Cadillac has always been about flamboyant cars and products like the iconic Escalade sum up that quite well. However, as with many other brands, electrification is looming large and Cadillac had to make the switch on its own terms along with making a car that speaks the brand values yet without clinging onto its past too much. There is no gas-guzzling engine here and the rakish Lyriq is perhaps the biggest brand departure for Cadillac but in a good way. The Lyriq is the first mainstream EV SUV but does not go the Tesla route as instead, it is less radical yet more comforting for traditional luxury buyers.
Make no mistake, the Lyriq looks striking and is indeed a handsome SUV while being pitched at the correct segment at arguably the right time. It takes GM’s Ultrium Platform yet puts the Cadillac spin on it along with a determined approach to stand out from the rest. The huge black crystal grille and the slim LED headlamps with the ‘choreographed lighting sequence’ have the necessary Cadillac theatrical flourish while the rest of the silhouette bows down to the crossover trend. However, it is remarkably close to the concept version along with wearing massive wheels while sporting a distinct coupe-like tapering roof line. The electric vehicle architecture brings in more flexibility in the design while currently, the Lyriq is available in rear-drive single motor guise while a more powerful dual-motor AWD is in the offing.
The interior is typical Cadillac along with a dose of sci-fi detailing with materials that are plush with a luxurious undertone. A 33-inch-diagonal advanced LED display greets you and takes up most of the real estate on the dashboard while having a brilliantly detailed display. It also gets goodies like Super Cruise, an Active Noise Cancellation system, an AKG Studio 19-speaker audio system with headrest speakers, a digital key, and a dual-level charge cord.
The performance or the range is not exactly mind-blowing but well within the EV template of luxury SUVs of this size with an EPA-estimated 312 miles of range on a full charge and around 340 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque.
In terms of charging, the Lyriq offers high-speed DC fast charging for public stations at 190 kW, which helps you to add around 76 miles of range in about 10 minutes of charging. For home charging, there is a 9.2 kW charging module, which can add up to 52 miles of range per hour of charge.
Like all EVs, there is one-pedal driving and the ability to customize the regen on offer. Perfect weight distribution and a lower center of gravity mean that the Lyriq is not a traditional SUV with loads of body roll while a certain level of athleticism has been dialed in.
The Lyriq isn’t the quickest EV out there but does put on a good show in terms of mixing the traditional Cadillac values into a sharp-suited EV canvas while also being a fundamentally appealing luxury crossover. It does not just put all the cards into sporting supercar-like acceleration as it’s more of a luxury EV that people will like, especially given the $59,990 price tag. Going by how fast the car sold out, it sure looks like that and now reservations for the 2024 models will begin early next year.