Celestiq Started Life with Internal Combustion Engine Before Going Electric

Although pictures of it haven’t been published yet, Cadillac plans to shoot the moon with a hand-built luxury sedan called the Celestiq. The car takes the Escala-style design and updates it again.

Speaking to Automobile Magazine, Cadillac’s Design Director Brian Smith revealed that when work on the Celestiq began, it was intended as a traditional, internal combustion engine car.

“An internal-combustion vehicle was underway that would’ve caught the tail end [of the pre-electric era],” Smith told Automobile. “That’s when the company took a turn and said, ‘Hey, wait a minute, are we doing the right thing here?’ [We did] a set of scale models, one of which was a standout with a really wild silhouette.”

That model with the standout silhouette became the design for not only the Celestiq, but the Lyriq, too, and someday the rest of Cadillac.

“You see it in the Lyriq, which bears a strong resemblance in its lighting elements and some of the graphic executions of the front end, but the [other] car came first,” said Smith. “It was designed first and it influenced the Lyriq. As a flagship, high-technology, high-priced, hand-built vehicle, it’s going to influence the electric lineup, for sure.”

Naturally, a new face for Cadillac’s electric cars was necessary, since EVs don’t have the same airflow requirements as ICE cars and therefore often don’t need a grille. According to Smith, though, a car still needs a face.

“We still want the car to have a strong face and recognizable graphic, but now we can have a slick, flush appearance with different ways to do the detail,” he told Automobile.

When it comes out, though, Smith says that the Celestiq will be unlike anything else in its class. “We’re aiming for the moon” with the Celestiq.

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