Edgy looks, a 300-mile range, and tons o’ tech: the Cadillac of EVs is here. Or rather, it will be … in 2022.
Here it is, the next era in Cadillac’s 118-year history. The American luxury manufacturer finally showed off a near-production version of the Lyriq, which launches the brand into the hotly-contested mid-size EV SUV market. It stands as the brand’s “technology spearhead”, leading a charge of electrification across the lineup over the next decade.
The Lyriq sits on General Motors’ highly adaptable, next-generation battery electric vehicle (BEV3) architecture. Using the brand’s Ultium battery pack, the Lyriq will feature roughly 100 kWh of available juice. Ultium uses a unique battery chemistry, which uses 70 percent less cobalt than typical batteries, while also increasing affordability.
Cadillac didn’t divulge details like horsepower or torque at the event, but did reveal the Lyriq will travel over 300 miles between charges. It will accept Level 2 charging rates of up to 19 kW, as well as DC fast charging over 150 kW.
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While Caddy remained coy on straight-line performance, it was quick to trumpet the dynamic advantages of the BEV platform. Like other electron-munching models out there, it stores its heavy battery packs low down and centered in the chassis, resulting in a near-50/50 weight distribution. The Lyriq will come in rear-drive form as standard, with a performance-oriented all-wheel drive system available as an option.
Cadillac will include the latest version of its industry-leading Super Cruise system in the Lyriq when it arrives in dealerships. It will now include automated lane changes. An automated parking system will also feature, as well as a new dual-pane head-up display that simulates a three-dimensional view. A 19-speaker AKG Studio audio system rounds out the tech lineup.
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What about those looks then, huh? The Lyriq’s low, wide stance implies bigliness, but in actuality it’s roughly the size of the brand’s CT5 crossover. Low-profile headlights frame a large grille for its face, and all of these elements can and do light up—even the Cadillac crest in the grille. Clean flanks and a gently tapering roof lead to a pert and pointy tail, complete with taillights that draw inspiration from the finned Caddies of yore. It’s certainly an SUV that prioritizes style over load-lugging space.
The interior looks suitably futuristic, with a 33-inch curved LED screen dominating the dashboard. The door trim is a busy-sounding combo of backlit, laser-cut aluminum with a wood veneer, but in practice it looks pretty cool, at least in pictures. There’s a lot of fingerprint-collecting piano black trim though—consider yourself warned. It’s in the interior that the clearest signs of the Lyriq’s show-car status exist. We dig the integrated seatbelt buckles and beautiful wood backing of the seats, but we don’t expect both to make it to production.
And that is a long way away, unfortunately. Cadillac dealers won’t see the Lyriq on their floors until late 2022. While the Lyriq certainly sounds like a match for today’s EV market, two years is an eternity in an industry as fast-changing as this. It will launch one year after the GMC Hummer EV, as well. We’ll have to see what else Cadillac has in store between now and the Lyriq’s launch.