Cadillac has officially revealed its Optiq, its entry-level electric SUV, at the Guangzhou motor show.

    Images and some specifications of the Tesla Model Y and BMW iX3 rival appeared online earlier this year in a filing with the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

    The Optiq has now hit the show floor in Guangzhou, though we have yet to see its interior.

    Simultaneously, Cadillac has announced it won’t be exclusive to the Chinese market as had previously been reported. It has been confirmed for the North American market, with pricing and specifications to be announced next year.

    It’s a possibility for Australia, too, as earlier this year General Motors trademarked the Optiq name locally.

    Cadillac hasn’t revealed any further information on the Optiq, however we know from the earlier MIIT filing it will come with a single electric motor with either 150kW of power or 180kW of power.

    It’s expected to feature rear-wheel drive like most GM products on the BEV3 platform, while a dual-motor all-wheel drive configuration seems likely for the North American market.

    According to Chinese media reports, the Optiq will use a battery from the SAIC-CATL joint venture and not one of GM’s Ultium batteries. It’s unclear if this will be different for examples sold outside of China.

    The Optiq measures 4822mm long, 1912mm wide and 1642mm tall on a 2954mm wheelbase.

    For reference, a Tesla Model Y is 4750mm long, 1978mm wide and 1624mm tall on a 2890mm wheelbase, while Cadillac’s own Lyriq is 5005mm long, 1976mm wide and 1623mm tall on a 3094mm wheelbase.

    While there’s a clear familial resemblance between the Optiq and its fellow Cadillac electric SUVs, including tail lights similar to those of the flagship Escalade iQ, it has its own look with more curvaceous styling.

    In addition to trademarking the Lyriq in Australia, GM also trademarked the Escalade iQ and Vistiq names, the latter for an as-yet unrevealed electric Cadillac.

    It’s unclear whether Vistiq is Cadillac’s mooted electric three-row crossover, or an electric sedan.

    Notably, the Celestiq – an ultra-luxury flagship fastback for the brand – hasn’t been trademarked in Australia. It’s understood to be left-hand drive-only.

    Cadillac announced its return to the Australian market earlier this week, confirming the Lyriq will be sold here in factory right-hand drive by the end of 2024 in two new showrooms in Sydney and Melbourne.

    While it didn’t confirm the Optiq specifically, it indicated the brand will field more than one product in Australia.

    “We assess every market and every product possibility… we’re not sharing more than Lyriq right now but we will continue to assess what Cadillac is developing globally and what is the right fit for our market and at that time,” said GM Australia and New Zealand managing director Jess Bala.

    “Obviously it’s not just Lyriq, there are going to be more Cadillacs to come.

    “We’re standing up a brand and a business, so obviously it needs more than one entry.”

    Likewise, executives confirmed the Cadillac brand’s retail network will grow beyond the initial two locations.

    Executives also confirmed that, while the Lyriq will come from the company’s Tennessee plant in the US, “everything is always under consideration” when it comes to production sourcing – leaving the door open to sourcing cars from China.

    Cadillac said it will price the Lyriq “competitively” within its segment, which includes rivals like the BMW iX.

    The iX and Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV both start at around $135,000 before on-road costs.

    Despite what it’s calling competitive pricing, Cadillac says it will sell vehicles here in “exclusive volumes”.

    In addition to a separate retail network from the existing GM Specialty Vehicles business, it’s also promising a unique after-sales experience which it characterises as “white glove”.

    “We’re all about providing an elevated luxurious experience to that customer from the minute they may enter their details in a website or visit one of our Cadillac Experience Centres, all the way through to purchase and beyond that,” said Ms Bala.

    MORE: Cadillac locked in for Australia in 2024: Everything you need to know
    MORE: GM wanted Cadillac in Australia before it killed Holden

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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