Off radar

The Fallen Stars
Cadillac Voyage

Journey into the future

Photo credit: GM, Wheelsage

A great car manufacturer does not create a fully functional concept car ready to make an appearance in a film set in the future if it does not have precise strategic objectives. And so it was in 1988, when the Cadillac Voyage burst onto the scene: there was no talk of autonomous driving at the time nor were there widespread on-board electronic systems such as those applied to the all-wheel drive system featured here, nor had anyone heard of reversing cameras and GPS navigation systems or automatic doors that didn’t need keys to open them. Of course, today these items come as standard on many cars, but we are talking about almost 35 years ago when the Cadillac Voyage was presented at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.

In search of aerodynamic efficiency: despite the large front section, the Cadillac Voyage boasted a drag coefficient of just 0.28

This vision of the future went even further when you take a look at the performance and the way the large and luxurious sedan achieved it: a perfectly smooth bodywork design, that also included faired front wheel arches, and powered by a 275 hp V8 engine, capable whisking its occupants along at speeds up in the 200 mile-per-hour realm, or 320 km/h if you’re more metrically inclined.

This image clearly shows the grandeur of the luxurious Cadillac sedan that was capable of over 300 km/h (200 mph)

The idea of the future was exactly this: superhighways that allowed unimpeded coast-to-coast travel without speed limits – and we might add that this would have taken advantage of autonomous driving that had not been imagined back then – with the luxury of a large and tapered sedan that was as smooth as an airplane.

Satellite navigator, reversing camera, telephone and an on-board computer, normal things for us today, but still unthinkable in 1988

The success was so great that a coupe version called Solitaire was also built. But was it just for a big commercial? No, much more, to showcase many innovations that Cadillac was to introduce in the following years. 

In tight curves the fairing of the front wheels opened automatically
With the presentation of this car, Cadillac revealed many technologies that were to appear in its future cars
Even more fascinating is the Voyage in coupe version. Its name was Solitaire