Cadillac outrolls Rolls-Royce with the $300,000 Celestiq electric sedan

Three months ago, Cadillac unveiled a “show car” version of the Celestiq, the brand’s ultra-luxurious battery-powered sedan. Today I have to spend time with the production model and yowza that’s a damn good looking car with a sky high price tag.

Sure, paying north of $300,000 for a car is out of reach for most of us, but Cadillac is aiming for the 1 percent of the 1 percent here with the 2024 Celestiq, offering customization options beyond the scope of luxury brands like Bentley and even Rolls Royce.

Cadillac is after the 1 percent of the 1 percent

As with other handcrafted vehicles, customers can opt for custom paint, leather and wheel colors, but General Motors takes personalization to a whole other level. Thanks to the countless 3D printed parts – 115 of them, to be exact – the company can offer more opportunities for personal flair. You want your signature on the steering wheel? No problem! How about a special hatch pattern on an inside bit? With 3D printed metal cladding, it’s easy to modify the computer files for a completely unique look.

2024 Cadillac Celestiq

The Celestiq is Cadillac’s attempt to conquer some of the upper tiers of the luxury market.

One thing buyers probably won’t want to change is the powertrain. Each axle carries its own motor, and together they produce an estimated 600 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. Additionally, the company says it can sprint from a standstill to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. For a vehicle longer than an Escalade, that’s quite an achievement.

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

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2024 Cadillac Celestiq

The $300,000 price tag is sure to have some Rolls-Royce owners wondering what they’re missing.

2024 Cadillac Celestiq

The fastback rear hides a large trunk.

You can find these charging stations on the Google Maps navigation system integrated into the center section of the massive 55-inch diagonal HD display. A customizable digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver, while passengers get their own slice of the digital pie.

The passenger can stream content, but the screen is shaded by the driver to minimize distraction. There’s also an 11-inch front command center touchscreen, as well as an 8-inch screen for rear 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 Celestiq

screens? Yes, you could say the Celestiq has a few.

2024 Cadillac Celestiq

Cadillac says it can personalize basically anything in this electric vehicle.

The interior of the show car is upholstered in blue leather and has cozy blue floor mats that feel like they are made from the softest lambswool around. Anything in the car that looks like metal is metal. It may be 3D printed, but it’s been hand-brushed and polished with a lush tactile feel.

The glass roof panel allows for four different zones of light to enter through the roof. At the darkest level, only 1 percent of the outside light penetrates the interior. Although that can be adjusted to up to 20 percent of the available sunlight, it doesn’t affect the indoor temperature. The pattern on the glass itself is really cool, reminiscent of a futuristic, Tron-like aesthetics that match the refined luxury of the interior.

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2024 Cadillac Celestiq

The 55-inch diagonal HD display extends the length of the dashboard.

2024 Cadillac Celestiq

The interior is wrapped in ultra-soft material.

The 2-plus-2 seating configuration offers plenty of space in both rows, while the fastback profile allows for a decent amount of storage space in the tailgate area. There is a frunk, but I couldn’t catch a glimpse of it. A Cadillac rep told me it was big enough for a backpack, but I’ll have to see it to know for sure.

I didn’t get a chance to drive the Celestiq, but by the sound of it, this sedan should be similar to driving a cloud. I was expecting adaptive air suspension and all-wheel drive, but the Celestiq goes a step further with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and Active Roll Control.

There is a frunk, but I couldn’t catch a glimpse of it

Magnetic Ride Control is a piece of engineering magic that allows the suspension to react to bumps in the road in milliseconds for an ultra-smooth ride. I’ve seen it on other Cadillac products, and it’s one of the best upgrades you can make in a high-performance car. The latest version in the Celestiq is designed to make potholes as soft as butter.

Active Roll Control uses the vehicle’s 48-volt electrical architecture and front and rear anti-roll bars to keep the sedan flat through corners. Again, I haven’t ridden the thing, but if all the components work as advertised, the Celestiq should ride like a dream.

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2024 Cadillac Celestiq

Foldable workplaces in the rear, of course.

2024 Cadillac Celestiq

Here is the trunk or rear trunk.

2024 Cadillac Celestiq

Cadillac is already taking orders for the 2024 Celestiq.

All the usual advanced driving assistants will be featured on the Celestiq with the addition of Ultra Cruise, which is expected to make its debut in 2023. This system uses mapped roads 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 keep technology up to date.

From the outside, the Celestiq strikes a unique pose. The doors open and close with the push of a button, and like the Lyriq, drivers are treated to a choreographed dance of lights as they approach the vehicle.

From the outside, the Celestiq strikes a unique pose

While the front end is clearly Cadillac, the long dash-to-axle ratio and low roof only exaggerate the car’s extended wheelbase. The sleek fastback profile gives it an avant-garde look not seen by Cadillac in years past. Angular taillights extend to the wheel arches, a design element of the Lyriq electric SUV. Those wheel arches are filled with massive 23-inch rolls wrapped in summer-only Michelin Pilot Sport EV tires.

The first Cadillac Celestiq will be built in December 2023 at the company’s Global Technical Center in Warren, Michigan. While Cadillac plans to keep the Celestiq in its portfolio for years to come, don’t expect to see too many on the road. In addition to its price tag of over $300,000, Cadillac estimates it can only build two vehicles a day, or about 500 a year. If you have the coin and the tilt, you can post a deposit at www.cadillac.com

Photographs by Emme Hall for The Verge

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