Cadillac is reinventing itself once again, and this time the brand is embarking on a zero-emissions adventure. This new Cadillac Lyriq is the first step towards full-blown electrification by 2030…
You certainly can’t knock them for effort. GM’s 118-year-old luxury arm Cadillac has tried it all. Thirty years ago Cadillac attempted to increase sales by appealing to the masses, with rebadged Opels and front-wheel drive boats. Then they decided they were going to fight BMW and Mercedes in their own backyard, with Nürburgring-honed super-saloons that lapped hella fast, and sold rather slow. Cadillac isn’t even interested in manufacturing the body style in the US any more, after over a decade of fumbling about with meaningless alphanumerical badges and dropping models entirely.
Now Cadillac is having another identity change, as the brand starts electrifying the entire line-up by 2030. That gives us a fair bit of time to sit back and watch how all this unfolds.
The opening act is a good one – the new Cadillac Lyriq is a sporty looking SUV that seems a better interpretation of the concept than Lamborghini can manage. Designed over a new dedicated EV platform, the styling isn’t progressive enough to fully explore the possibilities afforded by an electric architecture. Instead the Lyriq looks proportioned almost the same as any other crossover out there, but take another glance and you begin to see how long it looks, thanks to a set-back A-pillar that visually stretches the bonnet which itself is pretty low. Something like a BMW X5 looks stumpy compared to this Cadillac, and the designers played a trick by smearing some gloss black over the wheel arches to tighten the body down. Then you just get the usual triangulated side intakes at the front, and a rear end featuring the common suggestive vents, vertically placed aft of the rear wheel arches. Suggestive is where they remain.
Overall this SUV still looks clean from the side with a pleasing restraint when it comes to flame surfacing. The lights are all over the place of course because everyone wants to show off their creativity by way of as many LEDs as they can fit. Naturally there is a whole choreography lightshow whenever the owner approached the Lyriq. We can’t seem to resist sparkly, shiny things. Speaking of which check out that grille. Completely solid of course, and useless, but otherwise they wouldn’t have a spot to place the Cadillac badge.
Huge is the theme inside the Lyriq too – the LED display is a 33-inch wide unit and the AKG Studio sound system features 19 speakers.
Regarding the driving bit the Lyriq boasts of 50:50 weight distribution and the latest-generation batteries which reduce the need for cobalt content by 70 percent according to GM engineers. The 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack is flat packed in the floor and drives the rear wheels mostly, but motors can power both axles. Cadillac claims the Lyriq will do around 500km on a full charge, which is pretty much standard fare as far as EV range goes these days. Cadillac, however, is getting pretty good at claims.