During a briefing with the media, Cadillac executives provided a rough outline of the business and near-term product plans. The most interesting tidbits revolved around the brand’s electric cars, the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq and the later Celestiq, and its advanced driver assist systems, Super Cruise and the upcoming Ultra Cruise.
We’ll start with the Lyriq and Celestiq. The Lyriq is finally going into production next week, and it will be available to order on May 19 in both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions. This isn’t just a reservation system, it’s the actual order book, so there won’t be additional waiting to convert one’s reservation into an official order. Cadillac is expecting fairly strong interest. The brand was aiming for around 200,000 hand-raisers for Lyriqs (people that said they would be interested in a Lyriq, but didn’t pay anything to hold a place for ordering), and they managed around 233,000. The executives said that roughly 10% of hand-raisers end up placing an actual order, so Cadillac may end up with more than 20,000 orders. To put that into perspective, Cadillac’s best-seller last year, the Escalade, sold around 40,000 units, the second-place XT5 sold 28,000, and the third-place XT6 sold about 20,000.
Cadillac’s executives also spoke briefly about the Celestiq. The Celestiq is the upcoming flagship electric sedan that we’ve only barely seen so far. According to the execs, it’s finally going into production next year. As such, we should see it revealed sometime between then and now, though no one was willing to say exactly when.
This brings us to the other Cadillac news which is about the Ultra Cruise and Super Cruise. Ultra Cruise will be making its debut on the Celestiq. However, the executives said it hasn’t been determined whether it will be available right at launch or slightly later. It’s just too early to say for sure, since things could change with development and availability. As a reminder, Ultra Cruise will be a hands-off advanced driving assist like Super Cruise, but instead of only operating on highways, it will be able to handle city driving.
With Super Cruise, the news is that new features including automated lane changes and towing capability will be available as over-the-air updates for existing Super Cruise cars. It will only be available as an update for 2021 Cadillac models, specifically the CT4, CT5 and Escalade. Unsurprisingly, only the Escalade will get towing functions.
Somewhat related is the confirmation that Ultra Cruise will not be available as an update for existing Super Cruise cars. Cadillac executives noted that the systems require different hardware.