Cadillac is back.
The official introduction of the 2024 Cadillac Celestiq marks the next chapter in the storied brand’s impressive return to relevance thanks in no small part to desirable products, attractive styling, and outright luxury.
As the brand continues to emerge from the mediocrity it settled into towards the end of the 20th Century – and lasted through the mid-2010s – no other model better represents how far Cadillac has come in recent years. In fact, in developing the Celestiq, the mission was to create the most epic Cadillac ever. On top of that, designers, engineers, and executives held one thought in mind throughout the process: there will always only be one first flagship all-electric vehicle from Cadillac.
All of this explains why such emphasis has been placed on the Celestiq’s handcrafted and bespoke nature; it’s meant to represent the brand’s history in design, innovation, technology, and performance. As a result, it will be the company’s halo car and is expected that the folks in charge hope will draw customers to the brand.
A True Flagship
The 2024 Cadillac Celestiq will be built on a dedicated architecture with six large casted aluminum components including the shock towers. Up to 115 3D-printed parts will also be used, the largest of which will be the metal central portion of its steering wheel. A flex fabrication process will produce 300 pieces that will be used throughout the body structure, chassis, interior, and architectural components.
The Ultium electric vehicle (EV) platform from parent company General Motors (GM) will serve as the foundation for the upgraded architecture. It will house a 111-kWh battery – with 190-kW DC fast-charging capability – as a structural element. The battery will power a pair of electric motors which are projected to produce a total system output of 600 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. Despite the Celectiq’s size, Cadillac estimates that it will sprint from a standing start to 100 km/h in about four seconds.
In spite of that performance pedigree, the reality is that the Celestiq is designed for a luxurious driving experience. It will feature adaptive air suspension with magnetic ride control, an active roll control, and rear-wheel steering, while its unique and gorgeous 23-inch wheels will be wrapped in ride-focused tires.
At some 5,500 mm (216.5 in) long and 2,000 mm (78.7 in) wide, the Celestiq will have an incredible on-road presence. Its fastback profile is elegantly fluid, displaying minimalistic sophistication. It’s difficult to properly convey the car’s styling other than to describe it as stunning.
Interestingly, the Celestiq was penned before the all-electric Lyriq SUV, which explains why there are numerous visual similarities between the two – namely up front, with the vertical headlights. Perhaps the most unique aspects are the rear lights that are reminiscent of Cadillac tail fins of the past.
Brimming with Luxury
As expected, the 2024 Cadillac Celestiq’s cabin will define opulence. More specifically, it will represent owners’ ideas of opulence and luxury, as customers will be able to select materials and finishes, as well as custom-coloured leathers. In fact, the Celestiq will be hand-built, so no two will be identical. As well, the Cadillac goddess appears as easter eggs in various areas, both inside and out.
The level of onboard technology is said to be future-proof, starting with the standard 55-inch display that will stretch from pillar to pillar. Other features will include Google built-in, two 12.6-inch rear displays, connected cameras, a four-zone climate system, and 20-way power seats with a memory function in all four spots.
The onboard experience will be comforting and relaxing. The entirety of the Celestiq’s greenhouse is made of acoustic laminated glass that’s seven mm (0.3 in) thick. The smart glass roof – apparently the largest piece of automotive glass in the world – features four separate variable shading quadrants to set the mood. The audio will be handled by a 41-speaker audio system with 1,000 watts of power and next-generation active noise cancellation. (Of the 41 speakers, 38 will share the cabin, while the other three will be responsible for an exciting exterior vehicle sound.)
Finally, Cadillac’s so-called Ultra Cruise, for hands-free driving, will debut with the 2024 Celestiq. It will be set up with all the sensors, cameras, radar, and hardware (a different suite of equipment from GM’s Super Cruise) for future over-the-air updates. Ultra Cruise’s goal is to enable door-to-destination hands-free travel.
The Celestiq will revive Cadillac’s coach-built history, and it won’t be cheap. Pricing will start in the low US$300,000 range; however, final amounts will vary wildly depending on requests. This car can be configured to exact customer specifications to create a truly bespoke automobile, potentially doubling the price.
All Cadillac dealers will have the opportunity to sell the Celestiq, although they will need to invest considerably for the opportunity. It will be on sale for a few years and in limited quantities – Cadillac wouldn’t elaborate further other than to say that fewer than two cars per day will be built.
The 2024 Cadillac Celestiq will be built in Warren, Mich., and sold in the United States, Canada, the Middle East, and China. Production starts in December 2023.