The Most Expensive Cadillac Ever Is Over $300,000 And It’s An EV Called Celestiq

Cel Top

If there’s one thing that people have been complaining about for years, it’s that Cadillacs don’t cost enough. For too long people have been forced to purchase new Cadillacs and have the possibility of still owning some money. Well, thankfully Cadillac, makers of the Cimarron and other cars, has solved this problem for you with the introduction of its new flagship, the Celestiq. With incredibly limited hand-built production (think one per day, with a maximum of six vehicles being built at once) this colossal, dramatic, tech-laden new Caddy will start at prices over $300,000 and possibly much, much more as the car can be customized to buyer’s preferences to an extremely high degree.

The Celestiq is built on a very elongated (it’s longer than an Escalade) variant of GM’s Ultium EV car platform, which sits underneath cars as varied as the upcoming Honda Prologue and the new GMC Hummer EV. While the specifics of the Celestiq’s drivetrain haven’t been fully revealed, it’s likely the motors and power electronics will be similar to the Cadillac Lyriq’s, at least in some way.

Walklady

The Drivetrain And Charging

Cadillac did provide some basic specs about the drivetrain, performance, and range:

This dedicated EV propulsion architecture combines a 111-kWh battery pack and a two-motor, all-wheel-drive propulsion system to offer a GM-estimated 600 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque — and a GM-estimated driving range of 300 miles1 (483 km) on a full charge.

Unique among Ultium-based EVs are CELESTIQ’s 11.59:1 front and 11.63:1 rear gear ratios, which were specially calibrated to optimize range and performance. In addition to the impressive horsepower and torque, the vehicle is also projected to deliver one of the quickest 0-60-mph acceleration in the segment of 3.8 seconds.

Like the legendary Cadillac’s of old, it seems the Celestiq is focused on a specific sort of ride comfort, the kind that feels like you’re being whisked along on a mattress made of marshmallows and optimism, the kind that let you go over a speed bump at 51 mph in your Sedan DeVille in 1967 and not spill a drop of the old fashioned you had in your hand, next to your cigarette.

This level of comfort is accomplished with a lot of tech like this:

  • Adaptive Air Suspension: CELESTIQ makes use of an air suspension system, rather than the coiled springs used in a traditional suspension system. Compared to traditional suspension systems, air suspension offers a softer, more isolated ride for greater ride quality.

  • Active Rear Steering: CELESTIQ will offer up to 3.5 degrees of out-of-phase rear steering, in which the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels for greater maneuverability at low speeds. At higher speeds, the rear wheels will turn in-phase with the front wheels.

  • Magnetic Ride Control 4.0: A signature Cadillac engineering innovation will find a new home in CELESTIQ. Originally developed for the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, the system is the world’s fastest-reacting suspension technology, which allows for greater responsiveness and enhanced isolation from road imperfections.

  • Advanced AWD: CELESTIQ offers a two-motor electric drive unit. These motors work with torque optimizer modules that analyze torque requirements for given vehicle inputs. These modules turn the front or rear motors on and off as required to provide optimal torque to enhance ride quality and electric driving range.

  • Active Roll Control: The Cadillac-first Active Roll Control feature is a significant contributor to the vehicle’s nimble handling. It employs stabilizer bars embedded at the front and rear of the chassis to mitigate the rolling force exerted on the vehicle during turns and other maneuvers, enhancing the feeling of stability, control and occupant comfort.

The Celestiq has a 200 kW DC fast charging system, and Cadillac claims 78 miles of range can be added in 10 minutes, via an appropriate fast DC charger.

The Look

Cel Rear3 4Of course, it’s the design of the Celestiq that’s getting everyone excited, partially because that’s all we can really experience at the moment and partially because it is quite striking. It’s a long fastback design, an interesting choice on its own, and there’s a lot of really arresting details, like the hockey-stick shaped taillights that they seemed to like so much they included an extra set, inverted and below, the long rear overhang, the simple window graphic, the novel herringbone not-grille front end, the dramatic lighting, you get it.

Cel Frontqtr

Whether or not you like it, you have to admit the thing has hectares of presence, something that will likely be even more imposing in reality when you’re confronted with the whole massiveness of it all.

This is, of course, very on-brand for Cadillac, which has been building massive slabs of presence for decades. The press release specifically mentions the 1957 Eldorado Brougham as an inspiration, and I think that feels pretty accurate.

57brogham

There are a couple of odd details, I think, like that jutting rear bumper that to me feels like a modernized, black version of the old El Camino/GM station wagon bumper with the inset taillights, and there’s a little swoosh of what I assume is a character line that kicks forward under the A-pillar that I haven’t decided if I like or not. Maybe I like it? I need to see that in person.

