True flagship sedan finally happening–and it will be electric

Talk of a true Cadillac flagship sedan dates back more than a decade. Now it’s finally happening.

During a presentation on Wednesday outlining its future EV strategy, General Motors revealed details about a new Cadillac model to be called the Celestiq and rolled out a concept to preview it. The concept featured a muscular front end and a curvy, almost shooting brake-like rear. Inside, it featured a screen that almost spanned the full width of the dash, a design trait that’s already appeared in the redesigned 2021 Escalade.

The production version will be a battery-electric car featuring the body of a large fastback sedan and a cabin that seats just four. Cadillac previously previewed such a model with the stunning Escala concept unveiled in 2016, but the design has evolved since then and the new concept should be revealed to the public in the not too distant future.

Cadillac Escala concept, 2016 Monterey Car Week

We also know the Celestiq will have limited production because the plan is to have it built mostly by hand—a bit like in the old days of coachbuilding where luxury brands would build grand designs atop donor chassis. And the chassis in this case will be GM’s highly flexible third-generation EV architecture known as BEV3.

The BEV3 platform will spawn multiple models across GM’s portfolio of brands including an electric crossover SUV for Cadillac called the Lyriq that we’ll see on April 2. The platform supports front-, rear- and all-wheel-drive configurations, as well as performance applications—we’re talking powertrains with enough juice for 0-60 mph times of less than 3.0 seconds.

The ace up GM’s sleeve is a new type of battery, which GM has branded Ultium. The battery offers greater flexibility when it comes to packaging and will cost less to produce than current designs because of a low requirement for the rare earth material cobalt. GM plans to offer the battery in sizes ranging from 50-200 kilowatt-hours, with the biggest size capable of delivering more than 400 miles on a charge.

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