With the introduction of the glamorous Elmiraj concept at Pebble Beach this weekend, Cadillac is also introducing an all-new version of its storied logo. Gone is the wreath, and the crest has been elongated.
If you look closely at the Elmiraj, the sumptuous two-door is bedecked with a more-rectangular variation of the Sieur de Cadillac's family crest. The last time Cadillac changed its badge was in 1999, when the merlette ducks and the crown of the crest were eliminated. The 1999-edition badge was refined a little further in 2009, with a slightly smoother look. In the brand's 100-plus-year history, the wreath and crest has seen multiple iterations, from the be-winged emblem of the 1940s to the wide "V" of the 1960s.
With the wreath gone, the crest is now the dominant marker for Cadillac's brand identity going forward. The new crest is wider than it is tall, with more brightwork than before and the center spine is more prominent. Red, gold, and blue continue to fill the center of the logo, but now create a badge within a badge thanks to silver latticing that extends out past the color. The top of the crest is flatter and peaks at the corners – which flange out more dramatically – with the center of the badge's top slightly lower than the edges, an homage to the themes of the brand's Art & Science design language of the past decade. In fact, to our eyes, the new Cadillac crest fits better with the brand's recent designs; the badge is edgier, more technical, and more intriguing than ever before.
The Elmiraj concept is peppered with the new Cadillac crest, too. Unsurprisingly, it's featured prominently on the large pentagonal grille, the center caps of the 22-inch wheels, and the shapely decklid. However, look closely and you'll see the new crest adorning the Ciel-inspired front fender vents, delicately perched on the vents' center strakes. Inside the sumptuous cabin, it's as though Cadillac's designers used the new crest as an Easter egg. Look closely at the futuristic center stack and gauge cluster: they're both shaped like the Cadillac crest. The steering wheel center also mimics the crest shape.
According to Frank Saucedo, the lead designer of the Elmiraj, would only comment that GM's advanced design studio in California is "trying a few things" with the emblem, but wouldn't confirm if the crest on the Elmiraj is the final look of Cadillac's updated badge.
General Motors has done a fantastic job of resurrecting Cadillac, showing that the brand is serious about its tagline of "The standard of the world." If the Elmiraj is any indication, the best is yet to come, and it will be led by Cadillac's stylish new crest, wreath not included.