2024 – 2025 Cadillac Celestiq, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car
2024 Cadillac Celestiq First Look: A $300,000 Handmade Tale
Caddy strives to earn back its Standard of the World title with a low-volume work of modern automotive art—but will the public buy it?
In the chronology box of Wikipedia’s heretofore stub placeholder entry for the long-anticipated 2024 Cadillac Celestiq battery-electric flagship sedan, under “Predecessor,” it erroneously lists the Cadillac CT6. It should read: “Series 70 Eldorado Brougham.” That pillarless coach-door marvel built in 1957 and 1958 was a technological and luxury-amenities moonshot. It was hand built and cost more than $13,000—almost triple the entry Cadillac price. Production was limited to 400 units in 1957 and 304 in 1958. The Celestiq aims to follow closely in those footsteps.
Cadillac’s New Face
The show car depicted here represents the fourth iteration of a design originally inspired by the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show’s Escala concept. Cadillac prioritized finalizing the flagship Celestiq’s design early so it could inspire mainstream cars that would precede it to market, like the Lyriq electric crossover.
The proportions were set by specifying the largest Escalade wheels on a vehicle with a roofline lower than the CT6’s along with the wheelbase and width necessary to package enough Ultium battery modules down a wide center console to provide 300-ish miles of range. (Chief engineer Tony Roma notes, “If it were about 8mm [0.3 inch] wider, we’d have to add clearance lights. “)
The design is meant to look simple from afar, and then reveal exquisite details upon closer examination. Examples: To eliminate the clutter of a distinct charging door, the entire panel spanning from the front wheel arch to the driver’s door and from the belt line down to the rocker trim conceals the port. Minimalist front and rear styling comes alive with animated LED welcome lighting that culminates in filling the vertical signature lamps like “digital rain. “
General Motors is reaching way beyond its CT6 customers or the Audi/BMW/Mercedes crowds. It’s swinging for the Aston/Bentley/Rolls-Royce fences with the 2024 Cadillac Celestiq. The marque can only do this by offering a similar level of bespoke craftsmanship and exclusivity. GM is spending $81 million to build a boutique manufacturing facility on its Eero Saarinen-designed Tech Center campus in Warren, Michigan—and sprinkling more than a little of the Tech Center’s mid-century modern design magic into the Celestiq.
This will be the first vehicle ever built here, and a production target of just 400 copies per year (as in 1957) virtually guarantees exclusivity, and additive manufacturing makes sense. So the Cadillac Celestiq will feature some 100 parts, both cosmetic and structural, produced on 3-D printers using polymers and metals.
Aluminum Spaceframe With Applied Panels
To achieve ultra-crisp body character lines that might prove problematic with metal stampings, the body panels will be made of composite and mounted by hand to the Celestiq’s aluminum spaceframe. And to celebrate this construction method, the aluminum spaceframe will be left unpainted with horizontal brushing also applied by hand, visible around each door opening.
The interior panels are also manually aligned and affixed, which makes it feasible to feature several continuous horizontal features wrapping around the entire interior. For example: the wood-over-metal strips along the door uppers, which are precision-drilled to allow accent lighting and audio to pass through, as well as the aluminum lower-door speaker housings that span each door’s entire width. Few mainstream mass-produced vehicles dare tackle such alignment challenges.
Four First-Class Eames Chairs
Thanks to the Cadillac Celestiq’s low roof, it would be impossible to seat passengers comfortably atop a skateboard battery like the one in the Lyriq, Hummer, or Silverado EV. So here the footwells are all “hollowed out,” with most of the battery modules residing in a high, wide center console that runs about 8 feet down the entire center of the car. We’re guessing additional modules reside beneath the high cargo floor. But many other chassis and powertrain components will likely be shared with other Ultium vehicles.
“We wanted to treat the occupant of each seat like they were the owner,” Roma said, noting how each is fitted with precisely the same caliber of heating, ventilation, neck-warming, recline, and massage. The shape and “standard trim order” is the same for all four seats, which are designed to look a bit like a classic mid-century Eames chair. The rears recline 35 degrees (the final 25 of which require the bottom cushion to move forward).
Theatrical Red With Ombre Shading
Lead color and trim designer Laetitia Lopez explained the Celestiq’s bright red interior as harkening to the bold colors of Cadillac’s past and invoking the red curtains of an opera or music theater.
