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General Motors Unveils the Production Version of the Electric Cadillac LYRIQ SUV at Auto Shanghai

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【Summary】Automaker General Motors unveiled the production version of the Lyriq for the first time at Auto Shanghai 2021, which is one of the world’s largest auto shows. The futuristic and sleek Lyriq represents the future of Cadillac, but also that of General Motors, as the company transitions to building more purely electric vehicles.

Eric Walz    Apr 21, 2021 3:00 PM PT
General Motors Unveils the Production Version of the Electric Cadillac LYRIQ SUV at Auto Shanghai
The Cadillac LYRIQ will debut as a 2023 model.

As U.S. automaker General Motors ramps up plans to go all-electric by 2035, many new battery-powered models will be introduced by the company over the next few years. The first of these new models includes the new Chevy Bolt EUV, GMC Hummer electric truck, Chevy Silverado electric pickup and upcoming Lyriq SUV, which is the first battery-powered model from GM's luxury division Cadillac.

Although GM shared teaser images and details of the Cadillac Lyriq last year, the automaker unveiled the production version for the first time at Auto Shanghai 2021, which is one of the world's largest auto shows. 

The futuristic and sleek Lyriq represents the future of Cadillac, but also that of General Motors, as the company transitions to building more purely electric vehicles. GM is investing $27 billion electrification and autonomous driving by 2025.

"The Lyriq represents a clean-sheet design that sets the standard for the future of Cadillac," said Andrew Smith, executive director of Cadillac Design. "The objective I gave my team was to design the Lyriq with the level of detail that they would show a car. The customer should feel like they're driving in the future."

Cadillac is being remade into an electric luxury brand to compete with upmarket electric vehicles from Tesla, Mercedes Benz, BMW and others.

"Throughout the next decade, Cadillac will define the future of luxury transportation through a series of exciting new electric vehicles, and it all begins with LYRIQ," said Rory Harvey, vice president, Global Cadillac. "The 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ's stunning design and artfully integrated technology combined with GM's Ultium Platform will deliver a high-performance luxury experience unlike anything that has come before it, setting a new standard for Cadillac."

The Lyriq will be built on GM's new Utium Platform, which is a new dedicated electric architecture for GM's future EVs. The electric SUV will come with a 100 kilowatt-hour battery pack and a rear-wheel-drive setup producing 340 horsepower and 440 Nm of torque. Range estimates are over 300 miles on a full charge.

The Lyriq will also offer high-speed DC fast charging for public stations at 190 kW, enabling customers to add an estimated 76 miles of range in about 10 minutes, according to GM. For charging at home, the LYRIQ will offer a 19.2 kW charging module, which can add up to 52 miles of range per hour of charge.

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A panel on the left front fender conceals the charging port when not in use.

The Ultium battery system is not just a flat battery pack, rather its part of the structural element of the Lyriq. It results in a lower center of gravity and near 50/50 weight distribution to improve ride and handling. 

GM's new Ultium platform includes a family of five interchangeable powertrains, which simplifies EV production. The Utium platform can support a wide variety of vehicle styles and powertrain configurations. The flexibility of GM's Utium platform has helped the automaker speed up development timelines of the Lyriq.

"Thanks to the modular and highly flexible Ultium Platform that powers Lyriq, along with advanced virtual development tools, Cadillac has been able to accelerate development and put more real-world miles on prototypes sooner than expected," said Jamie Brewer, Lyriq chief engineer. "It's exciting to see our objectives realized on the road — and it means we are on track to bring this pioneering electric luxury vehicle to customers nine months earlier than originally planned."

The Lyriq will also feature next-generation variable Regen on Demand technology, which allows drivers to control how quickly the vehicle slows down or comes to a complete stop. It can be used for one pedal driving, which drivers can set to their liking. 

When a driver takes their foot off the accelerator pedal the SUV uses regenerative braking to slow down or come to a complete stop. The system can be customized by the driver using a paddle button on the steering wheel.

The Cadillac Lyriq will also come with the latest version of GM's Super Cruise autonomous driving feature for hands-free driving.

The cabin of the Lyriq is sleek. The interior design is focused around secondary and tertiary design elements, including intricate laser etched patterns through wood over metal decor, a design that GM said has never been done before in the auto industry.  

GM said that customers will be able to select from Satin Steel Metallic or Stellar Black Metallic exterior colors, and Sky Cool Gray or Noir for the interior.

The dashboard features a massive 33-inch-diagonal advanced LED display with the ability to produce over 1 billion colors. The large, curved LED screen is the centerpiece of the interior with access to all of the Lyriq's controls and features.

Since the Lyriq is a luxury SUV, another unique feature is an Active Noise Cancellation system for the cabin that filters out unwanted noise from the outside and from the tires for a more quiet driving experience. 

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This LYRIQ features a massive widescreen display that produces over 1 billion colors.

Perhaps the most striking exterior feature of the Lyriq's styling is its distinctive black crystal grille. It features a series of LED lights that illuminate as part of a dramatic lighting choreography that greets the owner whenever they approach the vehicle.

"We wanted to give the vehicle a face, making sure it looks distinctly Cadillac," said Smith. "The signature vertical lighting is emphasized through lighting choreography. The exterior lighting is a major technological breakthrough, allowing Cadillac to deliver on the promise of truly vertical lamps, an industry first."

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The front grille of the Lyriq lights up and greets the driver whenever they approach.

The 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ is expected to go into production in the first quarter of 2022, with pricing starting at $59,990. The electric SUV will go on sale in 2023. GM said its will open reservations for the Lyriq in September.

The Luxury SUV will be produced at GM's Spring Hill Manufacturing facility in Tennessee. The automaker announced in Oct 2020 that it's investing $2 billion in its Spring Hill plant to build fully-electric vehicles. The LYRIQ will be the first EV produced in Spring Hill.

An additional $2.3 billion is being invested to build a new battery cell manufacturing plant at Spring Hill to support EV production. The plant is being built by Ultium Cells LLC, the joint venture between GM and LG Energy Solution. It will be GM's second U.S. battery plant.

A new advertising campaign featuring the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq debuts on April 25 during the annual Oscar awards ceremony.

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