Since the 2024 Cadillac CELESTIQ was officially announced in July 2022, Cadillac has described it as the pinnacle of everything Cadillac stands for. The stunning electric vehicle is hand-built at the GM Tech Center. It is described as the epitome of grace and performance. What better way to symbolize his artistry than to bring back the Cadillac Goddess?
What is the Cadillac Goddess?
The Goddess was a hood ornament on Cadillac’s finest models from 1930-1956. She appeared again on the 1959 Eldorado Brougham. She represented the speed and power of the Cadillac. She will reappear on CELESTIQ as a tribute to the past and a symbol of the brand’s new handmade artistry.
“CELESTIQ is the beginning of the future for Cadillac, conveying the artistic innovation the brand brings to luxury electric vehicles,” said Bryan Nesbitt, executive director of Cadillac Design. “We wanted this flagship EV to embody the brand’s important heritage in a truly meaningful way, with the Godin representing the pinnacle of Cadillac custom craftsmanship.”
The new Cadillac Goddess will no longer be a hood ornament. It can be found on the front side panel and in the multifunction controller on the center console of the CELESTIQ. According to Cadillac, “The front quarter panel trim piece is machined from billet aluminum, polished, brushed and tinted, casting the goddess in glass. The Goddess in the infotainment controller is central to the interior and is backlit and also encased in glass. The aluminum dial rotates independently of the glass goddess, so she always remains upright.”
The Goddess will also lead the way when it comes to charging the CELESTIQ. The CELESTIQ charging port is surrounded by a ring of light that reacts when the vehicle is plugged in. As the driver starts and ends the charging process, he receives visual signals that his vehicle is charged. Drivers will see an illuminated Goddess decal above the charging port. Cadillac says the goddess is a visual representation of how electrification is the soul of CELESTIQ and Cadillac as a whole.
“The Goddess has always been a symbol of progress and ambition throughout Cadillac’s history,” said Crossley. “Her return to CELESTIQ demonstrates our moving forward as we enter a new era of craftsmanship and design.”
Cadillac Goddess History
The Cadillac Goddess first appeared in 1930. It was originally designed by William N. Schnell of Ternstedt Manufacturing Company, a subsidiary of General Motors. The original goddess was a work of art that embodied “the spirit of unsurpassed speed and strength, coupled with grace and perfect balance”.
The long, flowing lines of the image were also intended to convey “the modern beauty and fluidity” of the brand and were available on Cadillac’s V-8, V-12 and V-16 models.
With the end of Cadillac V-12 and V-16 production, a new Goddess was adopted for all models in 1941. It continued to evolve after World War II and throughout the 1950s, with updated designs reportedly inspired by the same aircraft influences that led to tail fins and jet engine design elements, led by legendary GM Design Vice President Harley Earl.
Escala, CELESTIQ and the New Goddess
In August 2016, the Escala concept debuted in Pebble Beach, California, ushering in a new era in Cadillac design. It also marked the beginning of the Cadillac design studio’s quest to revive the Goddess as inspiration for the next generation of vehicles, and lead the brand into its all-electric future.
GM Design sculptor Richard Wiquist was commissioned to design a new goddess that pointed Cadillac to the future while reflecting his legacy. Sculpted entirely by hand, today’s Goddess only appears on the CELESTIQ, denoting the handcrafted, bespoke creation of each vehicle and pointing to a brighter future for generations to come.
2024 CELESTIQ will be fully customizable
The CELESTIQ is being built by hand and is expected to cost in the $300,000 range. The buyer can design the vehicle of his or her dreams. No more than six vehicles will be assembled at any one time. Buyers can choose from hundreds of exterior colors and hundreds of interior colors. It will feature an industry-first fixed glass Smart Glass panoramic solar roof and the world’s first ClimateSense four-zone individualized microclimate system. The CELESTIQ is only available via a waiting list. GM is investing $81 million in the Tech Center in Warren, Michigan so it can be built there. Production should start in 2023. Visit www.cadillac.com for more information.
Mary Conway is a professional automotive journalist with decades of experience specializing in the analysis of automotive news. She covered the Detroit Three for the Detroit ABC affiliate for over twenty years. Her affection for the Motor City comes naturally. Her father ran a gas station while Mary was growing up in Wisconsin.
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