It’sIt’s been three years since General Motors first announced its plan to release 20 new electric vehicles by 2023 as part of its commitment to “an all-electric future.” The first vehicle would be an SUV from Cadillac, a brand that has been trying — and failing — for years to elevate its image despite being positioned by GM to lead the automaker’s march into this high-tech future.
Flash forward to today, and we’re finally getting our first look at what Cadillac’s been cooking up: the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, a “beyond 300 mile” range EV with an absolutely massive 33-inch infotainment screen. It’s taken three years to get here, and it’s going to take nearly another three before it hits the showroom floor. (More on that later.)
The vehicle was supposed to be unveiled April 2nd, but got delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. And with the pandemic showing no signs of subsiding, the automaker decided to unveil the car during a virtual event Thursday evening.
It’d be an understatement to say that the Lyriq is crucial to GM’s future. The SUV is being built on the automaker’s recently announced scalable battery architecture, Ultium, which is said to be able to power a wide range of vehicle types and sizes. Along with the electric Hummer pickup truck, the Lyriq will serve as a launchpad for Ultium.
As such, the Lyriq will be evaluated for its range and performance, as well as its ability to draw new customers to the Cadillac brand. It will also need to convince those on Wall Street who have been jittery about GM’s ability to catch up to Tesla. And when it eventually goes on sale, it will go head to head with the Audi E-Tron, Jaguar I-Pace, and Tesla Model X, as well as a host of upcoming electric SUVs from the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
“The Lyriq is a challenging launch for Cadillac,” said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds’ executive director of insights. She noted that no other automaker besides Tesla has “tasted the joy of success” in terms of sales and demand. But there’s often more to a vehicle’s success than just sales, Caldwell added.
GM certainly sees the potential. In a briefing with reporters this week, GM’s president for North America Steve Carlisle emphasized the importance of the Lyriq to the automaker’s overall portfolio. “It does mark a pivot point at a very important time for all of us, a tremendous opportunity for the brand,” Carlisle said, “the extent to which we’ve lost some momentum here in the last several months, to regain that and position ourselves for the next chapter of Cadillac.”
BATTERY AND RANGE
The vehicle unveiled Thursday is a showroom version of the Lyriq, so it only features 80-85 percent of what will eventually go into production, GM said. Some of the specifications are still in flux; for example, Cadillac said the Lyriq will have a range of “beyond 300 miles” on a full charge when it’s eventually certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. But GM executives have said they expect mid-300 miles to be the low end of the spectrum, and that a range in the low 400-miles is a realistic goal………Read More>>