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This Caddy's electric.
This Caddy’s electric.

Image: cadillac

By Sasha Lekach

Cadillac introduced its first all-electric vehicle Thursday evening and it’s a luxury crossover SUV. It’s taking on both of Tesla’s SUVs: the new “budget” Model Y and the pricy Model X

The LYRIQ (yes, all caps officially, but we’re calling it the Lyriq) was supposed to launch back in April, but because of COVID-19 its debut was pushed back four months to a virtual event. It’s not supposed to even start production until the end of 2022.

The online reveal finally showed how the American automobile brand is going fully electric. The Lyriq is supposed to hit at least 300 miles on a single charge using General Motors’ Ultium battery system. Ultium will power all of GM’s future EVs aside from the newest Chevy Bolt models. For the Lyriq, this means it’s fast-charging capable and uses a battery made with less environmentally and socially harmful cobalt.

The tech in the car is emphasized more than previous Cadillacs. Its 33-inch LED dashboard screen will serve as a control center in what feels like a move from Tesla. Lyriq’s screen has both touch-controlled and rotary-controlled parts. So you can pick a method to interact with everything on a single, massive screen.

All 33-inches of LED screen.

All 33-inches of LED screen.

Image: cadillac

In a phone call with Mashable ahead of Lyriq’s unveiling, Bill Thompson, General Motors’ senior manager for user interface design, said the new, minimalist design is supposed to showcase how much more space EVs have. The screen can give you the grittiest details about energy consumption or simply tell you how many miles are left on the charge. “It’s as much or as little information as you want,” he said.

Also like Tesla, the Lyriq will have “supervised” self-parking using ultrasonic sensors to help drivers fit into a parking lot spot or perform a tougher parallel maneuver.

General Motors’ driver assistance system, Super Cruise, is only available in select Cadillac models for now. But as it expands across GM’s brands the Lyriq will come with the hands-free driving system that works on more than 200,000 miles of highways in North America. It’s another Tesla-like feature with many characteristics similar to Tesla Autopilot.

Notably different from Tesla is an enhanced AR heads-up display that will display traffic information, directions, speed, and other driver alerts ahead of the driver.

Up front is a distinctive Cadillac grille, but now that it’s an EV there’s more flexibility with front design since there’s no internal combustion engine that needs to cool off. The Lyriq will have a “black crystal” grille. As Thompson said, “It’s a Cadillac first, EV second.”

Although pricing wasn’t immediately available, if the Lyriq is a Cadillac and a luxury electric SUV like the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi E-tron it’s likely well above the Tesla Model Y $49,000 starting price.

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