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General Motors has said that Cadillac will be the brand that will lead the entire company into an electric future, which has heretofore—and still—been, it seems, the task of Chevrolet, as it has the Bolt EV electric vehicle and the other brands have, well, nothing. And it isn’t exactly like the Bolt EV has started sales sparking because in all of 2019 there were 16,418 Bolt EVs delivered in the U.S., which is a decline of 8.9% compared with unit sales in 2018 (18,019). Chevy sold more Corvettes last year: 17,998.

Cadillac Lyriq

(Images: Cadillac)

Cadillac has introduced the Lyriq a crossover EV.

Steve Carlisle, who ran Cadillac while the vehicle was being developed, and who is now executive vice president and president, GM North America, said of the vehicle and the brand’s direction: “Led by Lyriq, Cadillac will redefine American luxury over the next decade with a new portfolio of transformative EVs.”

Will is still the operative term in that quote as the Lyriq is described as a “show car.” Meaning that this is not the real thing but more than a concept. The real thing is expected to become available around the end of 2022.

What You Need to Know

  • Platform: This is not something that has been otherwise used for a vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE) that’s been fitted with batteries and motors. This is an EV-specific modular platform. Jamie Brewer, Cadillac Lyriq chief engineer, said, “We developed an architecture specifically for EVs.” Why is that important? When reusing an architecture originally meant for ICEs there can be physical constraints that reduce the overall efficiency of the vehicle.
  • Propulsion system: GM’s newly developed Ultium system is being used. Lyriq will be available in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. As this is primarily a rear-drive platform, with the motor at the rear, it is said to provide better performance for both acceleration and cornering. The battery pack is  located in the middle of the vehicle and functions as a structural element. In the AWD setup there is a second drive motor at the front of the vehicle.
  • Range: “Based on initial Cadillac testing”: >300 miles.
  • Battery: The GM Ultium battery system. The chemistry is NCMA—nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum. Which is notable because the amount of cobalt—a rare earth material that is truly rare—is down about 70%. The battery format is a large, flat pouch that are backed into a housing.
  • Charging: DC fast charging at over 150 kW and Level 2 charging rates up to 19 kW.
  • Interior feature: One of the things that made Tesla different than conventional brands was that it deployed a large interface screen. Subsequently, OEMs have been installing screens. For Lyriq Cadillac is using a 33-inch diagonal advanced LED display. It can display over one billion colors, “64 times more than any other vehicle in the automotive industry.”
  • Other tech: Super Cruise, hands-free driver assistance including automated lane change, and supervised remote parking (parallel or perpendicular, with the driver inside or outside of the vehicle) is used.

Carlisle: “We will deliver experiences that engage the senses, anticipate desires and enable our customers to go on extraordinary journeys.”

There’s that verb will again.