Cadillac’s new Optiq EV breaks cover as Tesla Model Y competitor

August 31, 2023

New photos of the Cadillac Optiq have emerged in China, showing a sleek midsize electric crossover SUV, typical of what you would expect from the luxury brand. But can it compete with the Tesla Model Y?

Last month, Electrek reported that General Motors’ joint venture (SAIC-GM) was planning to launch a new cheaper electric SUV in China.

The Optiq is smaller than the Cadillac Lyriq, the brand’s first electric model introduced in China. Initial information pointed to two single-motor FWD versions, 150 kW or 180 kW.

However, newly published information from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology shows a more powerful AWD variant. The different powertrain variants don’t appear to have any noticeable design changes, with many features pulled from the Lyriq, including its unique grille pattern, LED lights, and basic curves.

What you can see for the first time is a potential sport trim with electric blue paint, an upgraded grille, a two-tone wheel design, and more.

The new information indicates that the AWD Cadillac Optiq EV will have a 143 kW (191 hp) peak power front motor and a 68kW (91 hp) rear drive motor. In addition, the battery packs will be supplied through a joint venture between CATL and SAIC.

At 4,822 mm long, 1,912 mm wide, and 1,643 mm tall, the Optiq electric crossover will square off against the Tesla Model Y (4,750 mm long, 1,912 mm wide, 1,624 mm tall) in a competitive Chinese EV market.

Although the company has yet to release prices or confirm specs, it will likely be offered for cheaper than the Lyriq.

GM slashed prices on the Lyriq in China last month, with prices falling over 20% from its launch eight months earlier. The electric SUV starts at $379,700 yuan ($52,433), with up to 608 km (377 miles) of CLTC range.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s Model Y starts at 263,900 yuan ($36,200) with up to 545 km (338 miles) of CLTC range.

Cadillac’s Optiq EV will be built at SAIC-GM’s facility in Wuhan, China. Production is expected to begin by the end of 2023.

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Cadillac’s new Optiq EV breaks cover as Tesla Model Y competitor