GM to Start Deliveries of the Electric Cadillac Lyriq 9 Months Ahead of Schedule
General Motors want to get the new Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV on the market as soon as possible, so the automaker has accelerated its timeline to begin deliveries to customers.
General Motors President Mark Reuss said in a LinkedIn post on Thursday that the pre-production version of electric Lyriq has been assembled and the final production version is expected to be delivered to customers in just a few months. The Lyriq was initially scheduled to arrive in late 2022.
The Lyriq is being built as GM's Spring Hill Manufacturing facility in Tennessee. The automaker announced in Oct 2020 that it was investing $2 billion in the plant to build fully-electric vehicles there.
"Our teams have worked tirelessly on the Lyriq, bringing the launch up nine months ahead of schedule," Reuss said.
The forthcoming Lyriq is one of the most anticipated new vehicles from GM and its luxury Cadillac division. The automaker opened reservations for the battery-powered SUV in September of last year. For GM, the Lyriq is an important launch as it looks to better compete with Tesla.
The Lyriq will be GM's first competitor in the luxury-electric vehicle segment that's currently dominated by Tesla in the U.S. But if the Cadillac Lyriq is a hit with consumers, it may help GM better make the transition to becoming an electric automaker.
The Cadillac Lyriq is poised to compete with electric SUVs like the Tesla Model Y, Audi e-tron, Volkswagen ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E.
GM said its was able to speed up the development timeline of the Lyriq using the same types of virtual engineering tools used by engineers and researchers in other fields. The timeline was accelerated by a process of virtual testing and validation throughout the phases of the electric SUV's development.
GM is employing virtual design, development and validation (VDDV), which the company says has a profound impact on the overall efficiency of its vehicle development programs.
Implementing the virtual design tools early in the development process allowed its teams to optimize the Lyriq's design, quality and performance within the confines of a digital environment. It rapidly accelerated its product development cycles while reducing engineering costs by $1.5 billion per year, according to GM.
Last June, GM made one of the biggest financial commitments in its 100+ year history when it announced its was increasing its investments in electrification and autonomous driving technologies to $35 billion through 2025. The automaker plans for an all-electric future with dozens of new battery-powered models in the works, many with autonomous driving capability.
The Lyriq also marks the beginning of Cadillac being reborn as an exclusive, luxury electric brand. Following the launch of the Lyriq, GM's Cadillac division will offer the Symboliq, Celestiq, Escalade EV as well as a compact SUV by 2025.
The U.S. version of the Lyriq was unveiled by GM in August 2020. It was also unveiled in Shanghai last April. The Lyriq's debut in China was also nine months ahead of schedule.
The Cadillac Lyriq may also help GM catch up to its rivals in the EV space. GM sold only 26 EVs in the fourth quarter of last year, mainly due to the Chevy Bolt EV battery recall over fire risks.
Without any EVs currently on the market, the automaker risks being left behind as rival automakers introduce new electric models to compete with Tesla, which is now the world's most valuable automaker.
The Cadillac Lyriq is built on GM's new modular electric vehicle architecture, which is powered by the automaker's new Ultium batteries. The company's new EV architecture will underpin many future electric models from GM.
The Ultium battery system is part of the structural element of the Lyriq and for future models that will use it. It creates a lower center of gravity and near 50/50 weight distribution to improve ride and handling, which is befitting for what consumers expect from GM's luxury division Cadillac.
GM says the placement of the battery pack results in a vehicle that's responsive and allows for spirited driving.
The placement of the rear drive motor helps the Lyriq maintain a more balanced and nimble road feel. In addition, it transfers more torque to the pavement, results in powerful acceleration without any wheel slippage, as well as offering better handling in turns.
The automaker also confirmed that the Lyriq will be offered in a dual-motor all-wheel-drive version and offer over 300 miles of range on a full charge.
GM also confirmed in Oct 2021 that all-electric versions of the Blazer SUV and Equinox crossover are in the works.
The Equinox might retail for around $30,000. The battery-powered Equinox will be GM's mass-volume product and for good reason. The Equinox crossover is GM's second best-selling model in the U.S. after the Silverado pickup.
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