General Motors CEO Mary Barra likes to say the carmaker is “on a path to an all-electric future,” and no GM brand is moving faster than Cadillac. It’s already building the Lyriq, and is getting ready to roll out both the Escalade IQ and the exotic halo car, the Celestiq. Next, it seems is a downsized electric SUV, the Optiq, and these are the first teaser images.
Think of the upcoming Cadillac Optiq as a downsized version of the Caddy Lyriq. Or, if you prefer, an all-electric alternative to the conventional XT4 crossover.
GM’s luxury brand released the first teaser images for the new model today, though it didn’t offer much in the way of details behind this terse statement:
“Optiq will act as the entry point for Cadillac’s EV lineup in North America, slotting in below Lyriq as a luxury compact SUV. Optiq’s spirited driving dynamics are designed to appeal to global luxury customers. Additional details, features and pricing will be unveiled next year.”
Cadillac takes the lead
GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra has made a mega-billion-dollar commitment to shift the automaker to all-electric propulsion. By this time next year we’ll see new EV offerings from all four of its North American brands, including Chevrolet, GMC and Buick. But Cadillac seems to be moving fastest, at least from a model count perspective.
The brand expects to be 100% electric by 2030, five years ahead of Barra’s plan for the company overall. After a slow start, it’s ramping up production of the midsized Lyriq crossover and has already revealed plans for the $300,000 Celestiq and the battery-powered Escalade IQ.
Now comes the Optiq. While we don’t have much in the way of official details we still can offer some informed speculation about what to expect.
Mirroring the Lyriq
As these teaser images reveal, the compact crossover picks up on key design cues we first saw with Lyriq, starting with the vertical LED headlights and lightbars. There’s a small grille with the latest iteration of the Cadillac crest at its center. The grille is, as with most EVs, sealed. There’s no engine compartment to push air into. But Optiq has a second, lower grille feeding in air to cool its motors and battery pack.
It’s a safe bet to assume it will use GM’s new Ultium batteries and motors, as well as the automaker’s new Ultium EV architecture.
We don’t get to see Optiq’s interior but it’s expected to mimic Lyriq here, as well, featuring several large screens under a single pane of slightly curved glass.
Class-above interior space
One of the benefits of using a skateboard-like platform is that the passenger compartment can be pushed forward into what would have been the engine compartment. And there’ll be a flat load floor. While the new EV’s exterior footprint is that of a compact SUV, the interior will likely be closer to that of a gas-powered midsize model, perhaps even bigger.
The Cadillac Optiq will share the same basic version of GM’s Ultium platform used for the more plebian Chevrolet Equinox EQ coming next year. It will clearly get upgrades to the suspension and other features to fit into the luxury segment.
As with Lyriq, expect Optiq to be offered with multiple drivetrain configurations. The Equinox EV gives buyers a choice of a single-motor driving the front axle and making 210 horsepower, or a 290-hp all-wheel-drive setup.
Steve Carlisle, who retired earlier this year as head of Cadillac, previously told Headlight.News that the brand wanted to offer a minimum 400 miles per charge for its EVs. That’s unlikely, at least with the current generation of Ultium batteries, several in-the-know observers caution. Something closer to 300 miles is far more likely. And a shorter-range battery pack might be in the works.
Optiq will go up against several European and Asian competitors, including the Audi Q4 e-tron and the Genesis GV60. It will be slightly larger – and likely a bit more expensive than – the new Volvo EX30.
Pricing and availability
A price tag starting in the mid-$40,000 range is likely.
The new Cadillac Optiq should be badged a 2025 model and show up at dealerships late next year.