The Cadillac Lyriq has just been revealed in production form, marking the beginning of a new, electric era and the closing of a fossil-fueled one. With the launch of its first all-electric vehicle, Cadillac will never again introduce another new model powered by internal combustion. In fact, they say it will offer no gas-powered vehicles at all by 2030.
If you saw the original Lyriq Concept, the first thing that might strike you about the now-finished crossover SUV is that it looks pretty much the same. It mostly is, but a light nip here and a deft tuck there of the exterior metal has resulted in a a more refined and handsome final product.
Inside the cabin, the main differences, we're told, are that the rear seat now accommodates three passengers, while up front, the number of cupholders has been increased to two. That's it. It still has that impressive 33-inch (diagonal) curved screen, capable of a billion different colors. It maintains its uncluttered, luxury feel.
When reservations open this September for the Cadillac Lyriq – first deliveries are set for about a year from now – you should find it adorned with a competitive price tag. At $59,990 (destination charges included), it sits thousands below both the Jaguar I-Pace and the Audi e-tron. It also travels significantly farther on a full charge: over 300 Cadillac-estimated miles.
With Cadillac's next-gen active noise canceling, a soundscape served up by a 19-speaker AKG Studio audio system (including headrest speakers), and tasteful ambient lighting, the cabin should also easily live up to the experience offered by its rivals.
While we expect the 5-link suspension front and rear with passive-plus premium dampeners will deliver a true Cadillac ride – aided by a 121.8-inch (3094 mm) wheelbase (almost an inch longer than that of the Escalade!) – there is one aspect of the drivetrain at launch that may give some pause. Its 340 horsepower (255 kW) and 325 pound-feet (440 Nm) come courtesy of a single motor on the rear axle.
During a media briefing, a brand spokesperson remarked that since it is built using General Motor's flexible Ultium electric drivetrain architecture, it could be outfitted with an additional motor for the front wheels. They did not say when, exactly, that configuration would be available.
When it does come, however, there's no doubt it will bring more power as well as grip for aggressive launches. Similarly, there was no announcement of a performance model, but there was enough of a nudge-nudge wink-wink to suggest that a V-Series Blackwing Lyriq isn't completely out of the question.
Another thing it won't have at launch is Plug & Charge, which makes fast-charging while on the road as simple as the came connotes. It will come, they say, though why it can't be available when deliveries begin is both a mystery and disappointment.
On the subject of DC fast-charging, the Lyriq acquits itself nicely as far as speed is concerned. While it doesn't set any new benchmarks, it can deliver a peak rate of 190 kW. That translates to 76 miles in 10 minutes or 195 miles in 30 minutes.
Considering its range, and the fact that most owners will charge at home, this is an acceptable starting point. Parked in a garage feeding from a domestic electron supply, the standard onboard 11.5-kW charger can add about 31 miles of range in an hour. If that isn't enough, you can spring for the optional 19.2 kW charger which can boost your battery with 52 miles of charge per hour.
For many crossover SUV buyers, storage space is likely more important than tire-shredding performance, and here the Lyriq is on par with others in its class. Though, as we told you a while back, it doesn't feature a frunk (front trunk) it can hold 28 cubic feet (793 liters) of gear and groceries in the back. Fold the rear seats down and that expands to an exceptional 60.8 cu. ft. (1723 L).
When owners do take to the highways, they can have the benefit of what some consider, for now at least, the best advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) now available: Super Cruise. In the Lyriq, on compatible roads, it offers auto-steering, lane-change on demand, along with adaptive cruise control.
The Lyriq will be a brave step in a new direction for the Cadillac brand. While it may be the first of many models to come – we expect to see an electric Escalade before too long – the impression it makes has to be positive. Check out the gallery of images, then head down to the comments below and tell us if you could see yourself in an electric Cadillac.
Gallery: 2023 Cadillac Lyriq SUV
Cadillac Lyriq specs:
- Over 300 miles (483 km) of range, "Cadillac-estimated"
- 100 kWh Ultium battery
- Cell chemistry: lithium-ion NCMA cathode, blended graphite anode
- Permanent magnet motor, bar wound
- 340hp (255 kW)
- 325 lb-ft (440 Nm)
- Rear-wheel drive (standard)
- AC charging up to 11.5 kW (31 miles per hour of charge)
- Optional 19.2 kW (52 miles per hour of charge)
- DC fast-charging up to 190 kW
- Up to 76 miles of range in 10 minutes of charge time
- Up to 195 miles of range in 30 minutes of charge time