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2022 Cadillac Lyriq: A Nice Looking Car, But Too Little Too Late To Sell

GM and Cadillac have some great engineers and designers, but their product planners and marketing teams seem to be clueless. I like the recently revealed 2022 Cadillac Lyriq's styling, plus they have very cool technology shown, combined with a beautiful interior design. Which are all hallmarks of Cadillac’s best selling traits. But looking at a 2022 release, the Cadillac Lyric looks to be providing too little, too late.


Clearly GM was targeting the Tesla Model X, Jaguar iPace, Audi ETron, and Mercedes EQC, when it designed the Lyriq. But even though the iPace, EQC, and ETron were many years sooner to market than the Lyriq's 2022 debut, the European BEV crossover/SUVs have already proved to be poor sellers in their markets when compared to both ICE rivals and BEV competitors. Some of the European EV SUVs were even withdrawn from sale because the automakers could not get enough batteries for even the tiny production numbers being built.

GM is probably congratulating themselves in delaying the Lyriq and Hummer's production until their new Ultium/BEV3 drivetrain and mass production LG battery factory will be completed. This will ensure needed battery supplies, lower manufacturing costs, and provide competitive EV range and performance. Even though the Lyriq's originally planned 100kW battery pack seems to have been increased to 150kWh, the lower energy density of the Ultium batteries (built more for their low cost than performance) will only provide the Lyriq with something over 300 miles of EV range (in 2022). Today, the $80K, 100kW, Model X provides 351 miles of range (using Panasonic's last generation of batteries) and the $50K, AWD, Model Y provides better than a 300 mile EV range with only HALF the battery pack capacity of the Lyriq.

I was drawn into my love of EVs by the Chevy Volt, which offered great value when it was released. After leasing the Volt I ended up buying one, and later bought a Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid. I was impressed by the capabilities of the Volt, and the ELR took the Voltec drivetrain to new heights, adding a wonderful, plush interior, stylish body, and every cool electronic gizmo that you would wish for. The Cadillac ELR is a wonderful car for cruising or commuting.

Cadillac's $76K starting price was originally targeting the Tesla Model S, and their marketing team had dreams of competing against the far more expensive Fisker Karma, and exotic BMW i8. But the fact was that the ELR had a shared Voltec drive train with the $40K Chevy Volt, and Cadillac's odd marketing only confused potential buyers. This made the Cadillac ELR one of the most notorious automobile (and EV) failures of all time. Looking back on the ELR, I think that if Cadillac had added the performance improvements that the final 2016 models included (getting the ELR almost 3 full seconds quicker to 60 MPH than the early model), and if they had introduced the ELR competitively, starting under $55K (even if they initially lost money on them) the ELR would ultimately have been successful, and would have given Cadillac a lead in the near-luxury EV market. But Cadillac's choices made it so the ELR couldn't compete on price (like the Volt did), and couldn't compete on performance (especially against the Tesla), so it fell through the cracks, and was only compared to the Volt (but at twice the price) by the unimpressed media, and ultimately it failed horribly in the marketplace.

Even if the Lyriq was being sold today (at a guessed $65K-$80K price point) it would really struggle in the current, tiny, near-luxury BEV market. But by coming out in 2 year's time Cadillac probably doom the Lyriq to share the ELR's sorrowful fate. In 2022, there will likely be many superior BEV SUVs to choose from from, built by the luxury-leading, top European automakers, and maybe even a few from Asia. But their biggest rival will be Tesla. This year, Tesla will probably start offering their Palladium/Plaid drive train in the redesigned Model X, providing a new high point in EV range, enhanced ride and comfort, unmatched Autopilot capability, combined with supercar-beating performance. And the more affordable Tesla Model Y, which already exceeds the future Lyriq's price/performance, will be further enhanced over the next Two years.

I am happy that Cadillac will be building such a nice looking, cool, all-electric crossover. And I am happy that GM is moving forward with their Ultium batteries and BEV3 chassis. But I cannot see how the Cadillac Lyriq will be competitive and sell well in 2022, even if they priced it smartly, exceeded all of their design goals, marketed it well, and wisely introduced the AWD, performance model first.

Do you think that Cadillac’s upcoming Lyric will be competitive and sell well in 2022?

Dean McManis and an electric vehicle advocate and frequently reports EV stories at Torque News. Dean can be reached on LinkedIn.


