If, like me, you enjoy watching late-night television, you’ve probably stumbled upon a monotonous cable documentary about Nostradamus. This 16th-century French astrologer was reported to have predicted future events in a series of poems called quatrains. According to these dubious documentaries, Nostradamus predicted things like the Apollo lunar landing, the rise of Napoleon, both World Wars, and the Great Fire of London. However, no matter how effective his crystal ball was, I doubt Nostradamus could have predicted the future of the automotive industry. If he had, he’d have seen that all our vehicles—soon to line the front of your local Cadillac dealer—would run on electricity.
Over 100 years ago, Lemuel Bowen and William Murphy founded Cadillac out of the demise of the original Ford car company. At the time, other automakers were experimenting with electric cars, but these lacked the horsepower and battery capacity needed to make them really viable. Instead, Cadillac focused on internal combustion gas engines, and after its acquisition by General Motors in 1909, it spent the next 100 years becoming one of the top luxury car brands in the world. Their attachment to internal combustion would all change in 2023 with the debut of Cadillac’s first battery electric vehicle (BEV), the LYRIQ.
GM’s Commitment to an Electric Future
Cadillac’s decision to move into the BEV market shouldn’t be surprising. Sure, Nostradamus didn’t predict this, but many things pointed in this direction. For one thing, General Motors has made a major commitment to an electric future, announcing they were investing over $35 billion into their Ultium platform.
This is the name that General Motors has given to its electrification program, which involves a flexible architecture of lithium-ion battery cells formed into packs located in the lower frame of its vehicles. This makes them safer as the lower frame is one of the best-protected areas in a vehicle. In addition, it takes up less passenger and cargo space than the original design for most hybrids and BEVs, which had the battery located behind the rear seat. Finally, this design makes it easier to service and, if necessary, replace battery cells. A technician can simply lift the BEV up and work on it from underneath.
General Motors has also created dedicated battery plants, producing batteries for the various BEVs produced by the GM brands like Cadillac. For example, the Brownstown Battery Assembly Plant in Michigan produces lithium-ion battery packs for many GM BEVs, like the Cadillac LYRIQ and CELESTIQ. This coordinates with the Spring Hill Plant in Tennessee, which builds these models so that General Motors can capture the benefits of vertical integration and economies of scope and scale that are not available to other automakers who produce BEV models.
Finally, the key to successful transmission from cars that run on fossil fuels to BEVs requires the availability of public fast charging stations. Drivers cannot be expected to only use their BEVs for commutes to and from home and work. While you will be able to charge your Cadillac BEVs at home, you also need a method to remain charged up when you are taking your Cadillac BEV on a road trip. General Motors has thus invested in public charging stations across North America. Moreover, it has an EV LIVE app that helps you find a nearby public fast charger when out on the road, speak with a GM EV specialist in real-time, and get all of the information you need to stay connected when out on the road.
Harmonize With the LYRIQ
If you’ve been using social media or watching videos on streaming platforms, then there is a pretty good chance you’ve already seen the advertisements for the Cadillac LYRIQ. Featuring Emmy-winning rapper Labrinth, these colorful ads show off Cadillac’s first BEV while also introducing many to the brilliant music of this incredibly talented musical artist.
Cadillac introduced the LYRIQ during the 2023 model year as a BEV built on a midsize SUV platform; this makes it similar in size to the gasoline-powered Cadillac XT5. Just like that model, you can expect the attention to luxury detail among its two rows of seats that drivers have come to expect from Cadillac during its over 100 years of existence.
The 2024 Cadillac LYRIQ offers drivers a choice of two different powertrains. There is a single-engine model with its 102 kWh lithium-ion battery powering a permanent magnet AC synchronous motor in its rear axle. This is able to deliver up to 340 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, with an estimated range of up to 308 miles. There is also a dual-motor version of the 2024 LYRIQ, using its 102 kWh lithium-ion battery to power two AC synchronous motors—one in each axle—giving it all-wheel drive. This will give you better traction, while the rear-wheel drive provides slightly better acceleration and range. The dual motor LYRIQ provides up to 500 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, with a range of 307 miles on a fully charged battery pack.
The LYRIQ has superior acceleration for a vehicle of its size. It can go from zero to sixty in just 5.7 seconds, with a top speed of 118 mph. The key to its quick start is the fact that BEVs are capable of achieving full torque upon acceleration.
Cadillac offers the 2024 LYRIQ in three trims ranging from the entry-level Tech to the midrange Luxury and the top Sport trim. All models feature a suite of driver assistance features called the Cadillac Smart System, a wireless phone charging dock, and a jaw-dropping 33-inch infotainment system; in other words, the screen for the LYRIQ’s infotainment system is over three times larger than most other vehicles. Available features on the Luxury trim include Nappa leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, and an AKG Studio 19-speaker audio system. These items come standard on the Sport model, which also has a number of exterior details to give the LYRIQ an even sportier appearance.
One of the most interesting features of the LYRIQ is Super Cruise, a form of autonomous driving system that works on several specially marked roads. In addition to maintaining speed via cruise control, the Super Cruise feature can even steer your LYRIQ when on these roads, thanks to mapping and steering software. Still, you should pay attention when using Super Cruise, to override the system if necessary.
Reach for the Stars With the CELESTIQ
Cadillac made its name by producing luxury sedans and coupes that became the standard for high-quality vehicles throughout the world. The 2024 Cadillac CELESTIQ is the vehicle that promises to push the brand into the 21st Century. This sleek and sporty BEV sedan runs on a set of dual electric motors powered by a 111 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. As a result, it has all-wheel drive and is capable of producing up to 600 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque, with a range of 300 miles on a fully charged battery.
The CELESTIQ seats up to five passengers and features the world’s first microclimate system for a vehicle. Called ClimateSense, this allows four of the passengers to set their own temperature settings separate from the others. As a result, you won’t have to worry about your passengers complaining if you have the heat set too high or the air conditioning too low. It also features five advanced HD interactive displays on its infotainment system, as well as a Smart Glass Panoramic Sunroof to allow the outdoors to come inside your vehicle. With a name like CELESTIQ, I imagine it will be perfect for stargazing.
Cadillac has four designs for the 2024 CELESTIQ, named for different aspects of the outer atmosphere: Magnetic, Aurora, Mist, and Vale. It won’t be long before you can meet them at your favorite Cadillac dealership.
Cadillac’s Shocking Future
The move into BEVs may come as a shock to many Cadillac fans. However, it makes perfect sense as General Motors expands its BEV offerings beyond economical commuter cars and pickup trucks. There is a market for luxury BEVs, which Cadillac is well placed to capture. The key is for Cadillac to leverage its luxury brand image to draw in drivers who want more from a BEV than just savings on fuel and a reduced carbon footprint. With the LYRIQ and CELESTIQ, Cadillac has shown that a luxury BEV is achievable. Even Nostradamus wouldn’t be surprised by that prediction!