The on-ramp to GM luxurious model’s all-EV future shines brightly

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Cadillac is making a company-wide beeline straight towards an all-electric lineup by 2030 and we got the chance to take a close-up look at the first of the new wave of electrified Caddies, the 2023 Lyriq, in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

To get a head start on this goal, the Lyriq’s arrival was moved up by nine months to the first quarter of 2022, and Cadillac representatives confirmed that this change means that the Lyriq

will be arriving to the U.S. market first, ahead of its eventual release in China. They also said that moving up the timeline didn’t strip anything from the Lyriq; there were no compromises made from the faster development, which emphasized the use of virtual development (much like the forthcoming GMC Hummer EV).

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

We were able to confirm more of the Lyriq’s powertrain details. At launch, only the 12-module, 100- kwh battery pack will be offered and the Lyriq will be rear-wheel drive only at launch. The single motor will produce an estimated 340 -hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. Range is still estimated by Cadillac to be over 300 miles, the EPA estimated range won’t likely be ready until much closer to the Lyriq’s launch date.

Cadillac also confirmed that the dual-motor, all-wheel drive version of the Lyriq will not be offered until the fourth quarter of 2022 and that it will feature a dual-motor system. And it looks like the Lyriq won’t be getting plug and charge capability either—instead using a Cadillac brand app that pulls in charging stations from different providers.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

Back to first impressions, the Lyriq stands out thanks to the 736 LED lights that adorn the exterior, and from every side the Lyriq has some kind of visual flash. Up front it’s the prominent polycarbonate black crystal grille, with many individual light elements and a very cool version of the Cadillac shield badge with all the details cleared out and lit from behind. Flanking the grille are nine individual light elements on either side, the top three powering the high beams and the bottom six the low beams. As you approach the Lyriq, it puts on a little show with each of the individual elements taking a turn to shine.

Down the sides you catch a big view of the taillights, which wrap a long way around the sides all the way up to the back of the D-pillar. The back also features a vertically mounted brake light that gives the Lyriq more of a visual signature from the rear as well. Like many of the other electric SUVs, the Lyriq does feel shorter than it looks as you approach it since the ride height is dropped down so much that it’s basically car-like in that regard.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

Moving inside, there are similarly impressive details. The real wood trim pieces on the doors feature dozens of tiny cutouts, matching the details found on the speaker covers, headrests, and even behind the 33-inch curved LED display to help cool it.

The Lyriq on display is a first edition vehicle of sorts, Cadillac confirmed that this would be the only way to order the Lyriq initially—with the Sky Cool gray interior and no real options to speak of, save for 22-inch wheels that add $1,550 to the price tag (20-inch wheels are standard).

The interior’s showpiece is the 33-inch curved screen that takes up most of the dashboard, stretching from in front of the driver to the center console. And it really is all one screen, it’s not a pane of glass covering multiple side-by-side displays a la Mercedes. There are two touchscreen zones: one over the center stack and the other to the left of the instrument panel, where the drive has easy access to a small menu of functions. Cadillac said there wasn’t much added functionality to the screen beyond the Escalade, but it looks much cleaner and more futuristic in the Lyriq without the divider for the instrument panel.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

None of the dimensions have changed since we got our first look at the Lyriq in April, the 121.8-inch wheelbase and 196.7-inch overall length remain, giving the Lyriq some real presence. This is not a compact SUV, its overall dimensions put it on par with three-row mid-size SUVs, though the Lyriq only has two rows and seating for five.

The backseat is expansive. There’s 39.6-inches of rear legroom and helpful cutouts in the seatback as well as a large space under the front seats for your feet to go. It will fit three adults across (though they will rub shoulders), and it offers very comfortable accommodations for four over a trip of any distance. A large fixed glass roof appeared to come with a retractable shade as well. It’s one of two available roofs; Cadillac wouldn’t yet offer more details on the other roof. The seats are all covered in Cadillac’s Inteluxe synthetic leather upholstery, real leather won’t be offered for the first model year at least and will add a black interior option later in 2022.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq

After seeing the Lyriq, I came away even more impressed by its price. At $59,990 including destination charges, the Lyriq doesn’t really have a luxury competitor that offers this amount of size, performance, and range at anything close to this price point. The Audi E-Tron and Jaguar i-Pace are both more expensive and don’t come close to offering the same amount of interior room. And the Tesla Model X starts at $20,000 more, putting it in a different price strata. Even without a federal tax rebate available, the Lyriq offers very solid value given its materials quality, size, and excellent design.

Interested buyers will have the opportunity to reserve a 2023 Cadillac Lyriq starting on September 18, 4:00 pm ET.

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