And to pay further homage to the many musical lyrics that mention Cadillac, that long center console features black trim and silver lines evocative of guitar strings on a fingerboard. Echoing the minimalist exterior ornamentation, the seat upholstery features what looks like a simple chevron pattern; only upon closer examination does it reveal alternating lines of perforation and quilting via both stitching and embroidery.
And the upper portions of the rear-seat backrests boast a hand-sprayed ombre-shading effect that helps emphasize the interior’s length.
Coffee-Tanned Leather, Pillar-To-Pillar Screen
The 2024 Cadillac Celestiq will feature actual meat-eater cowhides, but they’ll be tanned sustainably, using 40 percent less water and a hair-removal tanning process that leverages coffee-bean shells. The show car’s seats, door panels, and even the floors are wrapped in leather, which gets covered by carpeted floormats made of eucalyptus fibers. They feel even more sumptuous than the bamboo-fiber ones found in the Mercedes EQXX concept.
A continuous, curved 55-inch diagonal LED-illuminated screen uses advanced LCD technology and a “digital blind.” The latter allows drivers to see static content on the passenger’s screen, which can obscure movies or internet browsing to avoid distracting the driver.
Vents are aimed electrically, controlled by the smaller screen just ahead of the glass controller knob, which also can be used to open and close doors, adjust seats, and control the variable tinting level of the four individual transparent roof panels (these panels’ Suspended Particle Device tech is a claimed industry first). A similar screen and knob in back provide access to these functions for the rear occupants. There are five high-definition touchscreens in total.
Return Of The Goddess
Various production Cadillacs used a goddess hood mascot between 1930 and 1956, with the last one adorning the Pininfarina-built 1959 Eldorado Brougham. The Celestiq will feature a two-dimensional goddess on each front fender and in each glass rotary-control knob. We’re assured goddess iconography will be reserved for very special Cadillacs like the Celestiq.
How Much Of This Will Make Production?
The Mondrian Cadillac-crest-inspired tinting gradations on the rear side glass are disallowed by safety standards, but they’re legal on the roof panels and likely to make production there. We’ll be surprised if the camera mirrors and capacitive-touch exterior door releases make production. Other than that, we’re assured the production Cadillac Celestiq will look very similar to this concept, and that cool features not yet revealed will outnumber those shown on this version.
The Series 70 Eldorado Brougham featured a cigarette case, lady’s compact, perfume atomizer, and magnetized cocktail tumblers, so there’s no telling what surprise-and-delight features Cadillac has planned for the modern era.
When, How, And How Much?
Production of the 2024 Cadillac Celestiq is supposed to start in late 2023 for global distribution. The ordering process has yet to be determined, but every Celestiq built will be a sold order—there will be no demonstrators or dealer-stock models. Expect Cadillac to court tastemakers, style leaders, and extremely well-heeled influencers to virally promote the new Celestiq to the squillionaire set.
As for price, the last Eldorado Brougham’s asking price converts to roughly $136,500 in 2022 dollars, and concours-worthy examples now sell for $160,000-plus. Cadillac reportedly lost $10,000 on each Eldorado Brougham back in the day, so to avoid riling the shareholders again, we expect the 2024 Celestiq to be priced at—or well above—$300,000.
|2024 Cadillac Celestiq Specifications|
|BASE PRICE||$300,000 (est)|
|LAYOUT||Front- and rear-motor, AWD, 4-pass, 4-door hatchback|
|MOTORS||2 x 315-hp/400-lb-ft (est) AC, permanent-magnet electric|
|CURB WEIGHT||6,000 lb (est)|
|WHEELBASE||120.0 in (est)|
|L x W x H||210.5 x 79.7 x 57.5 in (est)|
|0-60 MPH||4.5 sec (MT est)|
|EPA FUEL ECON||Not yet rated|
|EPA RANGE, COMB||300 miles (est)|
|ON SALE||Early 2024|
Cadillac is tired of being in the shadow of European luxury brands, so it has pulled out all the stops on its new electric flagship, the Celestiq sedan. This stunner shares a family resemblance to the Lyriq SUV, but its sleek lines, sweeping roof, and bustled rear end give it more dynamic proportions and jaw-dropping presence. Cadillac’s designers have incorporated elements from the past alongside high-tech offerings that they say predict the future of the storied American luxury brand.
