Cadillac to Launch 2023 Lyriq EV Months Earlier Than Planned

Cadillac’s first battery electric vehicle features high-rate charging, maximum range in excess of 300 miles.

Cadillac describes the 2023 Lyriq as an SUV, although its roof is some 14 inches lower than Cadillac’s Escalade flagship. (Cadillac)

Citing advances in its vehicle-development processes and tireless work from a global engineering team during the COVID-19 pandemic, executives and engineers for General Motors’ Cadillac premium-vehicle brand told reporters this week that its first electric vehicle (EV), the 2023 Lyriq, will be available to customers in the first half of next year – months ahead of earlier projections. The company also confirmed the Lyriq’s base price will be $59,990.

Cadillac said the 2023 Lyriq will feature segment-leading onboard recharging capacity of 19.2 kW when linked with an appropriate home-charging station. (Cadillac)

Lyriq chief engineer Jamie Brewer said in a virtual meeting with reporters that the Lyriq – Cadillac describes the vehicle as an SUV, although it has a low roofline and more car-like profile – will begin production late in the first quarter of 2022. Cadillac added in a release that “initial availability” to customers will start in the first half of the year and that customers can begin reservations this September.

The Lyriq’s production timeline is considerably advanced, said Brewer, thanks to GM’s extensive use of virtual-development tools such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) that speeded critical engineering such as ride-and-handling testing and manufacturing processes at the retooled Spring Hill, Tenn. assembly plant where the EV will be built. “The overall ‘feel’ of the vehicle is right where we wanted it,” Brewer said, adding it to be “very gratifying at this point in the program.”

Brewer said engineering teams are “working around the clock at this point” to achieve the revised date for the production start at the Spring Hill facility. “We wanted to start the journey sooner,” enthused Rory Harvey, vice president of Global Cadillac. “I think we’re in position to do it.”

Ultium battery gives solid range

The 2023 Lyriq begins production in Spring Hill, Tenn., months earlier than GM initially projected. (Cadillac)
The 2023 Lyriq’s cabin appears comparatively conventional, although it boasts a grandly-proportioned 33-in diagonal LCD display encompassing the area typically covered by separate gauge cluster and center-stack displays. (Cadillac)

The company reinforced its earlier projections for the Lyriq’s driving range, saying internal testing demonstrated a maximum range of 300-plus miles (483 km). Cadillac also specified the capacity of the Ultium lithium-ion battery pack for the Lyriq is 100 kWh from a 12-module configuration of the chemistry that uses nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum (NACM) cathodes and blended graphite anodes. GM recently confirmed it is investing $2.3 billion to build an all-new Ultium battery cell manufacturing facility at Spring Hill. Ultium Cells LLC, is the joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution.

Brewer said the 2023 Lyriq will achieve class-leading home AC charging that delivers 52 miles (84 km) of driving range per hour from its onboard 240-volt Level 2 charger that works at 19.2 kW, although that charging rate does require installation of a special 19.2-kW home charging station with 100-amp service. At DC fast-charging facilities, Lyriq can recharge at up to 76 miles in 10 minutes and 195 miles (314 km) in 30 minutes.

Rear-drive – for now

Cadillac also indicated that at launch, the Lyriq propulsion layout is rear-wheel drive with a single traction motor for the rear axle. The permanent-magnet (PM) motor is rated at 340 hp and 325 lb-ft (440 Nm). Brewer added that “a performance all-wheel-drive variant will be available down the road.” The Lyriq’s front suspension is a short/long-arm arrangement and the rear is a 5-link independent layout. Curb weight for the rear-drive Lyriq is a not-unsubstantial 5610 lb (2545 kg), although Brewer said weight distribution is nearly 50/50.

The Lyriq’s wheelbase is 121.8 in. (3094 mm, and overall length is 196.7 in (4996 mm), giving it a slightly longer length between axles than the current standard-wheelbase Escalade (120.9 in/3071 mm), although the Lyriq is nearly 15 in (381 mm) shorter overall compared with the Escalade. Underscoring the Lyriq’s decidedly less trucky profile, however, is its 62.9 in (1598 mm) height, compared to the Escalade’s 76.6-in (1948-mm) height.