After Cadillac’s long flirtation with alphabet soup, it seems like General Motors’ American luxury brand is starting to straighten up and fly right with proper names. First came the Lyriq (currently available for pre-order, though drive around Detroit and you’ll find ‘em), and now we have the Celestiq.
Don’t think of the Celestiq (pronounced “seh-leh-stick”) as a replacement for the CT6 — think of it as the heir apparent for the late, lamented Eldorado Brougham that was built from 1957-60. The new sedan will be a hand-built $300,000 electric saloon that’s the most advanced, most luxurious and most important vehicle Cadillac has ever produced.
“Celestiq is the purest expression of Cadillac, acknowledging our incredible history and driving us to a bolder and brighter future,” says Rory Harvey, who’s Cadillac’s Global Vice President. “It is a completely bespoke work of automotive art, built around the most advanced and innovative technology that we have ever engineered into an automobile.”
Perhaps for the first time since the dawn of World War II, Cadillac will build a truly bespoke vehicle. Each Celestiq will be personally commissioned, so chances of seeing one at your local Cadillac dealer will be almost nil. Individual clients will collaborate with a designated concierge from selected dealers and Cadillac designers to realize every vision for the vehicle with personalization up the wazoo, “a one-of-one combination of artistry, authenticity, craftsmanship and unparalleled refinement.”
“Celestiq is like no Cadillac before it and the client experience is equally exceptional,” adds Harvey. “Each vehicle is a unique expression of its owner, leveraging leading-edge technologies that make the driving experience personal and rewarding.”
The new Cadillac (“Caddy” seems so gauche right now) is based on EV architecture called the Ultium Platform. It combines a 111-kWh battery pack and a two-motor, all-wheel drive system for an estimated 600 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque. That’s good and all, but for how far? Cadillac estimates driving range will be 300 miles on a full charge. Acceleration will be a segment-leading 3.8 seconds to 60.
For you techies out there, the Celestiq’s battery cells are mounted horizontally, allowing Cadillac to design a long, low and lean boulevardier. This also lowers the center of gravity for enhanced interior space and better handling and ride comfort. Contributing to the handing and ride are Adaptive Air Suspension, Active Rear Steering, Magnetic Ride Control, Active Roll Control, Active Rear Spoiler and Electric Power Steering. In other words, your inner shade-tree mechanic will have to retire.
Charging is the bane of every EV’s existence. Cadillac’s take on this is that its 200 kW DC fast charging system will be able to add approximately 78 miles of battery power for only 10 minutes of charging. Celestiq owners will also have access to more than 110,000 charging points in the U.S. and Canada. Plus, the myCadillac Mobile app will assist in finding charging stations, real-time charger availability and more.
If you’re a techie but prefer gasoline to electricity, perhaps the following feature will interest you more than the above? There also are over 300 fabricated pieces throughout the structure, chassis, interior, and electrical components. Cadillac calls this “Flex Fabrication,” which is akin to metallic origami. No word on whether Cadillac will include an origami bird in the glovebox when boredom sets in.
The Celestiq, as well as the Lyriq, implement a new design philosophy that takes Cadillac into the future (though admittedly the vertical headlights are missed). “Everyone poured their passions into Celestiq,” says Erin Crossley, the model’s design director. “The result is an automobile that redefines luxury through the experiences it offers its driver and passengers.” The fastback profile, though contemporary today, does have a legacy with the Sedanet from the 1940s. Cadillac likes to call the design “avant-garde,” and while we try to stay away from press release blathering, let’s observe what would make Cadillac characterize the Celestiq that way:
- Fixed Smart Glass Roof with Suspended Particle Device Technology.
- Carbon fiber to facilitate the creation of distinctive forms not possible with traditional metal forms.
- 3D printing One-hundred fifteen 3D printed parts are used in the Celestiq, with the steering wheel center being the largest printed metal part, and the seat belt adjustable guide loop is GM’s first safety-related 3D printed part.
- Exterior lighting including 1,600 LEDs including Digital Micromirror Device headlamps with 1.3 million pixels, plus cascading illumination when the Celestiq senses a nearby key fob.
- Power open/close doors — notice there are no door handles.
- Twenty-three-inch wheels in “countless” colors, all paired with Michelins adorned with the Cadillac Precision pattern on the sidewall.
Inside, Celestiq clients will be treated to immersive interior lighting and embellishments that “embody Cadillac’s vision for exclusivity and customization.” According to Tristan Murphy, the Celestiq’s interior design manager, “With Celestiq, we’ve been able to push classic American luxury into a new modern space. Executed with exceptional craftmanship, there is a staggering variety of colors, trims and genuine materials that ensure no two vehicles will ever be alike.” There are over 450 LEDs in the interior, with customization or self-curated lighting combinations available if the 18 lighting choreographies are not enough.
If you thought an infotainment center the size of an iPad was ridiculous, what will you think of the Celestiq? A 55-inch-diagonal HD screen is one of five high-def displays. Even rear passengers will have their own 12.6-inch-diagonal display on the front seatbacks.
All this is overwhelming, yet it’s possible we haven’t even scratched the surface of all the new-fangled features for Cadillac’s new flagship. If you have the kind of coin to afford such a chariot and you fancy yourself as an early-adopter, then your car has arrived.