$300k Cadillac Celestiq to be unveiled in July; launch in 2023

Update: ‘Production & Price’ section updated.

General Motors teased the Cadillac Celestiq at CES 2021, showing the flagship car’s glass roof, which can transition between transparency and opaqueness at a push of a button, as well as the full-width digital panel for instruments and AVN. The teaser was enough to get the internet’s attention, and it is seen as an effort by Cadillac to restore the former glory of the American luxury brand with its new sedan, offering a high level of luxury, features, and design.

During the company’s Q1 2022 earnings call on April 26, 2022, GM’s Chair and CEO Mary Barra mentioned that Cadillac would be the first brand under the group to go all-electric. The CEO added that GM is off to a good start this year and the team is ‘laser-focused’ on its commitment.

Through 2022, GM has confirmed new information including the debut and the release date of the Cadillac Celestiq. Take a look at what we know of the future Cadillac flagship:

Design & Features

Inspired by the Cadillac Escala concept, the Celestiq will see large exterior dimensions to make its presence felt. Designers could easily breach the 5-meter mark in length, lending the Celestiq enormous street cred. It’s worth noting that the car is still at a conceptual stage but nearer to series production than the Escala. The final model will likely have some visual changes but comparatively smaller.

Our exclusive render (above) attempts to decode the front of the Cadillac Celestiq. It shows the ultimate Cadillac sedan created using the brand’s new design language seen on the Lyriq. GM designers have opted for majestic and bold, to offer a great road presence and be a head-turner wherever it goes.

The rendered Celestiq greets its customer on approaching or leaving it with an intricately choreographed light animation and highlights its dramatic design. A brand logo with a backlight, a textured illuminated Black Crystal Shield faux grille, vertically stacked LED projectors and LED light guide, and ultra-slim, independent turn indicators placed high up in the fascia give the rendered Celestiq a striking appearance at the front.

On June 8, 2022, Cadillac released new teasers of the Celestiq concept. The images showed Celestiq’s L-shaped tail lights reminiscent of the Lyriq, its sophisticated front wing, and shiny wheels. Cadillac says that its signature lighting design rises to a new level and suggests that they turn on in an animated sequence.

23-inch curved display

Cadillac Celestiq dashboard
The earlier teaser video showed the Celestiq having a wide digital infotainment screen spread across the dashboard, and individual screens should be seen at the rear. Image Source: GM

The Cadillac Celestiq would feature a reductive interior that is clean and simple and yet looks extravagant with sophisticated technologies and new-age, sustainable materials. A large, curved LED screen measuring 23 inches diagonally should be the centerpiece. That, along with ultra-slim air vents and climate control panel neatly integrated into the dashboard, would help the interior look sleek and minimalistic. The Celestiq would offer 2+2 seating with wood over metal decor and genuine leather-free, synthetic upholstery.

General Motors has confirmed that the Celestiq’s driver and co-driver will “enjoy a pillar-to-pillar freeform display” with active privacy to help reduce driver distraction.

SPD-SmartGlass Nanotechnology roof

Cadillac is likely to offer several other futuristic technologies. SPD-SmartGlass Nanotechnology roof, which, as GM Authority reported, allows individual passengers to control the opacity of their respective roof sections. This glass should help the car’s driving range, as Mercedes test data has shown that it can reduce the cabin’s temperature – as much as 18 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius) – to keep it to an optimal level and reduce the load on the air-conditioner.

SPD-SmartGlass Nanotechnology roof would be an attractive feature for both enhanced comfort and range, particularly in the Middle East, where Cadillac is leading GM’s electrification efforts. It is worth noting that the Middle East is the luxury brand’s largest market outside China and North America. The Cadillac Lyriq has already received the green signal for the region, and the Celestiq could be the next EV.

