The success of the 1988 Voyage sedan concept led Cadillac to develop this two-door version, the 1989 Cadillac Solitaire concept car.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

1989 Cadillac Solitaire Concept Car Design

The 1988 Cadillac Voyage and 1989 Cadillac Solitaire concept car design shared many traits, but the Solitaire coupe offered some unique elements.

The Cadillac Solitaire's electrically-powered doors, some of the longest in GM's history, demanded the use of an articulated hinge. The Solitaire's doors moved slightly forward as they opened. The keyless entry system could also be used to release the hood or trunk lid.

Seats traveled all the way forward to permit easy entry into the back (unless they happen to be occupied, that is) then return to the pre-selected position as the door shuts; and while the Voyage had 20 seat adjustments, the Solitaire added four more.

Some comfort-minded folks are never quite satisfied, it seems. Once again, both heat and massage were available to soothe chilled or tired muscles. Air bags mounted in the steering wheel, instrument panel, and rear seatbacks were installed for each occupant.

Surrounded by so much glass, riders could be excused for thinking they were in a convertible.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Mirrors disappeared completely, with only a set of video cameras providing a view of oncoming traffic from the back, seen on a liquid-crystal color video screen inside the car. Lack of stick-out mirrors made a slight difference in aerodynamics, and a bigger improvement in the Cadillac Solitaire concept car's flush appearance. Body-colored louvers, front and rear, created the illusion that the car carried neither headlamps nor tail lamps.

The Solitaire dashboard was a slightly modified version of the one in the Voyage sedan concept.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Under the hood of the Cadillac Solitaire, replacing the Voyage's V-8, lurked a dual-overhead-cam, 48-valve V-12 engine with port fuel injection. Developed in conjunction with Lotus, the 6.6-liter powerplant produced 430 horsepower, along with 470 pounds/feet of torque. Computer-designed tires rode special 20-inch cast aluminum wheels.

Cadillac developed Solitaire's 48-valve V-12 engine in conjunction with the Lotus company.

©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Prepared to carry four passengers in unheard-of swiftness and ease, the Cadillac Solitaire was called "Cadillac's vision of the ultimate in road-car performance, comfort, convenience and style." Like its predecessor, it was created to serve as a test vehicle, not just a showpiece.

Whether highways capable of ultra-fast speeds -- and humans capable of handling them -- would ever emerge was an open question, of course. But a look at either of Cadillac's visions evoked a hope that such a day would arrive soon, and that cars like these would be available for our enjoyment.

Keep reading to find information on the specifications of the 1988 Cadillac Voyage and the 1989 Cadillac Solitaire concept cars.

For more on concept cars and the production models they forecast, check out: