DETROIT -

The Cadillac Elmiraj concept car represents the future of design for the company.

The place that inspired the name—El Mirage—is a Mojave Desert dry lake bed where straight-line speed demons, Hollywood film crews, and weekend adventurers have raced for half a century.

Cadillac representatives at the North American Auto Show say driving enjoyment, sparkling performance, and an entertaining power-to-weight ratio are integral to this fresh theme.

The Elmiraj can deliver an estimated 500 horsepower from its turbocharged 4.5-liter V-8 engine, which Cadillac has under development.

It’s a large two-door coupe, that resembles the architecture used in today’s ATS and CTS sedans. That means rear-wheel drive and strict attention to lightweight engineering.

Cadillac design director Mark Adams says the Elmiraj’s appeal lies in the simplicity of its styling. It features a long hood and linear sculpture, without any over-the-top creases or lines. The front and rear lights are aligned vertically, which Cadillac has preferred for ages.

Adams says the design is based off the 1967 Eldorado, which at the time, represented a new direction for the company.

Inside, the car is just as sleek. It features high-resolution touch screens and cameras that allow for detailed navigation instructions. A special “valet” feature is an added bonus for anyone riding in the backseat. When a door is opened, the appropriate front seat moves forward 10 inches, as the back seat glides four inches to ease entry. The backseats also have adjustable back rests.

Cadillac will not say whether the Elmiraj will ever reach production. But it is the inspiration behind another new Cadillac model set to debut in 2016.