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