Skip to main content

Cadillac aims to balance its lineup with a small electric SUV

Exterior of the Cadillac Optiq compact electric SUV.

Cadillac will add an entry-level electric SUV to its lineup in 2024.

The Cadillac Optiq is a “luxury compact SUV” slotting below the Lyriq in the brand’s EV hierarchy. Photos released with the brief announcement show styling features that tie the Optiq to the larger Lyriq, such as split taillights, but other details won’t be released until closer to the Optiq’s launch.

It’s a safe bet that the Optiq will draw on the same General Motors Ultium component set as the Lyriq and other Cadillac EVs. The Ultium name encompasses everything from battery modules and motors to a wireless battery management system. Everything is designed around modularity, allowing the Ultium components to serve as building blocks for a wide variety of EVs.

While Cadillac is a luxury brand, it could use a smaller, potentially less expensive EV. Cadillac’s gasoline vehicle lineup includes lower-priced models like the XT4 and XT5, but its EV lineup is currently quite top heavy. The Lyriq, which starts at around $60,000, looks like a bargain compared to the upcoming Escalade IQ, which will likely crest $100,000 in some configurations, and the $340,000 Celestiq sedan.

Several of Cadillac’s rivals also have entry-level EVs of their own. The Audi Q4 e-tron, Genesis GV60, and Mercedes-Benz EQB will provide plenty of competition for the Optiq when it arrives in showrooms.

Exterior of the Cadillac Optiq compact electric SUV.

Cadillac isn’t providing a specific timeline for the Optiq’s launch, which is probably for the best. GM has been announcing EVs faster than it can ramp up production. The Lyriq is the only Cadillac EV currently in production. The Celestiq is scheduled to start production before the end of 2023, but it will be handbuilt in very limited numbers. The Escalade IQ, which was first shown in August, isn’t scheduled to start production until summer 2024.

Production of the Lyriq, as well as other GM EVs like the Chevrolet Silverado EV and Blazer EV and GMC Hummer EV, is moving at a slow pace. GM recently delayed a planned production ramp-up of both the Silverado EV and its GMC Sierra EV twin, as well as the Chevy Equinox EV. And the company has planned EVs it hasn’t even shown, including a replacement for the Chevy Bolt EV and the first Buick EV. It also has a contract to build the Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX at its plants. So, you could say GM has a lot on its plate.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV first drive review: ’90s look, cutting-edge tech
Front three quarter view of the 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV.

Mercedes-Benz is one of the oldest automakers in existence, but it's been among the quickest to launch a lineup of electric cars. It may not have the freshness of a startup, but what it does have are actual cars to sell to customers.

The 2023 Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV is the middle child of Mercedes' electric SUV lineup, slotting between the entry-level EQB and the flagship EQS SUV, and targeting electric luxury SUVs like the Audi E-Tron, BMW iX, and Cadillac Lyriq. Like the EQS, the EQE SUV is based on an existing sedan, hence the "SUV" suffix. In a previous first drive, we found the EQE sedan to be a good balance between luxury and livability, giving the SUV version a lot to live up to.

Read more
GM plans to phase out Apple CarPlay for EVs, go all-in on Android integration
Interior of the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV.

General Motors plans to stop using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone connectivity in future EVs in favor of infotainment systems developed with Google based on the company's tech. First reported by Reuters, the move is surprising given the popularity of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allow users to project content from smartphones onto a car's touchscreen, bypassing the native infotainment systems.

GM's decision to stop offering these systems on future EVs, starting with the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, could help the automaker capture more customer data, Reuters noted, providing insight into how vehicles are used. But it will likely be detrimental to the user experience, as customers will have to learn to use built-in infotainment systems, rather than the smartphone interfaces they're used to.

Read more
VW previews its next electric car in trippy camouflaged form
Front three quarter view of a camouflaged Volkswagen ID.7 prototype.

The Volkswagen ID.7 is VW's next electric car, and while it won't be fully revealed until later in the year, the automaker provided a sneak peek at CES 2023.

VW said the production ID.7, which will be revealed in the second quarter of this year, will be influenced by the ID.Aero concept first shown in China in 2022. The camouflaged prototype VW brought to CES has the same general shape as the ID.Aero. It's a streamlined sedan that VW claims will have up to 435 miles of range as measured on the somewhat lenient European WLTP testing cycle.

Read more