Last year was a big year in the establishment of GM’s electric vehicle initiative. It released the long-awaited Hummer EV, opened its Factory Zero battery manufacturing plant, and announced the Chevy Silverado EV. However, despite many of GM’s key brands making strides in introducing electric vehicles, Cadillac remained unusually silent. That is until they announced the Cadillac Lyriq, an all-electric luxury SUV and the first in Cadillac’s EV lineup.
The Lyriq is an important first step for the brand that was tapped to lead GM into a fully electric lineup by 2035. Global Vice President Rory Harvey announced that Cadillac will phase out internal combustion cars entirely by 2030 and only release vehicles with an electric powertrain from now on. Harvey also said that the only capital Cadillac would spend on internal combustion cars would be for mid-cycle refreshes of their current vehicles, making the luxury electric SUV the future of the brand.
However, Cadillac plans on releasing a more powerful dual-motor all-wheel-drive option in the near future. In addition, the Lyriq is expected to be endowed with Cadillac’s driver-assist features.
The five-seat interior is opulent yet understated, characteristic of the American luxury brand. The seating arrangement is spacious, accentuated by the long moonroof. The infotainment center blends seamlessly with the dashboard by utilizing one long screen that stretches from the driver’s side all the center where the command center would be. However, in a pleasant departure from the norm, it is not a touchscreen. Instead, the command center is operated by a beautifully sculpted knob adorned with the Cadillac logo, with touchscreen-esque “buttons” in front of it for easy access to the more critical features like phone and music. The interior is also soundproof to minimize wind noise, all in the pursuit of comfort for the passenger.
The exterior is sleek. The charging port is unseen save for a tiny crease above the front left tire, and the seamless door handles blend right into the car’s body, accentuating the long continuous lines that give the body its svelte shape. The car’s design pays special attention to the lights. The thin top brake lights wrap around to the side profile and up towards the roofline, continuing to highlight the car’s display, and the gill-like bottom brake lights peak tastefully outward. The front lights are more familiar to previous Cadillac designs. Two slim vertical light bars frame the front of the car, and in place of a grill, they opted for a screen that projects light in the shape of the traditional grill. All of this surrounds Cadillac’s monochrome coat of arms.
However, the Lyriq’s futuristic yet classic aesthetic is not a showy one-off design to celebrate Cadillac’s entry into the EV world. It will set the design language and tone for all of the future Cadillac EVs to be released over the next decade. Cadillac has already announced its limousine-inspired four-door sedan, the Celestiq, whose design language follows the same direction.
The Lyriq will go for $59,990 and will hit the streets in 2023. All of the presale reservations have been filled, but the car will officially be available for sale by the middle of this year.
The Cadillac Lyriq was designed to usher in a new era of the American luxury car brand’s illustrious history. While the car is still months away from release or even full understanding of its performance capabilities, Cadillac’s commitment to beautiful design aesthetics is a strong sign of where the fledgling electric brand is headed, and indeed the rest of General Motors as well.