Cadillac launching Lyriq production next week, adding Super Cruise updates over the air

Jordyn Grzelewski
The Detroit News

Cadillac, General Motors Co.'s luxury brand, on Tuesday confirmed that limited production of its first-ever battery-electric vehicle, the Lyriq crossover, will begin Monday at GM's Spring Hill plant in Tennessee.

Brand executives said the Lyriq has garnered 233,000 "hand raisers" — or, people who have expressed interest and are receiving regular updates on it — ahead of the May 19 opening of the order bank for the vehicle, surpassing the brand's target of 200,000. 

Orders will open at that time for both the 2023 Lyriq, with deliveries expected to start in May, and the 2023 Lyriq performance all-wheel drive, with deliveries of that version slated to begin early next year. 

Cadillac will start limited production of its first all-electric vehicle, the Lyriq, next week.

“From our perspective now, we think that we’ve got enough demand on the Lyriq," said Rory Harvey, global vice president of Cadillac said. "And because we’re so close to starting production, we think the right thing to do is to just open the order bank up.”

Harvey declined to comment on expected production volumes for the Lyriq in 2022 and 2023, saying those numbers are a "work in progress," but he indicated GM already is considering boosting production capacity "fairly significantly" from the initial plan.

The automaker has been in discussions with its suppliers regarding constraints on components such as semiconductor chips and batteries, he said.

Cadillac has not said how many reservations it has for Lyriq.

Meanwhile, Cadillac also announced that new capabilities from the automaker's hands-free highway driving system will be made available retroactively via over-the-air software updates to owners of eligible 2021 CT4s, CT5s and Escalades.

The updates — available to owners of those models that are equipped with the necessary hardware — will be available this summer. Approximately 12,000 CT4s, CT5s and Escalades are eligible, according to Cadillac.

2023 Cadillac LYRIQ interior in Sky Cool Gray; CGI; interior looking out at sunset.

For model year 2021 CT4 and CT5 sedans with Super Cruise and an active Super Cruise plan, automatic lane change will be available as a paid upgrade. And for model year 2021 Escalades with Super Cruise and an active Super Cruise plan, both automatic lane change and trailering will be available for a fee.

“The message that we’re trying to get across here is that we have the ability, now, to be able to do over the air updates on a retrospective basis, dependent upon the technology for our vehicles going forward," said Harvey. "And this is the first of many that we think will follow this route.”

Pricing for the updates will be shared with customers "in the near future," Cadillac said.

In other news, Cadillac executives said the brand is now on-boarding dealers to a new EV experience underpinned by GM's digital retail platform. The brand touts the platform as a way to provide a more streamlined, convenient way for customers to learn about, shop for and buy electric Cadillacs. The platform, in which 99% of Cadillac's dealers are enrolled, will include features such as a live chat function, inventory search and vehicle configurator.

“DRP is going to be very important to the Cadillac brand and our customers going forward," said Eric Cunningham, North America vice president of Cadillac sales, service and marketing. "And it’s important because it delivers what modern buyers — especially battery-electric buyers — want, and that’s a digital-first approach that enables them to engage with Cadillac on their own terms.”

In the U.S., about 96% of Cadillac dealers are on track to have their EV infrastructure and equipment in place on the brand's timeline, Harvey said, following an initiative to consolidate Cadillac's dealer network as part of its electric transition. Cadillac is eyeing 2030 as the date by which it will be all-electric as GM goes all- in on electrification.

And Cadillac said it would reveal the full details of the forthcoming Escalade-V, including specs and capabilities, on May 11.

Twitter: @JGrzelewski