Cadillac’s been chasing the Germans for more than a decade, but with the Lyriq, the GM luxury brand has figured out its place in the automotive world again.
The Lyriq is the first mass-market, mass-produced, electric vehicle on GM’s Ultium EV battery and powertrain toolset. With up to 312 miles of range for $62,990, the Lyriq borders on feeling underpriced.
(Cadillac said last August that the Lyriq’s price would jump to about $70,000 for the 2024 model year, but the company has since reversed course and will hold the line or even lower the price, though which features will be included is still unknown.)
All the Lyriqs delivered to date are powered by a 102-kwh battery pack and a single motor sending 340 hp and 325 hp to the rear wheels. A dual-motor, all-wheel-drive Lyriq with 500 hp is coming, though a range rating hasn’t been released yet.
Cadillac said the Lyriq can sprint from 0-60 mph in less than six seconds and that feels about right, but dual-motor models should drop that time by about two seconds and also enable a 3,500-pound tow rating. The single-motor, rear-wheel-drive Lyriq is rated to tow the same 3,500 pounds, but it requires an aftermarket receiver as Cadillac won’t install one.
At 5,610 pounds with the single-motor powertrain, the Lyriq is quick enough to get out ahead of traffic, and the power doesn’t fall off at highway speeds. Flipping the powertrain from Tour mode into Sport doesn’t dramatically change the Lyriq’s personality, and that’s just fine as it wants to be a luxury cruiser and not an Autobahn barnstormer.
The Lyriq’s ride is its best dynamic quality. Without energy-consuming air springs or adaptive dampers, Cadillac pulls off some magic with twin-tube dampers and five-link front and rear suspensions. The suspension buffs out bumps and road imperfections as well as luxury vehicles costing twice as much and with much more suspension technology.
Cadillac offers the Lyriq with a 19.2-kw onboard charger, which can accept up to 52 miles per hour of range on a 240-volt Level 2 home charger.
At a DC fast-charger, the Lyriq can charge at a rate of up to 190 kw, which will add 76 miles of range in about 10 minutes.
The Lyriq also stands out for its attractive styling. It literally glows thanks to 736 LEDs gracing the exterior. Everywhere you look the Lyriq shines, from the backlit polycarbonate grille and slit-like vertical headlights to the thin LED taillights that wrap around and up into the D-pillars. The exterior is a rolling design flourish.
The interior isn’t as showy, but it represents the state of the art, with a 33-inch curved digital display carved into the dashboard. It’s not nearly as overwhelming as the 56 inches of screen in Mercedes-Benz EVs with Hyperscreen, but it’s as impressive as a showpiece. The look is clean, simple, and futuristic. None of the hardware or switchgear is shared with any other GM products. The Lyriq looks and feels like a luxury vehicle, though some hard plastic bits near the lower part of the front console look and feel out of place.
The Cadillac Lyriq isn’t perfect. While it sports a clean-sheet design, it lacks a frunk. It’s not the longest-range EV nor the fastest charging, its 400-volt electrical architecture trails today’s 800-volt systems, and the rear-motor model makes do with only decent power. The dual-motor model will solve that problem, but it’ll have less range as a result.
Will the Lyriq’s eye-catching design, luxurious interior, and well-sorted suspension be enough for it to win over three hot hatches, an outrageous SUV, and a sport sedan? Check back on Jan. 4 when we reveal the winner, along with the champs from our sister sites, The Car Connection and Green Car Reports.
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