Timothy Parker (not verified)    August 7, 2020 - 1:44PM

Unless something has changed in the last 18 hours, the battery pack will be 100 kWh. Charging rate will be up to 150 kW. They are targeting a 300 mile range, but the actual EPA estimates could be significantly more than that, as was the case with the Bolt. Though the interior styling doesn't captivate me, it is far beyond anything Tesla is doing. I would also prefer the exterior styling over both the Model X's and Y's turtle-like appearance (though it still wouldn't be my choice.) When EVs mature, most people won't be making a decision based on drag coefficients, energy density, 0-60 acceleration or other arcane stats that teenage boys find so compelling. Charging infrastructure WILL be a consideration, which GM is starting to address with its alliance with EVgo, and the continuing build out of CCS stations by EA and others will make it all the more compelling. Tesla still does an excellent job of integrating navigation and charging, but in another 2 years it might not be so clear, and in 5 years, CCS will clearly be supreme, no matter how hard Tesla works to keep their SC network up to date.

DeanMcManis (not verified)    August 8, 2020 - 12:33PM

I've read both 100kWh and 150kWh for the Lyriq's battery size. When GM announced the Ultium battery pack, they talked about the pack size being variable per vehicle from 50-200kWh, with the GMC Hummer capable of 400 miles of range from the largest 200kWh pack. But that would give maybe 200 miles of EV range with a 100kWh pack (at least with the heavy Hummer). But Cadillac certainly saw the bad reception that Mercedes got with the EQC that managed only 200 miles of range, so they are quoting at least 300 miles of range. This may require a 150kWh pack, considering the Ultium's relatively low energy density. But GM could well be sandbagging their specs, because the Bolt's LG 66kWh battery is far more efficient, and they still have 2 years to make good on their limited specs revealed. Ultimately, so many people forget that these BEVs are working the most to rival their gas power counterparts, and to bring the 90%+ of today's car buyers over from gas to electricity. So those points about price, EV range, performance, safety, technology, and charging are critical to bring about that change. I just wonder if the Lyriq will be competitive in 2 years, because it would have a tough time being competitive today with the specs shown, and the EV market is advancing very quickly these days. Still, I am glad to see the Lyriq revealed, and I hope that GM has more up their sleeves than their Ultium EV roadmap has shown so far. GM looks to be leading the EV movement relative to the other big gas powered automakers, but they have a long way to catch up with Tesla, who is steadily accelerating their EV innovations.

Timothy Parker (not verified)    August 10, 2020 - 10:32AM

In reply to by DeanMcManis (not verified)

According the the engineer during the Lyriq reveal (watch it on YouTube), the battery pack will be 100 kWh. They were a bit more fuzzy on the charging rate but talked about 150 kW. They also said they were targeting a 300 mile range. Certainly, the specs could change before production, but that is the most current information. The Lyriq isn't a performance car, it's a luxury vehicle. People expect good performance from a car in that class, but decisions with ICE cars now are not made on the nuances of specs, and that will be the same with EVs as they become more common. I don't see anything that Tesla or other companies are doing that is pushing the current envelope. Tesla has certainly been forward thinking and innovative with their products, and others have taken notice, but I don't see much happening lately. Honestly, their offerings are looking a bit stale. Up to now they haven't had much competition, but that will soon change, not just from GM, but others also, and I think Tesla will start to look a bit wanting. The last innovation from Tesla was doggy mode. That sort of thing won't be enough going forward, and the state of EVs may have reached a plateau with few dramatic changes left that really matter to consumers. That is the point where it really does matter how well a particular vehicles meets the needs of its target segment. GM and others are just now building out their EV portfolios and Tesla offerings (as well as some others) are looking a bit thin.

John (not verified)    August 8, 2020 - 3:23PM

Well I understand the feelings everyone has about the Lyriq. I disagree with all of it. Electric cars will be ubiquitous. It will take awhile but we will be driving electric cars and infrastructure to charge will happen. I don’t believe I’m wrong but don’t Porsche Cayenne and Mercedes Benz costume in the 65-75 thousand dollars range? I am tired of criticism of gm because their interiors are not swathed in leather and gold. Now Cadillac has a beautiful vehicle. A beautiful dash. OLED screen. Deluxe stereo. Battery technology with LG chem. And a new factory to build them. New electrical architecture. It’s fine to continually point to Tesla as owning the electric car market but it annoys me that Tesla gets a pass for extremely poor quality. But Tesla owners put up with that. I own a volt. 120,000 miles. No problems. Paint excellent. Original brakes. Nothing has broken or falling off. I will be buying any Chevy electric car with a car payment I can live with.

Martin (not verified)    August 11, 2020 - 6:49PM

This is funny because I have been telling people the same thing. This looks great but it needs to come out spring or summer next year not over 2yr from now. By the time it comes out it will look old just like the ct4/5.

Not only will it come out too late but they said it is 80% production. What that means is that they will strip out everything that made people like it.