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What the Hell Is Going On With This Mystery Cadillac Key?

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We know Cadillac is going through a bit of a reorganization at the moment, as it tries to walk back all the #brand stuff former CEO Johan de Nysschen has done over the last few years to focus on SUVs and crossovers. But this image sent to us of an alleged Cadillac key fob is absolutely bewildering as to what kind of car they could be planning.


Here’s the images an anonymous tipster sent Jalopnik over the weekend. We know it’s at least allegedly a Cadillac key because whoever took the photos kindly went through the trouble of flipping it over:


But what’s really interesting is all the buttons on the other side:

Probably the clearest indication that something interesting is going on with this key is the button on the bottom. It shows a wedge-shaped car with the roof going down, suggesting the car could be some sort of targa top or convertible.

It’s just weird because, as far as existing spy photos and announced product plans go, there’s been no hint yet that Cadillac is planning something like a convertible. It would also go against their current attempts to throw a bunch of new crossovers at consumers.


But the roof-drop button isn’t the only weird part of the key. On the right, there is a press-twice-to-open button for what’s a trunk or even a hatch-like rear opening, which is pretty normal, and then next to that is a press-twice-to-open button for the hood.


Unless Cadillac is being up front about the dim prospect of reliability of whatever this car’s engine is, it would seem more likely that, like the trunk button, the hood button would be for a storage area like a frunk.

Jalopnik has run these images by its top experts, which is just whoever on staff actually woke up in time to be online Monday morning, and we’ve come up with two main possibilities for what this car could be:

  1. It’s something mid-engined, possibly based on the all-but-confirmed upcoming mid-engine C8 Corvette.
  2. It’s something sporty that’s either fully electric or some funky hybrid configuration

For the first theory, it seems extremely silly to think that GM would produce more than one flagship sports car based on its upcoming mid-engine platform, and in a fight between Corvette and Cadillac, it’s most likely that the Corvette would probably sell more.

But GM is the champion of sustaining multiple brands off of essentially the same cars, so maybe Cadillac threw a fit until it got a cool sports car, too. It’s also possible that the Cadillac branding on this key fob is just some sort of misdirection, and we’re actually looking at the fob of the C8 Corvette.


The second theory, that this car is electric somehow, could be a little more likely. Cadillac just dropped its plans for diesel engines in favor of going electric, and its new CEO, Steve Carlisle, hinted back in September that the company could explore a “more interesting” propulsion system for its halo car when asked about the mid-engine Corvette. He also noted that electric cars have “very good performance.”

Cadillac also had the ELR plug-in hybrid coupe a few years back, but it didn’t land and they probably don’t want anyone to bring that car up.


The only thing questionable about this being a pure EV sports car is the remote start button, which is typically reserved for internal combustion cars. It could be a way of activating the car’s battery conditioning, which essentially primes an EV’s battery to conditions for maximum performance, or to juice up the HVAC controls, but the button looks too traditional to carry either of those purposes.

So, it’s a weird key with a lot going on. Since our tipster claims they don’t work for GM and they got these pictures from a friend, they didn’t know a lot about the car behind the key. They were told by their friend it was a followup to the XLR.


But whatever it is, it seems promising, if it’s real and ever makes it to production. It’d be nice for Cadillac to come out of left field with something as interesting as a mid-engine or electric sports car.