Three months ago, Cadillac unveiled a “showcar” version of the Celestiq, the brand’s ultra-luxury battery-powered sedan. Today I got to spend time with the production model, and yowza, this is a damn nice car with a sky-high price tag to boot.
Sure, it’s out of reach for most of us to pay over $300,000 for a car, but Cadillac is going after the 1 percent of the 1 percent here with the 2024 Celestiq, offering customization that is beyond the reach of uber-luxury brands. as Bentley falls. 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 takes personalization to a whole other level. The countless 3D printed parts – 115 to be exact – allow the company to offer more options for personal flair. Do you want your signature on the steering wheel? No problem! How about a special shaded pattern on an inner bit? With 3D printed metal border, it is easy to change the computer files for a totally unique look.
One thing buyers probably don’t want to change is the powertrain. Each axle has its own motor, and together they produce an estimated 600 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. Furthermore, the company says it can sprint from a standstill to 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds. For a vehicle longer than an Escalade, that’s quite an achievement.
The 111 kWh Ultium battery stores enough electrons for a range of an estimated 300 miles, and the Celestiq can accept a charge of up to 200 kW. Provided you can find a fast charger that pumps that much juice, you’ll have a range of 125 kilometers in just 10 minutes. Owners will get access to Ultium Charge 360, a collaboration of more than 110,000 public charging stations in the United States and Canada.
You can find those charging stations on the Google Maps sat nav built into the center portion of the huge 55-inch diagonal high-definition display. In front of the driver is a customizable digital meter cluster, while passengers get their own piece of the digital pie.
Streaming content for the passenger is possible, but the screen is shielded from the driver to minimize distraction. There’s also an 11-inch Front Command Center touchscreen, an 8-inch rear passenger screen 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 obviously a lot of them.
The interior of the display car is covered in blue leather with cozy blue floor mats that feel as if they are made from the softest lambswool available. Everything in the car that looks like metal is metal. It may be 3D printed, but it’s hand brushed and polished, with a luscious tactile feel.
The glass roof panel provides four different light zones that enter through the roof. When set to the darkest level, only 1 percent of exterior light reaches the interior. Although that can be chosen up to 20 percent of the available sunlight, it does not affect the indoor temperature. The pattern on the glass itself is really cool and evokes a futuristic, Tron-like aesthetics that match the refined luxury of the interior.
The 2-plus-2 seating configuration offers plenty of room in both rows, while the fastback profile allows for a decent amount of storage space in the rear hatch. There is a frunk, but I couldn’t look at it. A Cadillac rep told me it was big enough for a backpack, but I’ll have to see it to be sure.
I didn’t get a chance to drive the Celestiq, but it sounds like this sedan should be like driving a cloud. I expected adaptive air suspension and four-wheel drive, but the Celestiq goes one step further with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and Active Roll Control.
There’s a frunk, but I couldn’t watch it
Magnetic Ride Control is a piece of engineering magic that allows the suspension to react to bumps in the road in milliseconds for an ultra-smooth ride. I’ve experienced it in other Cadillac products and it’s one of the best upgrades you can make in a performance car. The latest version in the Celestiq should make potholes as smooth as butter.
The Active Roll Control uses the vehicle’s 48-volt electrical architecture and front and rear anti-roll bars to keep the sedan flat in corners. Again, I haven’t ridden it, but if all the components perform as advertised, the Celestiq should ride like a dream.
All the usual advanced driving aids will be used on the Celestiq with the addition of Ultra Cruise, which is expected to debut in 2023. This system uses mapped roads and an integrated lidar to accelerate, brake and steer at nearly 2 miles. million miles of roads in Canada and the United States. Over-the-air updates keep the technology up to date.
From the outside, the Celestiq takes on a unique pose. The doors open and close with the push of a button and, as with the Lyriq, drivers are treated to a choreographed dance of lights as they approach the vehicle.
From the outside, the Celestiq takes a unique pose
While the front end is clearly Cadillac, the long dash-to-axle ratio and low-slung roof exaggerate the car’s extended wheelbase. The sleek fastback profile gives it an avant-garde look that Cadillac hasn’t seen in years. The angular taillights extend to the wheel arches, a design element of the Lyriq electric SUV. Those wheel arches 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 on the road. In addition to the price tag of more than $300,000, Cadillac estimates it can only build two vehicles a day, or about 500 a year. If you have the coin and the inclination, you can make a deposit at www.cadillac.com
Photos by Emme Hall for The Verge