The 2024 Cadillac Celestiq is without a doubt the most sophisticated, luxurious and technologically advanced vehicle the brand has ever made, not to mention the most expensive with a starting MSRP north of $300,000.
While the Celestiq will be handcrafted by Cadillac artisans at GM's Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, the vehicle adopts some of the most modern manufacturing techniques available today. Reading through the very long press release, we learned that Cadillac did not shy away from taking a page from Tesla's book and employ mega castings on its flagship electric vehicle.
More specifically, the 2024 Celestiq's underbody and shock towers are six large precision sand-casted aluminum components. According to Cadillac, each of these castings reduces part count by 30 to 40 components compared to typical stamped construction.
The automaker says that using precision sand-casted content and processes is ideal for low volume, handcrafted, bespoke vehicles, but the advantages go beyond that. Other benefits include simplicity, a more efficient use of space by packaging all technologies without compromising on design or client comfort, improved structural rigidity and the possibility to accommodate large 23-inch wheels.
Speaking of rigidity, the 111-kWh Ultium battery pack occupying most of the vehicle's low, flat floor serves as a structural element of the vehicle.
Besides mega castings, the automaker also notes it will employ a process called Flex Fabrication when making the Celestiq, with each vehicle to feature over 300 fabricated pieces throughout the body structure, chassis, interior and electrical components.
This process utilizes metal sheets that can be folded and manipulated into the unique shapes required for the Celestiq design. Cadillac likens this process more to metallic origami than traditional stamping.
Another aspect worth mentioning is the use of additive manufacturing. The Celestiq features no fewer than 115 3D printed parts, including the steering wheel center—the largest metal part GM has printed in production—and the seat belt adjustable guide loop, GM's first safety-related 3D printed part.
Other 3D printed parts include the window switches, grab handles, console decor and structural pieces under the vehicle's surface. Sounds like there are worse jobs out there than working as a Cadillac artisan assembling the 2024 Celestiq by hand.