There’s a little, unassuming building tucked away in a sleepy corner of the Valley. It’s brick-faced with a high fence, a modest parking lot and a rather stylish address plate on the front.
Inside this building, a handful of GM employees worked in secret to design, among other things, the brand new Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept.
Celebrating its tenth year, the GM Advanced Design Center has churned out an incredible range of both concept and production designs. Finely-tuned sports cars, luxury sedans, special edition Bonnevilles and more were all laid out on display for our visit, but a few caught our eye.
First off, there was this thing, which looked like a Segway meets a 50′s vision of the future.
Turns out it’s the GM en-v concept, and it’s actually based on the Segway. It’s designed for major, dense urban areas and it’s designed to work with a whole bunch of others to get people around major cities quickly and efficiently.
Not your style? That’s fine. And Jay Leno might agree with you, because on this particular night he came ripping into the party in his jet car.
Well sure, that’s just Jay in his prototype GM Eco Air, a car he worked with GM to design right in our backyard at the GM Advanced Design Center. “It may not be exactly fuel efficient,” Jay told [pullquote quote="Who didn't want a jet car as a kid?" credit="Jay Leno on the Eco Air"] reporters, “but it doesn’t burn traditional fuel.” And it’s not based on new technologies, either. “There’s nothing ground breaking in there,” he continued, it’s more something you build because you wanted one so badly as a kid. “Who didn’t want a jet car as a kid?“
Well we can’t all afford the price of jet fuel like Jay, nor do we envy the driver who has to find a spot big enough to park the Eco Air. What else does the Advanced Design Center, the folks who also gave us the brand new Chevrolet Camaro, have up its sleeve?
Turns out, it’s a doozy.
With much fanfare, last night GM took the wraps off a bold new concept — the Urban Luxury Concept, to be specific. Why does a luxury car have to be either sporty, or gigantic? Can you have the elegance and luxury of a Cadillac without the proportions?
Judging by the reaction from the crowd, everybody seemed to think so. Of course the ULC is just a concept right now, but it’s a concept that looks like it could definitely find room in LA’s parking-scarce car culture.