Nitpicks

There’s one obvious thing that the exterior design of the Celestiq needs, and thanks to Cadillac’s promise of incredible levels of bespoke owner personalization, I suspect this should be possible. Here it is:

Cel Vinyltop

That’s right, this needs a proper Brougham vinyl top, complete with gold BROUGHAM badging and an opera light. Now it’s a real Cadillac.

Colors

Color selection seems to be up to the buyer, but Cadillac did provide a few options, complete with absurd marketing-speak taglines. See if you can match which tagline is for which color:

“A look into the new millennium that channels the motion of sport.”

“An avant-garde view of traditions driven by visionary possibilities.”

“An ode to infinity inspired by the mystery of the cosmos.”

“Ultra-luxury minimalism reimagines movement as a state of rejuvenation.”

Oof, right? Here’s the answers, in the order I listed: Aurora, Mist, Magnetic, Vale. How’d you do?

The Super-Swank Interior

The interior is, as you’d expect, absurdly luxurious. And pretty huge.

Int1

I like the use of color there, all of which I’m sure is customizable to the owner’s most secret and lurid chromatic desires, and the roof is something called Fixed Smart Glass that doesn’t require a sunshade or headliner.

Int2upThe interior is for four people only, with large individual airplane-style seats at the rear, and, interestingly, no visible division between the passenger and cargo areas. That’s pretty unusual for a luxury vehicle, and while I like how it makes the interior feel even more open and airy, I wonder if that is the only arrangement possible of the interior. I imagine there’s people who like to compartmentalize their luggage. Also, what if you’re hauling bags of peat moss or a bunch of gravel in this thing? You’d want to keep all that out of the back seats, right?

Screens

Unsurprisingly, there’s more acreage of LCD screens in here than your average office cubicle, with Cadillac describing it as:

The centerpiece of the interior and the CELESTIQ technology interface is a pillar-to-pillar, 55-inch-diagonal advanced HD display—the largest in the segment. It is a technological marvel, containing two separate screens under a single pane of glass. The driver-side display — with pixel density comparable to an 8K screen — shows driver and shared vehicle information, while the passenger side allows the occupants to play media, use the Internet capability, connect their smartphones, and more. In order to separate the passenger display from the driver, Digital Blinds Active Privacy technology provides a virtual privacy shield, dimming the passenger screen from the driver’s view when in use.

So, that’s one huge screen all across the dash, but the passenger’s side can be obscured from the driver’s prying eyes, so you don’t have to worry about your driver seeing how your OnlyFans is doing or get distracted when you watch the finale of What We Do In The Shadows.

3D Printing And An Easter Egg

Oh, hey, look, I think I found an Easter Egg!

Easteregg

It looks like on the side of the drink holder cover are the silhouettes of three cars; I suspect three Cadillacs, one from what I’d guess to be the 1930s, one from the late ’50s or early ’60s, and the Celestiq. Neat! I also suspect that buyers can specify details like these, thanks to the fact that so much of the interior trim is 3D-printed:

With 115 3D printed parts in the production vehicle, the CELESTIQ demonstrates GMs broadest use of this process.

  • The steering wheel center is the largest metal part GM has printed in production, combining the show surface and the structural B-side of the part, while the seat belt adjustable guide loop is GM’s first safety-related 3D printed part.

  • Other 3D printed parts include: window switches, grab handles, console decor and structural pieces under the vehicle’s surface.

With so many 3D printed parts, customization of these elements should be easier than ever before, which provides a lot of interesting possibilities.

If you’re like most of us, you won’t even consider a car until you hear what Lenny Kravitz has to say about it, so I’m pleased to report that Cadillac has anticipated this desire and has provided you with a video that should help:

The Celestiq is set to start production at the end of 2023, and will be in the Middle East by 2024. And I have a prediction: the next U.S. Presidential limo, the “Beast,” will be based on one of these. Or will at least be made to look like one. That’s my guess.

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69 Responses

  1. Lenny Kravitz? Hell should have used Gladace Kravitz. When I think luxury I think of a B List celebrity and an old man wearing what appear to be Wonder Woman bracelets. And sorry that interior looks like its made from wet suits.

  2. I don’t think this is going to work out for Cadillac. Who is the target audience for this car, beyond a group of collectors who will seal their ideally appreciating objet d’ art away in a nitrogen filled bubble for next 20 years? I can’t see a lot of people who would ordinarily purchase a Rolls, Bentley, Maybach or Mercedes choosing one of these instead… and I don’t think that people who are buying Ferraris or Lambos, or Mclarens would view one of these as filling the same market space. Cadillac has been far too Average-Joe middle-class for too many decades to be considered as a comparable not matter how many hands hand-built the CELESTIQ.

