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2023 Cadillac Lyriq First Drive: A Big Format EV at a, Yes, Small Price

2023 Cadillac Lyriq, profile
Photo: B.Charette
2023 Cadillac Lyriq, profile

Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq.

Park City, Utah - Cadillac is reaching a major milestone in its history with the launch of its first all-electric vehicle. And in the first bit of good news for the luxury carmaker, the sculptural beauty of the 2023 Lyriq drew many compliments during our visit to Utah. That ran the gamut, from 9-year-old Jocelyne who really loved the panoramic roof to the golden-age lady who couldn't believe that this beautiful SUV is no more expensive than her Mustang Mach-e.

It's the harmony in the styling that gives this crossover its charm. There's a certain nobility in the restraint that informs that styling. For one thing, the only option in the design is the set of 22-inch wheels (yours for around $2,000). The product offering reflects the vehicle's silhouette, which is simple, clean and graceful. The grille-less front end with its vertical headlights defines the style to come in future electric Caddys. This illuminated front end (which also includes an illuminated Cadillac logo) rivals Tesla in the light-and-sound show category.

All this for a price that starts at $70,000.

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2023 Cadillac Lyriq, multimedia screen
Photo: Cadillac
2023 Cadillac Lyriq, multimedia screen

You want a big screen? You got one
Digital dashboards are all the rage, and Cadillac introduces a doozy here, one dominated by a continuous 33-inch touchscreen capable of displaying over 1 billion colours. In addition to making it highly configurable, Cadillac had the good sense to keep physical buttons at hand for the climate control and audio systems.

Just as importantly, there are no parts borrowed from the GM parts bin. Every control, every button is unique to Cadillac. It's about time GM's luxury division took this approach; its cars will be all the better for it.

A full glass roof extends all the way to the roof spoiler. Sitting beneath it, music lovers will enjoy the rich sound of the 19-speaker AKG audio system, which features headrest speakers. You also get an active noise cancellation system, a first for GM, that helps cancel out unwanted sounds from the road. This technology, coupled with laminated glass, contributes to a particularly quiet in-cabin experience.

Google also introduces an integrated system in this model with Google Assistant, Google Maps and Google Play offering hands-free access to everything from live traffic updates to favourite apps and more.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq, interior
Photo: B.Charette
2023 Cadillac Lyriq, interior

Generous space
When it comes to size, the Lyriq is pretty comparable to Cadillac’s own XT6; it's just under 5 meters long and 1.98 meters wide, and it stands 1.62 meters high. The wheels are pushed to the 4 corners thanks to the absence of an engine block in front and that, combined with the fully flat floor, translates into extra space inside.

You get generous equipment that includes adaptive cruise control, rear pedestrian alert, side door open alert, digital vehicle access (KeyPass), open-pore dark ash wood inserts with backlit door panels and the Super Cruise driving system that will arrive a little later.

RWD model to start, 500 km range
The Lyriq will come standard with rear-wheel drive, with a single electric motor on the rear axle. When it arrives, all-wheel drive will be offered as an option and add a second motor at the front. Our test was on the rear-wheel drive model, which is the only one in production at the moment. The all-wheel drive model will follow in 2023.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq, front
Photo: B.Charette
2023 Cadillac Lyriq, front

The version we drove delivers 340 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque and comes with a 12-module, 100-kWh Ultium battery that allows a range of 502 km according to EPA figures. Fast charging is available at up to 190 kW of direct current (DC) power, providing 122 km of range in 10 minutes, or about 314 km in 30 minutes. Home charging is done via a 19.2-kW module that recovers 84 km of range in 1 hour. The 11.5-kW charger gives you 50 km of range back per hour.

Cadillac is announcing around 460 hp for the future all-wheel drive version. And for those wondering if the Lyriq can tow stuff, the answer is yes - up to 3,500 lb.

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