Longtime Tesla insider David Havasi and I recently sat down together (virtually) to watch the virtual unveiling of the Cadillac Lyriq and then talk about it afterward. As Tesla owners who love almost everything about our cars, we come to new electric vehicles with critical eyes and a rather high standard for what we’d like to see in a 2020+ vehicle. Check out the full chat in the video below. Or you can just read my summary of some of it and what we’d still like to know, but that really doesn’t capture the full human reactions well.
First of all, both David and I thought the Lyriq has a stunning, attractive design. On the outside, its side view and use of lighting are particularly impressive. David also found the rear to be beautiful, encouraging drivers behind a Lyriq to think, “What is that vehicle?”
I still think a grille is from a different era and doesn’t belong on a pure EV, but if you are going to do one, creating the piece of art in front of the Lyriq, especially when it lights up and becomes competition to a Christmas tree, is one potentially compelling way to go.
The interior of the Lyriq is amazing, wicked. Unless you have a strong preference for minimalism (which Tesla offers), the Lyriq is a clear winner. Even preferring minimalism as I do, the Lyriq’s interior is tantalizing. In particular, the screen integration in the back and middle as well as the wonderful color schemes and lighting are out of a futuristic movie.
David then brought in some history and perspective on the Cadillac ELR, a sporty extended-range electric coupe that GM produced on the Volt powertrain, which was a fun and cool car to drive but still came with clear compromises. The Lyriq is clearly a whole new generation of electric vehicle that, like a Tesla, doesn’t come with any real compromises. It basically comes down to your preferences in terms of style and brand.
On that matter, David and I were very impressed with some of the design elements of the Lyriq, including the metal trim on the insides of the doors, and how the screens in the back were elegantly incorporated into the seats, the back center console, and other elements of the car.
As others have pointed out, one oddity is the size of the charge-port door, which is crazy large and seems to take off a big chunk of the side panel. That just seems like an invitation for disaster, and strange.
One big remaining question for us was: how much of the car as shown will actually go into production? In other words, are some of the elegant show features going to get cut when the car moves to development?
Also: how many Lyriqs does GM plan to produce? How many could it produce if consumer demand was there?
One closing matter for this text summary (watch/listen to the video for much more) is the name. Cadillac is the automobile brand most frequently mentioned in music. Tesla has surely been getting namedropped, but Cadillac is still queen. The Cadillac Lyriq could appeal to a lot of songwriters, both because of its tie to music and because the vehicle looks haaaawt — inside and out.