Cadillac beats Rolls-Royce with the $300,000 Celestic electric sedan

Three months ago, Cadillac revealed a “show-car” version of the Celestiq, its battery-powered ultra-luxury sedan. Today, I spent some time with the production model, the yowza, this is a great looking car with a very high price to boot.

Sure, paying $300,000 north for a car is out of reach for most of us, but Cadillac is chasing 1 percent of 1 percent here with the 2024 Celeste, providing customization beyond luxury brands like Bentley and even Rolls-Royce.

Cadillac seeks 1 percent of 1 percent

As with other handcrafted vehicles, customers can choose custom paint, leather and wheel colors, but GM takes customization to a whole other level. With a myriad of 3D-printed parts — 115 of them to be exact — the company can offer even more options for personal taste. Want your signature on the wheel? Not a problem! How about a special criss-cross shading pattern on an interior piece? With the 3D printed metal trim, it’s easy to alter computer files for a completely unique look.

The one thing buyers may not want to change is the power train. Each axle carries its own motor, and together they produce an estimated 600 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. On top of that, the company says it can sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. For a car longer than the Escalade, that’s a pretty impressive feat.

The Ultium’s 111 kWh battery stores enough electrons for an estimated range of 300 miles, and the Celestiq can accept a charge of up to 200 kWh. Provided you find a high-speed charger that pumps out that much power, you’ll get 78 miles of range in just 10 minutes. Owners will have access to the Ultium Charge 360, a collaboration of more than 110,000 public charging stations in the US and Canada.

2024 Cadillac Celeste

2024 Cadillac Celeste

You’ll be able to find these charging stations on the Google Maps navigation system built into the center section of the huge 55-inch HD screen. In front of the driver is a customizable digital instrument cluster, while passengers get their own piece of digital cake.

Content can be streamed to the passenger, but the screen is shaded from the driver to reduce distraction. There’s also an 11-inch touch screen in the front center console, as well as an 8-inch screen for rear-seat passengers and two 12.6-inch rear-seat entertainment screens. I haven’t had a chance to play with any of the screens, but there are clearly a lot of them.

2024 Cadillac Celeste

2024 Cadillac Celeste

The show car’s interior is covered in blue leather with warm blue floor mats that appear to be made from the softest lamb’s wool in existence. Anything in a car that looks like metal is metal. It may be 3D printed, but it has been hand sanded and polished, with a luxurious feel to the touch.

The glass ceiling panel allows four distinct zones of light to enter through the ceiling. When set to the darkest level, only 1 percent of the outside light reaches the inside. Although it can contact up to 20 percent of available sunlight, it will not affect the indoor temperature. The pattern on the glass itself is really cool, evoking a futuristic look, you can see– Like the aesthetic that matches the sophisticated luxury of the interior.

2024 Cadillac Celeste

2024 Cadillac Celeste

The 2-plus-2 seating configuration offers plenty of room in both rows, while the Fastback profile allows for a fair amount of stowage in the rear hatch area. There is a frunk, but I haven’t been able to look at it. A Cadillac rep told me it’s big enough for a backpack, but I’d have to keep an eye on it to make sure.

I haven’t had a chance to drive a Celestiq, but from the sound of it, this sedan should be akin to driving a cloud. I was expecting adaptive air suspension and all-wheel drive, but the Celestiq is a bit ahead with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and Active Roll Control.

There is a frunk, but I couldn’t look at it

Magnetic Ride Control is a piece of engineering magic that allows the suspension system to react to road imperfections in milliseconds for a super-smooth ride. I’ve tested it on other Cadillacs, and it’s one of the best upgrades you can make in a high-performance vehicle. The latest Celestiq version should make the pits as smooth as butter.

Active Roll Control uses 48-volt electrical architecture and the car’s front and rear sway bars to keep the sedan flat in corners. Again, I didn’t drive the car, but if all components work as advertised, the Celestiq should run like a dream.

2024 Cadillac Celeste

2024 Cadillac Celeste

2024 Cadillac Celeste

All of the Celestiq’s usual advanced driving aids will be offered with the addition of the Ultra Cruise, which is expected to debut in 2023. This system uses road-specific and an integrated lidar to accelerate, brake and steer on nearly 2 million miles of roads in Canada and the United States. Over-the-air updates will keep the technology up to date.

On the outside, Celestiq strikes a unique setting. The doors open and close with the push of a button and, as on the Lyriq, drivers are treated to a light choreographed jig as they approach the vehicle.

From the outside, Celestiq strikes a unique position

While the front end is distinctly Cadillac, the tall dash-to-axle ratio and low-hanging roof only exaggerate the car’s extended wheelbase. The sleek profile of the recently curved back gives it an avant-garde look you haven’t seen in Cadillacs in years. Angled taillights extend all the way into the wheel wells, a distinctive design element of the Lyriq electric SUV. These wheel wells are filled with massive 23-inch rollers wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport EV summer-only tires.

The first Cadillac Celtic will be built in December 2023 at the company’s global technology center in Warren, Michigan. While Cadillac plans to keep the Celestiq in its portfolio for many years to come, don’t expect to see much down the road. In addition to its $300,000 price tag, Cadillac estimates that it will only be able to build two vehicles per day, or about 500 each year. If you’ve got the coin and the mile, you can make a deposit at www.cadillac.com

Photos by Emme Hall for The Verge

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