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The Cadillac Solitaire Concept Had a Lotus V12 Engine

Not that long ago, Cadillac made a concept car with a V12 engine it developed with Lotus.

I’m serious.

It was the Cadillac Solitaire, and it debuted in 1989. That was just 30 years ago — well within the modern era, when you would’ve expected someone to stand up and say that this was a crazy idea.

Here’s the basic backstory: In 1988, Cadillac unveiled the Voyage, a 4-door ultraluxury concept sedan with a truly amazing set of technologies that was absolutely ahead of its time. It had heated seats that would turn on automatically when it was cold outside (we have those now), a seat that would shift into position when you sat down (we have those now), exterior mirrors that dimmed automatically (we have those now), a rearview camera (we have those now) and copious interior screens (wouldn’t you know it, we have those now, too). Most of this stuff doesn’t seem too space age today — but back then, it was.

The Voyage was special, and Cadillac spiced things up the following year with the Solitaire. Where the Voyage was a sedan, the Solitaire was a coupe, and Cadillac ditched the Voyage’s V8 for a V12 engine it co-developed with Lotus. The 6.6-liter V12 boasted 430 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque — huge numbers considering the Chevrolet Corvette of the day rode just 240 horses.

Unfortunately — though maybe unsurprisingly — the Solitaire never saw the light of day. Nor did anything like it, though there’s an obvious resemblance in late-model Fleetwood sedans. Still, the Solitaire was a special car, and it would’ve been cool to see something like it go into production — or to hear that V12 fire up. Find a Cadillac for sale

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Doug Demuro
Doug Demuro
Doug DeMuro writes articles and makes videos, mainly about cars. Doug was born in Denver, Colorado, and received an economics degree from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduation, Doug spent three years working for Porsche Cars North America. Eventually, he quit his job to become a writer, largely because it meant that he no longer had to wear pants. Doug’s work has been featured in a... Read More about Doug Demuro

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