The all-electric Cadillac Celestiq marks a new era for the once-almighty American carmaker. Renowned as the “Standard of the World” for taking home the prestigious Dewar Trophy in 1908 and 1912, Cadillac pioneered mass production efficiency with its interchangeable parts, proprietary electrical systems, and potent engines. Cadillac designed the world’s first V16 engine in 1930, and the automaker was the first to use an all-steel roof and shatter-resistant glass in a production motorcar.
It doesn’t seem like it now, but Cadillac was at the forefront of technology even before General Motors took the helm in 1909. The brand is amidst a reinvention with its all-electric Lyriq SUV, the first Caddy EV to hit showrooms. Following suit is the all-new Celestiq four-door luxury sedan, a return to form for the brand. “Celestiq is the purest expression of Cadillac, acknowledging our incredible history and driving us to a bolder and brighter future,” said Rory Harvey, Cadillac Global Vice President.
2024 Cadillac Celestiq: What’s New?
The incoming Celestiq is the second Cadillac EV and the brand’s most technologically advanced production car. It also symbolizes the return of handcrafted manufacturing as each Celestiq will be hand-made and personalized to order. “With an extremely low volume of hand-built vehicles to be offered globally each year and an exclusive declaration process, Celestiq will truly be a custom-commissioned one-of-one,” Harvey added.
Sporting a bold presence with its long dash-to-axle ratio, extended wheelbase, station wagon-like rear end, and hi-tech lighting elements, Celestiq is the new Cadillac flagship. It brings back memories of vintage land yachts with bold styling elements and luxurious accouterments. Cadillac has a nagging habit of debuting fascinating concept cars that won’t see the light of day, but the Celestiq is as real as it gets, concept looks and all.
No two Cadillac Celestiqs will look the same, although all will have an Ultium powertrain underneath those shapely body panels with two electric motors, an all-wheel drivetrain, and a 111-kWh battery pack. Pumping out a GM-estimated 600 horsepower and 640 lb-ft. of torque, the Celestiq’s bespoke 11.59:1 (front) and 11.63:1 (rear) gear ratios unleash exhilarating performance and acceptable range, pushing the car from zero to 60 mph in about 3.8 seconds while delivering 300 miles of range thanks to one-pedal driving and regenerative braking.
Moreover, Celestiq accepts up to 200 kW DC fast-charging when the batteries run dry to replenish 78 miles of range in about 10 minutes.
The incoming Cadillac Celestiq may have the power to scoot like a sports car, but it remains a luxury vehicle to the core. It has a five-link front and rear suspension design with adaptive air springs and magnetic dampers to deliver a comfortable yet responsive driving experience that belies the Celestiq’s 18-feet length and seven-feet width. “We have incorporated Cadillac’s expertise in developing advanced chassis and suspension systems into an entirely new experience for the client,” said Tony Roma, Cadillac Celestiq Chief Engineer.
Debuting in the Celestiq is Cadillac’s first Active Roll Control system to deliver nimbler handling, while the torque vectoring all-wheel-drive and active rear steering enable more grip, steady handling, and better maneuverability.
The new Cadillac Celestiq features several manufacturing techniques like mega castings, additive manufacturing (3D printing), and flex fabrication. The undercarriage has six sand-cast or mega-cast aluminum parts to save space while improving structural rigidity.
Celestiq has more than 115 3D-printed parts, including window switches, console décor, grab handles, and more. In addition, the vehicle has more than 300 “flex-fabricated” components that involve manipulating metal sheets into unique shapes like paper origami.
New Luxury Standards
Even though the Cadillac Celestiq has more than enough power to prove a point, its main strength is delivering the highest level of poshness and prestige to its occupants. It has power opening and closing doors that negate the need for conventional door buttons. The cabin is a cacophony of hand-finished metal trim, hand-wrapped leather upholstery, and an endless selection of material choices, colors, and finishes. “Celestiq is so much more than the vehicle itself; it is a piece of art,” said Laetitia Lopez, lead colors, materials, and finish designer of the Cadillac Celestiq.
Standard in every Celestiq is a four-zone fixed glass roof equipped with Suspended Particle Device Technology and multi-color ambient lighting choreography, allowing each occupant to select an opaque or fully-transparent top. Front and center of the expansive dashboard is a 55-inch high-definition touchscreen infotainment system with Google Built-In, connected cameras, and Ultra Cruise hands-free driving capabilities.
The rear passengers have individual 12.6-inch displays and an eight-inch touchscreen in the center console to fiddle with, while the driver and front passenger have access to an 11-inch front command center screen to adjust vehicle settings like the glass roof tinting, cabin temperature, and more.
Driving tunes are courtesy of a bespoke AKG Studio Reference audio system with three amplifiers, 30 channels, and 38 speakers. The Celestiq also has three exterior speakers to alert pedestrians and bicyclists on the road. Furthermore, the new Cadillac Celestiq is debuting with a four-zone Gentherm microclimate system. It has up to 33 microclimate devices to offer tailored comfort settings for the neck scarves, heated armrests, and ventilated seats.
2024 Cadillac Celestiq Pricing
Production of the Cadillac Celestiq is scheduled near the end of 2023 at the General Motors Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. Potential clients will undergo a design consultation process by a dedicated Cadillac concierge to bring their Celestiq to life.
The base price starts north of $300,000 and will significantly increase depending on the buyer’s level of customization. Cadillac will build no more than six Celestiqs at any given moment to ensure quality and attention to detail.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.