Your author has already seen it, back in March, and has had to wait until today to show you the new Cadillac Lyriq electric luxury crossover. We were excited about it then, we’re still excited about it now, but we’ll see if we can maintain that excitement for another two years. After some fanfare, a delay, a name explanation and a bit of teasing, Cadillac has finally taken the wraps off the Lyriq, and we like what we see.
The bad news — we’ll get it out of the way right now — is that the Cadillac Lyriq won’t go on sale until late 2022.
Moving on, let’s bask in the photos and video we’ve long awaited, and dig into what we know about the first all-electric Cadillac. First, it will come in two drivetrain configurations: rear-wheel drive and performance all-wheel drive. It’ll use GM’s new Ultium modular battery technology, giving it a driving range targeting north of 300 miles, plus a center of gravity about 3.9 inches lower than that of the similarly sized Cadillac XT5. It will be capable of “over” 150-kilowatt DC fast charging, with a Level 2 charging rate of up to 19 kW.
In terms of styling, the Lyriq is a substantial move forward both inside and out — and a lot of it has to do with lighting. On the outside, it gets vertical headlights, plus a bunch of little light-up elements in the grille, include a logo that is animated on startup. In fact, the face will light up as you approach, not unlike a dog seeing its best friend ready to play. We see some more nifty lighting signatures in back that carry on a similar theme with more vertical lights. Inside, the lighting situation gets even more interesting, with another light-up crest on the steering wheel, plus wood veneer over aluminum door panels, all backlit.
As for its stance, the Lyriq has a long wheelbase, and rides on 22-inch wheels. At the back, we see a slick vented spoiler hanging over the raked rear glass. The side doors of the Lyriq automatically open with the touch of a button in door handle outlines that are flush with the body. Similarly, they close automatically, slowing down at the end to pull the doors fully shut. We wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t make it to production.
Moving around the interior, the curved, 33-inch combination digital driver display and infotainment screen sprawls across the dash. It uses advanced LED technology, and is capable of displaying over a billion colors, according to Cadillac. Complimenting that technology is a dual-plane augmented reality head-up display that can put info like speed in the near plane, while the navigation directions on the far plane help you sort out your next move on road ahead. Other internal design touches we see here are a cantilevered armrest that doesn’t quite extend to the center stack, enabled by the omission of a transmission tunnel. In front of that, on the dash, is a slick little drawer that pops out below some of the controls, a special little place to stash, say, a pouch of gems (hey, Cadillac did liken it to a jewelry box).
Of course, the Lyriq will offer the new generation of Super Cruise advanced driver assistance system, which, in addition to allowing you to take your hands off the wheel on the highway, can perform automated lane changes. Cadillac also plans to include supervised remote parking, which will allow the Lyriq to perpendicular or parallel park itself with or without a driver in vehicle (we don’t envision a Boston accent being used in the marketing, however). Another included tech feature: over-the-air updates. “The car will continually get better [throughout] the ownership experience,” said GM President Mark Reuss.
There are a few other things of note that Cadillac is proud of, and can be attributed in part to the electric powertrain. We’re told that in addition to the low center of gravity, the Lyriq will have a near 50/50 weight distribution in the AWD version, with the RWD Lyriq being within a couple percent of that, so expect good handling from this EV. This also allows for the smooth ride customers expect, with minimal body roll and Cadillac levels of comfort. The Lyriq’s electric powertrain offers nearly instantaneous torque, though exact figures aren’t yet available. We’re told this show car represents 80-85% of production intent, so there’s still room for changes and plenty of information yet to make its way public.
With the launch still two years away, there’s ample time for that. In the meantime, there are other exciting EVs — from GM and others — to keep our attention.