GM’s Cadillac Celestiq EV costs $300,000 and can be customized

2024 Cadillac Celestial

Cadillac

DETROIT — Cadillac is testing the limits of its brand looks and pricing power with the 2024 Celestiq — a large, custom electric car that starts at more than $300,000.

The vehicle – unveiled Monday night – launches General Motors brand in the ultra-luxury segment against the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce. This is something that no American brand has managed to do in modern times.

Executives say the vehicle is more about creating a “halo car” that helps boost Cadillac’s image, rather than boosting sales or overall profits. But if successful, it could create a new business model with two units for the company: one focused on high-end, hand-built vehicles and the other on mass-produced models.

“He’s a brand builder. It’s a halo vehicle. It’s going to improve people’s perception of the brand,” Rory Harvey, Cadillac’s global vice president, told CNBC. “The business case has evolved and continues to evolve, but it’s not just about the car. It’s about what it does for Cadillac and how it elevates other Cadillac variants.”

2024 Cadillac Celestial

Cadillac

Harvey declined to discuss the vehicle’s profit margins or whether the company plans to add other handcrafted models.

Customers will be able to customize almost every aspect of the vehicle’s interior trim, exterior color and other non-mechanical elements. They will be able to work with designers and a Cadillac Concierge to personalize their vehicle.

“I don’t want to see this as a Mary Kay car, but the reality is if you want to make an outrageous car, that’s the point,” said Michael Simcoe, GM’s vice president of global design, citing the Celestiq’s unique “blue” santorini ” revealed on Monday evening.

Despite growing concerns about demand for new mainstream vehicles due to rising interest rates and record prices, ultra-luxury buyers continued to spend.

Low production

GM only plans to produce hundreds of Celestiq vehicles per year. It will only have the capacity to build fewer than two vehicles per year. work day, Harvey said. The car will be sold worldwide, with the most important markets expected to be the US and China.

Celestiq will be available on demand only, with “a significant deposit” required to begin the construction process, according to Harvey. Orders for the car will begin later this year, followed by production starting in December 2023, according to GM.

2024 Cadillac Celestial

Cadillac

In June, GM announced it would invest $81 million in its technology center in suburban Detroit to hand-build the Celestiq — the first time it will produce a vehicle for commercial sale at its sprawling campus in Warren, Michigan.

The vehicle features technologies such as adaptive air suspension, magnetic ride control and rear steering to balance driving comfort and car performance. It also includes 115 3D printed parts, including the metal center of the vehicle’s steering wheel.

Cadillac hasn’t sold a hand-built vehicle in decades, but its Crosstown rivals have offered such cars as custom performance models. Stellar timeIn 2015, Dodge offered “one-for-one” custom-built vehicles for its Viper sports car. Since 2016, supplier and contract manufacturer Multimatic Inc. produced a handcrafted $500,000 GT sports car for Ford enginewhich will stop the vehicle at the end of this year.

The Celestiq is Cadillac’s second electric vehicle, following the Lyriq crossover that went on sale earlier this year. They mark the start of a new range of electric cars and SUVs for the brand, which plans to produce only fully electric vehicles by 2030.

Technology

The Celestiq, which GM previewed earlier this year, is big. At about 18 feet long and 7 feet wide, it is wider and longer than a Cadillac Escalade SUV. It is based on the automaker’s Ultium electric vehicle platform, but with an exclusive car structure.

GM says the car should travel more than 300 miles on a single charge, with an output of 600 horsepower, 640 foot-pounds of torque and a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds. Range and performance are less than some current, cheaper luxury electric cars, such as the smaller Lucid Air at $169,000.

The Celestiq obviously lacks the exterior door handles. Instead, owners can open the doors with the push of a button or have the doors open automatically when the driver approaches the vehicle with a key fob, according to GM.

2024 Cadillac Celestial

Cadillac

The Celestiq has five interactive LED screens, including a 55-inch diagonal screen that covers the car’s front cabin; a “smart glass roof” that includes customizable transparency options; and Ultra Cruise, GM’s next-generation advanced driver assistance system, which the company says will be able to drive itself in most circumstances.

“When we started this process, the mandate we gave the team was to develop the most epic Cadillac ever,” said Brandon Vivian, Celestiq CEO. “But the result is a vehicle like no other. … It’s a personal celebration of the customer’s individuality.”

Vivian said Ultra Cruise’s capabilities will grow over time. He declined to discuss how the system differs from GM’s current Super Cruise system, which allows users to leave the steering wheel untouched while driving on pre-defined divided highways.

Ultra Cruise is expected to be much more capable than the current system, as it is expected to build on Super Cruise’s software and sensor suite by adding lidar, or light detection and ranging systems, which can sense the light environment and help cars avoid obstacles .

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