Officially unveiled at the 2002 Detroit Auto Show, the Cadillac Cien is a breathtaking concept powered by a 7.5 L V12 Northstar XV12 engine producing 750 hp and 450 lb/ft of torque. The engine featured direct injection and Displacement on Demand, which would shut down up to 6 cylinders under lighter load for fuel economy’s sake. The Cien is fitted with an F-1 style semi-automatic transmission.
To say the least, the Cien is extraordinary looking, and the design is based on the F-22 Raptor Stealth Fighter Jet. Electronically controlled air inlets and outlets are integrated into the Cien’s body side. These active vents open and close as required for cooling, similar to the Lamborghini Murcielago’s vents. Air is directed to the V12 engine via intakes beneath the two sail panels. The blue glass covering the Cien was inspired by sport performance eyewear, giving the vehicle a more high-tech look. The Cien also has an active spoiler that raises and lowers, depending on the vehicle’s speed. The wheels are 19 inches in the front and 21 inches in the rear, which look very good on the car without giving it the “Dubz” feeling.
The Cien has all of the technological advances you would expect from it, including Night Vision, using thermal imaging to display a view beyond the headlights via a heads-up display projected on the windshield. It also includes StabiliTrak, Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist, and Communiport – which integrates the car’s audio, computing, navigation, and wireless communication through hands-free voice activation.
The interior, lined with carbon fiber, features the gadgets you would expect, including a rear-view camera, a top-notch entertainment system, and a digital instrument display relaying all of the vehicle’s functions, including diagnostics and satellite navigation.
Dark anodized aluminum accents reflect the Cien’s cool, technical appearance. 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.
The Cien was also used in the excellent 2005 film The Island starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. The car is featured in what, in my opinion, is one of the coolest chase scenes in the history of movies, but I’m not going to ruin the movie for you. I highly recommend going out and renting it.
Of course, Cadillac will not make the Cien, just like they didn’t make the Cadillac Sixteen Concept; they’re all about making awesome concepts to get people excited about their cars, then half-delivering on them. The overpriced (but admittedly cool) XLR-V (the luxurious Corvette) is most likely the closest you will ever get to a Cadillac Cien, but the thought of this making it to production makes me drool profusely. Frankly, this would be a decent move for Cadillac as it would get people more excited about them, moving their image up a few notches. Plus, I’m sure they wouldn’t have a problem selling a limited run of them. Who wouldn’t if they had the money?