Cadillac has been making automobiles for well over a century but on Thursday evening the carmaker unveiled its first vehicle produced that lacks an internal combustion engine. Say hello to the Lyriq.
While many folks associate still Cadillac with its gas-guzzling Escalade SUV, the company has been charged with spearheading parent-company General Motor’s multibillion-dollar push towards battery-powered transportation. The Hummer SUV is already getting an EV reboot for 2022 and GM is also reportedly working on an all-electric pickup that could be released as early as next year.
The Lyriq will make its street debut in 2023 and serve as the first platform for GM’s “Ultium” scalable battery system which can provide anywhere from 50KwH to 200 KwH of power.
This is the same architecture that will reportedly be utilized by the Hummer as well as the as-of-yet unnamed electric pickup and is expected to deliver around 400 miles of travel on a single charge.
The Ultium uses a novel NCMA (nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum) chemistry, enabling GM to cut back on its cobalt use (which is super, duper toxic) by a whopping 70 percent compared to its current generation of batteries.
For the Lyric itself, Cadillac is dropping in a 100KwH pack that will offer a range of around 300 miles. It can recharge using Level 1, Level 2 AC technology, or DC Fast Charging stations. As for drivetrain options, the Lyriq will be available as RWD standard with an AWD option.
The Lyriq maybe Cadillac’s first EV model but it will soon have plenty of company. GM hopes to have nearly two dozen electrified models available by 2023. They’ll compete with the likes of the Jaguar I-Pace, the Audi E-Tron, and Tesla Model X in the luxury automotive market. There’s no word yet on what the Lyriq will cost.
“It’s no secret they want to elevate their brand, they want to compete with the European luxury automakers, and it seems like they’ve tried various avenues like performance,” Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights for Edmunds, told The Detroit News on Wednesday. “So I wonder if this is one of those ways that they want to differentiate themselves, but it’s not necessarily going to materialize into anything that is long-lasting.”
The Lyriq uses the same infotainment system as the 2021 Escalade, a mammoth 33.0-inch curved OLED that doubles as the driver’s gauge display. The display reportedly has the “highest pixel density available in the automotive industry today” and can reproduce over one billion colors, 64 times more than any other vehicle’s display offers and which can only be fully appreciated if you are a Mantis Shrimp.
What’s more, the Lyriq will offer “dual-plane augmented reality-enhanced head-up display and remote self-parking” features, per a Cadillac press release. In addition, the Lyriq will sport GM’s latest version of the SuperCruise driver-assist suite, which now includes automated lane changing.
“The LYRIQ represents the next iteration of the iconic brand’s styling, enabled by electrification, as only Cadillac can express,” Andrew Smith, executive director, Global Cadillac Design, said in a press statement. “Inside and out, Lyriq is a thoughtful integration of design and technology and is intended to make every drive an occasion.”