Lyriq crossover debuts as first in portfolio of luxury EVs from Cadillac

Cadillac on Thursday revealed its long-awaited Lyriq crossover SUV, the first in a new family of battery-electric offerings due from the brand in the coming years. The version unveiled on Thursday is a concept, but it closely resembles the version due to enter production in 2022.

The Lyriq is a mid-sizer, meaning it will compete with the likes of the Audi E-Tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X, all of which have set a high bar for the segment. Fortunately the Lyriq has a lot going for it.

The final numbers are still being worked on but Cadillac is confident the Lyriq’s 100-kilowatt-hour battery will deliver a range of over 300 miles. And when it comes to charging, DC fast charging at rates over 150 kilowatts will be possible. This should make an 80% charge in around 30 minutes possible.

Making this all possible is General Motors’ third-generation EV platform known as BEV3, as well as the automaker’s Ultium-branded battery. The battery offers greater flexibility when it comes to packaging, and will cost less to produce than current designs because of a low requirement for the rare earth material cobalt. We’re talking cobalt levels of less than 70% compared to GM’s other batteries.

General Motors' BEV3 platform and Ultium batteries

General Motors’ BEV3 platform and Ultium batteries

Cadillac hasn’t mentioned horsepower, but EVs in this segment tend to be brisk. The standard Lyriq will come with rear-wheel drive but all-wheel-drive performance options will be available. A low center of gravity thanks to the battery in the floor, coupled with near 50/50 weight distribution, should also result in confident handling.

EV buyers tend to favor a lot of tech in their vehicles and the Lyriq won’t disappoint. A big 33-inch screen will greet the driver in what appears to be an airy, minimalistic cabin. The screen integrates driving information as well as infotainment and camera views and has the highest pixel density of any automotive screen currently in production. Adding to this will be a dual-plane augmented reality head-up display. One plane is for importent metrics like speed, while the second, further back, shows transparent navigation signals and other alerts.

The Lyriq will also benefit from the latest version of the Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system, which can handle lane changes. And there will be a self-parking system designed to handle parallel or perpendicular parking spaces, with the driver able to provide instructions remotely. With drriver profiles, the Lyriq will also adjust the seat, mirror and climate settings as the driver approaches the vehicle.

For the audiophiles, the Lyriq will feature an available 19-speaker AKG sound system. And for the first time on a Cadillac, there will be new road noise cancellation technology that’s so sophisticated it will be able to target the frequency range of tire cavity noise, which should result in a much quieter cabin compared to what EVs already provide.

Cadillac Lyriq concept

Cadillac Lyriq concept

And you better get used to the vehicle’s looks, with its taut lines and clean surfaces and that distinctive grille, which Cadillac refers to as a “black crystal” grille. The same design language is destined for Cadillac’s additional upcoming EVs. A flagship electric sedan to be called the Celestiq is in the works, and we also know of three more electric Caddies in the pipeline including an Escalade-inspired model. Recent trademark filings may hint at the names of some of these other EVs.


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