Poll: American or German? We Compare Cadillac Elmiraj and Mercedes S-Class Coupe Studies

In late August, Cadillac wooed the crowds at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California with the striking Elmiraj, a concept for a two-door luxury coupe that also hinted at the brand’s upcoming BMW 7-Series challenger.

Only a few weeks later, at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, Mercedes-Benz presented its vision of a luxury coupe in the form of the S-Class Coupe, which will enter production in about a year or so.

While appealing to the same target group, the two coupes are very different in the sense that each embodies the design language of its brand, with the Elmiraj being unmistakably a Cadillac and the S-Class Coupe being instantly recognizable as a Mercedes-Benz.

In my view, both studies are the best interpretations of the two brands’ current styling philosophies, sporting very elegant proportions and taking their role as flagship models fairly seriously. It helps, of course, that both are generously-sized coupes – it is rather difficult to mess up a large coupe design, if you ask me. Both have long bonnets, short lateral windows, huge wheelbases and front wheels pushed as forward as possible.

While the Mercedes’ body is more rounded, the Cadillac features sharper surfaces that are an important feature of its “Art & Science” design language – notice the retro-styled “shoulders” at the rear and the pointed front and rear ends. Another big difference lays in the design of the lights: Mercedes-Benz went for horizontal lamps, while Cadillac opted for its hallmark thin vertical lights. Furthermore, each model sports the brand’s specific styling cues.

The interiors are even more different: while the Germans chose a traditional layout inspired by the cabin of the S-Class sedan, the Americans designed a more futuristic dashboard that perfectly mirrors the car’s exterior design. The S-Class Coupe’s cabin says comfort, while the Elmiraj’s says sportiness.

Both cars are working prototypes, sporting similar large displacement V8 engines. The Cadillac is powered by a 500hp 4.5-liter twin-turbocharged unit, while the Mercedes has a 459hp 4.6-liter biturbo engine.

We’ll now let you analyze the photos for yourself and choose the car you think looks best. Remember, the S-Class Coupe will reach production with minor modifications, while the Elmiraj previews Cadillac’s S-Class-rivaling luxury sedan and may also be built as a coupe afterwards.

By Dan Mihalascu

Poll: Which concept do you like more?


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  • The Cadillac wins!

    Don’t get me wrong, the Benz is a beautiful car, but the Cadillac is iconic. The Cadi embodies the current design language while evoking a sense of the great Cadillac coupes of the 1950’s and 1960’s, all without becoming a laughable parody of it self. Even without the design cues, this car stands alone as an exceptional design.

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