This Could’ve Been Cadillac’s Take on the Last-Gen Camaro

Stunning "expressive coupe" makes its debut, only to likely be shoved back into the vault where we can't drive it.
General Motors Design

General Motors recently let us peek into its world of “Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda, Didn’t” by releasing new images from its design vault. Through a series of Instagram posts, GM Design says the unnamed vehicle was an “expressive coupe” study. Alas, it never amounted to anything more than an internal project of which the public was unawares, until it was recently unveiled at the annual Eyes on Design summer concourse in Southeast Michigan.

According to Carscoops, this in-person reveal happened just after GM Design shared images online, so the idea of the concept car had barely sunk in before the thing showed up in the flesh.

Why all the hullabaloo? Because it damn well looks like a CT5-based Camaro. Or a Camaro-based CT5. No matter how you look at it, you see both. And it’s depressing as hell, because the Expressive Coupe is beautiful. It won an Eyes on Design award, after all. The comment sections of GM Design’s posts are full of whining and crying—and every one of them is justified. 

The Expressive Coupe is long and lean, with maybe 2% body fat. Its expansive hood pours into a rakish windshield and flows to a fastback-style roof line. The front fascia is intimidating yet approachable, featuring a bold grille, large intakes, and slender headlights. But its profile is every bit muscular, from the thick C-pillar and pronounced shoulder line to the distinctive rear styling and massive haunches concealing wheels pushed to the corners.

Chances are, this Expressive Coupe is the very same one in a design patent we reported on six years ago. The patent application included images of a two-door Cadillac-badged coupe with muscle car proportions—exactly what the Expressive Coupe is. As we know, the sports car never went into production even as the CT5 did, and GM Design says that the appearance of the sedan was a direct result of this design study.

“The coupe was created as an internal exploration of Cadillac aesthetics,” said GM Design via Instagram. “It shaped a portfolio of products on the road today, including the CT5 and CT5-V Blackwing.” The design team adds that the coupe concept shifted Cadillac’s design language into a “new sculptural direction.” From the exterior to the interior, you can see hints of the Expressive Coupe in today’s Cadillacs. But, like the Ciel, Elmiraj, and Escala concepts before it, the Expressive Coupe will likely just go back into the vault as we disappointingly ponder “what if.”