Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Return of the 60 Special—My version of a long-wheelbase XTS brings back Cadillac's historical 60 Special nameplate, first used on a young William Mitchell's classic 1938 sedan. 

I added about three-inches behind the XTS's front doors for more rear legroom, and I extended the hood and front wheels forward about four-inches for a total wheelbase of about 118 inches. The longer hood gives the car nicer proportions and also gives more room for the battery storage. This 60 Special is Cadillac's plug-in hybrid, with the "60" signifying a range of up to 60 miles on pure electric power, almost doubling the Chevy Volt's advertised 35 miles. The power outlet is behind the "60" on the lower rocker panel. This would be an electrically opening hatch and would be part of a wireless charging system. When charging the car, you'd push the button to open the access hatch, revealing the receiving antenna. It would then activate the wireless charging unit in your home garage, powering the access hatch closed when the batteries are at full power.

Further changes from the donor XTS photo include enlarging the glass area in the "third" window behind the rear doors to emphasize the more spacious passenger compartment. Aero wheels from the Cadillac Converg hybrid concept were added, extended chrome and black rocker panel trim visually lengthen the car and revised taillights look more classically Cadillac. Oh yeah—I gave this car fender skirts, too! Let's call 'em aero spats this time around. 

I parked this new green machine in Brooklyn, with a great view of Manhattan's daytime skyline.

Original photo, here.

U P D A T E :  I moved the 60 Special nameplate higher up on the body sides, making the charging outlet door easier to reach in the event wireless charging isn't available... I also added rear wreathe-and-crest sidelights and full-color Cadillac logos on the wheels.

U P D A T E  2 :  I just changed the cutlines for the rear door. I made them more "formal" and more Bill Mitchell. They also simplified the bodysides—always a good thing. I also raised the rear side light to better line up with the 60 Special nameplate in front. 

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