Cadillac recently did something it has never really done before: during a recent media event prior to the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the very same event during which it unveiled the 2020 Cadillac XT6, GM’s luxury division pre-announced its first fully electric vehicle. It did so by showing two photo-like renderings of a future electric CUV, one that has yet to get a public-facing name. Though important and noteworthy, all that pales in comparison to a much bigger topic: this future Cadillac electric crossover will use introduce an all-new GM EV platform.
Cadillac To Lead GM’s EV Offensive
General Motors recently announced that Cadillac will lead its electric vehicle rollout. That should come as no surprise at a time when several “traditional” automotive luxury brands are starting to bring to market fully electric or electrified vehicles, whether in response to Tesla or because they truly believe in an all-electric future. The latter appears to be the case for Cadillac, as its parent firm is very much a proponent of an all-electric future.
When we first outlined details of GM’s future electric car portfolio, the chart provided by GM (below) did not specifically outline a Cadillac crossover. However, we did infer that the term “luxury”, which is used commonly on the chart, could apply to either Cadillac or Buick, while general descriptions could be either GMC or Chevrolet models. As it turns out, we were not that far off at all.
It is especially noteworthy that Cadillac’s first fully-electric crossover will be the first to use the future GM EV platform in question. We should note that this platform will be completely different from the Bolt EV platform, which is called BEV2, or Battery Electric Vehicle 2, and is a semi-close relative of the GM Gamma platform.
“Cadillac’s EV will hit the heart of the crossover market and meet the needs of customers around the world,” said Steve Carlisle, the recently-appointed president of Cadillac. “It will represent the height of luxury and innovation while positioning Cadillac as the pinnacle of mobility.”
High Flexibility, Any Wheel-Drive
Currently, GM is planning at least nine individual vehicles to ride on its future GM EV platform. In that regard, the automaker has developed its new EV architecture to be extremely flexible. In fact, this new GM EV platform will be capable of supporting vehicles in front-, rear-, or all-wheel-drive.
Meanwhile, vehicles riding on this new GM EV platform will have the outputs of their electric motors adjusted on a per-model basis, and as needed for the product and car line in question.
The platform’s high flexibility and broad parts sharing of advanced components will allow GM to respond to customer preferences swiftly and with a shorter design and development lead times. What’s more, Cadillac is also confident that the new architecture will prove beneficial in a variety of different body styles.
In fact, The General’s new EV platform encompasses a number of shared advanced components like the drive units and battery cells, which are being developed for optimum usability throughout GM’s global vehicle lineup.
Working in tandem with that strategy, General Motors is working on significantly reducing its lithium-ion battery costs, helping to bring the price of electric cars closer to that of gas-powered vehicles.
Ready By 2021
The new GM EV architecture will be ready by 2021, and the first vehicle riding on it – the electric Cadillac crossover mentioned previously – will be the first to ride on it.