Cadillac Celestiq SPD-SmartGlass Sunroof
The Celestiq’s SPD SmartGlass quadrant roof should improve its eco-friendliness. This technology can reduce CO2 emissions by 4 g/km* and bring approximately 5.5% improvement* in the range. Image Source: GM. *Independent calculations

Haptic interfaces

Like BMW’s iX, the Cadillac Celestiq will feature haptic interfaces from Immersion Corp’s Tier 1 licensees. Cadillac may discretely integrate some controls into touch-based surfaces and keep them invisible until needed, in line with the minimalist theme of the interior.

Ultra Cruise

Lastly, the Celestiq will boast GM’s most advanced hands-free ADAS – Ultra Cruise. GM has designed it to handle 95% of all driving scenarios on all paved roads in the U.S. and Canada. At launch, Ultra Cruise will cover more than 2 million miles of roads in the U.S. and Canada, and at a later stage, the coverage will expand to more than 3.4 million miles. Apart from highways, Ultra Cruise will work in city streets, subdivision streets, and paved rural roads.

In her CES 2022 keynote, GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra said that the Cadillac Celestiq will be among the first models available with Ultra Cruise.

I’m excited to announce that the Cadillac Celestiq ultra-luxury sedan will be one of the first vehicles to feature Ultra Cruise.

Mary Barra, Chair and CEO, GM (CES 2022 keynote on January 5, 2022)

On March 15, 2022, autoblog shared new information about upcoming Cadillac EVs from a media conference call with the brand. Cadillac officials reportedly said the Celestiq will be the first model available with Ultra Cruise, but a decision on whether to offer the autonomous driving system from day one or introduce it later is pending.

Compute architecture

Compute architecture, which GM co-developed with Qualcomm, will power Ultra Cruise. It’s quite compact, only about the size of two laptops placed on top of each other, yet it possesses the processing capability of several hundred PCs.

The Ultra Cruise compute consists of two SA8540P SoCs and one SA9000P AI accelerator, which together deliver low-latency control functions on 16-core CPUs and high-performance AI compute of more than 300 TOPS for the processing of the camera, radar, and LiDAR. Qualcomm Technologies has designed the Snapdragon SOCs with the new 5-nanometer process technology, which means superior performance and power efficiency. The two SA8540P SOCs will give the required bandwidth for the autonomous driving system’s sensing, perception, planning, localization, mapping, and driver monitoring.

Ultifi

The development of the software for the system took place completely in-house. OTA u[dates through this software will allow improving and upgrading the compute architecture over time.

It (Ultra Cruise) will leverage the Ultifi software platform and VIP to enable the system to evolve over time with more frequent updates adding features, services, and functions – all over the air. This will not only help keep Ultra Cruise on the leading edge but will also provide data to enhance performance, both now and in the future. Both Super Cruise and Ultra Cruise represent access to breakthrough technology for the customer, both offering more features, conveniences, and enhancements over time.

Mary Barra, Chair and CEO, GM (CES 2022 keynote on January 5, 2022)

Remote functions

Cadillac Celestiq customers would be able to access many functions remotely through a mobile app. These may include locking/unlocking the EV, turning it on, starting/stopping its headlights, activating its alarm, enabling/disabling some of the infotainment system’s apps, and pre-cooling/pre-heating the cabin.

OnStar

Support for OnStar, an in-vehicle safety and security system, could be a standard feature in the Cadillac Celestiq. Using the OnStar mobile app, customers could be able to share their location status to let their family and friends know their destination departures and arrivals. In case the battery of the EV depletes, customers can get a battery charge roadside assistance. In the event of an accident, the vehicle alerts emergency-certified advisors, who can call the occupant. If required the advisors can contact first responders and provide the vehicle’s location. OnStar’s emergency-certified advisors are available 24/7 to assess emergency situations and provide guidance for a way out.

High-level customization

GM plans to offer expansive customization options for the Cadillac Celestiq that could potentially make every unit truly unique. A source familiar with the development has told Cadillac Society that Celestiq customers could even select wood from a tree in their yard for the car’s interior trim. There will be a myriad of other customization options, and if these claims turn out to be accurate, Cadillac could finally reach the levels of Rolls-Royce and Bentley in this aspect.