The cabin is just as dramatic as the exterior styling, and this show car dazzles with bright red leather upholstery, a 55-inch digital dashboard, and Eames-inspired bucket seats. But don’t think that this is all just concept-car frippery: Cadillac says the Celestiq concept is what buyers will actually get when the production model starts rolling off the assembly line.
That assembly line, by the way, will be manned by a small team of craftspeople who will hand-build each model. Customers will design their own Celestiq when they order, similar to the Rolls-Royce method of manufacturing. All of that, plus the Celestiq’s electric powertrain, are sure to make it a Cadillac that won’t sit in anyone’s shadow.
What’s New for 2025?
The Celestiq is heading for production as an all-new model for the Cadillac lineup, but we won’t start seeing showstoppers like this for a few more years. When it does go on sale, don’t expect to see the Celestiq in your local Cadillac showroom as they’ll all be bespoke tailored for each individual customer.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The Celestiq will be a unique model in the Cadillac lineup for several reasons, not least of which is the fact that each one will be built to order, and numbers will be limited. Cadillac says the sky’s the limit for customization, so we’d encourage you to use that to your advantage when ordering your Celestiq and create something that will turn heads now and when the car turns up at a future Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Although Cadillac has yet to release pricing information for its new flagship sedan, reports say the Celestiq could cost around $300,000 to start, and customization choices will definitely push the price even higher.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
Cadillac hasn’t released much information on the Celestiq’s powertrain yet, but the company has said in the past that the flagship sedan will offer both all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. That likely means two electric motors—one per axle—and similar accelerative performance to the Tesla Model S and the Porsche Taycan.
Rather than a sports sedan in the same vein as the CT5-V Blackwing, we expect the Celestiq to take a tamer, more comfort-oriented approach with its road manners. It will be a while before we are able to test-drive the Celestiq, but when we do we’ll update this story with driving impressions and test results.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The Celestiq will draw its electrons from an Ultium battery pack that could be as large as 100.0 kWh. The Lyriq SUV offers such a battery, and judging by that, the Celestiq’s driving range should be at least 300 miles per charge. GM has squeezed even larger Ultium batteries into other models, such as the GMC Hummer EV, so it’s possible the Celestiq will have even more capacity for range. For reference, the Model S’s longest driving range is a whopping 402 miles, and the Lucid Air sedan boasts a range of up to 516 miles.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPGe
There’s no information yet about the Celestiq’s fuel-economy ratings, and we likely won’t know for some time just how efficient this electric luxury sedan will be. For more information about the Celestiq’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Starting with a dashboard that is essentially one giant digital display, the Celestiq’s cabin is a technological powerhouse. Four bucket seats mean each occupant will enjoy their own bubble of space. The roof is made from a glass panel that can be adjusted from transparent to opaque, and every passenger can control their own little corner of the sky.
Soft leather, available in practically any color, lines much of the cabin, and other interesting materials are used throughout as accents. Brushed metal trim intermingles with ecologically sourced open-pore wood, which has been perforated to allow sparkles of light to shine through from the ambient interior lighting system. The cargo area, which is also lined with leather, is generously sized and features attractive metal inlays on the floor.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Most luxury cars boast large infotainment displays measuring 10.3 or 12.3 inches in diameter, but the Celestiq is straight out of the future with a 55.0-inch touchscreen that spans the entire length of the car’s dashboard. Rear-seat occupants can also enjoy their own large displays for watching movies, checking the internet, or controlling the car’s stereo system. Speaking of stereo, we expect Cadillac to continue its partnership with premium audio supplier AKG, and such a system could incorporate speakers inside each of the headrests like it does in the latest Escalade SUV.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Cadillac hasn’t given specifics on driver-assistance features yet except to say that the Celestiq will feature the next generation of GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driving technology, a feature the company is calling Ultra Cruise. We expect it to be standard by the time the car reaches the market. Other more basic driver-assists are likely to be standard as well. For more information about the Celestiq’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features are likely to include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control with hands-free driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Like the rest of the Cadillac lineup, the Celestiq will come with a powertrain warranty that trumps that of other luxury sedans. Cadillac currently covers the first dealer maintenance visit, but rivals such as the BMW 7-series offer longer periods of free maintenance. We would expect that the Celestiq’s battery warranty will match that of the Chevy Bolt’s at eight years or 100,000 miles.
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