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Cadillac's New All-Electric Celestiq is a Convention-Defiant Marvel – Robb Report

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“This will never happen,” says Chief Engineer Tony Roma, pointing to the nearly 18-foot-tall Cadillac Celestiq, which occupies a substantial piece of real estate in a stylish Hollywood studio just hours before its official debut. “I’ve been with GM for 29 years and I’ve never been given a clean paper and such a mission.” Also rare: a production version that looks nearly identical but is actually slightly longer and wider than the star-cross concept car before it.

In the case of the Celestiq, Cadillac’s effort was unlike anything the brand had tried in automaking in nearly a century: the brand itself rightly “The Standard of the World”, a brand-inspired title awarded the Dewar Trophy by the Royal Automobile Club in 1908. After a while, the automaker spends unprecedented resources trying to restore a long-lost reputation to the realities of mass production.Based on our exclusive preview of the Celestiq, the results are remarkable.

Developing the Celestiq was unlike anything Cadillac had been trying to build cars for in almost a century.

Cadillac

First of all, when Cadillac’s future flagship enters production in the fourth quarter of 2023, it will look like nothing on the road thanks to its impossibly long, low and wide stance. And it will take buyers’ full involvement to commission each one according to their unique characteristics. With a longer wheelbase than the Escalade, a steeper windshield than a Corvette, and a roofline that looks more like a classic Lancia Gamma Berlina than anything produced this century, the Celestiq defines itself more as an outlier than a follower.

“The ultra-luxury package is full of upright sedans,” says Cadillac designer Michael Simcoe. “If we want to stand out, why would we want to? Cadillacs have always been a little different.” It wasn’t designed to be designed, that’s not its job; the aero is good, but the drag coefficient isn’t the story.”

Production version of the Cadillac Celestiq.

The production version looks almost the same and actually looks slightly longer and wider than the concept car before it.

Cadillac

Spending the better part of two hours discussing the Celestiq with various designers, engineers, and color and upholstery experts reveals entirely different stories revolving around a single theme: Cadillac wants to blow up the world of high-end luxury and is willing to go. ridiculous lengths to do so. Starting with the materials, there is an astonishing amount of real metal finishes throughout the vehicle, inside and out, many of which can be customized to achieve subtle differentiation according to customer requests.

“We over-indexed on ‘If it looks like metal, it’s metal’,” Roma says, “we don’t mean metal-on-metal plating on plastic or metal wrapped over an injection mold and substrate.” So there are not only standard exterior parts embellished like the long aluminum expanse that runs along the running boards, but also new parts like the indium-coated front grille hood as the atoms of the metallic element suddenly vibrate. frequency that allows the car to pass through the radar sensors. Another example: High-gloss aluminum steering wheel with fine cutouts for backlighting. It was nearly impossible to create tiny cavities using standard techniques, so a GM engineer came up with a medical laser used for capillary surgery that cuts tiny strips of metal with pulses measured in nanoseconds.

Inside the production version of the Cadillac Celestiq.

The cabin features a 55-inch column-to-column HD display and a total of five high-definition displays.

Cadillac

You’ll be forgiven for accusing Cadillac’s supposed Goddess figure as being a little too similar to a particular British brand’s Spirit Ecstasy – the resemblance is real. But the Caddy’s winner legitimately draws from the American automaker’s early days, specifically the Celestiq-inspired 1933 V-16-powered sedan. While real crystal can’t be labeled “crystal” as it contains lead, which is prohibited for use in automotive applications, the Goddesses in optical glass elements built into the car are plated in a luxury material that’s as legitimately as anything you can find. in a champagne flute.

Although the jagged surfaces have an air of old-world detail everywhere, from the floor to the headliner and the aforementioned polished metal, the Celestiq also features twin electric motors that can propel the car from zero to 60 mph. It carries a 111 kWh Ultium battery pack that is expected to provide 3.8 seconds and a range of 300 miles. It is claimed that this battery can charge at 78 mph in 10 minutes.

Production version of the Cadillac Celestiq.

The Celestiq includes twin electric motors and a 111 kWh Ultium battery pack that is expected to provide 300 miles of range.

Cadillac

Celestiq’s specially developed Michelin tires incorporate Cadillac’s so-called Mondrian pattern (derived from its logo) on the sidewalls. The vehicle’s significant mass is managed through the air suspension, magnetorheological shock absorbers, rear-wheel steering and active anti-roll bars.

Must-have luxury items include reclining rear seats with jet-style folding tray tables, a 55-inch column-to-column HD display, and a total of five high-definition displays. Digital blinds are capable of providing privacy for rear passengers, and twin 12.6-inch screens provide viewing options for the rear seats. The smart glass roof that stretches over the cabin uses suspended particle device technology to change its transparency. The world’s largest piece of automotive glass, manufactured by a supplier in Peru.

Inside the production version of the Cadillac Celestiq.

The smart glass roof that stretches over the cabin uses suspended particle device technology to change its transparency.

Cadillac

Thermal comfort is governed by an intricate array of sensors – through 33 so-called microclimate devices – and motorized vents that direct heated or cooled air accordingly. Unsurprisingly, the sound system is also top-notch, with a total of 41 speakers. “We went to AKG and said, ‘Look, we want to drop the microphone with the best sound system in the world’. They said, ‘There is no measure and this is a bold claim’.” The resulting system squeezes active noise canceling technology and 38 speakers inside the cabinet. “The only reason we only have 38 speakers is because we couldn’t find another reliable place to put more,” Roma laughs. The other three are positioned outside to offer a choice of ambient music for car shows or tailgate parties.

Musician Lenny Kravitz and Cadillac designer Michael Simcoe are at the start of the all-electric Cadillac Celestiq.

In Celestiq, musician Lenny Kravitz and Cadillac designer Michael Simcoe appear.

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When it comes to the question of who will buy an astronomically ambitious Celestiq when similarly priced options like Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls-Royce are available, the answer seems to lie deep in Cadillac’s research. “We’ve been talking to ultra-high net worth individuals for about four years now,” says Roma, including one who worked with Aston Martin for a year to customize a bespoke Zagato bodied model.

Production version of the Cadillac Celestiq.

Cadillac’s future flagship will go into production in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Cadillac

It’s not yet clear whether Cadillac will achieve its lofty goals when it starts producing two Celestiq samples per day at its Warren, Michigan studio. Whatever the outcome, moonlight should do General Motors well; After all, a bit of quality has some trickle down its way, fuck those who say no.

Click here to see more photos of the production version of the Cadillac Celestiq.

Production version of the Cadillac Celestiq.

The all-electric Cadillac Celestiq will hit the market.

Cadillac

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