The image gallery above shows pictures of the Celestiq concept’s seat design and rear center console. The red upholstering, chevron-like pattern on the backrest, and metallic trim make the seats appear sophisticated and will appeal to the style-conscious. Plus, Cadillac designers have inserted an ambient lighting strip on the sides. The rear center console between individual seats has a round metallic knob (presumably for multimedia & climate control) and a small storage box to securely stow a smartphone. The phone box could have a wireless charger built into it.

Platform & Battery

The GM BEV3 all-electric platform will form the basis for the Cadillac Celestiq, which will use the Ultium battery and drive motor technology seen on the GMC Hummer EV. The sedan is expected to display the full potential of the Ultium technology with a range of up to 400 miles (644 km) and a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint in the sub-5-second region.

The development of the Cadillac Celestiq started much before the Ultium tech, and unsurprisingly, Cadillac intended the sedan to have an internal combustion engine!

Ultium Energy Recovery

Like every other Ultium-based EV, the Cadillac Celestiq will feature Ultium Energy Recovery. That’s GM’s branding for its onboard patented heat pump that recovers waste heat energy from batteries, power electronics, and propulsion components and stores it for later use. This heat pump can capture and use humidity from both inside and outside the vehicle, including the passengers’ body heat. The stored heat can become useful later to heat the cabin, warm up the batteries during winter before charging, and create the ideal temperature for the propulsion system during high-performance driving, say, during a quarter-mile run.

Production & Price

The Cadillac Celestiq will be a hand-built model costing around USD 300,000. GM hasn’t confirmed that price tag, but that figure is a piece of early information acquired from Wall Street Journal‘s sources. The company plans to start production by late 2023 and build less than 500 units of the car annually, the people familiar with the development told WSJ. The stupendously high price and limited production would make the Celestiq a niche model and tech demonstrator. It’s a chance to showcase what the brand is capable of and impress EV adopters, than spinning volumes.

The Celestiq is expected to feature the highest number of 3D printed components for any General Motors vehicle, at over 100 parts. These will include cosmetic and structural subjects, and both metal and polymer pieces. Production will take place at the GM Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, and the flagship Cadillac sedan will be the first production vehicle made at this facility. The company will invest more than USD 81 million into this campus to prepare it for the production of the Celestiq. This capital will go into purchasing and installing the equipment required for hand-building the car, and campus renovation has already begun.

Celestiq will be a true halo for Cadillac in every way. It will embody Cadillac’s commitment to reimagine the artful integration of design and technology. Provided at exclusive volumes, each Celestiq will be hand-built, hand-crafted, and tailored to reflect the unique taste and desires of its owner, delivering on an experience that will become the definition of luxury EV ownership for a new generation of luxury buyers.

Mary Barra, Chair and CEO, GM (CES 2022 keynote on January 5, 2022)

According to a report from GMAuthority.com, GM is testing the Mercedes EQS as it sees the German model as a benchmark for its upcoming electric sedan. The report suggests that the company likely considers even the Lucid Air a solid potential Cadillac Celestiq rival.

Release Date

The Cadillac Celestiq will debut as a concept in late July 2022. That’s when the car’s exterior, interior, and technical specifications would be presented in a nearly final form. Expect customer deliveries to commence in the final weeks of 2023.

Cadillac Celestiq FAQs

What is the Cadillac Celestiq release date?

The Celestiq debuts as a near-production concept in late July 2022, with customer deliveries starting in 2023.

What is the Cadillac Celestiq price projection?

The hand-built Celestiq should have a price in the region of USD 300,000. Reportedly, production volumes are in the hundreds of units.

What are the rivals to the Cadillac Celestiq?

No direct rivals, but at its price, the Taycan Turbo S, Lucid Air, and the Mercedes EQS with all the options ticked, come close!

Featured image: TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the Cadillac Celestiq.