BMW is often mocked for being a bit behind in the world of electrification. While most other premium brands have modern fully electric cars on the road, BMW’s only full EV is the i3 and calling it dated is an understatement. However, compared to Cadillac, BMW is practically on the cutting edge. The famed American luxury automaker has just announced its first all-electric car, the Cadillac Lyriq EV, and while it seems like it could be competitive in this current market, it’s not going to debut until after this current crop of EVs are obsolete.
Yesteday, Cadillac unveiled the Lyriq as an EV crossover that’s designed to take on cars like the BMW iNEXT, Audi e-tron and, of course, the Tesla Model X. If it were set to debut in the next few months, its specs would be great. However, Cadillac claims that it won’t go on sale until 2022.
To be honest, the Cadillac Lyriq EV is a good looking crossover. The weird taillight that wraps around the C-pillar doesn’t look good but the rest of it is quite handsome and it looks like an EV, which is good. The interior also looks high-tech enough, even if it is a bit boring. Overall, though, it’s a commendable job and it would likely be a competitive car if it were on sale right now. But it’s not on sale right now and by the time it debuts in 2022, it’s going to be too little too late.
The Cadillac Lyriq EV will get a 100 kWh battery pack and a single motor at the rear axle as-standard, with a dual-motor, all-wheel drive powertrain as an option. That’s a massive battery pack, so it’s said to have 300 miles of range, which is very good and would be second to only super high-range Teslas. However, BMW, Audi and Tesla itself will already have 300-mile plus EVs on sale by the time the Lyriq EV debuts. So it will seem old-hat before it even hits showrooms. Additionally, it’s doubtful that it will actually hit that 300-mile mark, as EVs never reach their full claimed figures.
Cadillac is boasting a 150 kW charging speed, which is quite good. For right now. There are already several vehicles on the market that can charge at 150 kW. The BMW iX3, Audi e-tron and every Tesla can all charge at up to 150 kW. So by the end of 2022, it’s likely that whatever’s on sale will have an even better charge speed than that.
In its defense, the Lyriq EV will have Cadillac’s latest Super-Cruise semi-autonomous driver aids, which is very impressive in its current state. So it could potentially be the leader in autonomous driving when it debuts. Still, that’s a long-shot because autonomous tech could have moved on drastically by the time 2022 rolls around. Making matters worse, Cadillac is claiming a late 2022 release, so it’s at least a full two years away and we know there will be several new and exciting EVs on the road between now and then.
If the Cadillac Lyriq EV were to hit the road right now, it’d be an excellent EV crossover. Hell, even if it went on sale next year, it’d be competitive. But by late 2022, which means it will really go on sale in 2023, it’s going to be old news already. To be honest, I’ll be surprised if it ever goes on sale at all. Cadillac has a knack for debuting interesting concepts and then never actually producing them. So by the time this would be ready to go on sale, it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if GM gives the Lyriq the axe, due to its lack of competitiveness.
As an America, I personally always want to see Cadillac succeed. It would be great to have some pride in the cars that my country puts out. The problem is that Cadillac, for as great as its engineers are, keeps shooting itself in the foot by either debuting lukewarm products or just delivering good products far too late. Hopefully Cadillac can make some good moves in the EV market in the next few years but it doesn’t seem like the Lyriq will be one of them. If it’s the best GM can do, it doesn’t stand a chance against BMW, Tesla, Audi or even Nissan and Ford.