The Cadillac Celestiq Show Car Is Worthy of the Flagship Moniker

After an exceedingly lengthy teaser campaign Cadillac has unveiled the Celestiq show car, and it was worth the wait. This concept car is a close preview of the Celestiq range-topping electric sedan that will go on sale within the next couple of years — you heard that right, Cadillac is putting one of its showstopping flagship concepts into production for real this time.

Cadillac’s designers looked to prewar V16-powered coachbuilt cars and the 1957 Eldorado Brougham for inspiration, but the Celestiq looks wholly modern. The Celestiq has a much more interesting overall shape than a traditional sedan, let alone just another crossover, and there aren’t really any other cars with a similar body style. It has a short front overhang but there’s also a massive rear end, with the fastback roofline coming to a tapered point and accented by a slim chrome strip. The Celestiq is a hatchback with a large leather-lined cargo area, though it seems the opening doesn’t reach below the hatch glass itself. There’s a long dash-to-axle ratio and a massive wheelbase, and the bodysides have smooth surfacing with a kicked-up side skirt and a single crease that runs the length of the doors. 

The Celestiq’s face is similar to that of the Cadillac Lyriq SUV, with the “grille” essentially one huge black panel that’s made up of dozens of angled LED lines. Flanking the grille are vertical light bars while a chrome trim strip sits atop it and likely hides more lights. There’s a few small intakes in the lower bumper, and the rear end has a black diffuser with vertical lights on each side that run along the bottom edge of the body. Probably the wildest design detail is the taillights, which extend past the rear edge of the rear wheel arch, taking up nearly the entire thick D-pillar in a futuristic interpretation of Cadillac’s classic tailfins that’s even more radical than the similar treatment on the Lyriq. The Celestiq doesn’t look like anything else on sale, and it certainly doesn’t look cheap.

Dominating the bright red interior is a 55-inch display that runs the length of the dashboard, and a screen for the side camera mirrors at the front of each door panel give the appearance of the main display extending onto the doors. Cadillac says the right side of the screen has “electronic digital blinds” that allow the passenger to watch videos without the driver being able to see. There’s another screen on the center console that’s paired with a rotary infotainment controller, and the rear seats have a similar console setup as well as a screen on each front seat back.

Speaking of rear seats, the Celestiq’s second row looks swanky as hell. A fixed center console runs the length of the car, dividing the rear into two buckets, and the rear seats have a cool black gradient effect to the leather. The Celestiq’s cabin is slathered in piano black and aluminum trim, and the door panels are illuminated with a dotted pattern. The panoramic glass roof is made up of four panels that use Suspended Particle Device tech, which means each occupant can fine-tune the opacity to their liking. It seems like the rear side windows might have similar tech, or at the very least a lined tint gradient.

Cadillac isn’t talking specs or performance just yet, but we know the Celestiq will be built on General Motors’ Ultium platform that also underpins cars like the Lyriq, the GMC Hummer EV and the Chevy Blazer EV. Based on what we know the Ultium bits are capable of in the Hummer, the Celestiq could have a battery pack of over 205-kilowatt-hours, more than 1,000 horsepower and a range in excess of 400 miles. Cadillac says the Celestiq will also have Ultra Cruise, the next-gen version of the currently available Super Cruise hands-free driver-assist tech.

While Cadillac is just calling this a show car for now, we expect the production Celestiq to look nearly identical when it enters production as a 2025 model. The Celestiq will be hand-built at GM’s Global Technical Center, which is undergoing an $81 million investment to prep for the model. It’ll be the first production car to actually be built at GTC since it was first opened in 1956. Cadillac says it will announce more details about the production Celestiq later this year, and the show car will make its full debut during Monterey Car Week in August.

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