While Cadillac’s Lyriq was a massive reveal for the company, the secondary announcement made on April 20 may prove to be as large or larger – that the company is going to be all-electric from the Lyriq forward.
Rory Harvey, head of Cadillac, noted that the brand’s lineup of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles is fairly fresh, and therefore, they plan to keep selling more of them for the foreseeable future. Indeed, the company has no plans to drop its ICE vehicles in the immediate future; a refresh of the XT4 is planned for 2023, for example.
However, that will change as we approach 2030.
“We will be leaving this decade as an EV brand, as things stand today, which means we will not be selling ICE vehicles by 2030,” he said. That puts Cadillac ahead of the rest of the corporation, which stated earlier this year that it sought to become all-electric by 2035.
One of the ways GM will accomplish these goals is the BEV3 platform, a highly flexible global architecture capable of supporting a wide variety of vehicles, particularly cars, crossovers and commercial vehicles with “outstanding design, performance, packaging range and affordability” factors. For Cadillac, BEV3 will underpin the following models – Lyriq, Celestiq, Symboliq and Optiq.
BEV3 sports a “skateboard-type” design with batteries placed between the wheels (within the wheelbase). The BEV3 will use the automaker’s new Ultium batteries, which support 800-volt technology, meaning charging at up to 350 kilowatts. The batteries will come in sizes up to 200 kilowatt-hours, or enough for more than 400 miles of range on a charge.
First up will be the Lyriq, an electric SUV that is slightly larger than a XT5 and that will go on sale in the first quarter of 2022.
Next up will be the Celestiq – a large, hand-built flagship sedan that should start around $200,000 and should be available in mid-2024. A massive four-door, four-passenger, full-size electric car with big wheels and a hatch (think Audi A7) instead of a trunk, the Celestiq will be a hand-built grand tourer with tons of executive-style space in the very wide back seat. A tinted glass roof extends from the windshield to the rear hatch. Each bespoke sedan will have rich detailing such as flower petals embedded in the acrylic décor.
The fully electric sedan will hide its batteries under the floor and could be built with anywhere from one to three electric motors. Given its class and price, we expect it to come standard with the largest battery pack and most powerful motors in GM’s toolkit, giving it the longest range and highest performance possible. Fast charging at 800 volts will allow it to be rapidly topped up at public stations.
During Celestiq assembly, extra attention will be paid to the interior. The rear seat will take advantage of the car’s proportions to offer a plethora of space to the captain of industry, celebrity or politician being chauffeured. Special touches will include an all-glass roof running from the windshield to the hatchback. Within the dashboard, flower petals will hover in acrylic. Banner technology like Super Cruise, GM’s highway-capable, hands-off cruise-control system, will undoubtedly be standard.
After Celestiq, the picture clouds over. Which monikers will be affixed to the XT4-sized SUV and the XT6-sized SUV, Symboliq or Optiq or vice-versa? Cadillac is keeping mum on those details so far.