Cadillac finally unveiled the production-ready Celestiq, a $300,000 concept car come to life. That’s an extraordinary amount of money, especially for a Cadillac. As car enthusiasts, we have to question whether such a car is worth the money and whether Cadillac can provide a $300,000 experience, from top to bottom. Will the buying experience be as premium as with other cars in that price bracket?
First, let’s talk its design. From some angles, the Celestiq is breathtakingly beautiful. From others, it’s kind of frumpy and weird. There’s a lot to look at and take in, question, and ponder. It grows on you. From the outside it’s just as interesting as any Rolls-Royce or Bentley. Inside, there’s enough ambient lighting inside to spot it from space, the materials all seem lovely, and it features a ton of tech but it’s not too in your face. It also seems to have a retro-futuristic design, as if it was a 1930s interior car designer’s vision of the future.
However, does it really scream Rolls or Bentley-beater? We’re not so sure. Mercedes S-Class-beater? Definitely in the conversation. But it’s going to take actually sitting inside of it, touching the materials and feeling the ambience, to determine whether it can truly take on the best in the world. I do like the “Hand Built Detroit” badge, though.
Under that very pretty skin is a 111 kWh battery pack that powers two electric motors to make 600 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque. Cadillac claims a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds and a range of around 300 miles. That’s about on par with the Rolls-Royce Spectre, even better in some ways. However, and this includes cars like the Spectre, it’s quite amazing how far legacy automakers are behind Lucid and Tesla. The Lucid Air uses a similarly sized battery, makes almost double the power in its top-end Sapphire spec, and gets hundreds of miles more range.
That being said, a car like the Celestiq isn’t designed for brutal performance or handling. It’s designed to be incredible to look at and wonderful to be in. While it’s impossible to judge the latter, as we haven’t driven it yet, we think the Americans nailed the former. So can the Cadillac Celestiq really take on Rolls and Bentley? Just based on its design, we think it has a real chance.