Cadillac Teases Celestiq Flagship with Modern and Classic Touches

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Cadillac is in the process of going electric. GM has announced plans for its luxury marque to sell nothing but electric cars eventually (though it hasn’t named a target date like it did with Buick). But Cadillac has a lot of history to draw on as it pens future designs.

The perfect Cadillac flagship would find a way to unify its electric future and its glorious, chrome-and-crystal past.

The next standard-bearer for the Cadillac crest is called the Celestiq, and it will try.

Cadillac has released a few teaser images of the vehicle, which show nods to both future and past.

Cadillac describes these as photos of a show car. So they may show design details that don’t make it into the final production version.

Cadillac’s Second EV

We’ve known the vague outlines of the Celestiq for a while. It will be a full-size, all-electric sedan to take on battery-powered luxury flagships like the Mercedes-Benz EQS and the upcoming all-electric version of BMW’s new 7 Series sedan. It will likely share much of its powertrain with the 2023 Lyriq, Cadillac’s first electric vehicle (EV). That could mean all-wheel-drive and up to 500 horsepower.

What’s new from these detail photos are hints of the car’s spirit.

Modern Details and a Touch from FDR’s First Term

One shows a hockey-stick taillight with lots of jewel detailing, suggesting that Cadillac will hide luxury design elements all over the Celestiq. Another shows a line of chrome leading to a wheel well, calling to mind the Caddies of the 1950s with their excess of brightwork celebrating the jet age.

Another shows… well… a bolt. We have no idea where on the car the bolt is located. But it bears the old slogan “the standard of the world,” presumably to show that even the smallest bolts of Cadillac’s banner carrier aren’t drawn from the GM parts bin.

But the most interesting photo shows the front fender. It has another strake of chrome just behind the wheel, but this one bears an evocative touch. It’s a lighted panel (possibly some sort of glass) etched with a winged female figure leaning forward with long hair blowing behind her. She’s the Cadillac Goddess, a design used as a hood ornament from 1933 through 1956.

Bringing back an art deco design touch on an electric car is, we have to admit, a subtle stroke we didn’t see coming.

We expect to learn details about the Celestiq this year. But perhaps slowly, metered out in a drip-drip fashion for months. Cadillac says information will come “throughout the summer.” If this is, as Cadillac says, a “show car,” then the show where we might see it is this fall’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

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