Cadillac is coming to Australia. An official announcement isn’t expected until November but General Motors’ luxury brand is finally headed our way to take on the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus.
More specifically, Cadillac will likely target the likes of Tesla, with a new range of electric vehicles. Cadillac will fall under the GM Speciality Vehicles umbrella in Australia, selling alongside the likes of the Chevrolet Corvette and Chevrolet Silverado. However, unlike the locally-converted Silverados, it’s believed GM has developed factory right-hand production for the Lyriq and other new models, paving the way for this long-awaited expansion.
We’ll have to wait until next month for the official details from GMSV, which will likely just be the initial products, but here are five current Caddys we’d like to see in local showrooms.
Let’s start with the obvious. The Lyriq is the brand’s ‘Large SUV’ and will compete against the likes of the Audi Q8 e-tron, Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV and Jaguar I-Pace.
It’s spearheading Cadillac’s electric transition, sitting atop GM’s new ‘Ultium’ modular EV architecture that is being rolled out across multiple brands including the GMC Hummer, Chevrolet Silverado and the upcoming all-electric Corvette.
The Lyriq is equipped with a single, rear-mounted electric motor that makes 255kW of power and 440Nm of torque, while the battery is large enough to provide up to 505km of driving range. A more powerful all-wheel drive version is also available, with 373kW and 610Nm with a range of approximately 494km.
While Cadillac may have been known for its big, long coupes and sedans previously, for the past two decades it’s the Escalade that has been the hero model for the brand. Based on the same underpinnings as the Chevy and GMC pickups in the past, this new electric Escalade IQ is also based on the Ultium platform.
This is a short-priced best to make it to the Australian line-up, thanks to the global popularity of large SUVs and the strength of the Escalade name. It will sit above the Lyriq in terms of size and performance, with a dual-motor, all-wheel drive powertrain making a standard 507kW/834Nm, with the option to boost that to 560kW/1065Nm for short periods.
While not officially revealed by Cadillac yet, information and images of the Optiq SUV have leaked out in recent months. This is the third SUV in the line-up, sitting beneath the Lyriq to provide Cadillac with a crucial rival to the wildly popular Tesla Model Y.
While not much is known about this model, it is expected to also use the Ultium motors and batteries, with power expected to be around 150kW in the base model and 180kW in the higher grades, with both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options available.
This will probably be a few years away from GMSV showrooms, as it hasn’t launched in the US yet, so would-be buyers will need to be patient.
While the Lyriq and Escalade will lead the Cadillac charge in Australia, there’s no doubting what the brand’s true flagship is. The Celestiq has been deliberately designed as a very exclusive product, with a focus on customisation and absolute luxury for a smaller group of buyers.
Expected to go on sale by the end of 2024, the Celestiq is meant to hark back to the brand’s glory days, when Cadillac’s were highly-esteemed and considered rivals to the best anyone in the automotive world could manage.
We’d love to see the Celestiq on the road in Australia, even in limited numbers.
This is where we start to diverge from what GMSV will likely offer. Cadillac’s international expansion is very much focused on its electric models, but we reckon there’s still a place in the Australian market for an old-fashioned V8 sports sedan… even if it isn’t exactly old-fashioned.
The Cadillac CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwings are the brand’s most advanced sports sedans ever, powered by a supercharged 6.2-litre V8 that makes 498kW and 893Nm. The CT4 is the brand’s 3-Series/C-Class rival and the CT5 is Caddy’s answer to the 5-Series/E-Class, so based on how well the M3, C63, M5 and E63 have been received in Australia over the years, we think it’s probably worth GMSV’s time and effort to convert these modern muscle cars to right-hand drive.