Proof from the USA that future electric flagships don’t have to all look the same – or wear SUV bodywork.
The Cadillac Celestiq concept car shows there is still room for style – and plenty of it – in the electrified future of motoring.
The Detroit designers have gone all-out for space and style while also delivering a unique rear-end look that cuts drag while maximising lounging space in the back seat and luggage capacity.
Inside, there is a full-width 55-inch diagonal LED display screen in place of the dash and, above, a zoned glass roof that uses Suspended Particle Device technology to provide four zones of individual and variable lighting.
Mechanically, the show car is built over General Motors’ latest ‘Ultium’ electric architecture – without any details of driven wheels, performance or range – but the engineering team also looked back to the V16-powered Cadillac Sixteen, which was the company’s flagship from 1930 to 1940.
The body is partly inspired by another of Cadillac’s all-time hits, the 1957 Eldorado Brougham, even down to the tail lamps, which are designed to mimic the giant fins on the 1950s flagship.
“Those vehicles represented the pinnacle of luxury in their respective eras, and helped make Cadillac the standard of the world,” said Tony Roma, chief engineer.
The Celestiq is much more than just a concept car or an online tease, as Cadillac says its engineering team is working flat-out to turn it into the first production car that will be built at General Motors’ Global Technical Centre.
It follows a $120 million investment in an all-new assembly facility that will include elements of hand production.
The target date for production is sometime late in 2023, and the car is expected to be priced in the $US300,000 ($AU430,000) range.
“The Celestiq show car is the purest expression of Cadillac. A defining statement of a true Cadillac flagship,” said Magalie Debellis, manager of Cadillac Advanced Design.
Plenty of work has gone into the interior and technology of the Celestiq, with five high-definition LED interactive displays and Ultra Cruise – GM’s next evolution of semi-autonomous driving.
It is a pure four-seater sedan with plush, aircraft-style individual chairs and display screens.
“We had to reconsider all aspects to immerse the customer, all of their senses, and create a connection with the vehicle through the finest genuine materials, exceptional detailing and advanced technology,” said Laetitia Lopez from’s Cadillac’s color and trim division.
Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years, working on newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for motoring led him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racing driver as well as a World Car of the Year judge.