DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – At first glance, it takes your breath away. Sleek yet aggressive, bold yet elegant. Unmistakably a Cadillac, but a whole different kind of Cadillac.
Check out Cadillac’s GTP Hypercar Project, which previews the automaker’s third-generation prototype race car.
What went behind the design of the new car was a complicated and layered, extensive project involving dozens of people from multiple fields, merging the success of the Cadillac DPi-VR that won races and championships in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Daytona Prototype class international (DPi) since 2017 with the unlimited possibilities of the new car and the new Grand Touring Prototype (GTP) class for 2023.
“It’s exciting to start a new chapter,” said Chris Mikalauskas, Cadillac’s principal exterior creative designer. “We have proven ourselves in IMSA and we want to continue to prove ourselves, but we really want to prove ourselves now at an even higher vehicle level.”
Mikalauskas and his design team took the car from idea to reality in just 15 months. Thursday’s Project GTP Hypercar preview was the “wow” part. Now it’s time to see how the race car evolves as the new car and its new class prepare to race in January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. Track testing is expected to begin later this summer.
“It’s a cool canvas to be able to show people the fact that we’re going to continue to make performance products in the future and it’s an example of what they could look like,” Mikalauskas said. “I just want people to realize that we’re not done making extremely capable cars. It’s something we really want to be a part of, and this design is a preview of that.
The trick for Mikalauskas and his engineering team was to transpose the success of Cadillac’s DPi VR – which won two titles and four consecutive Rolex 24s in its six years in the WeatherTech Championship – to the new car.
“We know some things work,” Mikalauskas said. “Every time you drastically change the proportions of a vehicle, not everything translates. Although we have the experience and the winning pedigree, we certainly had to invent and discover this new program.
“We’re super excited and super happy with where we ended up, but it wasn’t as simple as saying, ‘OK, take the DPi and stretch it this way and stretch it this way. . It was a construction from scratch.