Cadillac’s future will have a lot to do with the Lyriq, an all-electric SUV that GM is hoping ushers in a new era for one of its storied brands.
The Lyriq is going on tour right now, where you can take a good look at the exterior and interior to see what it’s all about. This is the final production car, meaning this is how it’s going to look when buyers start to drive them. Unlike your standard ride, this one will only come with one upgrade, which is to go from the 20-inch wheels to 22-inch ones. Might not seem like a lot, but the larger ones do raise their profile in a noticeable way.
It’s kind of like a fresh start for Cadillac, putting out a mid-size SUV like the Lyriq to not only promote a new design language, but also a new perspective on driving. For years, the brand languished in a sort of suspended animation, catering mainly to an older subset of people willing to drive them. Well, except for the Escalade. Hip hop and R&B made that vehicle into a pop culture icon.
You can probably expect an all-electric Escalade coming off an assembly line in due time, but we won’t know when. Instead, the Lyriq looks to be the signature ride to make EVs the backbone of Cadillac’s potential resurgence.
Inside and out
This is a slick looking vehicle, and one that honestly doesn’t look like something Cadillac would’ve made. The front grille is vintage Cadillac, though being electric, it does a little extra. Unlock the vehicle as you approach the Lyriq and the grille and signal lights will run through a loop to “welcome” you. It then does the opposite when you lock it. Those turn lights double as battery indicators at the same time, which is pretty nifty.
The sleek styling and lower centre of gravity makes the Lyriq more aerodynamic. It can go pretty fast, topping up at 210 km/h and 0-60 in just five seconds. That’s actually slower than a lot of EVs out there, but still very fast when you compare it to the average gas vehicle. Super Cruise also comes with the Lyriq, letting the car drive itself on compatible highways.
Despite the smaller frame on the outside, the interior feels spacious and comfortable. I can see it being pretty comfortable for city driving or a road trip. There’s a 33-inch curved LED screen covering much of the dash. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will work, and on top of that, you have a Google-based infotainment system, similar to that deployed in the Hummer EV.
A 19-speaker AKG sound system should create a pretty wide soundstage when cruising inside, including a surround sound effect.
Charging it up
Part of the challenge is going to be rolling out the infrastructure that will enable more EVs like the Lyriq to roll out themselves. GM wants to build tens of thousands of charging stations over the next several years to improve on that. We’ll see how that goes, but in the meantime, Lyriq owners will need to find existing chargers or use one at home.
A DC fast charging station at 350kW can deliver up to an estimated 122km on the road after 10 minutes plugged in. A 240-volt power supply can give you 83km on the road after one hour of charging. If you’re stuck with a standard 120-volt charge, it’s just a 5.5km per one hour of charging.
What’s to come
The 2023 Lyriq is sold out based on the number GM is manufacturing — limited partly by the global chip shortage. The 2024 Lyriq is open to reservations now if you want to buy one yourself. It starts at $67,698 for the 20-inch wheels or $69,483 for the 22-inch wheels. An all-wheel-drive trim will be available for extra money, though GM hasn’t announced any numbers yet. Initial deliveries for those on the reserve list start in spring 2023.