Cadillac Celestiq electric 'show car' unveiled

Are you ready for Cadillac going toe-to-toe with Bentley and Rolls-Royce? No, we're not going back in time, we're heading to the future.

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The Cadillac Celestiq concept unveiled overnight previews a hand-built ultra-luxury electric sedan that aims to make the brand, once again, “the standard of the world”.

The Celestiq will be hand built at the GM’s design and engineering centre, which is being upgraded to support small-scale vehicle production.

Its hand-built nature, expressive styling, and cutting-edge technology, Cadillac says, are inspired by the similarly rare and bespoke 1930s V-16 and 1957 Eldorado Brougham.

It’s not entirely clear how much of the concept’s design will change before it becomes available. If it follows the pattern laid out by the Lyriq electric crossover, it will keep its overall design, but there will be changes to the lighting graphics, bumpers, and the window shapes will be revised with framed glass.

The interior might also be turned down from 11.

Despite its fastback profile, Cadillac states the Celestiq is a sedan because it is “the configuration [which] offers the very best luxury experience”.

GM claims the Celestiq show car previews some of the “innovative technology” that will end up in the production model.

This includes the company’s new Ultra Cruise autonomous driving system, which promises a hands-free driving experience from driveway to driveway. GM’s current Super Cruise setup is restricted to specially mapped-out limited-access highways in the US and Canada.

Inside the cabin there are five touchscreen displays, including one that measures 55 inches diagonally. This screen stretches out in front of the front passenger, and includes electronic digital blinds that allow the passenger to watch video content without distracting the driver.

The car’s Smart Glass Roof is arguably its best party trick. Using suspended particle device technology, the roof has four zones, allowing each passenger to choose the amount of external light they want to let in from above.

Timing for the Celestiq’s availability has yet to be confirmed. It is the second EV revealed by the brand, which plans to be all-electric by 2030.

Reports indicate pricing for the Celestiq will start from US$300,000 ($445,000), placing it between the US$200,000 ($296,000) Bentley Flying Spur and the US$450,000 ($667,000) Rolls-Royce Phantom.

The Celestiq rides on GM’s Ultium electric car platform. The General has yet to reveal power, torque and battery details, but given the GMC Hummer EV is available with a 746kW (1000hp) drivetrain, it seems reasonable to assume the company’s flagship model can be specified with at least that much.

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Derek Fung

Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

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