Level I, II or III charging
Modular Ultium battery tech will underpin numerous models going forward
Will be available with all- or rear-wheel drive
Represents a new Cadillac styling language
Today, Cadillac pulled the cover off their latest entry into the burgeoning world of EV mobility, the LYRIQ crossover.
Available in 2022 and powered by either rear- or all-wheel drive and a claimed 300 miles of range, the LYRIQ is the next step in Cadillac’s mission to have 20 new all-EV models by 2023. It also means the first application of a salable battery architecture that will be able to give birth to a number of EVs going forward. They, of course, aren’t the first manufacturer to be taking on that challenge, but few other crossovers look quite as breathtaking as the Lyriq show car.
All sharp angles, big 22-inch wheels and ultra-narrow headlamps, the Lyric is set to battler stylistically with the likes of the Tesla Model Y — which, if we’re honest, isn’t that tough an ask as Tesla’s aren’t exactly styling superstars — and Jaguar I-PACE, which is a bit of a tougher challenger. Since there is no traditional engine and doesn’t need as much cooling as a powertrain of that type would, the Lyriq gets a smooth front-end without the need for unsightly radiators and so on. The result is a smooth, futuristic design that is befitting of the futuristic powertrain underneath. It also sets the benchmark for all future Cadillacs – EV or otherwise – that will be produced.
Size-wise, the Lyriq is roughly on-par with Cadillac’s XT5 small crossover, which makes sense as that is a very popular segment and a natural fit for a futuristic EV driver like this. Not to mention that so much of the competition has EVs and plug-in hybrids in this segment. It was a natural fit for the Lyriq.
Inside, the lack of any kind of drivetrain to the back wheels and flat GM Ultium battery pack means lots of space inside, as it uses the fewest number of cells possible required for as much power and range as possible. Charging, meanwhile, can be done via either level I, II or III DC fast charging. At this juncture, however, Cadillac is hesitant to say how long charging will take at each level.
The low, flat battery also means a lower centre of gravity and helps achieve perfect 50:50 weight distribution, so handling will be on-par with the performance provided by that all-EV powertrain. It’s integrated into the Lyriq’s body, which allows for more body stiffness for a better, quieter ride. The Lyriq, meanwhile, is the first all-EV Cadillac ever built.
It comes as little surprise that the Lyric will come equipped with Cadillac’s Super Cruise autonomous tech, only now it gets an auto lane-change feature which hitherto was one of the few things Super Cruise couldn’t do. It could follow and move within traffic, it could take an exit ramp if you wanted it to and it could keep you in your lane, but it couldn’t change lanes. Now it can, rivalling the likes of Tesla with its Autopilot feature.
Inside, the futuristic vibe continues with a massive 33-inch ultra-HD infotainment/gauge cluster display spanning almost the width of the entire dash. The edginess of the exterior design is repeated inside as well; the steering wheel hub, the turn signal stalks and even the pedals are all given distinctive shapes that fit a theme started by the exterior styling. That gauge cluster, meanwhile, isn’t your only display; there are massive displays for each back seat passenger, as well as an augmented reality heads-up display whose two-pane set-up provides speed and other driving information in one place, and your navigation instruction in another.
It all points to the Lyric being a strong step in GM’s goal of a zero-emissions future, and an exciting new era for Cadillac.