Cadillac was tease it for monthsand now we have our first full look at the Celestiq: a show car for now, but one that shows us what to expect Cadillac’s first mass-produced ultra-luxury electric sedan. And we mean it ultra-luxury: They say that Cadillac plans to charge over $300,000 for the production car that will spawn this show car.
Cadillac calls the concept “a vision of innovation and purpose that showcases the brand’s future handcrafted and all-electric flagship sedan. And while we can argue whether it can accurately be called a fastback, hatchback or five-door, there’s one thing it’s not – an SUV. It’s a sedan, says chief engineer Tony Roma in a Cadillac press release, “because the configuration offers the ultimate luxury experience.” It comes from the company that has the most profit a huge Escaladethat’s a bold move.
The Celestiq show car is stunning. A press release from Cadillac says the designers were inspired by historic models such as opulent V16 from the 1930s and 1957 Eldorado Brougham. Cadillac has to say it – any car company with more than a century of history will try to draw a line from its golden era to the latest experiments. I don’t know if I will buy it. The Celestiq auto show is bold, decidedly modern, and I personally like it that way. The only historical touch I can see is in the raised part of the upper taillights – the grooved, sloping leading edge reminds me of the taillights on the iconic, revolutionary 1967 Eldorado. It’s a little nod and that’s how it should be.
Because the Celestiq is supposed to be Cadillac’s next bold step into the future. It’s built on GM’s Ultium EV architecture — currently located in the heart the gargantuan GMC Hummer EV and finally, by force, almost everything GM makes.
Admittedly, the interior is a bit over the top, but hey, this is a show car. We’ve got screens, lots of them, including a full-width dash display that Cadillac commendably measures at 55 inches. Does it have wraparound edges that creep onto the doors, perhaps to act as displays for the camera-based side mirror system? Crimson upholstery and a very minimal dash panel create a vintage restomod vibe like Ridler Award Winner Custom. It’s bold but elegant. Very American. I dig it with all my heart.
Yes, this is a show car, but Cadillac says the Celestiq concept showcases technology that will be part of the production car, including a glass roof with suspended particle technology that allows each seat occupant to choose between four levels of opacity. The driver will also enjoy Ultra Cruise, promised as GM’s next-generation ultra-advanced currently excellent advanced Super Cruise driver support technology.
Cadillac says the Celestiq will be GM’s first production vehicle built at the automaker’s global technical center, an airy and striking campus in Warren.Michigan, designed by mid-century architectural legend Eero Saarinen.
The automaker cites Saarinen as an influence on the Celestiq’s design. When I first read it, I wanted to call it tiresome, but as I sat with these photos, I’m starting to see the connection. Celestiq has a genetic resemblance to the clean, restrained, yet warm and welcoming aesthetic of good mid-century architecture. And Saarinen is a fitting inspiration: The legendary architect was born in Finland, but the son of Michigan, where his family immigrated when he was 12 years old. Saarinen’s design for the GM Global Technical Center put his name on the map and helped launch a style and ethos that is still revered today. The fact that the Celestiq captures some of that mid-century elegance without a hint of cheesy retro flair is a feat in itself.
We’ll see the Celestiq in person later this year, and a production EV will surely follow sometime after that. First of all, I can’t wait to see it.
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