The Lyriq will go into production in late 2022, according to GM. While the company wouldn’t provide details about its price, a GM spokesperson said it will be competitive with similar luxury SUVs, including gasoline-powered ones.
Inside, the Lyriq’s dashboard houses an enormous 33-inch (measured diagonally) display screen. The screen will act as the gauge cluster, as well as the information and entertainment touchscreen. To the left of the gauges, the screen will also include touch-sensitive switches for various controls, such as adjustments for the head-up display that’s projected onto the windshield.
The head-up display, or HUD, will show information at two different visual distances in front of the vehicle. Most HUDs display information, such as the car’s speed, as if it’s floating over the hood a few feet in front of the windshield. The Lyriq’s HUD will do that as well, but it will also show a second level of information that will appear farther away. This will include navigation cues, such as arrows, that will appear over the actual roadway ahead.
“Everything from the Cadillac brand has to feel premium and elevated and I think this display is a big part of that,” said Scott Martin, a GM engineer in charge of digital displays.
The Lyriq will be capable of accepting over-the-air software updates, like a Tesla, and it is engineered to take advantage of future improvements in display designs, Martin said. The big display screen, for instance, has resolution greater than most high-definition televisions and greater depth of color as well.
The SUV will have active noise cancellation, something many luxury vehicles offer. But, in the Lyriq, it will be used for the special noise problems that come with an electric vehicle. Its system has been tuned to target tire noise, which can be especially irritating in electric cars which are otherwise nearly silent. The active noise cancellation uses the car’s stereo speakers to produce sound waves that cancel out the unwanted noise in the cabin.
GM CEO Mary Barra has said the company will invest more than $3 billion a year in electric vehicle development through at least 2025.
“We want to put everyone in an EV, and we have what it takes to do it,” Barra said in a presentation in early March.
A fresh start
GM has introduced electric cars before but, like other traditional automakers, has not had nearly the success of Tesla. The Chevrolet Bolt EV has been on sale since 2017. But it has never approached the sales volumes of the Tesla Model 3, or even much more expensive Tesla models.
Before that, GM offered the Chevrolet Volt, which it called a “range extended” electric car. Essentially a plug-in hybrid, the Volt was powered by batteries but had a gasoline engine to generate electricity for trips beyond about 50 miles.
GM’s Cadillac brand briefly sold its own version of the Volt, the Cadillac ELR. Offered for only two model years, the ELR was largely hand-assembled inside GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant where the Volt was built.
In 1996, GM introduced the EV1, one of the earliest electric cars from a major automaker that had not simply been adapted from a gasoline car or truck. In 2003, GM stopped production of the EV1 and crushed most of the cars it had made, citing a lack of demand and problems with providing maintenance once parts were no longer being made.