If an electric SUV from Cadillac is on your wish list, listen up, because General Motors has pulled forward production of the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, a midsize electric crossover that will be available a year from now with a starting price of $59,990. Originally the Lyriq was slated to appear late in 2022 or early in 2023.
How did Cadillac manage to pull the project forward by a full nine months? Testing is ahead of schedule. Reservations for the two-row, five-passenger crossover with the rakish rear window will open in September and production begins at the Spring Hill plant in Tennessee in the first quarter of 2022. Oh, and the attainable pricing rings in below the $71,000 Jaguar I–Pace and the $67,000 Audi E-Tron.
Not only is the Lyriq arriving ahead of schedule, but when it arrives it will look strikingly similar to the wild concept car Cadillac showed us last summer, complete with a cool new black-accented face with animated lighting, gigantic wheels, and a massive 33.0-inch curved screen inside. The public can see it in a new advertising campaign that debuts Sunday night during the Oscar awards ceremony.
2023 Cadillac Lyriq Looks Just Like the Concept
Those intrigued by the show car will be hard-pressed to find differences in the production model. The 2023 Lyriq has the same new vertical signature lighting and transparent crystal black pseudo grille motif with pinstriping and the Cadillac crest that lights up. The taillights also light up like digital rain falling on the vehicle, executive director of Global Cadillac Design Andrew Smith said. The vehicle comes to life when it recognizes you, waking up with a sequential light show. “This is a leapfrog into the future.”
The few changes for production are (slightly) smaller wheels, conventional door construction (show cars have bigger openings to display the interior), an extra cup holder, and five-passenger two-row seating instead of the display car’s four-chair setup.
Keeping the show vehicle’s design intact for a production model is not easy to do, chief engineer Jamie Brewer said. The concept needed to meet regulations around the world and meet all performance requirements and customer expectations. “The engineering team had to say we are committed to bringing the show car to life in a production vehicle,” she said. “You’ll be hard-pressed to find any differences between it and the show car.”
Early Models Offered With Choice of Two Colors
At launch, the first-release Lyriq models will be offered in a choice of two exterior colors: Satin Steel Metallic or Stellar Black Metallic, Smith said. Interior is a choice of black or a speckled gray. The first models are not special editions, but they will be top-end and well-equipped.
The interior of the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq is dominated by the giant curved 33.0-inch LED display with more than 1 billion colors. It has a 19-speaker AKG Studio audio system with headrest speakers and serious attention went into an active sound canceling system. Of note is the cantilevered center console that does not connect to the dash and a wood veneer with a laser-cut pattern.
Cadillac Lyriq Uses Same Ultium Battery System as GMC Hummer EV
The Lyriq is part of a new wave of electric vehicles for GM on the BEV3 electric vehicle architecture that uses the Ultium Platform battery system developed with LG Chem. The first vehicle to use Ultium will be the 2022 GMC Hummer EV full-size electric pickup, which goes on sale this fall.
GM’s Ultium system can be packaged to fit vehicles of assorted sizes and shapes. While the Hummer’s large frame can accommodate 24 modules, the smaller Lyriq crossover will use a 12-module, 100-kWh battery pack.
What Is the Range of Cadillac Lyriq?
The rear-wheel-drive Lyriq will deliver 340 horsepower and 440 Nm of torque (Cadillac is—weirdly—badging new models based on torque measured in newton-meters; in American figures that’s 325 lb-ft) and is expected to have a range of more than 300 miles on a single charge.
A second drive motor for the front axle that affords all-wheel drive will come later, and we expect performance variants eventually. “Sporty variants are part of our heritage,” vice president of Global Cadillac Rory Harvey said, adding it is something they are looking at and evaluating.
With fast charging, the Lyriq can add about 76 miles of driving range in 10 minutes. The first-release models will come with a standard 19.2-kW Level 2 charging module for their owners’ homes that will give the crossover up to 52 miles of range per hour of charging or roughly double what typical home chargers deliver today. Brewer said it is the fastest Level 2 charger allowed in the industry, and it will be an option with future trim levels.
Batteries will come from the Ultium Cells plant in Lordstown, Ohio, initially while a second battery plant is under construction in Tennessee. It will be online in late 2023. Both are joint ventures of GM and LG Energy Solution.
One Pedal Driving and Super Cruise
The Lyriq has one-pedal driving and features the next generation of GM’s Regen on Demand regenerative braking technology. This means that by simply easing off the accelerator pedal, the electric motors’ rotational resistance slows the vehicle all the way to a stop (while also charging the batteries by acting as generators) without any need to use the brake unless more rapid deceleration is needed. Customers can also bring the vehicle to a complete stop using a paddle on the steering wheel, as in the Chevy Bolt.
Like all Cadillacs going forward, the Lyriq has available Super Cruise, GM’s highway hands-free driver-assistance technology, albeit the enhanced version with automated lane change capability. Remote parking will not be available at launch but is promised later, one of many over-the-air software updates Cadillac said will become available over time.
Lyriq Is First of All-Electric Lineup for Cadillac
This is the first of many battery electric vehicles planned for Cadillac which will be the lead brand for General Motors when it comes to EVs. Next up is the Cadillac Celestiq flagship sedan. Timing has not been disclosed.
In fact, every new Cadillac introduced from this point on in North America will be a luxury electric vehicle, starting with the Lyriq, Harvey said. Cadillac entered the decade as an internal-combustion-engine (ICE) brand and will leave it as an EV brand. “We won’t be selling ICE vehicles by 2030.”
It is part of GM’s overall commitment to an electric future. The automaker is spending $27 billion to bring 30 EVs to market globally by the end of 2025 with a larger goal of phasing out new vehicles with combustion engines by 2035.
Throughout the pandemic, GM has been able to accelerate the timeline of vehicles using the modular Ultium platform, pulling ahead a number of planned vehicles. Using virtual development tools, GMC was able to reduce development time for the Hummer pickup by about two years.
“These are historic moments,” Harvey said.
|2023 Cadillac Lyriq|
|LAYOUT||Front Motor, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||340-hp/325-lb-ft AC permanent magnet electric motor|
|CURB WEIGHT||5,610 lb (mfr)|
|L x W x H||196.7 x 77.8 x 63.9 in|
|0-60 MPH||5.4 sec (est)|
|ON SALE||First Quarter 2022|
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