Cadillac gears up to launch new electric SUV in China

Cadillac is preparing to launch its next electric model in China. The GM brand submitted a registration application for the electric SUV Optiq, which is positioned a class below Cadillac’s only other EV offered in China.

Visually, the familiar Lyriq and the new Optiq are very similar, and both are also based on General Motors’ Ultium platform. Nevertheless, the differences will not be limited to a few centimetres difference in size. According to the registration application submitted to the Chinese authorities, Cadillac is initially planning two single-engine variants for the Optiq, with 150 kW and 180 kW output respectively. The Lyriq built for the Chinese market, on the other hand, is available as a long-range model with a 255 kW electric motor in the rear.

The Optiq’s batteries, whose capacities are not yet known, will be supplied by a joint venture between SAIC and CATL. Production of the Cadillac Optiq is to take place at the SAIC-GM plant in Wuhan. Recently, SAIC-GM had started building its third electric car production plant in Yantai.

The Optiq will thus be Cadillac’s second electric model for the mass market after the Lyriq, which is also reportedly coming to Europe, but it remains open whether the Lyriq for Europe will be built in China (with CATL batteries) or from the USA (cells from Ultium Cells). At 4.82 metres, the Optiq is about 18 centimetres shorter than the 5.00-metre Lyriq, and the wheelbase is also smaller (2.95 to 3.09 metres).

This makes the Optiq roughly comparable to the Nio ES6 (4.85 metres with 2.91 metres wheelbase) and the recently launched HiPhi Y (4.94 metres long, 2.95 metres wheelbase). The two Chinese models start at prices of around 340,000 yuan, about 42,000 euros – but with well over 200 kW of power. How Cadillac will price its Optiq in this intense competition is not yet known. Since the Lyriq starts at 379,700 yuan, the Optiq will probably be priced well below that.

It is not yet known when exactly the Optiq will be launched in China. The application for inclusion in the vehicle catalogue of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is known to be one of the last steps in regulation before the market launch. The catalogue is intended to provide Chinese consumers with neutral information about the products. The public now has until 20 July to provide feedback – after which inclusion in the catalogue will probably take place. Once approval has been granted, it usually takes a few more weeks or months for manufacturers to start selling.


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