Images: Cadillac

The General Motor's Spring Hill, Tennessee factory has begun production of the cadillac lyriq. The EV is the first electric vehicle of its kind.

GM initially said that production was not slated to begin until late 2022. Facing criticism that its new EV was taking too long to reach customers, the automaker put the Lyriq on an accelerated development schedule that resulted in an early 2022, start date.

Mark Reuss, president of GM, said in a briefing that this is bringing Cadillac back to leadership, back to tier one luxury, and really getting an American luxury brand recognized and highly desirable.

“This is bringing Cadillac back to leadership”

GM has yet to give details on the trim levels and options of the Lyriq, but it will start at $59,990. The Debut Edition will have a 100.4 kWh battery pack and rear-wheel drive. 300 miles of EPA-rated range is what GM is aiming for.

52 miles of range per hour can be added by using the Lyriq at home or at public fast charging stations. Super Cruise is the hands-free driver assistance system that started at Cadillac but is now spreading to other GM vehicles. It has a huge display that stretches from the left of the driver all the way to the middle of the dashboard. There is an active noise cancellation system that can be used to reduce road noise.

The first Cadillac to be built on GM's new flexible Ultium architecture is the Lyriq. The chemistry of the Ultium battery cells was changed by GM. The battery electronics will be incorporated directly into the modules, eliminating nearly 90 percent of the battery pack wiring as compared to GM's other EVs.

There is strong demand for the electric crossover, with executives boasting over 240,000 hand-raisers. The customers didn't have to put money down for a reservation but just indicated an interest in a purchase. When the order bank opens on May 19th, GM expects a high number of hand-raisers to convert to customers.

The vice president for global sales at Cadillac said that they are not going through reservations anymore.

When it starts reaching customers later this year, the Lyriq will find itself in competition with a host of new luxury EV, including the BMW iX SUV, Volvo XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge. The Mercedes-Benz EQE, Rivian R1S, and Maserati Grecale will be available later this year.