines luxury and performance.
Cadillac Cien’s longitudinally-mounted 7.5-liter, V-12 powerplant, which is visible through a clear window in the decklid, is a new concept engine from GM Powertrain named the Northstar XV12. The all-aluminum, dual overhead cam (DOHC) four-valve V12 engine generates 750 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, yet it meets the packaging requirements and fuel economy standards of a V8.
The Northstar XV12 concept engine features several technological advancements over today’s V8 engines, including:
- GM Displacement on Demand (Active Fuel Management) technology, which allows the engine to run seamlessly on six cylinders at times to maximize fuel savings
- Direct injection gasoline combustion system for increased engine power, improved fuel economy and reduced emissions
- Combined starter generator
The Cien is fitted with a semi-automatic transmission, controlled by Formula 1-inspired column-mounted electronic paddles.
In Popular Culture
The Cien Concept was featured in the 2005 film The Island as well as the 2014 film Transformers: Age Of Extinction. It was also a car in Midnight Club 3 (a 2005 game for the Microsoft Xbox console) and the game Gran Turismo 4 (a a 2004 game for the Sony PlayStation 2).
The Cadillac Cien Concept was unveiled at the 2002 Detroit Auto Show.
|Layout:||mid-engine/rear wheel drive|
|Body material:||carbon fiber composite|
|Chassis Material:||carbon fiber monocoque|
|Suspension:||aluminum double wishbone, front and rear|
|Wheels:||19 in. / 21 in. cast magnesium alloy|
|Front tires:||Michelin 245/35R19|
|Rear tires:||Michelin 335/30R21|
|Engine:||Northstar XV12 Concept Engine|
|Transmission:||6-speed semi-automatic with electronic paddle shift|
|Height (in / mm):||46 / 1170|
|Length (in / mm):||175 / 4457|
|Width (in / mm):||77 / 1975|
|Wheelbase (in / mm):||108 / 2750|
|Front track (in / mm):||68 / 1726|
|Rear track (in / mm):||64 / 1632|