The 2024 Cadillac Celestiq will attempt to take the American luxury brand into the future and return it to its past “World Standard” glory.
The ultra-luxury electric flagship will go into production in December 2023 and will be priced “north” of US$300,000 (AU$476,115).
For context, the most expensive Cadillac model at the moment is this one Escalade-V, which starts at US$149,695 (AU$237,616). The Celestiq’s price puts it between the V8 and W12 versions Bentley Flying Spur Mulliner in the USA.
Cadillac hasn’t occupied this stratosphere since the 1957-58 Eldorado Brougham hand-built flagship, which cost more than the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud.
As befits such an expensive flagship, no two Celestiq models will be the same. Each model will be personally commissioned and customers will work with a concierge to create their model.
Each model will be manufactured at General Motors’ Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, in a high-security, clean-room-type environment called the Artisan Center. No more than six cars will be assembled at the same time.
It will be the first vehicle built at the Technical Center, with GM investing US$81 million (A$128.96 million) in the facility to support production.
The company says Celestiq will receive the most ambitious quality program in its 120-year history.
It’s based on GM’s Ultium platform with a twin-motor all-wheel drive unit and a 111kWh battery pack.
It produces 447kW of power and 868Nm of torque with a claimed 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of 3.8 seconds.
Claimed range of 483km and support for 200kW DC fast charging. Cadillac claims it will take just 10 minutes to increase the range by 125 km.
It’s the only Ultium-based car with 11.59:1 front and 11.63:1 rear gear ratios, which Cadillac says have been specially calibrated to optimize range and performance. As expected from a luxury electric car, there’s also regenerative braking and a one-pedal control function.
It rides on an adaptive air suspension with a five-link system front and rear and has the Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 system.
This is the latest version, also visible on CT5-V Blackwingmagnetorheological damping technology brand debuted on the 2002.5 Seville STS.
Other equipment includes active rear steering that offers up to 3.5 degrees of rear steering phase deviation, as well as active roll control and an active rear spoiler.
It also rides on large 23-inch wheels in “countless” different colors, shod in specially marked Michelin tires.
Cadillac says the Celestiq will offer “the ultimate in unsacrificing driving refinement,” with “isolated precision” that will allow the driver to “experience a luxurious ride, yet feel connected to the road.”
It also features six large precision sand-cast aluminum components on the underbody, with each casting reducing the part count by 30-40 components, with extensive use of 3D printed parts inside and out.
It will include GM’s new Ultra Cruise Level 2+ autonomous driving technology, as well as a remote parking feature that allows you to park your car behind it.
The 48 V electrical system supports various convenient functions of the car and ensures comfort.
Inside, a 55-inch screen runs from pillar to pillar and houses two separate screens under one glass panel.
The crystal multifunction controller can be used to navigate the main screen and the infotainment system has Google built in with Google Assistant and Google Maps.
The driver-side display has a claimed pixel density comparable to an 8K screen, while the passenger’s screen, which can play media and access the Internet, is dimmed from the driver’s view using Digital Blinds Active Privacy technology.
Additional screens in the cabin include an 11-inch “command center” mounted on the front console, an 8.0-inch screen on the rear console, and 12.6-inch screens on each front seatback.
There is a fixed glass roof without a sun canopy, but it has suspended particle device technology with four adjustable zones, multi-colored ambient lighting and “light choreography”.
Hand-finished metalwork and hand-finished leather adorn the interior, while acoustic laminated glass keeps sound out.
Standard equipment includes four-zone climate control, plus heating, cooling and ventilation for all four seats, as well as heated armrests and a neck scarf function.
There are 41 speakers, including a 38-speaker AKG Studio Reference Audio System for the interior plus three exterior speakers that deliver “curated traffic sounds.” There is also an active road noise suppression system in the cabin.
The exterior styling draws on new design themes that debuted in the A lyricist a crossover, but taken to the extreme by the oversized proportions of the Celestiq.
The dash-to-axle ratio is large, while every metal surface on the exterior is real metal, including the brushed aluminum body side panels and the cast aluminum grille.
The ‘Goddess’ wing features a unique crystal element with ‘premium’ LED lighting elements, while carbon fiber is also used on the exterior.
No physical doorknobs. Instead, the doors are powered and open and close with the push of a button.
The headlights and taillights also have charging status indicators, as seen on the GMC Hummer EV.
A choreographed light sequence that sprouts from the front Cadillac crest occurs when you are about 5 meters away from the Celestiq from the fob.
As an ultra-luxury fastback flagship, the Celestiq has virtually no competition.
Rolls-Royce’s first electric car Ghostwill be a coupe and should appear in 2023, while Bentley will introduce its first electric car in 2026.
Like Bentley, Cadillac won’t sell electric cars until after 2030.