2023 Cadillac Lyriq : A Convincing First Attempt
After more or less successful attempts at electrification with the Escalade hybrid and the ELR, Cadillac is diving headfirst into the 100% electric business with the Lyriq.
Earlier this spring, we had the chance to see it up close at the Montreal Electric Vehicle Show. This time around, The Car Guide went to Park City, Utah to witness the North American launch of this new model, which marks a turning point for the luxury carmaker.
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While the Cadillac affiliation is striking, the Lyriq has a style all its own. It doesn't look like any other vehicle from the lineup, or anything else on the market for that matter. Halfway between a large hatchback and a sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Lyriq joins the ranks of the crossover category.
Up front, there's no actual grille, as is often the case with EVSs. Cadillac saw fit to create a light pattern. Does it look good? That's subjective. Does it stand out? Absolutely. At both ends of the grille, you'll notice the vertical headlights, a signature Cadillac design element. What also stands out are the huge 22-inch wheels. In fact, this is the only option available at the moment. They cost about $2,000. Otherwise, the Lyriq is fitted with 20-inch wheels. It's also worth noting that the dark gray paint is the only one offered at the moment. Black will eventually be added (because it’s still a Cadillac!)
As you can see from the pictures, the Lyriq is not equipped with a rear wiper blade. We sincerely hope that the engineers performed the wind tunnel tests more thoroughly than those of the Hyundai Ioniq 5, whose rear window gets dirty after just a few minutes of winter driving.
A Single Powertrain Option, For Now
The Lyriq is based on the new Ultium architecture, as it is the case with pretty much everything that we will see from GM’s electric plants in the near future.
In its first version, the Lyriq will be delivered rear-wheel drive exclusively, with an electric motor positioned on the rear axle. It churns out 340 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. The Lyriq overall weight is certainly its main enemy, tipping the scale at 2,545 kilograms, only 50 kilograms less than a Cadillac Escalade. Yup, it’s heavy. Very heavy. And that's for the single-motor version. Let's wait and see how much the two-motor version weighs…
With such high mass for this level of power, you can't expect to be riveted to the seat during accelerations. Sure, the instantaneous effect of electricity is there, but you have to get used to the fact that performance is out of the picture. The weight is also felt when entering a corner at speed.
The Lyriq is geared with single-pedal driving so you can maximize energy regeneration during braking by pressing the paddle on the left side of the steering wheel.
In early 2023, Cadillac will introduce a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive version. This engine will be located on the front axle. In this case, the power will rise to 500 horsepower, which seems much more appropriate for the vehicle's weight. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a little longer before we can try it out. Cadillac promises that this particular version can tow up to 1,588 kilograms.
As for the battery, it has twelve modules and a capacity of 100 kWh. Natural Resources Canada ruled a 502-kilometre range. And as we climbed into the Lyriq for the first time, the dashboard displayed exactly that with a fully charged battery.
After driving 223.5 kilometres, the remaining range was estimated at 290 kilometres. This was more than the difference between the initial and remaining range. Our energy consumption sat at 4.7 km/kWh, which translates to 21.28 kWh/100 kilometres. This is not very impressive since the general conditions of the test were, in our opinion, rather favourable.
Plenty of Tech
Like many luxury electric vehicles storming the market these days, the Lyriq is not just a commercial asset. It's also a technology showcase for Cadillac. When you get behind the wheel, the first thing you notice is the huge 33-inch screen. While the Escalade uses a three-screen configuration, the Lyriq has bundled everything into a single unit. Only the centre portion, where instrumentation is displayed, is not touch-sensitive. Odometer and energy consumption are displayed on the left, while you’ll find the infotainment system.
In order to provide an enhanced on-board experience, Cadillac has equipped its new electric vehicle with an AKG stereo system. While not revolutionary in any way, it performs very well. Engineers have also worked hard to optimize soundproofing. While they are used to using insulating materials to reduce the noise of a gasoline engine, it seems that they have put a lot of effort into cabin soundproofing in order to limit the noise coming from outside. And they succeeded.
The Lyriq provides a very comfortable experience, with the ride comfort that one would expect from a Cadillac, even with 22-inch wheels on. That said, we found the bottom of the seats too short. We would have appreciated it if they were at least adjustable.
Not surprisingly, the Super Cruise technology is included. However, it is not yet available. We're told it will be in a possible remote update later this year.
A Competitive Price
With an entry price of $69,898 for the Canadian market, Cadillac making a statement. In fact, it should be noted that Genesis is offering its GV60 starting at $71,150. Yes, it’s AWD, but it’s behind on power and range. One thing's for sure, Cadillac isn't giving the Tesla Model Y a chance in this regard - that one has a starting price of $86,990. Cadillac is undoubtable after Tesla’s customers.
For the time being, the price of the all-wheel-drive version remains unknown. That said, we were told that the cost of the option would be negligible in the equation.
If you haven't reserved your Lyriq yet, you won't be able to get your hands on one anytime soon. Indeed, the hype surrounding this first electric vehicle from Cadillac is huge, with no less than 3,300 reservations in Canada. The current backlog situation now shows 2024. Production will begin in August.
All in all, the Lyriq seems to be a very convincing first stab at the full-electric game. It's a more than interesting alternative to the Tesla Model Y. However, we think it's probably better to wait for the all-wheel-drive version.
|Test drive report|
|Test model||2023 Cadillac LYRIQ|
|Trim level||Lyriq RWD|
|Price range||$69,898 – $75,000|
|Price as tested||69 898 $|
|Fuel economy (city/highway/observed)||N/A|
|Competitive models||BMW iX, Fisker Ocean, Ford Mustang Mach-E, Genesis GV60, Jaguar I-PACE, Rivian R1S, Tesla Model Y, VinFast VF 8, Volvo C40 Recharge, Volvo XC40|
|Fuel economy||We would've expected more efficiency|
|Comfort||Despite the front seats being short for the legs, the Lyriq is very comfortable overall|
|Performance||Not enough performance with the single-motor version|
|Driving||The vehicle is quite heavy|
|Overall||The Lyriq is interesting, to say the least. But the AWD version should be much better!|