Fast lane

Cadillac’s Super Car

Inspired by the Air Force’s latest air superiority fighter, Cadillac is to build a 21st century super car. Considering its impossibly low, sleek and sexy looks, you might expect to see a Ferrari or Lamborghini badge on the nose of the Cadillac Cien. But you’d be wrong. The edgy

‘Art and Science’ grille is the giveaway. Inspired by the stealthy F-22 Raptor jet fighter and meant to celebrate the automaker’s upcoming centennial, Cien (Spanish for 100) is a blend of design and technology in the classic super-car mould. This vehicle is a clear stretch for a division that has developed a stodgy image over the last two decades. It has been a long time since Cadillac was considered the luxury automobile world’s design and technology trendsetter

—the “standard of the world,” if you will. Consider it “a concept in progress,” explains GM design director Wayne Cherry as he lifts the covers off Cien for us. Simon Cox, the British designer who created the prototype, concurs, noting that there will be differences.

Audi’s Robot Car

Audi joined with Twentieth Century Fox to develop its first car built specifically for a major motion picture. Hero detective Will Smith battles robots in the year 2035 while driving this unique Audi mid-engine concept car in the movie “i, ROBOT.” Audi believes its designers have created an appropriate car for the fictional future world of “i, ROBOT,” and that the resulting RSQ sport coupe is a good interpretation of Audi design philosophy. The car also incorporates specific ideas. Contrary to popular memory, this is not the first time an Audi has partnered with the stars in cutting-edge. “i, ROBOT” is inspired by the classic short story collection by Isaac Asimov.

Ford’s Shelby GR-1

Following Ford’s Cobra Concept that got a cool response at North American Motor Show, Ford

came up with a new Shelby GR-1 Concept that might make those critics eat their words. The technology is a stunner. Ford chose to unveil its swoopy Shelby GR-1. And many within Ford agree, too. The house that Henry built needs another car to offset the initial development costs of the expensive Ford GT’s architecture. And the GR-1 would be a perfect successor once the GT goes out of production in 2007. The GR-1 concept is built from a modified version

of the GT’s platform. But instead of the GT’s mid-engine supercharged V8, there’s a 605-hp normally aspirated 6.4-litre V10 riding up front. And before this two-seat fastback super car’s body panels were even created, the fully-operational running chassis was test driven at high speeds at Ford’s Dearborn Proving Ground. If the GR-1 meets with as much enthusiasm at the 2005 North American International Auto Show, you can bet the GR-1 will make it to a Ford store near you by the end of the decade.