Three months ago a “show car” version of the Celestiq, the brand’s ultra-luxury battery sedan. Today, I was able to spend time with the production model, and boy, is this a very attractive car with a sky-high price to boot.
Sure, paying more than $300,000 for a car is out of reach for most of us, but Cadillac is going after the 1 percent of the 1 percent here with the 2024 Celestiq, offering customization that’s beyond the reach of supercar brands. luxury like Bentley. and even Rolls Royce.
Cadillac goes after the 1 percent of the 1 percent
As with other hand-built vehicles, customers can opt for custom paint, leather and wheel colors, but General Motors is taking customization to another level. Thanks to the myriad of 3D printed parts, 115 of them to be exact, the company is able to offer more personal style options. Do you want your signature on the flyer? No problem! How about a special hatch pattern on an inner part? With 3D printed metal trim, it’s easy to change your computer files for a totally unique look.
One thing buyers probably won’t want to change is the powertrain. Each axle carries its own motor and together they produce approximately 600 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. Additionally, the company says it can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds. For a vehicle that is longer than an escaladethat’s quite a feat.
The 111kWh Ultium battery stores enough electrons for an estimated 300-mile range, and the Celestiq can accept up to a 200kW charge. As long as you can find a high-speed charger that pumps out that much juice, you’ll get 78 miles of range in just 10 minutes. Owners will have access to Ultium 360 charginga collaboration of more than 110,000 public charging stations in the United States and Canada.
You’ll be able to find those charging stations on the Google Maps navigation system built into the center section of the massive 55-inch diagonal HD display. Ahead of the driver is a customizable digital gauge cluster, while passengers get their own slice of the digital pie.
It is possible to stream content for the passenger, but the screen is shaded from the driver to minimize distraction. There’s also an 11-inch Front Command Center touchscreen, as well as an eight-inch screen for rear-seat passengers and two 12.6-inch rear-seat entertainment screens. I didn’t get a chance to play with any of the screens, but there are clearly plenty of them.
The show car’s interior is covered in blue leather with comfortable blue floor mats that feel like they’re made from the softest lambswool around. Anything on the car that looks like metal is metal. It may be 3D printed, but it’s been brushed and polished by hand, with a rich tactile feel.
The glass roof panel allows four different zones of light coming through the ceiling. When set to the darkest level, only 1 percent of outside light reaches inside. Although that can be dialed down to 20 percent of available sunlight, it won’t affect the interior temperature. The pattern on the glass itself is really cool, evoking a futuristic style, tron-as an aesthetic that fits with the sophisticated luxury of the interior.
The 2 plus 2 seating configuration offers plenty of room in both rows, while the fastback profile allows for a good amount of storage in the tailgate area. There is a frunk, but I couldn’t take a look at it. A Cadillac rep told me it was big enough for a backpack, but I’ll have to take a look to be sure.
I didn’t get a chance to drive the Celestiq, but from the looks of it, this sedan should be like driving a cloud. I was expecting adaptive air suspension and all-wheel drive, but the Celestiq goes one step further with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and Active Roll Control.
There is a frunk, but I couldn’t take a look at it.
Magnetic Ride Control is a magical piece of engineering that allows the suspension to react to road imperfections in milliseconds for an ultra-smooth ride. I’ve experienced it on other Cadillac products and it’s one of the best improvements you can make on a performance car. The latest version of the Celestiq should make bumps as smooth as butter.
Active Roll Control uses the vehicle’s 48-volt electrical architecture and front and rear stabilizer bars to keep the sedan flat in corners. Again, I haven’t driven the thing, but if all the components work as advertised, the Celestiq should run like a dream.
All the usual advanced driving aids will be featured on the Celestiq with the addition of ultracruise, which is expected to make its debut in 2023. This system uses mapped roads and integrated lidar to accelerate, brake and drive on nearly 2 million miles of highways in Canada and the United States. Over-the-air updates will keep the technology current.
From the outside, the Celestiq strikes a unique pose. The doors open and close with the push of a button and as the lyricdrivers enjoy a choreographed dance of lights as they approach the vehicle.
From the outside, the Celestiq strikes a unique pose.
While the front end is clearly Cadillac, the long dash-to-axle ratio and low roof simply exaggerate the car’s extended wheelbase. The sleek fastback profile gives it an edgy look never before seen on Cadillac. Angular taillights extend into the wheel wells, a design element featured on the Lyriq electric SUV. Those wheel wells are filled with massive 23-inch rollers wrapped in summer-only Michelin Pilot Sport EV tires.
The first Cadillac Celestiq will be built in December 2023 at the company’s Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. While Cadillac plans to keep the Celestiq in its portfolio for many years to come, don’t expect to see too many of them on the road. In addition to its $300,000-plus price tag, Cadillac estimates it will only be able to build two vehicles a day, or about 500 a year. If you have the currency and the inclination, you can make a deposit at www.cadillac.com
Photographs by Emme Hall for The Verge
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