The Cadillac Vizion Concept Featured An Extremely Cool Rear Cargo Area

The calendar flipped from the 1990s into the 2000s and ushered in a new century. Likewise, the auto industry was trying its best to keep up with the times.

Much like Pontiac's Piranha, designers in car companies across the land were trying to blend an array of styles into an all-in-one vehicle that would pave the way toward the future. Whereas the Piranha was aimed at the young, active crowd on a budget, Cadillac — being the bastion of luxury and comfort that it was — targeted a more mature audience with more to spend on their vehicles.

At the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Cadillac took the wrapping off the Vizion, which in many ways was the forbearer to the first-gen SRX (via Jalopnik) that wouldn't appear for another nine years. The Vizion was a concept that combined a crossover SUV with a luxury station wagon and sports sedan. It's considered Caddy's version of the "soft-road SUV" from Lexus (the RX300), Mercedes (M-Class), and others (via Car and Driver).

The Vizion came with a naturally aspirated 4.2-liter (256.3-ci) V-8 Northstar engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission (via Ultimate Car Page). It produced 300hp and 299 ft-lbs of torque and was GM's first vehicle to use its all-wheel-drive StabiliTrak feature (via Motor Trend).

Cadillac had a Vizion for the future

The Vizion came with the latest high-tech goodies, including the EZ Key feature that would automatically unlock the car and adjust seats and mirrors when the driver approached. Upon starting, a hidden three-layered (Bulgari jeweler-inspired) configurable instrument panel would pop open (via It had the latest hands-free, voice-activated OnStar Virtual Advisor allowing passengers to make phone calls or access the Internet, and gave turn-by-turn navigational directions (via All Car Index). A DVD infotainment system with Bose speakers and a built-in screen for the rear passengers (via Ultimate Car Page) was also available.

But what made it truly unique were the storage features. A center console ran the length of its interior and acted as a storage box (via Motor Trend), although the only thing you could stick in it were skis, poles, and maybe a few golf clubs. An available integrated roof rack allowed for yet another way for passengers to stash their stuff.

In the back was a configurable cargo area with an electronically operated liftgate. A rear deck could be raised and locked into place to form a shelf. Underneath were molded bins that neatly held things in place. The lid could also be unlocked and slid out, creating an almost truck-like tailgate (via All Car Index).

The Vizion's cargo capabilities may not sound all that cool today because nearly every SUV has them in some form or fashion, but back in 2001, they were indeed a sight to behold.