Cadillac Lyriq 2023: A convincing first foray into the electric market

After more or less successful attempts in the field of electrification with the Escalade hybrid and the ELR, Cadillac is diving headlong into 100% electric with the Lyriq for 2023.

Earlier this spring, we got a chance to see it up close at the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show. This time, the car guide traveled to Park City, Utah to attend the North American launch of this new model, which marks a turning point for the prestigious American manufacturer.

a bold look

At the outset, let us specify that the Larousse dictionary defines the term “lyrical” in the following way: in Greek antiquity it was said of poetry sung with lyre accompaniment. That’s an interesting nod to an electric vehicle that is essentially silent.

While the Cadillac affiliation is notable, the Lyriq has its own style. It is unlike any other brand vehicle, or indeed any other on the market. Halfway between a large hatchback and a utility vehicle, the Lyriq joins the ranks of the catch-all crossover category.

Photo: Germain Goyer

At the front, there is no grille, as is usually the case with electric vehicles. Cadillac saw fit to create a bright pattern there. It’s beautiful? It’s subjective. Does he stand out? Absolutely. At the ends of the grille, we notice the presence of vertical headlights, the brand’s stylistic signature. What also catches the eye are the huge 22-inch rims. In fact, this is the only option offered at the moment. They cost around $2,000. Otherwise, the Lyriq comes in 20-inch rims. It should also be noted that the dark gray paint is the only one currently offered. Black will eventually be added. Needless to say, we’ve restricted the range as much as possible.

As you can see from the photos, the Lyriq is not equipped with a rear wiper. We sincerely hope that the engineers have performed the wind tunnel tests rigorously before making this decision. We still have the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 in mind, which they really need.

Photo: Germain Goyer

A unique engine for the moment

Lyriq is based on the new Ultium architecture, which will be used in the development of nearly all of General Motors’ future electric models, including the GMC Hummer EV and Chevrolet Silverado EV.

In its first version, Lyriq will only be delivered in a motorized version. In fact, an electric motor is positioned on the rear axle. It develops 340 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. You should know that Lyriq is not a featherweight and that his total mass is certainly his main enemy. In fact, the Lyriq weighs 2,545 pounds, just 50 pounds less than a Cadillac Escalade.

With such a high mass and so much power, you shouldn’t expect to be catapulted when you press the throttle fully. Admittedly, the instantaneous effect of electricity is present, but it takes getting used to the idea that performance is out of the question. High mass is also felt when turning confidently. Note that you can choose to drive a pedal and that it is possible to maximize energy regeneration during braking by pressing the paddle located to the left of the steering wheel.

Photo: Germain Goyer

In early 2023, Cadillac will arrive with an all-wheel drive version that will benefit from a second engine. This will fit the front axle. In the case of this version, the power will increase to 500 horsepower. This seems much better suited to the vehicle’s mass. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a little longer before trying it out. Cadillac promises that this twin-engine version can tow a load of up to 1,588 kg (3,500 pounds).

As for the battery, it has twelve modules and its capacity is 100 kWh. Natural Resources Canada announces a range of 502 kilometers. When we were about to hit the road behind the wheel of the Lyriq, its dashboard displayed exactly that range while the battery was fully charged.

After having driven 223.5 kilometers behind the wheel, the remaining range was estimated at 290 kilometers. We covered more kilometers than the difference between the initial range and the remaining range. The displayed consumption of 4.7 kilometers/kWh corresponds to 21.28 kWh/100 kilometers. These consumption data are not very impressive, as the general conditions of the test were, in our opinion, quite favourable.

high tech

Like many luxury electric vehicles hitting the market these days, the Cadillac Lyriq isn’t just a commercial commodity. It is also a technology showcase for the prestigious brand. When you’re behind the wheel, what you notice first is the massive 33-inch curved screen. While the Escalade offers a three-screen juxtaposition, the Lyriq has a single screen. Only the central part, where the speed can be remarkably read, is not tactile. On the left we find the daily odometer and fuel consumption, while on the right, unsurprisingly, is the infotainment system.

Photo: Germain Goyer

To provide an elevated on-board experience, Cadillac has equipped its new electric vehicle with an AKG stereo system. Without being revolutionary in any way, this one performs very well. Engineers also worked hard to optimize sound insulation on board. While they are used to using insulating materials to reduce the noise of a gasoline engine, they have worked on soundproofing the cabin to limit outside noise. And it’s successful.

We enjoyed a comfortable experience with Lyriq. The suspension elements do the job well in this regard and the overall smoothness is what you’d expect from a vehicle with the Cadillac badge. We can imagine even more comfort with the 20-inch rims. However, the seat cushions felt too short for us. We would have at least appreciated it to be modular.

Unsurprisingly, Super Cruise technology is included in this brand’s first electric vehicle. However, it is still not usable. It will be in a possible remote update later this year, we’re told.

Photo: Germain Goyer

a competitive price

With an entry price set at $69,898 for the Canadian market, Cadillac is bold. In fact, you should know that the Genesis arrives at the same time as the GV60 and that in the base version we ask for $71,150. In the case of the GV60, we enjoyed all-wheel drive, but fell behind with power and range. One thing is for sure, Cadillac doesn’t give the Tesla Model Y a chance in this regard, with a starting price of $86,990. At General Motors, moreover, we make no secret of the fact that we are targeting precisely this clientele.

For now, the price of the all-wheel drive version remains unknown. However, we were told that the cost of the option would be negligible in the equation. Needless to say, the Cadillac Lyriq is not eligible for the federal or government grant of Quebec.

Photo: Germain Goyer

arm yourself with patience

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy, you won’t be able to get your hands on a Lyriq tomorrow. Indeed, the craze surrounding this first Cadillac electric vehicle is huge.

Cadillac has recorded approximately 3,300 reservations in Canada, which far exceeds what the manufacturer can produce and deliver. The current status of the order book now points to the year 2024. Production of the series models will start next August. The first deliveries will take place soon.

All in all, the Lyriq strikes us as a very convincing first foray into the field of electric vehicles for Cadillac. This is a more than interesting alternative to the Tesla Model Y. On the other hand, we regret the late arrival of the all-wheel drive version. With its superior potency and enhanced winter qualities, it seems to us to be the most interesting choice.

In video: The Car Guide visits the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show

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