All About the Benjamins, Baby: Cadillaq Celestiq Electriq Fastbacq

all about the benjamins baby cadillaq celestiq electriq fastbacq

We’ve known for some time that the top rung of General Motors is all in on electrification, a decision that has elated some and caused others to flee. Set to serve as the brand’s flagship is the Celestiq, a slinky fastback with an expected price tag north of a quarter million dollars.

What’s your take on the specter of a $300,000 Cadillac?

It would be possible to ruminate for hours on the direction in which decision-makers are taking the storied brand. With electrification serving as something of a reset button for the entire industry, is Cadillac’s smartest play one in which it seeks to reclaim its ‘Standard of the World’ label? A large-and-in-charge four-place fastback costing $300,000 could do much to erase sins of the past – provided it has a mouth to match its trousers. Those answers will come later. For now, we’ll have to be content with these teaser photos.

According to Cadillac, each Celestiq (technically CELESTIQ but we refuse to play the ALL CAPS marketing game) will be hand-built from globally-sourced parts at GM’s Global Tech Center in Michigan. Prior to assembly, there will apparently be an opportunity for “creative collaboration” between customers and the brand, a notion which sounds markedly like Audi Exclusive or the services available from Mercedes-Maybach.

If Cadillac is planning on charging 300 large for a Celestiq, they’ll need to play even above that rarified air, since that sum sits squarely in Rolls and Bentley territory.

“Every Celestiq will be instantly identifiable as one of a kind, giving each client a personal connection to Cadillac’s newest flagship,” said Erin Crossley, a design director at Cadillac. While that is certainly a bowlful of PR word salad, it is these types of experiences that are expected by customers plunking down this type of money.

While this is still being billed as a show car and not necessarily a production concept, we will nevertheless permit ourselves to make a few observations about the machine in these images. Those tail lamps take much from the Lyriq, suggesting this design is going to appear in some form on all Cadillacs for the next however many design cycles. The shot of the Celestiq’s rear seat shows a Rolls (and Maybach, et al) style center console with plenty of tech toys, plus German-esque seat controls on the door and snazzy light signatures behind its trim panel. The shot from its cargo area shows seats with integrated high backs and a dashboard that stretches across the car like that found in the Mercedes-AMG EQS. Is this $300,000? Again, we’ll have to see the real thing.

Also, while we rarely read too much into the simulated images placed on the screens in these types of photos, if the Celestiq can actually juice its battery from 80 percent to full in just ten minutes then it is packing one hell of a charging system. That last twenty percent is the slowest to accumulate, generally taking as much time as the first four-fifths of the recharge combined.

Longtime readers will recall Jack Baruth drove a 1976 Cadillac Fleetwood Talisman down to Houston and correctly opined in his review that its original price was less about the product itself and more about one’s place on the social ladder. This is an accurate and nuanced assessment of how Cadillac operated in its day. The car he drove stickered in the mid-1970s for about thirteen grand, a sum he estimated to be roughly five times the asking price of a basic compact car at that time, and the Talisman could apparently be opted up to $17,000. When accounting for inflation, that’s poking its nose into six-figure territory – quite a ways from $300k but Jack’s point is still valid.

How about it? Are we seeing a return of that Standard of the World swagger? Or is this a think-of-a-price-and-then-double-it marketing exercise?

[Images: GM]

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2 of 28 comments
  • Gtjr2022 Gtjr2022 on Jul 16, 2022

    I don't see Cadillac having any success with a super high price vehicle. actually, the dependence on electric is going to be a fatal error. electric will fail because first our infrastructure cannot handle millions of vehicles recharging every day. it cannot handle it at night either. batteries are too expensive and even when recycled they leave a nasty residue to deal with. batteries are too susceptible to temperatures. currently there are a few options for the ICE that use hydrogen and other elements. they will kill the market for electric vehicles.

  • N8iveVA N8iveVA on Jul 18, 2022

    They new Lyriq is less than $75k and it shares no switchgear with any other GM vehicle.

  • Theflyersfan I was living in one part of the world when China and Russia were completing their 21st century scramble of Africa. They were pumping billions into the economies of these countries building new dams, bridges, skyscrapers, freeways/toll roads, utilities, power plants, you know - projects that would benefit the average resident of said location. All they wanted in exchange were the mineral, mining, fishing, timber, etc., rights of said location. And they got them. So during that era when they were looking at global expansion, we were fighting unwinnable wars and our "leaders" on the left were yelling at the "leaders" on the right and vice versa, and what happens when all you do is stare and focus on one thing like DC is known to do? The world moves on around you. And that's what happened here.We had the same opportunity to build Africa up and to make the same deals as other countries, but our "nation building" tends to take place via the conversion from something solid and standing to something in pieces and in rubble. So it looks like we'll continue to have to deal with hostile nations holding our feet into the fire and working through their many geopolitical issues just so we can continue to get cheap electronics and necessary materials in our manufacturing just because we decided around 40+ years ago to ship it all overseas because we wanted to save 50 cents on a pack of socks and the CEOs needed their next quarterly statement to look even better to the shareholders so they could increase their pay and bonuses, consequences be damned.
  • DweezilSFV I didn't think GM could make a worse looking truck than their full-sizers.Success.
  • DweezilSFV GM. Still trying to make OnStar happen.And still the answer to a question no one ever asked.
  • Corey Lewis Look, here's the voice warning record player!
  • Buickman as Donnie Brosco said... Forget about it.