We Go Hands-On with Cadillac’s Latest Concept Vehicles – Roadshow

This car has a lot of grille, a lot.


Cadillac has a bold vision for the future. Pulling back the curtains, over the last year this venerable luxury brand unveiled a trio of advanced concept vehicles that hint at what the automaker thinks transportation could look like in the next decade and beyond. Roadshow got an up-close, in-person look at all three machines, and even though they’re a bit pie-in-the-sky, each one is nonetheless impressive.

Three Musketeers

The show-stopping InnerSpace coupe was digitally unveiled at this year’s CES, impressing with its graceful lines and sumptuous interior. At the same trade show last year, Cadillac virtually pulled the covers off two other futuristic design studies, the PersonalSpace single-seat drone and the SocialSpace, a mini-bus of sorts with a roomy and sumptuous interior.

All three vehicles are part of Cadillac’s Halo Concept Portfolio, which showcases the brand’s vision for 2030 and beyond. Each design study — even the flying PersonalSpace — is fully autonomous, all-electric and and loaded with clever features.

The InnerSpace: A showstopper

The InnerSpace is the halo of Cadillac’s halo concepts. This coupe looks great in photos and video, but it’s even more impressive — and dimensionally imposing — in person. The light-up Cadillac crest and gigantic grille are unmistakable. The arcing roofline and almost impossibly flat windshield grab your attention, too, as does that oh-so-nice boattail backside that’s also undercut, a combo that looks stellar. This is a concept car, so of course it has gigantic wheels, 27-inchers up front and 28s at the rear.

Those rollers are wrapped in special Goodyear tires created for electric cars. Designed to be whisper quiet, they should also be better for the environment because they’re made with soybean oil and rice husk-based silica.

Look at how that roof pops up as the doors open.


The InnerSpace’s cabin is even swankier than its bodywork, but how you access this space is perhaps the vehicle’s coolest feature. The mostly-glass roof is hinged at the front fenders and lifts up as the doors open, making it easier to slide right in. The car’s lounge-like interior has room for just two people, making this thing kind of like a self-driving loveseat.

Easing the strain on tired, old joints, the rocker panels have been scalloped and each half of the InnerSpace’s spit bench seat swivels outward for easier ingress and egress. Certain Chrysler models had this feature back in the 1950s and ’60, so it’s kind of cool to see it resurrected.

Since this concept is fully autonomous, there’s no steering wheel or pedals. But what you do get is an absolutely crazy amount of legroom and a huge, curved infotainment screen, one that measures 9 feet from edge to edge. This panel supports augmented reality, includes wellness recovery themes and it can play all kinds of media. Powered by the Ultifi software platform, engineers and even third parties can add new features via over-the-air updates.

Now playing: Watch this: Cadillac InnerSpace Concept: First Look


A host of interesting materials are found in this vehicle. There’s quilted velvet, which is kind of old school, but still feels great. The coarse-looking-but-soft-feeling boucle fabric on the seats is made with bamboo, so it’s more sustainable. This car also features mineral-based alternative leather and plenty of other recycled materials, a step in the right direction.

Like other future GM vehicles, the InnerSpace concept is powered by Ultium battery cells. But rather than mounting them all in one place — like under the passenger compartment — they’re spread around to optimize cabin space and provide a low, sports car-like seating position. Indeed, you feel like you’re sitting only a few inches above the ground when inside.

The PersonalSpace: Fly above congestion

Arguably, the coolest of Cadillac’s latest concepts is the PersonalSpace, an all-electric, fully autonomous single-seat air-taxi drone. Just think, in the coming decades, we may be able to smoothly fly over traffic and roadway congestion, effortlessly zipping from helipad to high-rise rooftop. That is the future this design study envisions.

The PersonalSpace eVTOL has four rotors and supposedly a 90-kWh Ultium battery pack, a powertrain that provides a top speed of about 55 mph. How ’bout the range? Welp, GM hasn’t shared any info on that, so your guess is as good as mine, but you probably won’t want to plan any transcontinental flights. The real use-case for this air taxi (please don’t call it a “flying car,” it doesn’t roll) is much more local. The PersonalSpace is really intended to whisk well-heeled executives from their offices to meetings a few miles away, though without any obvious interior controls, it’s unclear how those flights get managed.

Now playing: Watch this: Cadillac PersonalSpace Concept: First Look


Seeing this design study in person, this thing is way bigger than expected. The vehicle looks to be about 8 feet tall and the rotors are prominent and imposing. The lower fan housings are a potential trip hazard, one that could cause serious damage if the rotors were spinning. You’d be wise to steer clear of them. Inside, the single seat is surprisingly comfortable and kind of makes you feel like a starship captain.

The Cadillac PersonalSpace concept takes the idea of a self-driving pod car one step further by freeing it from the limitations of the ground. The whole thing may seem pretty far-fetched right now, but I’d totally dig an autonomous air taxi.

The SocialSpace: Get your drink on

The third member of Cadillac’s Halo Concept Portfolio is the SocialSpace. An all-electric, self-driving minibus, this vehicle vaguely resembles the back-half of a cube van gussied up with a fancy paint job and some LED strips, but as mamma always used to say, it’s what’s inside that counts.

With stretch-out amounts of legroom and seating for six, the cabin of this vehicle is flat-out stunning. Ecologically friendly materials are used throughout, including responsibly harvested walnut wood that runs along the floor and up the back wall. This richly colored timber adds a lovely glow and contrasts with the lighter-colored seating surfaces.

A rolling sanctuary, this vehicle is designed to allow passengers to relax and recharge as the vehicle shuttles them to their destination. Biometric sensors help enhance passenger wellbeing, adjusting the cabin’s temperature, lighting, humidity, ambient noise and even aromatics. This vehicle also comes with an onboard drinks cooler and specially designed glass flutes that cleverly drop into receptacles in the cupholders, allowing you to get your drink on before hitting the clubs.

Now playing: Watch this: This Is Cadillac’s Self-Driving Lounge, the SocialSpace


But arguably this concept’s signature element is called the humidifire (yes, you read that correctly; it’s a portmanteau of humidity and fire). This feature consists of LED lights that shine up through a water-vapor mist, making it look like the SocialSpace has a fireplace.

The future is under development

Cadillac’s Halo Concept Portfolio is a bold vision of the future. Right now, it feels pretty unlikely any of these three vehicles will ever get built, but it’d be surprising if at least some of their innovative features didn’t find their way to future Cadillac models, from the InnerSpace’s gorgeous design and its pillar-to-pillar screen to the SocialSpace’s sustainable materials and autonomous capability. Much of this stuff is well within the realm of possibility, if not today, then in the coming decade and beyond.

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