Currently reading: Cadillac 'needs a Mini rival'
British designer behind the the GM's stunning ULC concept says "the time is ripe" for it to be made

British designer Niki Smart provided the creative impetus behind the Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept, whose raked windscreen and scissor doors impressed recent Los Angeles show-goers.

Speaking exclusively to Autocar, Smart said the ULC is Caddy’s Mini. “The time is ripe for Cadillac to make this car,” he said. “We need a bigger spread of models, particularly for Europe. The Mini’s success is proof of people’s open-mindedness.”

See pics of the exciting Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept

Smart is best known as the co-creator of the Ariel Atom, which he part-designed in 1998. Now a designer at GM’s advanced studio in LA, he said many of the ULC’s unique features could be productionised. “The doors make a graceful way of getting in the back and we have found a way of engineering them for production.”

Smart concedes that the ULC is a challenging design for a brand best known for traditional saloons with big bonnets.

Read more on the Cadillac ULC concept

However, that opens creative opportunities. “There is no iconic history of small cars at Cadillac, so I’m happy not to have had to return to a previous design,” he said.

The 78mpg ULC features a hybrid powertrain with a 1.0-litre, three-cylinder engine.

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fhp11 30 November 2010

Re: Cadillac 'needs a Mini rival'

Whilst I don't usually like small cars, I think this is quite nice.I would much rather one of these than say a Toyota IQ with is Chinese Interior.

However, I can't help but think that this is exactly what Aston Martin should have done. The Aston Martin Baby Swan looks stupid. Why couldnt they have made somthing edgy and cool like this rather than some messed up looking Toyota reskin.

reidbrand 30 November 2010

Re: Cadillac 'needs a Mini rival'

GM would be wiser to spend their money on a RHD Camaro.

Eric van Spelde 30 November 2010

Re: Cadillac 'needs a Mini rival'

What Cadillac needs is to realise that they are not, and not in a week of Sundays will be, a global brand. Period. No shame in sticking with what you're good at, anyway...