5 things you didn’t know about Cadillac’s $300,000 Celestiq EV • TechCrunch
Cadillac confirmed Monday that its forthcoming flagship Celestiq sedan will launch late next year with all of the futuristic bells and whistles befitting a bespoke EV starting “north of $300,000.”
The Celestiq isn’t just a flagship for the GM luxury brand. The four-seater is slated to set the direction for the brand’s transition to a full battery-electric lineup by 2030.
GM is loading up the Celestiq with new features and tech, pushing the price point well beyond other Cadillac models. When GM begins building the Celestiq by hand December 2023 at its Technical Center in Warren, Michigan, the vehicle will cost roughly 10 times an entry-level Cadillac.
What will customers get for that six-figure price tag? The all-electric sedan will feature a 600-horsepower, dual-motor, all-wheel-drive setup that can travel from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.8 seconds, and use the same Ultium platform that will underpin GM’s other future EVs. Cadillac estimates that the sedan can travel around 300 miles on a fully charged battery, and said it will be equipped with a 200 kW DC fast charging system capable of adding 78 miles in 10 minutes.
Here are five other features you didn’t know about the forthcoming Cadillac Celestiq.
The Cadillac Celestiq will use the largest piece of automotive glass in the world, according to the company. The all-glass roof measures 7.5 millimeters thick – double the depth of a high-grade acoustic windshield – and uses Suspended Particle Device technology, a type of film invented by Woodbury, New York-based glass supplier Research Frontiers.
The film, which is already used in the roofs of certain models from McLaren, Mercedes-Benz and others, allows each passenger to adjust the overhead lighting by controlling the transparency of the glass, from less than 1%, for the darkest level of opacity to the 20% tint of a standard sunroof.
Research Frontiers is also behind – or, in front of – the Celestiq’s five high-definition, interactive LED display screens. A 55-inch-diagonal screen that stretches pillar to pillar, unites two separate screens under a single pane of glass, with pixel density comparable to an 8K screen. Rear passengers get 12.6-inch seatback displays.
Lest these screens distract the driver, the car will employ electronic digital blinds – another application of Research Frontiers’ Suspended Particle Device technology – designed to let passengers consume content in private.
The Celestiq’s spacious cabin will spotlight a 3D-printed steering wheel, GM’s largest-ever printed production part. Altogether, the car uses about 115 3D-printed components throughout its body, chassis, interior and electrical system. That includes the seat belt loop guide – GM’s first safety-related 3D printed part – as well as window switches and grab handles.
The architecture of the car’s underbody is designed to simplify the hand-built process. Its shock towers are constructed from six large cast aluminum components, with one shock alone supplanting up to 40 components from the overall body part count, according to Brandon Vivian, Cadillac’s executive chief engineer. This helps reduce weight and maximize space for more important features such as optional 23-inch forged aluminum wheels.
Cadillac executives said that the Celestiq will come equipped for eventual “driveway-to-destination” Level 4-style autonomous driving. The car will use Ultra Cruise, a hands-free driver assistance technology and successor to GM’s Super Cruise suite of hardware. Celestiq will also come equipped with the necessary Ultra Cruise hardware to provide incremental progress through over-the-air software updates.
Not all Cadillac dealers will carry the Celestiq.
“All dealers will be offered the opportunity to be able to sell the Celestiq,” said Rory Harvey, global vice president for Cadillac. “There is a significant investment requirement, so we don’t believe that all dealers will want to take that opportunity.”
That investment includes retaining a concierge to help customize colors and materials. Cadillac said the Celestiq is available “by waitlist only.”