Friday, July 3, 2015

Hot Wheels Cadillac Elmiraj and Sixteen concept cars

When it comes to Cadillac's they are the status symbol of richness in the U.S. though for about a few decades Cadillac's were not as much as the status symbols as they once were with so-so front-wheel drive models and who can remember the Cimarron?  However in the last decade Cadillac has turned that around with rear-wheel drive cars featuring the new edgy styling of the Art and Science design that started with the Evoq concept car in 1999.  The two concepts shown here showed the next shift in the Art and Science design trend for Cadillac: the Sixteen concept showed a smoother, well-integrated second-generation, while the Elmiraj shows the third-generation of sharper edges, yet still well-integrated body lines.  Interestingly, both cars are made at Hot Wheels as well.

Who could forget the big and gorgeous Sixteen concept car that premiered on the 2013 auto show circuit.  The long-hood sedan recalls the original V-16-powered Cadillac's of the early 20th century with a modern 13.6L DOHC V-16 motor under the hood that opens like a gullwing to access the engine.  Power output was estimated at close to 1,000 hp. and 1,000 Ib-ft of torque through a 4-speed automatic.  Worry about fuel mileage?  The Sixteen motor also has cylinder deactivation to deactivate twelve cylinders under light throttle, eight under moderate throttle, and none (all active) at full throttle.  While Cadillac toyed with the idea of shrinking down the car to a large sedan capable of going against the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-series, and Audi A8, among others, the idea never came through until the latest release of the CT6.

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Hot Wheels introduced their replica in 2004 to offset the other new cartoonish castings in the 100 First Editions line, though the large bling wheels properly fit this car.  The car has the long hood and short deck of the concept, vertical headlights, and separate chrome grille without the Cadillac logo detailed.  The sides have the smooth door handle-less doors and front fender vents, while the rear has the vertical taillights, detailed exhaust tips below, trunk-lid third brake light, and again a silver logo that does not detail the Cadillac logo.  The base is smooth and void of details, while the interior has the nice, smooth dashboard layout with large 3-spoke steering wheel and seating for four.  The interior lacks further details like the controls in the center part of the dashboard; note the lack of advance touch screens and buttons as this car appeared before the smart phone revolution.  The first color in black with tan interior was hard-to-find because it was changed at the last minute to the proper gray color that matches the concept car.  Also in 2004 is the pearl white that was part of  the K-mart special recolors.  A few years later white appears again, but this time with more details including the orange in the front headlights and on earlier versions the gold FTE wheels shown here, with the chrome 5-spokes for later released.  The last one shown here is a 2008 blue version with only just headlight details and a side graphic; after that the Sixteen has not appeared much in the Hot Wheels line.

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Today's new Sixteen smooth concept is now the Elmiraj, a two-door four-seat coupe with a shorter yet still long hood and sharper surfaces.  The front has a sharper, aggressive look with vertical slit LED headlights with a black grille in the center with the new and first in diecast Cadillac modern logo.  Note the chrome trim on the hood that wraps around the lower part of the grille.  The lower grille is part of the base and is flanked by quad LED foglights.  The side profile bears a same resemblance to the Sixteen with the smooth beltline with sharp top portion and front fender vents.  The rear has the same vertical sharp taillights and new Cadillac logo, along with the bumper exhausts, but Hot Wheels forgot to finish the coloring details on this section of the vehicle.  The tan interior features plush seating for four that makes the Sixteen's seats look old-fashion, center console front and rear, and a smooth dashboard that conceals the digital features nicely.

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The shifter is activated by buttons on the center console, while the gauges are all-digital and the navigation screen hides in the center of the dashboard surrounded by touch buttons for the radio and HVAC controls; interestingly I don't see air vents anywhere on the dashboard?  The powertrain has also advance so no more wild 16 cylinders, now back to the original DOHC V8, this time a 4.5L with twin turbo's that produce an estimated 500 hp. and 500 Ib-ft. of torque through a 8-speed automatic.  No cylinder deactivation that i'm aware of, but with loads of power on tap and a lighter weight this car should go much faster than the Sixteen (up until a certain point).  Oh, and the 10-spoke wheels look great on this casting.  The next recolor: a gorgeous metallic red to be released in a few months!

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These two represent the finest modern Cadillac's you can get in diecast, better than another Escalade, and the type that the only way to experience the feel of driving the actual car is in small scale.

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