Look to the Future
Today Cadillac provides a look to the future — and that future is electrified. The all-new LYRIQ will be the brand’s first fully electric vehicle, ushering in advances to batteries and propulsion as well as introducing a new design language for future Cadillac models. The LYRIQ is anticipated to be the first in a range of new electric offerings from GM’s luxury brand.
“Led by LYRIQ, Cadillac will redefine American luxury over the next decade with a new portfolio of transformative EVs,” said Steve Carlisle, executive vice president and president of GM North America. “We will deliver experiences that engage the senses, anticipate desires and enable our customers to go on extraordinary journeys,” Carlisle noted.
Previous Electrification Experience
Cadillac previously made a brief foray into electrification with the innovative ELR. Sold from 2014–16, ELR was based on the Chevrolet Volt’s range-extending electric platform, albeit with a higher level of luxury and eye-catching design in keeping with GM’s luxury brand.
Given the overwhelming popularity of SUVs and crossovers in America, it’s no surprise that the new LYRIQ adopts the shape of these utilitarian people movers. This follows the trend of first EVs from other luxury brands such as the Jaguar I-PACE and Audi e-tron. While the new LYRIQ carries classis SUV lines, a sleek roofline and steeply raked windshield give the new Cadillac a more refined, sporty look.
New Face of Cadillac
Cadillac designers were able to take full advantage of the electric powertrain when creating LYRIQ as a new brand statement. With no traditional internal combustion engine or driveline, there is no need for airflow through a grille — instead LYRIQ features a “black crystal” grille that lights up when the owner approaches, as does a large Cadillac logo in the center.
With slim vertical LED headlights flanking the grille, the flow from grille to hood remains clean. The vertical lighting motif continues at the rear of the LYRIQ.
Design and Technology
“The LYRIQ represents the next iteration of the iconic brand’s styling, enabled by electrification, as only Cadillac can express,” said Andrew Smith, executive director of Global Cadillac Design. “Inside and out, LYRIQ is a thoughtful integration of design and technology and is intended to make every drive an occasion,” Smith observed.
Dedicated EV Platform
Cadillac will build the LYRIQ on GM’s next-generation modular dedicated electric vehicle platform that incorporates a new Ultium propulsion system. “LYRIQ was conceived to make every journey exhilarating and leverages more than a century of innovation to drive the brand into a new era, while rewarding passengers with a more personal, connected and immersive experience,” said Jamie Brewer, Cadillac LYRIQ chief engineer. “To do this we developed an architecture specifically for EVs. It is not only an exceptional EV, but first and foremost a Cadillac,” Brewer said.
At the heart of this new Cadillac EV is the Ultium battery system. Expected to deliver 100 kWh of energy, this advanced battery uses nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum chemistry. By using aluminum in the cathode, GM engineers were able to reduce the reliance on rarer materials such as cobalt, making the system more viable into the future.
Better Driving Dynamics
Another advantage to using a dedicated EV platform: engineers were able integrate the battery system as a structural element of the architecture, which lowers the center of gravity as well as creates a nearly 50/50 weight distribution. This should have positive effects on ride and handling as well as safety, making the LYRIQ even more fun to drive.
With range being one of the most important factors to consumers when consider the purchase of an electric vehicle, Cadillac anticipates the LYRIQ will be able to travel more than 300 miles on a single charge. The LYRIQ will have the ability to be charged with a variety of methods, including DC fast charging at rates over 150 kilowatts.
One Motor — Or Two?
When it eventually goes into production, LYRIQ will be offered with rear- or all-wheel drive. Rear-wheel drive variants will feature an electric motor at the rear of the vehicle, which improves efficiency as well as driving performance. All-wheel drive versions get a second motor driving the front wheels, greatly increasing performance as well as improving overall vehicle dynamics.
The cabin of the LYRIQ features a clean, high-tech look. The centerpiece is a 33-inch advanced LED curved display that spans the left two-thirds of the dashboard. This advanced display incorporates information for the driver as well as controls for the infotainment and communications systems. According to Cadillac, the display features the highest pixel density of any screen in the automotive industry today, with the ability to display over 1 billion colors.
Designers had more flexibility when creating the LYRIQ interior thanks to the EV’s new architecture. Considerably more space becomes available, allowing for a roomy, airy cabin.
Continuing the clean design is a single dial in the center console used for accessing navigation, audio, communication and other integrated features. The steering wheel incorporates additional soft-touch controls.
Electric vehicles already run virtually silently, but this focuses more attention on road and wind noise. Cadillac will introduce an improved noise-cancellation system on the LYRIQ, integrating more microphones and accelerometers that allow engineers to target the frequency range of tire cavity noise — the source of most exterior sound — to create a much quieter in-cabin experience. With the quieter interior, occupants will be able to enjoy the 19-speaker AKG Studio audio system.
Production in 2022
The Cadillac LYRIQ revealed today is still considered a show car. Although this vehicle is anticipated to be representative of the final version, production of the LYRIQ is not slated to begin until late 2022 as a 2023 model.