The Celestiq is GM’s first hand-built car this century. Like the 1996-99 GM EV1 that came before it, production will be low and slow.
“We have a fixed capacity that we can go up to and that’s slightly less than two per day, and that’s for China, the Middle East and here,” said Harvey. That pencils out to roughly 500 Celestiq sedans per year.
Order books for the car are scheduled to open late next year or early 2024, Harvey said, but Cadillac is already holding preview events for potential customers, beginning today in Los Angeles.
At these events, Cadillac officials will explain the car’s technical details. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 3.8 seconds. All versions are equipped with front and rear electric motors, for a total of 600 hp. Rear-wheel steering and all-wheel drive is standard. Cadillac estimates driving range will be more than 300 miles, or 480 kilometres. The Ultra Cruise hands-free driving system comes standard. The Celestiq can park itself into a parallel or perpendicular space.
The car’s 190-kilowatt DC fast charger can put 78 miles— or 124 kilometres — of range in the 111-kilowatt-hour Ultium battery pack in just 10 minutes. The Celestiq comes equipped with adaptive air suspension. Its underbody is made from just six aluminum “mega-castings.” Body and interior consist of 300 fabricated pieces and 115 3D-printed parts.
The main focus of the preview events is on the luxury features, style, customization and craftsmanship of the Cadillac Celestiq, which breaks new ground for the brand.
The glass roof panel, which GM says is the largest of its kind in the world, uses suspended particle device technology, has four separate quadrants and enables the driver — or his or her chauffeur — to choose how much light enters the cabin. The car has five high-definition screens, the largest a 55-inch pillar-to-pillar screen across the dash that contains an advanced heads-up display. The 1,000-watt stereo system features 41 speakers, including three on the outside of the car. The HVAC system can be set to deliver heated or cooled air to four zones, while seats are heated and cooled.
The way Reuss sees it, the Celestiq gives GM a chance to make up for missed opportunities of the past. Earlier this century, Cadillac produced a series of highly acclaimed ultraluxury concepts, such as the 2003 Sixteen, 2011 Ciel and 2013 Elmiraj. Despite pleas from dealers and potential customers, Cadillac never followed through with production versions.
“This company, in my career, has never had the courage to do something like this,” said Reuss of the Celestiq. “We’d take Cadillac almost there, and then we wouldn’t finish the job. So we are going to finish the job, and more.”