This is a fascinating time to be an observer in the automotive industry.

The proliferation of EVs being designed on dedicated platforms has afforded automotive designers the chance to ask questions they never could before. With no engine or transmission channel to deal with, do buyers want more storage space or more legroom? What can you do with an interior floor that’s completely flat? How does the driving experience change when you’re rolling around in what’s essentially a very large personal electronic device?

Now, General Motors gets a turn to submit its answers to these questions with the launch of the Cadillac Lyriq, the luxury brand’s first fully electric vehicle.

The Lyriq is still in the pre-production phase. From a technical standpoint, here’s what we know so far: it’s built on GM’s Ultium flexible battery technology and will launch with a 100.4 kWh battery pack, which is expected to provide more than 480 kilometers of range. Its fast-charging capability will provide for energy supply of up to 190 kW, which can recover 122 kilometres of range in 10 minutes. The Debut Edition will launch with a single motor configured for rear-wheel drive, delivering 340 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, and will carry a Canadian starting price of $69,898. An all-wheel drive variant will follow at a later date.

But here at the Ministry of Interior Affairs, it’s the interior details of new vehicles that we delve into in extreme detail, which is why we visited the Cadillac Live studio to see the pre-production version of the Lyriq for ourselves.

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

Right from first approach, the Lyriq feels different from other Cadillac vehicles. Rather than using typical mechanical door handles, Cadillac has opted for electronic door operation. A push of a button nudges the Lyriq’s door ajar, while a rubber handle built into the side of the door provides a grip position for opening it the rest of the way. From the inside, an occupant lifts a lever to exit, which is built into the door armrest.

From the inside, a single panel, 33-inch diagonal advanced LED screen, which is partially touch-operated, is the first thing that grabs attention. The high-resolution surface is curved toward the driver and can display one billion different colours to create rich graphics. Underneath this screen, Cadillac’s traditional button layout is used for HVAC controls.

As is the case for most dedicated EVs, the Lyriq’s battery resides below the interior floor, which can be made entirely flat as a result. Rather than provide open space as many other brands have opted to do, Cadillac’s design team chose to position a storage area between the front seats, incorporating a USB-C port and finished in leather using a secondary interior colour. Here, the panels are lined with juniper blue leather to set off dramatically from the sky cool gray interior motif. That same blue appears again in a small drawer that pulls out from the centre stack. Cadillac says multiple interior colourways will be available.

The Lyriq’s centre console floats above the floor. It integrates two cup holders, a wireless phone charging pad that holds the smartphone in an upright position, and the infotainment system controller that provides an alternate method of input and interaction. Touch surfaces in the Lyriq are finished with knurled metal.

The front seats are eight-way power adjustable with a four-way power lumbar adjustment. In this pre-production unit, they’re also heated and ventilated with lumbar massage and include speakers embedded into the headrests.

Rather than residing on the sides of the lower seat cushions, the seat adjusters have been moved up onto the side door panels. These form part of an open-pore wood panel formed from a single piece of black ash wood. This panel also includes laser-cut inserts for the ambient lighting, which can be set to cycle through colours, respond to the drive mode, or be selected individually. Cadillac says this cut-through lighting effect on the doors is inspired by the Japanese concept of komorebi, or the dappling of sunlight streaming through the leaves of trees.

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

Below the wood inserts, etched and curved speaker grilles provide cover for the 19-speaker AKG sound system. As is found on the Cadillac Escalade, the Lyriq’s audio system will deliver navigation prompts from the side of the car that matches the provided directions. Cadillac says it’s meant to allow the car to lead you with multiple senses.

The shifter is built into a stalk integrated into the steering column. Cadillac’s Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance technology will be offered on the Lyriq, as will cloud-stored individually configurable driver profiles.

Second-row passengers benefit from the large single-pane sunroof with a power shade, which fills the cabin with light. Here, the floor remains flat for additional leg room. Two USB-C ports are built into the back of the centre console. This pre-production Lyriq does not include any USB-A ports. Heated rear outboard seats will be standard at launch.

autos, cadillac, cars, luxury, mini, ministry of interior affairs: 2023 cadillac lyriq

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Photo by Clayton Seams

In the cargo area, which can be accessed by pushing on the Cadillac crest on the liftgate, 793 litres of space can be found behind the second-row seats, while 1721.9 litres become available when the rear seats backs are folded. This can be done manually or with power assistance. A storage area under the load floor provides a place to stow the included dual-level charging cord and other loose items.

We’ll know much more about the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq as we get closer to its Canadian launch date, which is currently slated for autumn of 2022.

Keyword: Ministry of Interior Affairs: 2023 Cadillac Lyriq

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