Cadillac Concept Car Impresses Operators and Coachbuilders

Posted on April 1, 2003 by Neil Weiss, LCT staff editor

Built specifically as a concept car to showcase Cadillac’s current and future amenities and design qualities, the DTS ICON concept vehicle was well received at the 2003 LCT Show for its livery-friendly features and elegant profile.

Designed to “exceed nearly every imaginable expectation of demanding executives,” the sedan was approached on the show floor by operators looking for something a little different and by coachbuilders seeking innovative ideas.

Cadillac's DTS ICON concept vehicle was inspired by the amenities found in private jets and high-end luxury cars.
Cadillac's DTS ICON concept vehicle was inspired by the amenities found in private jets and high-end luxury cars.

Operators may have been disappointed to find out that the car is not scheduled for production, but a handful of coachbuilders took notice (and notes), seeking to incorporate what they saw into their own products.

“The biggest question I got from customers is ‘How much is the ear and where can I get one?’” said Cadillac’s Joe Pennington. “A few coachbuilders came over and spent some time in the car, with tape measures, examining things like how the reading tables were incorporated into the console.”

Built on a standard Deville platform, the ICON features heated (and cooled) front and rear seats and cup holders, keeping beverages and occupants at their desired temperature.

The car also features tri-zone climate control, allowing the rear compartment to be cooled or heated separately from the front.

Other rear compartment amenities include power- massage seats, reading tables, two 110-volt AC outlets and dual video entertainment systems.

All amenities are housed in an opulent interior of leather, sterling silver and burled eucalyptus.

Reportedly inspired by “the uncompromising amenities found in private jets and world-class luxury coach vehicles,” the ICON offers a highly focused vision of the luxury mobile office of the future.

Additional features include: tri-coat midnight silver body color with sterling silver-plated exterior accents, 19-inch sterling silver-plated AXIS wheels with Pirelli performance tires, a Bose premium stereo system, power open close trunk, remote vehicle starter and high-pressure pop-up headlamp washers with healed washer fluid.

Originally unveiled at the 2002 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in November, the car was quickly noted for having “possible applications in the livery/corporate market,” Pennington said. “So we look it to the LCT Show. Plus, it’s kind of a neat car, and a lot of fun to look at.”

While the DTS ICON may never see mass production, its value, according to Pennington, has been a platform for demonstrating ideas in three dimensions for designers and consumers to evaluate. Even Cadillac’s own engineering teams have shown a great interest, Pennington said, adding that many of the features are expected to find their way into the sedans, SUVs and limousines of the future.

“Some folks thought it would make a great corporate car, others thought it would make a great armored car,” Pennington said. “People thought it made a great private car because the passenger in the back has his own entertainment system. One guy was a livery operator who’s about two hours from the airport. He thought it would be ideal for his fleet because his clients spend so much time in the car on the way to the airport.”

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