August 9, 2022
Enlarge / The taillight of the Celestiq show car is one of the few images Cadillac has released of its next flagship.

Cadillac

Cadillac’s transformation into an all-electric vehicle brand is about to get underway. The first new Cadillac EV will be the Lyriq, which has just entered production; Ars is driving it next week, and we’ll be able to tell you about it on June 28.

With a starting price of $59,990, the Lyriq looks reasonably priced to enter the competitive luxury EV SUV space. But the Cadillac EV that follows will be a much more exclusive machine. It’s called the Celestiq, and so far, details are scarce ahead of a formal reveal of the show car in late July. Cadillac has said that “from first approach, the striking silhouette of the Celestiq show car leaves a lasting impression, challenging the ultra-luxury space with the spirit of futurism and the avant-garde.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Cadillac revealed that it will hand-build the Celestiq and will spend $81 million to set up production at General Motors’ Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan.

“As Cadillac’s future flagship sedan, Celestiq signifies a new, resurgent era for the brand,” said General Motors President Mark Reuss. “Each one will be hand-built by an amazing team of craftspeople on our historic Technical Center campus, and today’s investment announcement emphasizes our commitment to delivering a world-class Cadillac with nothing but the best in craftsmanship, design, engineering, and technology.”

As with the other EVs in GM’s pipeline, from next year’s sub-$30,000 Chevrolet Equinox to the four-ton Hummer EV, the Celestiq will make use of GM’s Ultium battery platform and Ultium drive motors.

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But GM says it is embracing innovation across its supplier community with the hand-built EV, which will use a large number of 3D-printed components, both in polymer and metal.

For larger-volume vehicles, additive manufacturing is more useful in the prototyping stage, as the low per-unit cost of mass-producing injection-molded plastics makes that approach hard to beat. But for low-volume cars like the Celestiq, the situation is reversed, and the high cost of tooling means that 3D printing becomes a highly attractive alternative.

These components will be used cosmetically and structurally—something we saw to a small degree in the Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing sedans, which used 3D-printed badges on their shifters and additively manufactured components in their transmissions and HVAC ducts.