A Handbuilt Ultra-Luxury Flagship: Celestiq
Cadillac says that the Celestiq, its new top-of-the-line all-electric car, is one of the most advanced, most luxurious, and most important vehicles ever. Designed to reestablish Cadillac’s position as the “standard of the world,” it’s also set to be the most expensive Cadillac ever made, with a starting price of over $300,000 before options.
If that sounds like a lot, it is. But this EV is no ordinary luxury car, electric or otherwise. Unlike even the most high-end European sedans, every Celestiq will be a “completely bespoke work of automotive art,” hand-built in Warren, Michigan to the customer’s specifications. The company claims that no two Celestiqs will be alike, and that clients and their dealers will work directly with Cadillac designers to realize their unique vision. The result should be an unprecedented level of personalization.
Being an EV, and one built on General Motors’ Ultium suite of tech, the Celestiq combines old-world handmade quality with the latest technology, including the most advanced driver assists and semi-autonomous capability.
Cadillac Celestiq: Charging and Range
Cadillac says the Celestiq is the most technologically advanced vehicle in the brand’s history. It is built around a 111-kWh battery pack and a two-motor, all-wheel-drive propulsion system to offer an estimated 600 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque — and an estimated driving range of 300 miles on a full charge. 0-60 mph takes just 3.8 seconds.
The Ultium platform also serves as a structural element of the Celestiq, contributing to its overall strength and solidity. Battery cells are mounted horizontally, enabling the vehicle’s long, low and lean proportions, dropping the vehicle’s center of gravity, enhancing handling and ride comfort, and maximizing interior space. Range is further extended by “regen-on-demand” as well as a one-pedal driving setting, which can slow the vehicle to a complete stop using only the accelerator pedal.
Some impressive manufacturing technology debuts in the Celstiq. Its body structure uses “mega casting” to improve strength, reduce weight, and simplify the structure – making the car more refined. Over 100 3-D printed parts are used, including a number of structural pieces, the steering wheel, and numerous trim pieces.
A suite of advanced technologies give drivers the luxurious, isolated ride they demand from an ultra-luxury vehicle, while also providing high levels of handling and precision. Adaptive air suspension instead of coil springs provides a better ride. Active rear-wheel steering increases responsiveness and reduces the turning circle. Magnetic ride control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension technology, can vary the stiffness of the shocks instantaneously. Advanced all-wheel drive turns the front or rear motors on and off as required to provide optimal torque and improve electric driving range.
One area where the Celestiq isn’t industry-leading is charging. Its 200-kW fast charging capability lags behind other brands, some of which offer up to 350-kW charging using 800-volt systems. However, the big Cadillac can still add an estimated 78 miles of range in 10 minutes on a fast charger, enough to be convenient on longer trips.
Celestiq owners will also have access to Ultium Charge 360, which includes access to more than 110,000 publicly available charging points in the United States and Canada. Through the myCadillac Mobile app, they can find nearby charging stations, see real-time charger availability, plan routes, start charging sessions and more.
Futuristic Cadillac Design Inside and Out
The Celestiq is a bold fastback instead of a formal, upright sedan, looking more like a car show concept car than a production vehicle. Every surface is meticulously and beautifully detailed, and all of the metal you see is real. Indeed, the aluminum grille and “goddess” logo in the fender is milled out of cast aluminum, then machine-polished, brushed and tinted.
Other standout features include a smart glass roof, which offers four separate zones with variable tinting and ambient lighting, automated charging indicators, and choreographed, animated exterior lighting. The doors also open and close automatically with the press of a button.
Inside, driver and passengers are surrounded by hand-crafted materials, immersive interior lighting, and a clean, minimalist aesthetic. Every Celestiq’s interior will be different, with materials and colors chosen by the client, and the cabin’s aesthetic truly allows the materials and details to stand out, emphasizing its handcrafted construction in even the smallest areas. More than 450 LED lights dance to the beat of 18 different animations.
Unprecedented Celestiq Tech Features
The centerpiece of Celestiq’s interior is a pillar-to-pillar, 55-inch display, which is the largest in the segment. It contains two separate screens under a single pane of glass. On the left, it shows driver and shared vehicle information, while the right side allows occupants to play media, use the internet, connect smartphones, and more. “Digital blinds” technology provides a virtual privacy shield, dimming the passenger screen from the driver’s view when in use.
The giant screen is just one of five high-def displays in the vehicle. An 11-inch touchscreen acts as the front command center, and there’s an 8-inch screen at the rear to control the seats, cabin temperature, doors, tinted roof, and more. Rear passengers also have 12.6-inch displays for infotainment. The infotainment system offers a staggering 41 speakers.
This model introduces a new “connected camera” platform, which gives clients added peace of mind by providing access to interior and exterior cameras through their phones, along with theft detection, crash recording and other useful features. Built-in Google functions include Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play.
The centerpiece of Celestiq’s tech suite is Ultra Cruise, Cadillac’s hands-free drivers assist system, which builds on adaptive cruise control, lane detection, and a suite of cameras. While legislation doesn’t yet allow fully autonomous driving, the Celestiq is equipped with the necessary hardware to add additional autonomy via over-the-air updates. Remote-operate parking is also available, controllable from outside of the vehicle.
When Can I Expect the Cadillac Celestiq?
Every Celestiq will be constructed at the advanced General Motors Global Technical Center, in Warren, MI. It will be the first production vehicle ever produced at the company’s design and engineering campus, and GM has invested $81 million to support it. The manufacturing area is a high-security “clean room” environment. No more than six vehicles will be assembled at any time, ensuring ultimate attention to detail and quality control.
With the incredible level of customization available to clients, the consultation process is guided by a dedicated concierge together with the client’s dealer of choice. The concierge ensures each client’s vehicle is designed and crafted to their desires, while also providing updates during production and support after the vehicle is delivered.
The first Celestiq models will be produced in December 2023, with an expected MSRP above $300,000, increasing depending on the level of personalization.