Cadillac Optiq is a subcompact car aimed at the heart of the electric vehicle market – Robb Report
While we were recently in Detroit for the opening of Cadillac’s new home at Vanderbilt, the venerable American luxury brand’s new location for customers to customize its flagship $340,000 Celestic electric sedan, the brand surprised us with an additional surprise: a first look at a car that will occupy the other end of the price spectrum. Caddy, the all-electric Optiq compact car.
“This will be the entry point into Cadillac’s electric vehicle lineup,” says Michael Simcoe, GM’s global design chief, as he gives a one-on-one tour of the sleek sports car. “But it shares continuity and consistency in design with the rest of the brand’s electric vehicle offerings.” This includes Cadillac’s angular “shield face” front fascia, scalloped fuselage wings, and a beveled rear fascia with long taillights.
The brand’s hallmarks inside the Optiq are the large, curved LCD screen that runs from the driver’s side to the middle of the car, plenty of metal trim – most of it textured, knurled or perforated for visual and tactile pleasure – and a new focus on the use of fabric (rather than leather) on the seats and panel surfaces. . “It’s a way to soften the interior, make it not so monolithic, while creating visual interest,” Simcoe says. “At the same time, it provides another example of our commitment to sustainability, and is a really important piece for us.”
He is particularly drawn to the return of fabric, which has long been a model of luxury in automotive interiors. Early on, leather was used for the driver’s seats in high-end classic cars because of its durability, while the passenger compartment was usually lined with textiles. “Think about wallpaper. It was out of control for a long time, but now it’s back,” Simcoe says. “It’s decoration.”
The Optiq has an exterior design roughly the size of a gas-powered XT4, the same model it aims to replace as Cadillac continues its journey toward an all-electric lineup, a goal it plans to achieve in 2030. But due to the packaging advantages of electric vehicles — which it lacks to bulky, intrusive components like the transmission, exhaust system or gas tank – you’ll have more interior space than the gas-powered compact XT5, a bigger step up in size in the automaker’s lineup. However, the new car will not have a storage area in the front where the engine is usually located. “There is no franc,” Simcoe says. “The hood is closed.”
When it is released, we can expect the Optiq to provide drivers with the ability to travel a significant distance on every charge of the battery pack. “The expected range should be at least 300 miles,” Simcoe says. “This is the primary goal of our electric vehicles.”
Aiming at the heart of today’s electric vehicle market, the beautiful and well-equipped Cadillac Optic, which will be able to make the trip from Detroit to Lexington, Kentucky, on a single charge, certainly seems to hit the mark.