2024 Cadillac Celestiq Is the Brand's $340K Hand-Built Flagship EV

2024 cadillac celestiq ev flagship in blue
2024 Caddy Celestiq Is a Built-to-Order $340K EVCadillac
  • The 2024 Cadillac Celestiq debuts as the most extravagant and expensive model the brand has ever built.

  • The electric Celestiq is an avant-garde, four-seater hatchback that's made by hand and built to order.

  • Cadillac fits every model with an expected 600 horsepower, an estimated 300 miles of range, and a base price of around $340,000.

UPDATE 8/8/23: The Cadillac Celestiq will have a base price around $340,000. That's according to GM Authority, who reported that Cadillac Chief Marketing Officer Melissa Grady Dias in a recent post on social media revealed the car's starting price—which doesn't include the destination fee. A Cadillac spokesperson has since confirmed to Car and Driver that the Celestiq's starting MSRP will be approximately $340K. However, they declined to share the destination fee at this time.

When was the last time Cadillac was truly considered the Standard of the World? If you're like us and have to phone a friend to answer that question, then you might need to have your grandparents' landline on speed dial. The point is it's been a long time, but the brand looks to return to those former glory days as a legit luxury coachbuilder with the 2024 Celestiq, a moonshot model the company claims is one of the most important in its 120-year history.


For those already familiar with the Celestiq concept that Cadillac revealed back in July, the production car's specialness won't be a surprise, especially since it's nearly identical to the preceding show car. Cadillac basically just replaced the concept's camera-fed exterior mirrors with traditional ones and called it good.

Still, here's a quick recap or primer: The Celestiq is a battery-electric avant-garde four-passenger hatchback that's built by hand and tailor-made for individual customers. It also features a bespoke platform based on General Motors' Ultimum battery technology.

A Caddy for Kings and Queens

If you haven't already connected the dots, this Caddy isn't attainable for blue-collar folks, no matter how fat their yearly bonus check is. And that's the point. Cadillac commissioned this ambitious car to reconnect with its heritage, reboot its image, and be the flagship of the brand's plans to go entirely electric by 2030.

Needless to say, the Celestiq is extremely expensive, with a $340,000-plus base price that'll rise based on customers' individual customizations. Cadillac also says it will only build a limited number every year at GM's Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. Those allocations will only be available to those on a waitlist.

2024 cadillac celestiq

So, what does Celestiq mean and where did the name come from? That's not important. What's important is that it doesn't have a generic alphanumeric moniker like some other models Cadillac sells.

It also maintains Cadillac's plan to use the suffix "iq" at the end of its electric vehicles' model names, a trend that began with the recently introduced Lyriq electric SUV. That's better than the Celestiq being called the CT7 or something similarly uninspiring.

Dramatiq Celestiq

What's not uninspiring is the Celestiq's dramatiq (see what we did there?) proportions. We were lucky enough to see it in person, and to call it stunning is an understatement.

Shining in hand-painted Santorini Blue (just one of 200 available exterior colors Cadillac mastered for the Celestiq, not counting the infinite color-match options), the big EV looks incredibly long and low-slung. We're told its windshield is angled steeper than that of the latest Corvette.

Unlike the mid-engined Chevy sports car, the electric Celestiq's bodywork is tastefully sculpted. Its slippery surface hides extensive carbon-fiber body panels that are virtually void of defined lines.

There's no belt molding or door handles, either. The large power-operated front and rear doors open at the touch of discreet buttons on the B-pillar, but not before the Celestiq welcomes the driver with a light show when it detects the key fob is within 15 feet. We're told the sequence takes advantage of Cadillac's first-ever "digital micromirror" headlights that feature 1.3 million pixels each.

2024 cadillac celestiq

While the Celestiq's grille design and hockey-stick-like taillights look similar to those of the Lyriq, its remaining details offer a unique showcase of the particular manufacturing processes Cadillac employs to build this machine. The Celestiq's underbody consists of six mega-sized aluminum castings that are said to reduce normally necessary components by 30–40 parts apiece.

Every model also features 300-plus fabricated bits that are made through a process that can bend and fold metal like origami (as opposed to traditional stamping techniques). Cadillac also went crazy with 3-D printing on the Celestiq, and the EV boasts 115 such parts on the likes of its steering wheel and interior trim.

Let the Cabin Be Your Canvas

Cadillac's elegant approach to design is reflected inside the Celestiq, which features a refreshingly simple layout that's intended to serve as a canvas for customers. The company wanted the interior materials front and center, and the individualization offered is virtually endless.

It's all about how far down the rabbit hole you want to go, as one Cadillac spokesperson told Car and Driver. There's even an option for leather-wrapped flooring because of course there is. The cast-aluminum piece on the dash allows for custom engraving; the same goes for the metal elements on the door sill, edges of the floor mats, etc.

If you think the 38 inches of curved OLED screens in the Cadillac Escalade are impressive, prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor. The Celestiq features 55 inches of glass that spans from the left front pillar to the right front pillar.

The single piece of glass hides two separate screens, with the driver facing one and the front passenger facing the other. For safety reasons, the passenger's side has a privacy feature that shields it from the driver's view so they can't side-eye a movie while driving.

2024 cadillac celestiq interior

The Celestiq's interior technology also consists of an 11.0-inch touchscreen that sprouts up from the front center console. While there's an ominous lack of physical buttons, there's a rotary controller and a volume knob on the center console. Phew.

Those in the Celestiq's two individual and highly adjustable rear seats even have their own digital command center by way of an 8.0-inch touchscreen display. The setup includes settings for the Gentherm four-zone climate system that's said to allow intimate tailoring of temps, including those for the heated and cooled cushions.

While some of the Celestiq's features wouldn't be out of place on a Mercedes-Benz S-class, others are more in line with the Caddy's hefty price tag. Take the Celestiq's smart glass roof that uses allows people to control the amount of light that comes through in four separate sections.

Every Celestiq is also equipped with GM's Ultra Cruise hands-free driving-assist technology that uses a combination of cameras, radars, and lidar in order to work on more than two million miles of various roadways (including but not limited to highways) in the United States and Canada.

The Flagship of Electric Cadillacs

Cadillac didn't just build the Celestiq to be a big comfy cruiser that looks like more than a quarter of a million bucks, and every one of these big EVs comes equipped with an air suspension system and the fourth generation of GM's magnetorheological shocks. Additionally, the Celestiq also has rear-wheel steering and a variable-ratio electric steering system. It also marks the debut of Cadillac's active anti-roll bars.

The front and rear suspension both feature independent five-link configurations. Large 23-inch wheels, which are wrapped with a set of Michelin Pilot Sport EV summer tires that were specially developed for the Celestiq (they even have a unique sidewall graphic), serve as the mediators between the Caddy's chassis and the road below.

2024 cadillac celestiq

The Celestiq is motivated by a pair of electric motors (one at each axle) that work together to generate an estimated 600 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. Cadillac claims this allows the all-wheel-drive Celestiq to race to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.

Maintain a light enough right foot, though, and Cadillac estimates the Celestiq will go 300 miles on a full charge of its 111-kWh battery pack. (That's gross capacity, as Cadillac's currently mum on the pack's useable capacity.) To maximize interior space, Cadillac positions the Celestiq's battery cells horizontally.

As with most ultra-luxury cars, the 2024 Cadillac Celestiq, which enters production in December 2023, really has to be seen in person to be appreciated. Unfortunately, its exclusive nature will likely make it a rare sight. Of course, that's what Cadillac wanted when it set out to design the Celestiq.

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