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Pointing at its future intentions, Cadillac has unveiled its Ciel concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Following its initial introduction at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Cadillac has unleashed its Ciel concept on the European market at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The Ciel's Frankfurt introduction seems appropriate as it hints at a future flagship model that will take on Germany's traditional heavy-weights.

The four-seat open-air touring car is what Cadillac calls a "new expression" of its "historical grandeur." Inspired, Cadillac says, by the gentle scenery of Northern California, the Ciel - that's French for "sky" - is the latest adaptation of the brand's art and science design language.

Underneath its long hood sits a twin-turbocharged version of the company's 3.6-liter direct-injected V6 and a hybrid system mated to a lithium ion battery.

Despite the fairly eco-friendly performance, the Ciel is more an expression of design than a showcase for new technology.

"The Ciel is about the romance of the drive," said Cadillac design director Clay Dean. "It emulates the great touring cars seen on the greens at Pebble Beach, but with a modern flair that projects Cadillac's vision for the future."

The Ciel boasts French-style rear-hinged back doors that give way an earth-toned interior that seems more like something out of an Autorama concept car than anything you might find on today's new car show circuit.

"There is authentic craftsmanship in the way the exterior and interior elements meld, much like a vintage wooden boat," said Gael Buzyn, interior design manager. "It is romantic, not only in its form, but the materials - nothing smells as good as real wood and leather. It blends together for a rewarding feeling of uncompromising luxury."

With a wheelbase stretching an entire foot longer than the CTS, the Ciel isn't short on interior space. When the car is turned off, its transmission lever stows away for a sense of even greater roominess.

Interior trim pieces are generally inspired by luxury travel items, like pull-out blankets for the passengers and a drawer containing sun lotion and sunglasses. Ciel makes extensive use of premium Italian olive wood, a material chosen for its ability to be crafted in a decidedly "old world" style.

Don't look for the Ciel to make production any time soon, but this concept car will take over for the long-departed Cadillac Sixteen show car as the brand's design halo.