Big electricity Cadillac SUV can come to Australia below GM Special Vehicles banner in 2023… but still not locked in.
A senior member of the General Motors team in Australia told Car Expert there are “lots of exciting things coming this year”. Currently, the American giant sells the Chevrolet Corvette and Silverado through its GMSV dealer network.
When it comes to Cadillac, a General Motors spokesperson just says “stay tuned.”
The luxury brand is billed as a rival to BMW and Audi in the United States, and has been on the wish list of local enthusiasts since before Holden left Australia.
The brand’s flagship Lyriq electric SUV is already right-hand drive, and General Motors recently filed a trademark for the nameplate Down Under. At the time, GM said it was “common practice for GM to acquire major trademarks worldwide”.
However, the practice has never seen it register any other Cadillac models with an Australian IP.
The fact that the Lyriq is an EV also seems to play a role in GMSV’s plans locally.
Marc Ebolo, managing director of GM Australia and New Zealand, told Car Expert there is “a lot of excitement about where GM will go in terms of electrifying the model range”.
“We’ll have more to talk about this year, that’s for sure,” he said of The General’s push into electrification.
GM has previously indicated there is “strong demand for these products in international markets”.
“We have the talent, investment and strong financial and commercial momentum to capitalize on opportunities around the world,” Shilpan Amin, GM’s senior VP and president of GM International, told media in 2022.
GM also pointed to the flexibility of its Ultium platform as a way it can more easily build entry-level EV models for more markets.
The Lyriq is available with single-motor rear-wheel drive and dual-motor all-wheel drive options overseas, both paired with a 102kWh lithium-ion battery.
In North America, the US-built rear-wheel drive model produces 255kW of power and 440Nm of torque, and its all-wheel drive counterpart produces 373kW and 610Nm.
The rear-wheel drive model has a range of 502km under the more stringent US EPA test cycle.
The luxury SUV supports DC fast charging of up to 190kW, which can add about 122km of range in just 10 minutes. Cadillac will also offer buyers a 19.2kW home charger that can add 84km of range per hour.
The Lyriq measures 4996mm long, 2207mm wide (including mirrors) and 1623mm tall on a 3094mm wheelbase.
That makes it about the same size as the Audi e-tron or BMW iX. It starts at US$62,990 (A$92,891), undercutting the competition by thousands of dollars, and bringing it in line with the Tesla Model Y Performance.
Beyond the Lyriq, there are plenty of Cadillac products to suit the Australian market after the demise of Holden and Ford’s locally made large sedans.
The Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is a rear-wheel drive sedan powered by a supercharged 6.2 liter V8 that produces 498kW of power and 893Nm of torque, mated to either a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic transmission.
GM estimates a 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of 3.7 seconds with the automatic transmission and a top speed of over 200mph (321km/h).
The smaller Blackwing CT4-V eschews V8 power for a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 engine.
It produces 352kW of power and 603Nm of torque and is also mated to either a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive.
GM claims a 0-60mph (0-96km/h) time of 3.8 seconds with the automatic, with a top speed of 189mph (304km/h).
However, the pair of powerful sedans looks unlikely to make it to Australia.
Cadillac last officially sold a vehicle in Australia in 1969, but 40 years later it’s about to return to the local market with the second-generation CTS.
It officially announced the launch of the luxury sedan in 2007 and obtained local certification for its sale, with several dealers signing up to carry the brand which will be sold alongside the Hummer and Saab models.
GM also imported several dozen CTS sedans, only to have them moved because the company canceled plans to sell the brand in January 2009 just weeks before it was due to go on sale.
Since then, Cadillac has not produced any other right-hand drive vehicles and has further reduced its presence outside markets such as North America, China and the Middle East. For example, it only sells one vehicle in Europe, the XT4 small crossover.