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.
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.
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