Cadillac Celestiq EV harmonizes old world luxury and next-gen tech
Looking to recapture some of the glory of its V-16 flagships from nearly a century ago, Cadillac is previewing its envelope-pushing Celestiq. A stretched ultra-luxury sedan for modern day, the Celestiq combines regal proportions with an all-electric powertrain, multi-zone smart glass roof and all-seat digital infotainment system. We've read this manuscript before with the likes of the 2004 Sixteen and 2016 Escala concepts, but this time Cadillac will send it through to publishing, building a production Celestiq closely tied to the show car.
Cadillac doesn't stretch the tape measure to let us know exactly how long the Celestiq is, letting our minds wager guesstimates of just how far that wagon-like body runs on. As it's designed in the spirit of past behemoths like the 1957 Eldorado Brougham (216 in/549 cm) and even-larger V-16 models from the 1930s, we can surmise that it is indeed as long as it appears, possibly nosing perceptibly past the 212-in (538-cm) Escalade.
“Those vehicles represented the pinnacle of luxury in their respective eras and helped make Cadillac the standard of the world," chief engineer Tony Roma said of the Brougham and V-16. "The Celestiq show car — also a sedan, because the configuration offers the very best luxury experience — builds on that pedigree and captures the spirt of arrival they expressed."
Cadillac may call it a sedan, but that roofline looks more substantial than a mere fastback, covering over an estate-like trunk capable of devouring luggage, groceries, and whatever other cargo one is not afraid to dirty his or her Caddy halo with. Outside that trunk, the rear-end uses the Lyriq's taillamp design as a springboard into a dramatic light show of upper and lower hockey stick blades. The front-end also derives from the Lyriq, sticking a little closer to the crossover's facial expression, albeit with bigger, bolder proportions befitting a retro-inspired flagship.
The combination of stretched proportions, two-row sedan seating and Ultium electric powertrain promise to give the Celestiq airy, limousine-like comfort inside the doors. The smart glass roof overhead, meanwhile, will deliver a unique lens to the sky, using Suspended Particle Device (SPD) technology to create four independent zones that can be individually adjusted in tint.
Each of the four occupants will also enjoy his or her own high-definition digital display, with two extra displays splitting the two front and rear seats, presumably to serve as touch controllers. The massive door-to-door 55-in dashboard display breaks into driver and passenger sections, relying on a new active privacy feature to allow the front passenger to enjoy video content while shielding it from the driver's view, preventing any dangerous distraction.
Though the Celestiq is in show car mode, Cadillac promises that its technologies, which also include Ultra Cruise, are more than mere concept fodder. They'll proceed to production to make the Celestiq Cadillac's most advanced vehicle ever. The car will also become the first production vehicle to be built at GM's Global Technical Center. GM is investing $81 million to update the center for Celestiq production.
Cadillac plans to reveal more details about the Celestiq later this year. As reported by the Wall Street Journal last month, the car will start somewhere in the range of $300,000, leaping over traditional luxury territory and becoming an electric alternative to ultra-premium offerings from Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Mercedes-Maybach.
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