Cadillac Celestiq unveiled as ‘ultra-luxury’ EV

Cadillac has repeatedly stuttered on the flagship front. A 600hp, $300k gin palace is intended to fix that

By PH Staff / Tuesday, 18 October 2022 / Loading comments

Go big or go home. That appears to be the guiding principle of the all-new Celestiq, the ‘most technologically advanced Cadillac ever’. The hyperbole doesn’t stop there. Cadillac says this is one of the most important vehicles the firm has ever produced, and marks its arrival in the all-electric ultra-luxury sedan market. It claims to be the first constituent of that niche – others would argue that point – but one thing is clear: the new flagship is intended to reassert Cadillac’s place as the ‘Standard of the World’. 

Now, of course, we could take a number of Eurocentric views on that mission statement – none of them particularly kind – but the manufacturer is adamant that each Celestiq will be personally commissioned, and will result in a unique vision thanks to fully bespoke ‘client journey’ that will involve one-on-one collaboration with a concierge. As you can imagine, this is going to make the car a fairly low-volume prospect (in fact, no more than six vehicles will be assembled at any one time in a high security ‘clean room’) which is probably appropriate for something priced ‘north of $300,000’. 

If we knew nothing else about the new model, that price alone would be a serious statement of intent. But we know much. It will be built on GM’s dedicated EV Ultium architecture and earn a brace of motors charged with delivering around 600hp and 640lb ft of torque to all four wheels. Cadillac reckons that ought to make the Celestiq capable of 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds. Charging times on the 111kWh battery pack aren’t quite so brisk (Cadillac’s ‘global leadership in electrification’ has only meant acceptance of a 200kW fast charge) but it reckons you’ll get 78 miles of range after ten minutes of drumming your fingers on the dash. 

Wait a lot longer and the Celestiq should be capable of 300 miles on a full charge. If that seems less than class-leading then it’s worth bearing in mind that the car is a) predictably large and b) positively brimmed with kit. In chassis terms alone, you get: adaptive air suspension, active rear steering, magnetic ride control, active roll control, multi-link suspension front and rear and up to 23 inches in forged aluminium alloys. ‘Isolated precision’ is the declared target of all this technology, and in that regard, the Celestiq is already deemed the ‘pinnacle of Cadillac automotive achievement.’ 

But really it’s about the look and feel. Outside you get the ‘boldness’ of that oversized grille, a fixed four-zone ‘smart glass’ roof and lighting choreography and power doors for both opening and closing (look ma, no hands!); inside there’s hand-finished metalwork, hand-wrapped leather and, most notably, a pillar-to-pillar 55-inch infotainment display. Reportedly this is one of five high-def screens in the Celestiq, including two seatback-mounted 12.6-inch touchscreens for the rear passengers. 

Throw in over-the-air updates, hands-free advanced driver assistance (‘Ultra Cruise’), remote auto parking (which includes ‘unparking’ the car without ‘the client’ needing to be inside) and a 38-speaker audio system equipped with next-generation active noise cancellation, and you can see why Cadillac is rhetorically pumped about its EV. “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,” noted the firm’s Global Vice President. Now it just needs to build an appropriately hefty waitlist ahead of a planned start to production in Michigan next year.


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