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Lyriq is still a show car and not quite production-ready

Tesla is clearly in the sights of General Motors premium brand Cadillac which launched the Lyriq crossover in the US as the “next chapter” for the American luxury brand and a “technology spearhead” for the automaker,according to local reports.

CNBC said the Lyriq was the first to debut with the automaker’s next-generation batteries and EV architecture. GM executives believe the technologies will rival, if not outperform, anything else on the market today, including Tesla, the global leader in electric vehicle sales.

“It marks a turning point for the brand, a pivot point for the brand, an opportunity to regain momentum and position the Cadillac brand for its next chapter,” Cadillac president Steve Carlisle told CNBC during a media briefing. “Lyriq really is the cornerstone upon which we are going to build the future.”

GM plans to have a majority, if not all, of its Cadillac cars and SUVs sold globally to be all electric vehicles by 2030. The brand is expected to lead GM in its global EV plans.

CNBC said the the Lyriq, a midsize crossover, includes a massive diagonal 33-inch curved LED screen on the interior, advanced lighting technology on the exterior and GM’s Super Cruise driver-assist system. It is heavily based off a rendering the automaker showed last year when it announced Cadillac would lead its all electric vehicle efforts.

“It further positions Cadillac as a technology spearhead for General Motors,” Carlisle said.

The Lyriq is expected to arrive in US showrooms in late 2022. The vehicle will launch first in China, the world’s largest electric vehicle market, shortly before the US release, Carlisle said.

The range of the vehicle is estimated to be more than 300 miles (500km) on a single charge, according to GM. That’s lower than the 400 miles or more the company has said its next generation electric vehicles could be capable of, but it’s within what GM has called the “sweet spot” for customers, CNBC noted.

Tesla’s Model Y crossover is capable of up to 316 miles on a single charge, according to an EPA estimate on Tesla’s website.  The company’s longest-range vehicle is a version of the Tesla Model S sedan at more than 400 miles, CNBC added.

The Lyriq will be offered with both rear wheel drive and performance all wheel drive systems. The performance model will not offer a front trunk, also known as a ‘frunk’, that many new all-electric vehicles have thanks to there being no engine.

GM declined to release charging time, pricing and other specifications for Lyriq but told CNBC it would be competitive with other all electric luxury crossovers.

The vehicle, according to the company, will be produced at plants in both China and North America.

The headlights and other lights on the vehicle will recognise when a driver is approaching, initiating a choreographed lighting sequence while also preparing cabin features such as the driver’s seat, mirrors and climate systems.

“Basically, this is all about the car recognising the owner,” Andrew Smith, Cadillac executive director of global design, colour and trim told CNBC. “As you walk up, you’ll see the car will come to life and recognise you.”

The vehicle also features a new “dual-plane augmented reality-enhanced head-up display” that projects driver information and navigation onto the windshield in front of the driver and will also have remote self-parking.

GM unveiled the Lyriq as a “show car” with the caveat that a vast majority of the vehicle’s features would make it to dealer lots. Show cars are typically production intent vehicles compared to concept cars which are meant to portray a vision for the company, CNBC added.

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