It is this car that will lead a new attack in world markets for the famous Cadillac brand.
The Lyric electric SUV will form the foundation for a Cadillac return to Europe and other markets – potentially including Australia.
A mid-sized SUV similar in size to BMW’s X3 and Audi’s Q5, the Lyriq is a pretty thing in metal. It gets a long bonnet, muscular hunch and daring detail work on the headlamps, grille and tail lamps.
The door handles fold flush with the door panels – much like Tesla’s Model Y – and the cabin is dominated by a giant curved digital screen that houses the driver display and center touchscreen.
Bright chrome highlights elevate the cabin and there’s an abundance of storage space, thanks to the fact that there’s no transmission tunnel running through the center of the vehicle.
Second-row passengers will find more leg and knee room than a mid-sized German luxury SUV, while the reed load area is a decent size.
It’s on the road that Lyric impresses, though.
A 250kW rear-mounted electric motor gets things moving quickly and quietly, though not the brutal launch from the line you’d feel in a Tesla Model Y.
Once you’re moving, though, there’s an impressive boom at most speeds when you floor the throttle.
The venue for our brief test drive was GM’s sprawling Milford Proving Ground outside Detroit and we put the Lyrica through its paces on a variety of surfaces designed to replicate public roads. This included large bumps and dips, a simulated rail crossing, and some wide, high-speed corners.
The Cadillac impressed with its restraint, settled well after big bumps and sat flat through corners even when faced with broken, corrugated bitumen.
Precise steering and reassuring grip adds to the driving pleasure, although you can feel the weight change significantly when you are asked to change direction in a hurry.
Cadillac claims the Lyriq is good for a range of 500km, although this may come down once the more realistic WLTP standard is implemented for the range.
In the US, the Lyriq starts at $62,990 in rear-drive form. A dual-motor version will launch early next year with around 370kW of power for an additional $2000.
GM wouldn’t confirm whether the Lyrica will be available in right-hand-drive, but it appears likely, as it seems the most logical fit for a Cadillac rebirth in European and international markets.
Shilpin Amin, president of GM International, says it is “more simple” to design a vehicle for left- or right-hand drive on an electric vehicle platform.
“How efficient it is to build it taking into account left- and right-handed markets, so you no longer need volume to justify it. You can actually do it very efficiently across all volumes for markets around the world.” can,” he says.
This is encouraging news for Australian Cadillac fans.
Christian Sommer, managing director of GM Strategic Markets, Alliances and Distributors, says the brand has “ambitious goals” in overseas markets, including Australia.
“We want to raise our international standings. Australia and New Zealand are an absolute major pillar of that region. We are always on the lookout for more opportunities,” he says.
Cadillac will lead GM’s transformation into a major EV maker, taking Tesla into the fight.
It will not launch any new petrol vehicles after 2026 and will be EV-only by 2030.
Cadillac interior design manager Tristan Murphy said the focus on electric cars gave the design department a chance to re-imagine the once-storied brand.
“I think it was a good opportunity for us to take a step back and say okay as we move into the future, what do we want Cadillac to do? It was a chance to start it all over again,” he says.
The design team was also conscious of its duty to honor the legacy of the badge.
“I don’t want to say it’s retro in any way, but there are some retro hints because there are things in our history that we want to capture. We have little glimpses into our history because it’s such a thing. Which an EV start-up company doesn’t have,” he says.