The 1988 Cadillac Voyage and 1989 Cadillac Solitaire concept cars continued a tradition of innovation at Cadillac. Indeed, of all the automakers that exhibit concept cars at shows worldwide, few have a history approaching that of Cadillac.
As far back as 1905, the tall and stubby experimental Osceola, designed by Cadillac founder Henry Leland, emerged to test the burgeoning company's ability to create a closed coupe. This was at a time when all automobiles went topless. So Cadillac's concept car history can be traced to the marque's origins.
Late in the 1980s, the Cadillac tradition of displaying show cars that make one's eyes glaze over in awe and delight continued, this time with a pair of dramatic renditions of "21st century" motoring.
First came the four-door Cadillac Voyage concept car, in time for the 1988 auto show circuit. A year later, Cadillac sent off a two-door Solitaire concept car that retained many of the Voyage's mechanical and design elements, yet managed to convey a personality all its own.
Both express ideas for the kind of car that might be required in the future, when superhighways allow unimpeded coast-to-coast travel at speeds in the 200 mile-per-hour realm.
Anyone stuck in rush-hour traffic or suffering reckless lane-changes on today's "superhighways" might be permitted a moment of scoffing at the thought of speeds far into the triple-digit range. Still, the era of controlled highway travel at velocities rivaling those of airplanes has been a science-fiction staple for decades, and only now are dream cars beginning to make this fiction a reality. Should it become reality, Cadillac stands readier than most to provide suitable vehicles.
Raves greeted the Cadillac Voyage concept car's debut in January 1988 at the GM "Teamwork and Technology" show, held in New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel. Measuring two feet longer than a production 1988 Seville, the massive four-door "bullet style" Voyage carried a V-8 engine under its elongated hood -- but had plenty of space available for the V-12 that would arrive later. Although identical in size to the 4.5-liter V-8 introduced on regular Cadillacs for 1988, the Voyage edition delivered nearly twice the horsepower, capable of cruising at an estimated 180 miles an hour.
For more information on the design of the 1988 Cadillac Voyage concept car, go to the next page.