With the brand new LYRIQ, its first-ever all-electric vehicle, Cadillac looks to return to its glorious ways. The Car Guide followed the virtual reveal on Thursday night and witnessed the dawn of a new era at Cadillac.
This shift in the 118-year-old American brand starts with a crossover-style wagon that uses nothing but electrons.
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Designers took a rather bold approach starting with a commanding front fascia featuring a wide, gloss black panel that contrasts with the rest of the body. In terms of shape and size, the burly yet low-slung LYRIQ is not unlike the Jaguar I-PACE and Mercedes-Benz EQC.
Inside, the dashboard incorporates a gigantic 33-inch curved display similar to the 38-inch interface in the new 2021 Cadillac Escalade. There are very few physical buttons; instead, you’ll find touch-sensitive controls. Also, materials were carefully selected and finished to raise the bar in the luxury EV segment.
Advanced New Battery
While Cadillac does not yet provide performance figures, we know that the LYRIQ will be offered in both RWD and AWD configurations. The latter is expected to come standard in Canada.
What about range? The vehicle will be able to travel “beyond 485 kilometres” with a full charge—not bad, but not revolutionary, either. Also, charging options will include DC fast charging rates over 150 kilowatts and Level 2 charging rates up to 19 kW.
Unlike the majority of EVs currently on the market, the Cadillac LYRIQ won’t use a lithium-ion battery. Rather, an all-new technology called Ultium, developed in a partnership with South Korea’s LG Chem, will be featured. This 100-kWh nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum (NCMA) battery uses aluminum in the cathode to help reduce the need for rare-earth materials such as cobalt. In fact, GM engineers reduced the cobalt content by more than 70 percent compared to current GM batteries.
By the way, the LYRIQ is built on GM’s next-generation, modular electric vehicle platform that will underpin several other models in the coming years.
Technology Taking Centre Stage
In addition to its electric powertrain, the new Cadillac LYRIQ will stand out as the most technologically advanced vehicle ever produced by GM. The package starts with the latest version of Super Cruise, the hands-free driver assistance system that now includes automated lane change.
Next, supervised remote parking will use ultrasonic sensors to help the LYRIQ park itself in parallel or perpendicular parking spaces, even when the driver is outside of the vehicle—similar to Tesla’s Smart Summon feature.
Cadillac also wants to deliver the best sound experience inside. The first part is a new road noise cancellation technology that uses more microphones and accelerometers. With this system, engineers can target the frequency range of tire cavity noise, reducing the noise level in the vehicle and allowing for a quieter in-cabin experience.
The second part is a 19-speaker AKG Acoustics sound system. “With LYRIQ we wanted to deliver a sound experience that would transport the driver from a vehicle into a recording studio,” said Hussein Khalil, Cadillac lead audio design release engineer.
New Face of Cadillac
As mentioned earlier, the Cadillac LYRIQ is much more than just a new model. It’s the beginning of a major transformation for the Cadillac brand, one that will accelerate over the next few years.
GM’s luxury brand aims to build a new image with this modern electric vehicle at the core. There are high hopes that the LYRIQ will take Cadillac to new heights and new horizons.
“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.”