The EV will be entirely hand-built, offering a level of care and attention to detail typically reserved for exclusive models from less mainstream automakers, like McLaren, Bugatti, and Rolls-Royce. This means none of the Celestiq’s assembly process will be performed through automation, and the use of robots will be relatively restricted. While this form of manufacturing requires significantly more human labor than the rest of Cadillac’s lineup, the brand plans on making the Celestiq in extremely limited quantities. To prepare, GM has reportedly invested $81 million in its Detroit tech center, where the Celestiq will be produced. This will be the first time the tech center will be involved in the actual assembly of a commercially-available vehicle.
While GM has yet to release details regarding the Celestiq’s range or performance, it has shown off a great deal of the EV’s aesthetic and tech elements. Looking beyond its red and black leather seats, the Celestiq show car features a 55-inch diagonal LED infotainment system on a single piece of glass. The backs of the driver and passenger seats each have their own LED display. The roof, GM says, will be made of “Smart Glass” to allow drivers and their passengers to individually select the degree of transparency they’d like above their heads. The Celestiq will also offer Ultra Cruise, which can most easily be compared with Tesla’s Autopilot (though hopefully not in regards to safety).
The Celestiq is Cadillac’s second EV. The luxury automaker announced the Lyriq, its all-electric SUV, about a year ago; within 10 minutes of opening up online $100 reservations, all of Cadillac’s Lyriq Debut Edition pre-orders were gone. But the Lyriq sits at a far different price point than the Celestiq—while GM estimates the Celestiq will cost buyers at least $300,000, the Lyriq is far more attainable at $59,990. The extraordinarily different costs of entry make for an interesting tactic as GM pivots toward offering a fleet of EVs and eventually becoming both “mostly electric” and carbon neutral.
“The CELESTIQ show car is the purest expression of Cadillac,” said Magalie Debellis, manager of Cadillac’s advanced design division, in a press release. “It brings to life the most integrated expressions of design and innovation in the brand’s history, coalescing in a defining statement of a true Cadillac flagship.”