We know for a fact that any new car's design goes through several phases before reaching its final production form and that in the process, designers experiment with various prototypes that usually don't see the light of day.
Every once in a very rare while, though, we get the opportunity to take a look at early prototypes that either inspired or led to the finished product.
Such is the case with this scale model of a design prototype that was created by the team responsible for the styling of the all-new 2013 Cadillac ATS compact saloon, which goes on sale in the U.S. this month.
The model car features a sleek looking, five-door hatchback body style with a very short rear overhang, pronounced front fenders and a sweeping roofline. It also appears that it may have been designed to sport suicide style rear doors.
While we understand that this is a concept from the early development phase, we came in contact with Cadillac just to make sure.
"We have lots of artifacts from the car's [ATS] design and development that we pulled out to show how it was authentically created," a Cadillac spokesman told Carscoop.
"So some of the sketches and models are things that literally led to the final car, and some are naturally going to be things that hit the cutting room floor. That model simply shows some of the concept-oriented work. It's not intended to spark expectations of a certain new body style," he added.
One thing to keep in mind is that with a few exceptions, premium automakers don't believe that there's a big market for hatchbacks in North America – which is why you won't see the new BMW 1-Series and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatches.
On the other hand, if Cadillac wants to expand its sales in overseas markets such as China and Europe, at some point it will need to enhance its range with a lower priced and smaller sized hatchback model that will be available with both gasoline and diesel engines.
On a side note, if you would like to see more of the prototype, tell us in the comments section and we will shoot an email to GM and see if they can send us more photos.