GM Unveils Cadillac Lyriq, the First Electric SUV

On Aug. 6, General Motors (GM) officially debuted the Cadillac Lyriq, the world’s first fully-electric SUV.

GM’s release of the Lyriq show car comes at a time when the electric vehicle (EV) market is picking up steam, despite, or perhaps due to, the coronavirus pandemic.

Tesla has continued to rise in value during the pandemic, while Nikola, an up and coming competitor, recently struck a deal with Republic Services to manufacture 2,500 zero-emission electric trucks by 2023. California based startup, Lucid, made headlines for achieving a 517-mile range for its Lucid Air sedan on a single charge.

GM said that the Lyriq will offer several options for battery range, all of which will be above 300 miles on a single full charge. Additionally, the luxury EV will be available in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

As for Cadillac’s luxury side, the Lyriq is reported to have all the bells and whistles. Remote self-parking and a massive 33-inch LED infotainment screen spanning the entire front panel behind the steering wheel.

“Led by LYRIQ, Cadillac will redefine American luxury over the next decade with a new portfolio of transformative EVs,” said Steve Carlisle, executive vice president and president, GM North America. “We will deliver experiences that engage the senses, anticipate desires, and enable our customers to go on extraordinary journeys.”

With the Lyriq, GM is simultaneously beginning a new phase of batteries for its electric vehicles. It claims its batter uses less rare-earth metals in its design, which it says will reduce prices for consumers.

A reduced price may come as a welcome sign for U.S. consumers who prefer SUVs over other types of vehicles. Bloomberg reported that U.S. sales of SUVs surpassed traditional cars in 2016, and made up almost half of all U.S. car sales in 2018.

For now, the target price-tag for the all-electric luxury SUV is under $75,000, according to CarBuzz, which would put it below Audi’s e-tron and just above Jaguar’s I-Pace.

Still, with two years until a full release, it’s hard to say if GM will see the same success as Tesla in an electric vehicle market that has otherwise struggled to take off.

“Although other aspirational luxury brands have already taken a pass at the [electric vehicle] space with electric SUV variants, no other automaker besides Tesla has tasted the joy of success in terms of sales and demand,” said Jessica Caldwell, an analyst at Edmunds. “If Cadillac does it right and can get consumers to view the Lyriq as competitive with Tesla and other European luxury brands, this could help give the brand a push in the right direction.”

Photo: Cadillac Pressroom

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