GM Has Its ‘Hermès’ Car to Take on Rolls-Royce

The Detroit giant seeks to revive cachet with a car that will cause a stir.

General Motors  (GM) – Get General Motors Company Report finally seems to have a vehicle that will propel it back into the ranks of manufacturers of premiere high-end luxury vehicles to compete with the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley.

It is the club of manufacturers of the artisanal vehicles, one would be tempted to say. The principle of the brands belonging to this club is that each car leaving their factory is different from the others. The cars don’t look alike at all. Each customer can customize his car according to their tastes. It’s tailor-made. 

To enter this elite club, GM has just unveiled the Cadillac Celestiq, the second all-electric model of the Detroit giant’s premium brand after the Lyriq. The vehicle is intended to change the perception of the Cadillac brand and to reconnect with its famous motto: “the standard of the world.”

GM Wants to Change the Narrative Around Cadillac

The group has just revealed this concept car on Instagram.

It’s an an imposing luxury electric sedan that the company aims to bring to market by 2024.  The design draws on the Cadillac mythos. It has futuristic lines which, especially in the rear area, offers a very innovative look, using two pairs of boomerang LEDs that act as optical groups and at the same time as real styling cues on the side. The rear part is very plunging but, given the length of the vehicle, one could almost see a cross between the 4-seater coupe and the hunting station wagon.

Celestiq’s designers have traveled back in time to study pre-war V-16s and the 1957 Eldorado Brougham to draw inspiration. Fewer than 400 Eldorado Broughams were built, for a starting price of $13,074 each. At the time, a Rolls-Royce Silver Wrath was sold for $9,000. Adjusted for inflation, those figures would be roughly 10 times as much today.


“Those vehicles represented the pinnacle of luxury in their respective eras, and helped make Cadillac the standard of the world,” Tony Roma, chief engineer of the Celestiq, said in a press release. “The Celestiq show car — also a sedan, because the configuration offers the very best luxury experience — builds on that pedigree and captures the spirt of arrival they expressed.”

There are similar details between the Celestiq and the Eldorado Brougham, such as the presence of the “Flying Goddess”, formerly used on the radiators in the ornament near the front wheel arch. There’s also a contrast between the high-tech digital trim and the color of the upholstery and the shape of the steering wheel, which looks vintage.

Cadillac has provided numerous internal LED screens, including a gigantic 55″ panel that crosses the entire dashboard that stands out, like the Mercedes MBUX Hyperscreen.  Passengers can count on a sort of virtual curtain, which allows them to enjoy different video content, not visible to the occupants of the cabin. The front passenger will be able to watch videos or other content on the large screen without the driver being able to see anything due to their angle. The other screens are found on the front and rear consoles as well as the on the back of each front seat.

$300,000 a Unit?

The roof also uses smart glass technology , which creates four distinct areas that can be masked by the respective passengers to control the amount of light coming through. 

GM still hasn’t released technical information on the Cadillac Celestiq. We know that this sedan will be electric but we still don’t know how many miles it will be able to travel with a charge, for example. 

Production, which will be based on GM’s Ultium modular platform for EVs, is expected to begin in late 2023.

The Celestiq will be a very niche and exclusive product, GM says, with each unit hand-crafted and customized for each buyer at dedicated facilities in Warren, Mich. Its base price could be around $300,000 or more. The auto maker intends to build fewer than 500 Celestiqs annually as a way to showcase its technology, boost rarity value and generate buzz for Cadillac.

Earlier this month, GM said it was investing more than $81 million into the GM Technical Center in Warren for the Celestiq. The car will be equipped with the new generation of Ultra Cruise, the company’s driver assistance system.

Cadillac aims for an all-electric portfolio by 2030. 

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