    The customers beyond collectors then only consists of rebels: “Sure, I could have had a Rolls, but chose Cadillac instead because…. (because what?) I wanted something different.” Okay……sure. This worked so well for the VW Phaeton, didn’t it? *

    Even as a halo car to draw people into the showrooms, I can’t see much value. It’s a gap too far to bridge between this halo piece and the rest of the Cadillac line. You come to admire the CELESTIQ and inspired by it but not willing to pay that much you settle for an ?Escalade? I think Cadillac would have done much better to build something similar but depriced to perhaps $150,000 -$175,000.

    *Sure you can can always sell anything flashy to NBA and NFL stars, but I don’t think there are enough of them even at today’s salaries to constitute a viable market for car.

    1. You are 100% correct. Does it seem many car manufacturers are designing cars first and then trying to designate the market? What happened to asking your target market what they want and designing accordingly. It’s funny this was discussed perfectly in the episode of the Simpsons where Homer designs a car for himself. I suggest from here on out manufacturers who force a design on the market without researching it or posters who proclaim what a vehicle needs based on their own experience be called Homers. There is an excellent meme for this but alas cannot post it yet.

      1. I agree. I can’t see who they think is going to buy this.

        America is in an inflationary bubble, where the average upper middle class worker at the golden end of their career is seeing shrinkage of assets, and no upside to luxury purchases. The average price of new cars has been rising so fast, that a price which once would buy you a nice new Mercedes, is what you need to pay for a small business work truck.

        Not only that, the design language here is out of touch with reality. People who associate luxury with Cadillac will want something that harks back to a time when Packard or Cadillac truly compared to Bentley and Rolls. This thing looks way too much like another iteration of the CT5.

        To justify such a stratospheric price, it has to look as solid as a bank vault, and ooze luxurious materials. I don’t think this design strikes that mark

  3. Oh. My. God. Really? the design team pitched the 6000 SUX as option NO and it got greenlighted? Those tail light / side markers are the useless inlets from the SUX. Only thing they missed is the front overhang. OK, the entire nose is swapped, but this is the Robocop 6000 SUX in 202x.

  4. Needs Dagmars. And too bad Caddy will never live down that Cavalier-thing.

    If I were king of GM, I’d put a “GM” badge on something like this and let Cadillac slowly wither or do whatever it’s going to do ’cause I’d never buy one.

    1. Surprisingly, yes. Assuming he didn’t just go with some variation of black, my prediction is there’s some very dark green in there. I think this thing would look amazing in a dark green and black 2-tone configuration.

  5. Might be in the minority here, but I’m glad Cadillaq has made a halo car that’s futuristic and forward looking without trying to stagnate in the past. American car companies try to live in a perpetual 1969 where big block muscle cars are everywhere and we’ve just won the space race. At this point the retro-’60s designs have been going on for an order of magnitude longer than the actual era their modern equivalents are aping.

    The point of the Celestiq is to be a symbol. The jet-age and space-age designs of that time were forward-looking and filled with optimism. Is it a good car? Is it worth the money? Does it even LOOK good? All subjective. I wouldn’t buy one. I can’t even conceive of spending $50k on a car, much less six times that (even if I could, which I can’t). The people who buy six-figure cars don’t give a sh*t about “value for money” because money is no object.

    As a symbol of “the future” it obviously fails on a few points. It’s ungodly massive and consumes a lot of resources to construct, undermining (har) the benefits of the EV transition. It puts HD pickup levels of stress on our roadways. And although it’s not the worst offender (looking at you, private jets) it’s still a reminder of the increasing wealth gap and increasing difficulty of upward mobility in this country.

    All that said, its existence as a handbuilt, balls to the wall, limiters-removed project appeals to me. It’s all emotion and narrative regardless of its reality.

    (plus it’s a liftback like my volt, yay)

  6. A HAND BUILT GM product? GM is well known across the entire galaxy for their reliable long lasting vehicles. (Okay, I couldn’t type that last sentence out with a straight face)… This will have people running for the far-more-reliable hills of Alfa Romeo-land.

    Plus, what is with the illuminated boomerangs?!? Nothing says made in the good ol’ U S of A like a uniquely Australian bit of kit.

    Someone should let Toyota know that there is a good opportunity to sell some 3d printers while we’re at it so that Celestiq owners can print more reliable parts.

    Finally, what in the Jumpin’ Jimminy Torchinskys was the inspiration for the name Celestiq? Was someone eating some hot wings at lunch when they realized that the meal ALSO came with celery sticks? And then that obviously mega-brained crayon eater was all “Eureka!”. To think that we bailed out the company that brought out this polished turd 14 years later.

    Imma go clutch my pearls and find a convenient fainting couch to occupy while saying “Why, I never!”

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