The all-new Cadillac Lyriq is initially available as a rear-driven, single-motor variant with a 100-kWh battery pack. It has 340 horsepower to play with and an EPA-estimated 312 miles of range. There’s a 500-horsepower dual-motor version in the works, but Cadillac has yet to announce how the added oomph affects real-world driving range. According to Jay Leno, the single-motor Lyriq has more than enough gravitas for a luxury EV. He’s also impressed that Cadillac took a different route with its first-ever electric car instead of battling it out with Tesla, Lucid, and others in the horsepower race.
In other words, the Lyriq feels like a proper Cadillac on the road: quiet and supple but has a space-age design that turns heads and the power to prove a point. Leno adds the Lyriq brings to mind the iconic 1949 Cadillac Series 62, a car that made the Germans stand up and take notice. It won MotorTrend’s first-ever Car of the Year award with its innovative pushrod V8, automatic transmission, power windows, and many more hi-tech features to cement the brand’s “The Standard of the World” reputation.
Leno couldn’t get past the fact that the Lyriq starts at under $65,000, a veritable bargain for what is possibly one of the finest luxury EVs you can buy today. Other merits are the posh cabin with top-notch materials, the groovy welcome lighting sequence, the station wagon-inspired crossover design, and the versatile charging capabilities. It would seem that a car guy like Jay Leno – with an almost encyclopedic knowledge of past, present, and future vehicles — would be hard to impress, but it takes a true-blue car nut to appreciate it when a brand stays true to its roots.