Cadillac Villa by Bertone

Car of the Day #110: 2005 Cadillac Villa by Bertone

Cadillac Villa by Bertone
• via Bertone

Detroit, Michigan, USA. Early 2024. Alternate timeline. Modernized, nonfactual features.

Hey, boss?

I have five minutes before the global ExCo, what’s up…?

Right so the team downstairs ha-

-which team? This is the top floor…

Advanced Design; we have been meeting with engineering, sales, marketing…We have developed a really strong production concept for Ultium. It’s not on the schedule and should be—

Ballsy, saying that. Are these co-conspirators of yours real?

It’s a really strong concept otherwise it wouldn’t have gotten this far. But we need your support to take it further and have it fast tracked. I’ll plug in to the projector over here–

It’s fucked, doesn’t work. Flip your laptop around and show me. 

• via Bertone

Here’s the-

What the fuck is this? 

Rear laser projection keyboards for the rear screens. Without touchscreens we’re saving on BoM and able to log keystrokes if people pair to their device. 

Kids will break that off. And we just got hammered negotiating 2 million touchscreens from Visteon.

• via Bertone

Inside– 

Show me the exterior…wait. Who’s this? What am I looking at?

Six seats, steering by wire, active, single support seats that again save on costs—same parts for all the seats. We would drop in that centre rail computing package to finish the interior, which the parts team said could be fully upgradable over time, like a crate engine for tech. And Michelle from design was in the studio before her 5th anniversary dinner last week. 

Next.

• via Bertone

Here’s the front of the platform; important thing here is that the case and modules are all swappable so that Right to Repair is respected, as are drivers with disabilities who can change controls to suit. We have accessories lined up that plug right in, and we expect big margins on this part of the car.

You went back to the old logo? Looks like it’s about to pass out on a sun lounger. Has the agency seen this?

[Pause] Agency? Not yet. The dash will be sustainably harvested wood, these are actually incredibly thin panels but turned on their side so they look more like solid boards, with HVAC passing through the openings.

CMF says we can do this kind of thing in plastic now, I think you were there for that meeting last month?

Uh, yes. I did hear CMF talk about plastic wood. Check out the single pillar, we’re really proud of how it opens up the floor and gives more variety for offering accessory options around the carpet and seat finishers. 

So this is open enough for golf balls, my wife’s dog –that kind of thing– to just roll around front to back? I don’t like that. And you said this was a real car, where the hell is the door?

• via Bertone

The doors hinge up and out; you will recall Engineering also presented this whole hinge mechanism as it had been modeled using the AI-assisted software we’d been investing in for years.

AI modelling? And do you have any without her in it? What is this?

It’s easier to understand proportions and the overall presence with a person incl-

If you need a person beside a car to convey what it looks like, car’s not that strong, is it? 

• via Bertone

OK, here’s the profile…

You know what? Not bad. Kind of stumpy. What’s with the upskirt panels?

Interior volume is above benchmarks. Those are electroluminescent as standard, plus accessories and V teams have options in mind. 

Not seeing it.

• via Bertone

Tuned front fascia with active aero, slim…

The old badge again, and projectors…LEDs? This looks like it came from the 2000s.

LEDs are frosted above the lamps.

All in one? You need to break those units out.

• via Bertone

It has a ton of presence for a 6-sea…

Where’s the hood? Wait…is this a rideshare concept?!

• via Bertone

No, we call it Villa…

She come with it?

Uh…[with emphasis] Michelle here has led advanced design for three years. We asked her to step up and emphasize the Villa’s ultra low floor, best in segment; with this structure, the sills are completely flat and give an incredibly low step-in height. With our aging customers this is a complete game-changer.

Villa? I’m seeing more Airbnb.

• via Bertone

Sir, no other manufacturer can do this — it’s architecturally quite beautiful. Simulations show us at top marks in crash tests with fewer materials and lighter overall weight. Engineering is projecting it as the fastest 6-seater luxury car ever, with, likely, the most range as well.

These hinges will be a bitch in underground parking.

• via Bertone

Shorter in height and length than an Escalade, sir. Last one we have, rear 3/4 showing off the…

Hold on. I was in the studio last week, where is this car, why didn’t I see it?

The studio here? No, it’s in a regional facility that is handling assembly, finishing, and initial performance benchmarking.

Do you want to revise your answer? You said Michelle was going to her anniversary dinner…

…Michelle works out of Turin. 

Turin? We don’t have a studio in Italy.

We have a work exchange collaboration with Bertone that started just before you got here.

So all of this Ultium talk, about this being a Cadillac…it was done in Italy by Bertone? No wonder I didn’t see it last week. Kill it.

Sir, our people have been working on it alongside our colleagues at Bertone for months on this…it is a running, driving prototype…

Kill it.

Sir, this Cadill… Everyone loves it–

Kill. It.

Special thanks to reader Drew S. who helped get the jargon just right.

The above promotional film from 2005 gives a far better (and factual) overview of this spacious, stylish Cadillac that was a few decades before its time.

Period TV program has a very detailed look at the Villa — including a short test drive! Very much worth a watch (if only for the period BGM…)


SUPPORTING MEMBERS

Thank you to my supporting members: Ben B., Brad B., Chris G., Daniel G., Damian S., Daniel P., Drew M., Ingrid P., Karl D., Luis O., Michael J., Michael L., Michelle S., Mike B., Mike L., Mike M., Richard W., Sam G., Sam L., Wiley H.