Is there a future for tiny, high-tech luxury cars?

Smaller than the A-Class?
Small and safe.
Small and safe.

What about something even smaller than the A-Class? The name Cadillac has always been synonymous with big sedans and SUVs, but last year GM’s luxury brand gave us a look at its future with the Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept. At a very short 151 inches long, the Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept measured 50 inches shorter than the standard Cadillac Escalade SUV. Don Butler, vice president for Cadillac marketing stated, “While small in size, this concept is an exploration of what Cadillac could be in the future, as the brand continues to focus on redefining industry standards for advanced vehicle design and integrated technology.” A turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and dual-clutch transmission powered the concept. GM predicted that the tiny concept car could get up to 65 mpg on the highway. Compare that to the 18 mpg that the Escalade gets. The Urban Luxury Concept was also packed full of tech features like unique touch pad controls that can connect you to the internet and GM’s OnStar with advanced voice recognition interaction.

MINI Cooper

As luxury automakers continue to downsize their models with even more tech features will car buyers be willing to write the check? Prior to the Mini Cooper in 2001, it was unheard of for a tiny car to have a price tag close to $30k. But even though the Mini Cooper was tiny, it was packed full of features that many tiny cars at that time did not offer. The Mini proved a success and lead to other automakers moving their small car’s upmarket.

As more American’s have realized that a large luxury SUV is no longer a status symbol and a sign of a person’s wealth, more car buyers will continue to downsize, but at the same time demand many of the same high-tech features that their prior vehicles had. A luxury car will no longer be defined by its size, but by its attention to detail, style and how technologically advanced it is. A small car priced at $40,000? Get ready for it!