Future standard of the world?
In 1908, Cadillac won the prestigious Dewar Trophy, recognizing innovative advancements, particularly in engineering. Specifically, Cadillac was acknowledged for the interchangeability of its parts, a difficult feat at that time. Because of its leadership in parts swapping, the company assumed the “Standard of the World” moniker. For decades, Cadillac retained the title, at least for its internal marketing. Clearly, other manufacturers have far exceeded GM’s luxury brand in upholding that standard in ways that define optimal luxury.
Modern Cadillac: A Brief Overview
In more recent years, we have seen Cadillac change, but not always in ways that improve this marque. In the mid-1970s, the brand introduced the Seville, a compact sedan that was far smaller than anything modern Cadillac had built to date. GM refashioned the Chevrolet Nova platform to underpin the Seville, then supplied it with a unique body, interior, and engine choices. It was a refreshing change from the bloated Eldorado and DeVille models that defined Cadillac at that time and opened the door to further experimentation in model downsizing and introduction.
In the 1980s, Cadillac shrunk each of its large sedans, revised the Seville, and rolled out its first small-scale, front-wheel-drive model. The Cimmaron by Cadillac had upscale styling cues, but it also shared its architecture with the Chevrolet Cavalier and three other GM-branded models. Disappointing sales accompanied this model, although Cadillac kept it around for eight years. A lone Mercedes-Benz model was its direct European competitor, but sales were never significant enough for GM to invest in a new model.
From the 1990s to the early 2022s, we have seen Cadillac progress, as its core models once again grew and its first-ever SUV, the Escalade joined the team. Cadillac also went through a curious renaming convention, where the DeVille became the DTS and the Seville the STS. An all-new CTS sedan rolled out in the early 2000s, giving Americans a taste of a European-style automobile. In more recent years, Cadillac replaced its old-style sedans with new models, added crossover SUVs, and updated the Escalade. Its first full-electric model, the Cadillac Lyriq, rolled out in 2022, signifying a new shift and arguably the most significant change in this marque’s 120-year history.
Standard of the World
Somewhere in the deep recesses of GM, the old “standard of the world” tagline sat shelved and with little chance of a revival. Taking on the world’s exotic luxury models such as Bentley and Rolls-Royce seemed out of the question. Even the Mercedes-Maybach line seemed unattainable. Some have thought GM had the potential to take on the best, pointing to the company’s success with the Corvette.
But Cadillac is not Chevrolet, and the Corvette has long been the specialty model that surpasses brand constraints. Yet, with full electrification on the way, a new standard of the world possibility arose. And GM intends to take advantage of that with the 2025 Cadillac Celestiq.
Cadillac Celestiq Concept Revealed
We have seen hints of what GM has planned with its next Cadillac model, but now we know much more. To begin, the Celestiq will be hand-built, offered in very small numbers, and cost about $300,000, or double the price of the Cadillac Escalade-V. But we already knew that much.
On July 22, 2022, Cadillac released the final photos and a video of the Celestiq. Additional details about the style and design inspiration were made known.
“The CELESTIQ show car is the purest expression of Cadillac,” said Magalie Debellis, manager, Cadillac Advanced Design. “It brings to life the most integrated expressions of design and innovation in the brand’s history, coalescing in a defining statement of a true Cadillac flagship.”
The following are the highlights of the Cadillac Celestiq:
- Inspired by the V-16 coaches of the Pre-War era as well as by the hand-built 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham
- Five high-definition advanced LED interactive displays, including a 55-inch-diagonal advanced LED display
- Variable-transmission smart glass roof with four zones of lighting
- Ultra Cruise, the next level in vehicle autonomy
We do not have a full breakdown of the materials offered, but we expect only the finest chosen leathers, glass, carbon fiber, and wood will grace the cabin. In any case, it will set a new standard for Cadillac, if not for the world.
Hand-Crafted in Michigan
To make ready for the Celestiq, GM is investing $81 million at its landmark Eero Saarinen-designed Global Technical Center to hand build the Celestiq. The center opened in 1956, but this will be the first time a production vehicle is built there.
(2022). Cadillac – The Standard of the World. America’s Car Museum.
(2022, July 7). Cadillac Reveals CELESTIQ Show Car. Cadillac.
Waldek, S. (2019, October 17). Peek Inside Eero Saarinens Iconic General Motors Technical Center. Architectural Digest.
See Also — Cadillac’s Sedans Pack a Powerful 1-2 Punch
Images copyright GM Corp.