$300k Cadillac Celestiq coming in 2023: What we know [Update]

Update: ‘Dimensions’ section added.

The Cadillac Celestiq will be the pinnacle of electric luxury from GM’s stable when it goes on sale in 2023. Seen as an effort to restore the former glory of the American brand, the highly futuristic electric sedan will attract customers from not only Mercedes-Maybach but also standalone exotic brands like Rolls-Royce and BMW. Take a look at what we know of the future Cadillac flagship:

Design

The Cadillac Celestiq is a flamboyant sedan with dramatic design elements, unique proportions, and large dimensions. It’s bound to turn heads with awe wherever it goes. The production version of this car is unlikely to be very different from the near-production concept shown below.

The Celestiq looks like a fastback from the outside. However, Cadillac calls it a sedan, which, in the words of chief engineer Tony Roma, is the body style that “offers the very best luxury experience.” The car greets its customer on approaching or departing 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 on the top give the Celestiq a striking appearance at the front. The designers wanted the car’s first impression to be intense, bold, and majestic.

On the sides, the Celestiq features angular windows, a distinctive beltline that slopes towards the rear in a classic car style, a gracefully sloping roofline, and a massive C-pillar, potentially the largest on any Cadillac so far. 23-inch wheels, which you’d typically see on an Escalade, further up the electric sedan‘s ante.

At the rear, the unusual curvy shape and the split L-shaped tail lights, the upper half of which have a horizontal layout and extend onto the C-pillars lend a distinct identity to the flagship vehicle. Also worth noting is the illuminated model inscription beside the upper half of the right-side tail light.

Interior & Features

Inside, the Cadillac Celestiq raises the bar for opulence with a futuristic design, exquisite details, and innovative features. It’s a four-seater with a reductive interior that is clean and simple and yet looks extravagant with sophisticated technologies and new-age, sustainable materials.

Five displays

Customers who are passionate about technology will find the Celestiq’s dashboard to be its most appealing feature. It integrates an end-to-end 55-inch LED display, which includes a passenger display that allows video playback and features electronic digital blinds that block the same from the view of the driver. The are two displays on the full-length console, one in the front and one in the rear. The other two have been integrated into the front seat backrests.

SPD-SmartGlass Nanotechnology roof

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.

SPD-SmartGlass Nanotechnology roof 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.

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

The Celestiq boasts 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.

Video Source: YouTube/Cadillac

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 updates 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, the 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.

Dimensions

Video Source: YouTube/CarSpyMedia

GM hasn’t revealed the dimensions of the Cadillac Celestiq, but the spy video embedded above, courtesy of YouTube channel CarSpyMedia, gives a fair idea of just how big it is. We think the length and wheelbase of the upcoming electric sedan are slightly more than the Mercedes EQE, which is 196.6” long and has a 122.9” wheelbase. CarBuzz has derived approximate figures for the Celestiq’s key exterior dimensions based on the diameter of its wheels (23”) and says that the upcoming Cadillac EV measures 122.8” in length and 196.1” between the axles.

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 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), USA, 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 likely be delivered to customers starting in late 2023. Reservations could open when it debuts in production form, which could be in the first half of next year.

Cadillac Celestiq FAQs

What is the Cadillac Celestiq release date?

The Celestiq’s deliveries will likely start in late 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: GM