By Steve & Tamami Laser
Way back in March (it seems like a long time ago), General Motors unveiled its new modular electric vehicle platform and Ultium battery system at the GM Tech Center in Warren, Mich. Cadillac’s all-new Lyriq luxury EV was previewed, along with upcoming product launches for Chevrolet, GMC and Buick. Employees, dealers, analysts and select members of the media attended this event. Meanwhile, Cadillac planned to reveal the Lyriq to the public at the New York Auto Show in April.
However, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, with auto shows postponed or cancelled, plans understandably changed. The official public unveiling of the Lyriq show car was held on Aug. 6 during a livestream event from the Design Dome at the GM Tech Center. Although it’s technically a “show car,” Lyriq offers a realistic preview of the design direction for the future production model, heading to Cadillac showrooms approximately two years from now.
“Led by Lyriq, Cadillac will redefine American luxury over the next decade with a new portfolio of transformative EVs,” said Steve Carlisle, executive vice president and president, GM North America. “We will deliver experiences that engage the senses, anticipate desires and enable our customers to go on extraordinary journeys.”
Instead of converting an existing gas-engine vehicle to electric power, using GM’s new modular EV system gives Lyriq an optimized design that Cadillac says supports greater driving range. It’s also said to provide a more engaging driving experience, and offer a more flexible environment for both passenger and cargo space.
“Lyriq was conceived to make every journey exhilarating and leverages more than a century of innovation to drive the brand into a new era, while rewarding passengers with a more personal, connected and immersive experience,” said Jamie Brewer, Cadillac Lyriq chief engineer. “To do this we developed an architecture specifically for EVs. It is not only an exceptional EV, but first and foremost a Cadillac.”
With its low center of gravity and projected near 50/50 weight distribution, Lyriq is designed to deliver a sporty driving character. The electric drive motor is positioned at the rear, transferring torque to the rear wheels. Optional all-wheel drive adds a second motor up front, powering the front wheels, for enhanced traction and performance.
Cadillac is targeting Lyriq to offer up to 300 miles of range on a full charge (based on the automaker’s internal testing). Charging options are said to fit customer needs, including charging at home, work, or on the road, with DC fast charging rates projected at 150 kilowatts, and Level 2 (AC) charging rates up to 18 kW.
“The Lyriq represents the next iteration of the iconic brand’s styling, enabled by electrification, as only Cadillac can express,” said Andrew Smith, executive director, Global Cadillac Design. “Inside and out, Lyriq is a thoughtful integration of design and technology and is intended to make every drive an occasion.”
One of the most distinctive exterior design elements is a “black crystal” grille that offers a high-tech lighting approach. For example, slim LED vertical lighting can “greet” the driver when he or she approaches the vehicle. Split rear taillights also employ vertical LEDs and are integrated into Lyriq’s lighting choreography.
Thanks to Lyriq’s compact vehicle architecture, the interior offers ample space for passengers and cargo. Described as an airy, minimalistic design, subtle details throughout include items like backlit speaker grilles, curved screens with hidden storage, and orchestrated lighting elements.
“The interior designers started out with that first read, the beautiful surfacing, striking the lines and making sure that they are uninterrupted. And the placement of woods, metal, the contrast between cool and warm, and that allows for that second read,” said Crystal Windham, director, interior design.
“The third read is that layer of discovery, it’s those discoveries that help the customer fall in love over and over again,” said Windham. “It’s the texturing within the metal that you find around the curved screen on the IP, and that same texture you’ll find on the multi-functional controller.”
The driver is treated to an extra-large, 33-inch diagonal LED display that provides a wealth of information, along with controls for infotainment, and various camera views. Cadillac says the display has the highest pixel density currently available in the auto industry, and is capable of displaying more than 1 billion colors.
Battery charging and monitoring is displayed with easy-to-read graphics that show the Lyriq’s energy needs, owner preferences, energy consumption forecast, and charging suggestions. The driver also nets a separate dual-plane head-up display with enhanced augmented reality. The near plane indicates vehicle speed and direction, while the far plane shows things like navigation and alerts.
Cadillac says the latest version of Super Cruise, called a “hands-free driver assistance feature,” includes new automated lane change. Also available is supervised remote parking employing ultrasonic sensors to assist the Lyriq with automated parking in parallel or perpendicular spaces, with the driver seated inside, or standing outside, the vehicle.
Cadillac Celestiq EV – Flagship with Bespoke Luxury
During the EV platform and battery reveal at the Design Dome in March, we heard that Cadillac held a sneak-preview of another electric concept. According to various news reports, those attending saw a full-size model of a future EV called Celestiq.
The fastback-style premium sedan is thought to be in development as a flagship vehicle for Cadillac, with bespoke features and “hand-built” assembly commanding ultra-luxury exclusivity.
While we don’t know what a production Celestiq would look like, some clues are available from the Escala, a previous Cadillac show car (Escala concept designs are shown above). This fastback rear-drive sedan revealed a few years ago in Pebble Beach, Calif., measured 210.5 inches long. While Escala featured a 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, Celestiq is expected to ride on GM’s global EV platform and join the Lyriq in Cadillac showrooms.
For more information on the Lyriq visit Cadillac.com
Note: Product features, specifications and launch dates are subject to change without notice. (Cadillac says that Lyriq images depict a show car. Some features shown may not be available on actual production model.)
News source and photos courtesy of Cadillac and General Motors
Story (commentary) © 2020 CarNichiWa.com