Cadillac takes aim at Tesla, BMW with US$54,000 electric SUV

DETROIT: Cadillac’s newest SUV, the Optiq, will be the entry point for the brand’s electric lineup in North America.

General Motors Co. says it hopes the model will help it reach its goal of selling 2 million EVs worldwide between now and 2026 and corner the market against rivals BMW AG and Tesla Inc.

The US$54,000 (RM255,000) Optiq arrives after a roller-coaster start of the year.

GM discontinued the popular Chevy Bolt, while Tesla laid off 10% of its global workforce.

Others saw exponential growth-hyundai-Kia saw EV sales rise 56% and at Ford Motor Co., sales were up 86% compared to last year.

In April, the International Energy Agency said sales of fully electric vehicles in the US will hit 2.5 million in 2025, up from 1.1 million in 2023.

2025 Cadillac OPTIQ

Optiq will slot below Cadillac’s US$58,600 (RM276,000) Lyriq SUV, which has gained momentum after a slow debut in 2022, earning attention for its competitive price tag and driving range of 505km on one charge.

Cadillac sold almost 6,000 Lyriqs in the first quarter of this year, up from fewer than 1,000 in the same period in 2023.

The Optiq will have an estimated driving range of 482km, similar to those of competitors such as the US$87,250 BMW iX and the US$47,990 Tesla Model Y AWD.

Two trim lines, Luxury and Sport, will be offered in 10 global markets, including Europe.

(A spokesman declined to confirm whether those markets included China, where Cadillac has faced an uphill battle against its peers and local brands like Nio Inc.)

2025 Cadillac OPTIQ

Key to the Optiq’s success will be its popularity with younger buyers, who prize practicality with a luxury look and feel.

The five-seat Optiq looks more svelte than the snub-nosed iX and rounded Model Y, with a sharply raked roofline, tall headlights, distinctive horizontal lines etched across its rear pillars and a wagon-style hatchback.

"Optiq is all about sporty, youthful,” says Hoon Kim, who designed the car’s exterior.

In the past five years, Cadillac has won more than 1 million customers who are new to the brand.

Of those, roughly 5% were under 40. The Optiq is intended to capture more of them, he says.

The SUV’s illuminated, roomy cabin is dominated by a 33-inch curved LED dashboard display.

2025 Cadillac OPTIQ

Trim options include patterned accent yarns woven from from 100% recycled materials, synthetic leather and veneers made from tulip wood and recycled newspaper. Authentic leather is not available.

The Optiq is smaller inside than the iX and Tesla, with 1,616 litres of cargo room when the rear seats are folded, compared to 2,208 litres in the BMW and 2,152 litres in the Tesla.

But it offers more storage space than other competitors, including the Audi Q4 e-tron and Volvo EX30; plus, it has additional storage hidden in a cubby under the mat in the rear.

GM’s Super Cruise driver assistance system, a competitor to Tesla’s driver assistant, comes standard.

2025 Cadillac OPTIQ

The wheelbase is six inches shorter than the Lyriq, a move that signals possible agility. Although they are not unique to Cadillac, an extended glass roof and a vented rear spoiler help the Optiq stand out as a premium SUV.

But the Optiq could face challenges winning buyers who care more about power than price.

The SUV has four drive modes and uses an 85-kilowatt-hour battery pack with a standard dual-motor all-wheel drive system; in total, that achieves 300hp and 481Nm of torque, figures that fall below those of the Model Y and most variants of the iX.

In 10 minutes, DC fast charging will add up to 127km on the total 482km of driving range, about standard for luxury EVs on the market today.

North American deliveries will begin later this year.

2025 Cadillac OPTIQ
Close-up of the 2025 Cadillac OPTIQ’s 33-inch-diagonal interface and display with 9K resolution.
View of the 2025 Cadillac OPTIQ rear cargo area with the rear hatch opened, showing its segment-best cargo capacity.
A rear 3/4 view of the 2025 Cadillac OPTIQ in Monarch Orange.
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