All This and Heaven too
Cadillac is the latest American automaker to turn its path towards an all-electric vehicle future. The venerable U.S. hallmark for lavish luxury is building a sleek sedan that they hope will return the marque to a position of grandeur. In recent years, high tech performance executive luxury sedans have become the providence of European automakers with names like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi. In the last decade, Cadillac has lost much of its luster as America’s premier brand and the manufacturer has decided to take on the kind of bespoke, hand-crafted cars that are aimed at the extremely wealthy. So, in 2024, Cadillac will launch a vehicle it calls Celestiq (Sell-ease-teak).
This new hatchback sedan shares the family genes of Cadillac’s Lyriq all-electric SUV but with a more stunning profile and long, sweeping roofline. The designers behind the Celestiq say that they have incorporated certain design elements from Cadillac’s long and profound history into a space-age reinvention that promises to tick all the boxes for electric travel. Their hope is that the hand-made marvel will point the way for future EVs and become the ultimate American luxury sedan. However, the profile of the car may take a bit of getting used to. Its sweeping roof is more reminiscent of a sloping fastback than a grand touring car in appearance.
You won’t see this elite saloon car sitting around dealerships because each Celestiq will be individually built by a small, dedicated team of craftspeople and each car will be designed to its owner’s specific wishes. Customers will design their Celestiq when they order it, picking the executive sedan’s colors, interior materials and trim, wheel designs, extras, and high-tech packages in much the same way that the very wealthy design their own bespoke Rolls-Royce. Every Celestiq is a “special order” and carefully tailored to the customer’s wishes, delivered with discretion much like haute couture. Cadillac promises that each car will be totally unique and built to order with limitless opportunities for customization.
Bringing Prestige to a New Level
Celestiq will arrive with a dual-electric motor, all-wheel drive powertrain and a large General Motors Ultium battery pack with an EPA estimated driving range of over 300 miles. The combination is said to produce around 600 horsepower and blast you silently from zero to 60 mph in a tuxedo rustling 3.8 seconds. Cadillac says that when using Level 3 DC Fast Charging, the EV will charge from 20 to 80 percent in less than half an hour. All that means the Celestiq will join the ranks of other high end electric powered sports sedans such as the Porsche Taycan, the Mercedes-Benz EQS, and the Audi e-tron GT.
However, the Celestiq is still a Cadillac, and though quick in a straight line, it will likely take a tamer approach to getting you where you’re going when compared to those European high-performance mavericks. The Caddy will be a bit more sedate, with less jarring road manners and more comfort for the well-heeled. As Car and Driver mentioned, the Celestiq may be “more Bentley than Blackwing.” Its adaptive air suspension system will assure no champagne is spilled enroute, and the car includes a rear-wheel driving feature much like the EQS that allows for tight U-turns and lets you maneuver the large sedan with the greatest of ease. So, unlike your dad’s comfy Caddy, this one is great in tight turns.
On the Inside
Inside the lush cabin you’ll notice that the digital display extends the entire width of the dash panel, some 55 inches. Within its wonders you’ll find an electronic speedo and tach in front of the steering wheel and looking towards the passenger side you’ll witness every technological miracle known to man. We’re talking GPS navigation, every possible infotainment bell and whistle, and a 38-speaker AKG Studio Reference stereo system complete with three amplifiers and 3D sound that rivals being in an orchestra pit.
Driver assist features include GM’s Ultra Cruise system that comes very close to complete hands-free autonomous travel. Standard features include automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control with hands-free driving plus the usual video backup and bird’s eye view cameras.
Passengers in the back each have their own 12.6-inch display screens for checking the Internet or watching movies or TV shows to their heart’s content. All this is completely wrapped in rich, deep, creamy leather that is available in every color imaginable. The four bucket seats pamper you in decadent style. Brushed metal trim merges with eco-friendly wood panels and the ambient interior lighting adds an exquisite touch of refinement. The cherry on top is no doubt the electrochromic panoramic glass roof that allows each passenger to control their point of view of the sky above, from crystal clear to completely opaque.
High Priced Elegance
The new Celestiq may tempt the sort of automobile aficionado who is in search of the ultimate in refined electric vehicle luxury. While General Motors has not yet released the MSRP for this one-off wonder, it has said the car will appear with a price tag of over $300,000. Only a bespoke Rolls-Royce costs more in this rarified air. Think of it this way; you could buy two of Mercedes-Benz’s brilliant EQS luxury sedans for less money. With an MSRP of $125,900, you could own his and hers matching EQS EVs for less than the Celestiq.
Let’s take a moment to compare our options, shall we? The following is based on manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP). Assuming you have hundreds of thousands of extra dollars lining your pockets on any given day, and you want to pick up a sultry EV for your morning commute, you could buy an all-electric Audi e-tron GT sedan for around $102,400. A new BMW i7 sedan will set you back $119,300. The amazing Mercedes-Benz EQS luxury sedan is a mere $125,900. That means you could have matching his and hers EQS high end luxury EVs for less than the Cadillac, and sadly, Elvis Presley is not around to buy them all up.