There’s no greater kick to one’s spirit than getting excited for a concept car, only to see its production version become some watered-down dish with all the character of a bowl of Dickensian gruel. Well, consider your spirit uplifted this week, because Cadillac’s latest electric creation, the Lyriq, is pretty much exactly the same as the concept that previewed it. And it rules.
It’s wild just how closely the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq’s production form matches its conceptual preview. Cadillac said it went to great lengths to keep the real thing as true to form as possible, and it shows. The front end is a menagerie of razor-thin lighting hardware and that wow-factor “grille” that may have snagged some inspiration from baleen whales. Out back, you’d be hard-pressed to find that many differences between the concept and the production Lyriq. Its two-tier taillights look like nothing else on the road, that’s for sure, and they do a pretty good job complementing the split design up front, to boot.
Hopefully you’re cool with the Satin Steel Metallic paint color seen in these pictures, though, because your exterior choices are limited to that and black for the 2023 model year. Luxury buyers crave choice, so hopefully this palette expands in the years to follow.
If you thought the Lyriq’s exterior was cool, get a load of the inside. Cadillac really stepped up its game inside the Lyriq, even beyond the flagship Escalade that managed to impress just about everyone who evaluated it. The dashboard is rife with the latest styles and technologies, from the full-width climate vents that better merge with other panels to the absolutely honkin’ 33-inch LED display that spans almost two-thirds of the dashboard’s entire width. Heck, they even threw in a flashy new steering wheel design with what looks to be a load of capacitive buttons beneath more traditional rocker switches.
The lack of the usual drivetrain hardware means there are tons of space between the seats for storage, as evidenced by a massive tray just below a sizable center console that also contains the cup holders and a dial for manipulating parts of the infotainment system. There’s a good amount of space for people inside the Lyriq, too; both rows get between 38 and 39 inches of headroom and roughly 40 inches of legroom. Cargo shouldn’t have a bad time, either, thanks to 28 cubic feet of space behind the second row, which expands to 60.8 cubes when the rear seats are folded down.
As with its conceptual predecessor, the 2023 Lyriq is an electric-only affair. Riding on GM’s EV-specific Ultium platform — the same name you’ll find underpinning the new GMC Hummer EV — the Lyriq sports a 100-kWh battery split between 12 modules. A single permanent-magnet motor drives the rear axle, providing approximately 340 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque to motivate the 5,610-pound crossover. Cadillac estimates that this will be enough to grant the Lyriq more than 300 miles of range on a single charge, although the EPA will have the final say there. Expect those numbers to arrive closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date.
When it comes time to charge, Cadillac estimates that the Lyriq will accept charging up to 190 kW of juicing power, which would add about 76 miles of range in about 10 minutes, or about 195 miles of range in half an hour. At home, though, the best you can do is Cadillac’s 19.2-kW, 240-volt AC charger, which requires professional installation and will deliver about 52 miles of range per hour of charge time. On a more traditional 11.5-kW 240V charger, you can get about 31 miles of range per hour spent charging. If you’re really desperate for electrons, hooking up to a bone-standard 120-volt outlet adds a paltry 3.5 miles of range per hour of charge time.
Whether it’s related to EVs or not, there’s also some neat new tech inside the Lyriq. Cadillac’s version of GM’s regenerative braking system appears to include a pressure-sensitive shift paddle for changing how strong the motor’s regeneration is during deceleration, so instead of clicking through different braking strengths, you can make more minute adjustments by changing how much you’re pulling the paddle, sort of like another brake pedal mounted to the steering wheel. Neat!
And yes, Super Cruise is tucked away inside the Lyriq, too. GM’s limited hands-off Level 2 driving assistant has provided me with plenty of stress-free miles in its other vehicles already, and it only makes sense that this tech would make its way to Cadillac’s latest and flashiest electrified offering.
The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, if you haven’t guessed by the model year ahead of the name, won’t be hitting the ground for a while. Reservations open at Cadillac dealerships in September 2021, with deliveries estimated in the first half of 2022. It’s a 50-state car right off the bat, so you don’t need to worry about supply being limited to specific states to start.
As for money, all we have right now is the base price, with no idea of option cost. Including the unspecified destination charge, the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq will start at $59,990.