Officially, it’s a show car, a design study, a toe-dipping into a pond into which Cadillac has never waded. But it’s also a clear projection of the future at America’s most enduring luxury nameplate. Like everyone else, Cadillac is planning on going electric. And while it hasn’t announced formal production plans for its Lyriq concept, it’s a virtual certainty that this all-electric premium SUV is going to make it to Cadillac dealerships is some recognizable form, the speculation placing it in the 2023 model lineup. The Lyriq show car made its formal debut this week, along with some strong cues about what its production equivalent is likely to boast.
We can see immediately that it’s a high-beltline design with angular Cadillac styling themes – those lights! – that’s closer proportionately to a crossover than a genuine SUV. It rides on the forthcoming General Motors modular platform dedicated to EV use, and very interestingly, its traction motor powers the rear wheels, although an all-wheel-drive version is envisioned. A performance Lyriq with AWD is also being specifically eyed for production. Besides that packaging and layout tidbit, we also know that the Lyriq will be powered by GM’s new Ultium battery system, which will form part of the vehicle’s underlying structure, and whose inner chemistry will allow GM to cut the use of rare-earth elements such as cobalt by up to 70 percent. This, combined with the layout, is said to give the RWD Lyriq nearly 50-50 static weight distribution. Among the attributes GM is claiming are a range around 300 miles, very fast charging and Super Cruise3 hands-free driver aids, including voice-command lane changing, available on more than 200,000 miles of roads enabled to use the technology.