The Cadillac Lyriq’s final production form remains unknown, but the “show car” revealed late Thursday is said to be a fairly close representation of the real thing. That show car is also not far removed from a conceptual rendering released in January 2019, previewing a vehicle that will enter production in late 2022 as a 2023 model.
A lot can happen in the span of more than three and a half years: Buzz can wear off, unreleased products can grow outdated, rivals can catch up. Imagine if Chrysler’s “Suddenly, it’s 1960” collection of 1957 creations were first teased in early 1953.
Cadillac’s betting that the Lyriq’s attributes will remain fresh come roll-out time, and that could very well prove true.
Vehicle development obviously takes time, but time will also tell whether Cadillac was right to start teasing at the beginning of that cycle in a bid to telegraph its newfound commitment to electric vehicles.
Riding atop General Motors’ next-generation modular EV architecture, the Lyriq will be able to ply roadways for 300 miles or more without recharging, GM says, all thanks to the automaker’s new Ultium battery technology. This platform/battery combo will find a home in numerous GM products and a number of Caddy models scheduled to follow in the Lyriq’s wake.
“Led by LYRIQ, Cadillac will redefine American luxury over the next decade with a new portfolio of transformative EVs,” said newly minted GM North America president Steve Carlisle, formerly the singular boss of Cadillac. “We will deliver experiences that engage the senses, anticipate desires and enable our customers to go on extraordinary journeys.”
This midsize crossover’s extraordinary journey to production will see it stacked against a bevy of European EVs upon release, to say nothing of the green product surge incoming from domestic and Japanese rivals. But luxury is all about making the driver feel special, and Cadillac feels it knows the right ingredients.
First off, the Lyriq is a rear-drive vehicle — appropriate for the class, though an all-wheel drive, twin-motor performance variant will be in the offing. Weight distribution is said to fall close to 50:50. And quietness will factor heavily into the experience.
To this end, Cadillac promises “a new road noise cancellation technology” that incorporates additional microphones and accelerometers. “With this new system, Cadillac’s performance and audio engineers can target the frequency range of tire cavity noise, reducing the noise level in the vehicle and allowing for a quieter in-cabin experience,” the automaker stated.
In this hushed cabin, occupants can bask in the glow of a massive 33-inch LCD dash screen and thrill themselves with its class-leading pixel density, or brush their fingers over the vehicle’s ornate, console-mounted rotary control knob. Updated Super Cruise driver-assist is an obvious must for the vehicle.
While some interior features stand to diverge from what Cadillac displayed on Thursday night, the jury’s out on what alterations might occur to the body. Caddy seems settled on the Lyriq’s modernistic, sharp-edged “black crystal” front fascia, though the wayward taillights, which migrate midway through the partially concave sail panels and appear as well in two other places, seem like design overkill. They curve partway along the bottom of the rear glass and stab upward alongside the frivolous bumper vents. There’s just a lot of taillight going on.
Capable of fast-charging at a rate higher than than 150 kW (how much higher, the automaker doesn’t say), the Lyriq’s 300-plus miles can be added at home via a Level 2 charger of up to 19 kW strength.
Power, space, range, and a premium profile — the Lyriq seems to incorporate the ingredients SUV buyers want, but we’ll have to wait and see whether the supposedly pent-up demand for non-Tesla EVs materializes on cue.