About a month ago, Cadillac lifted the veils off the Celestiq show car that previews its flagship electric vehicle based on the Ultium platform.
At the online unveiling, GM's luxury brand only shared a few photos of the spectacular concept vehicle, leaving brand and EV enthusiasts yearning for more. Thankfully, we now get to see more of the Celestiq electric flagship sedan as Cadillac shared the first photos of a camouflaged test prototype on Instagram and Twitter.
Usually, images of camouflaged prototypes are not that exciting to look at, but this is clearly anything but an ordinary test prototype. Furthermore, getting a glimpse of the Cadillac Celestiq in a real-world setting helps us better assess its size and proportions, not to mention the fact that it looks unlike any other luxury EV on sale today.
The images were captured during the Celestiq prototype's first engineering drive, which took place at the General Motors Technical Center in Warren, Michigan—the place where the Celestiq production car will be hand-built in a first for GM.
Cadillac says this is a historic moment for the brand and marks "the beginning of a rigorous testing and development process." During the first drive, GM engineers tested the safety and functionality of the vehicle and will use this information to continue to refine it in preparation for production.
Gallery: Cadillac Celestiq Camouflaged Prototype Road Testing
Thanks to advances in virtual development, Cadillac says the first vehicles built for physical testing are of a much higher fidelity than what engineers used to experience even a few years ago.
"It's a huge moment for everyone at Cadillac to see CELESTIQ roll off the line at our pre-production facility and drive out onto public roads for the first time. There is so much more to come, and we are looking forward to continuing the development of Cadillac's newest flagship."
Jeremy Loveday, program engineering manager, CELESTIQ
Looking at the photos, it's clear that the production car will stay really close to the concept from a design standpoint, although there may be surprises hiding underneath the camouflage tape. For now, most of the concept's details are hidden under the striking camo.
The most obvious visible changes are the regular side mirrors replacing the show car's rearview cameras, the rear lower lamps with a slightly different shape, the aero covers on the wheels and more. Interestingly, we see no door handles whatsoever, just like on the concept.
Seen from the side, the Celestiq test prototype looks a bit flatter than the show car, but that may be just an optical illusion. The vehicle seems really big and certainly has boatloads of presence, reminding of Cadillac's land yachts from the 1960s and 1970s.
Cadillac will unveil the production-spec Celestiq later this year, with sales to follow in late 2023. Rumor has it that prices for the highly personalizable, limited-run EV will reach $300,000.