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The 2025 Cadillac Optiq is the smallest EV in the company’s lineup and will start at around $54,000. (Cadillac)

2025 Cadillac Optiq EV arrives with standard dual motors

GM says the 85kW Ultium-powered SUV will have a range of 300 miles.

Continuing its rollout of EVs, Cadillac revealed the 2025 Optiq SUV today, the company’s most affordable EV yet and a smaller sibling to the popular Lyriq that was introduced last year.

With a company-estimated range of 300 miles (482 km), the Optiq comes standard with dual-motor AWD, three years of Super Cruise hands-free driving, and what Cadillac officials say is segment-best cargo capacity and second-row space.

The Optiq’s wheelbase is 116 inches (2,954 mm), six inches (152.4 mm) shorter than the Lyriq, the next size up in the EV lineup. Overall, the Optiq is 190 inches (4,820 mm) long, 84 inches (2,126 mm) wide, including mirrors, and 65 inches (1,644 mm) tall. The shorter wheelbase and the 300hp (224 kW) combined power of the dual motors that generate 354 lb-ft (480 Nm), make what Optiq Chief Engineer John Cockburn called a “spirited driving experience” at a pre-reveal briefing attended by SAE Media.

Supporting that claim (media will get a chance to drive the Optiq before production begins in the fall) is a suspension comprising coilover struts at the front and a five-link rear with Passive Plus dampers, which have the self-adjusting valve system also seen on the Lyriq. Seventeen-inch (432 mm) disc brakes provide the stopping power on either standard 20-inch (508 mm) or optional 21-inch (533 mm) wheels fitted with low-profile, low-rolling-resistance tires.

Cockburn said the Ultium battery and its enclosure help give the Optiq “fantastic torsional rigidity.”

Cockburn has a background that includes many GM performance models, including the Chevy Corvette, CTS-V Blackwing and the Escalade-V. He said Optiq’s unique look stayed relatively unchanged from concept sketches through the engineering process “because engineers knew retaining distinctive traits was important.”

The Optiq’s 85 kWh lithium ion Ultium battery has an NCMA cathode and blended graphite anode. Using a 240V Level 2 charger with 7.7 kW AC, it can gain 24 miles (38 km) of range per hour of charge. Higher kW ratings gain more per hour, up to 55 miles (89 km) of range per hour at 19.2 kW. At a DC fast charger, it can add 79 miles (127 km) of range every 10 minutes.

Other driving features of the Optiq include:

  • Regen On Demand, which lets the driver engage in regenerative braking via a steering-wheel-mounted paddle. The driver can bring the car to a complete stop if desired.
  • One-pedal driving, a separate setting that lets a driver accelerate, decelerate and stop the vehicle using only the accelerator.
  • Four drive modes: Tour, the everyday setting; Sport for enhanced road feel and improved steering; Snow/Ice, which controls wheelspin; and My Mode, in which braking response and steering feel can be customized.

All-in, the Optiq weighs in at 5,192 pounds (2,355 kg).Cockburn emphasized the effort the development teams put into efficiency, especially with regard to aerodynamics. He said that’s why the rear spoiler has two levels — the upper spoiler deals with high-velocity air while the lower helps shape the exit airflow. “There are hundreds of thousands of hours of computational fluid dynamics in [the exterior of] this vehicle,” he said.

Exterior design flourishes
Exterior Design Lead Dillon Blanski said it was important to make the Optiq look both luxurious and athletic. “You get this sweeping line from the hood through the big windshield and along the glass roof” to the rear, he said. “Darker lower areas really give it a lean look, and we shortened the front overlays [compared to Lyriq] to get really dynamic proportions.”

The Black Crystal grille includes Cadillac’s signature vertical lighting and a unique laser-ablated geometric pattern across its entire face, and radar and other sensors are well-hidden. The headlights have various animations that can be programmed at startup. At the rear, the taillights are in Cadillac’s signature vertical orientation. The rear quarter panel window is a new design that Blanski called a “planted sail.” It’s a dark, horizontal piece of acoustic glass with an etched gray design meant to align with the company’s Mondrian crest.

When a driver approaches the Optiq, the key fob initiates a choreographed lighting animation “as a greeting,” Blanski said.

Inside: An enormous LED
The showstopper of the Optiq interior has to be the 33-inch (838-mm) diagonal curved LED display with 9K resolution and the ability to display more than a billion colors. It is highly customizable in two areas: the driver-focused area and the infotainment / general vehicle controls area.

Gary Mack, the interior design lead, said at the briefing that all display surfaces in the vehicle are angled toward the driver.

Bryan Nesbitt, executive director of Cadillac design, said that in addition to hitting goals for luxury and youthfulness (the target market is millennials 29 to 39 years old), the goal was to make the interior feel immersive. Chief engineer Cockburn said sustainability and materials innovation were important goals for the design and engineering teams because it is not only the right thing to do for the environment but because it is increasingly important to customers. To that end, Cadillac’s news release called Optiq’s interior its most progressive. The EV’s patterned accent fabric is made from yarn made up of 100% recycled materials, and the PaperWood veneer is a 50/50 blend of tulip wood and recycled newsprint.

Tech, and about those names
Other tech features of the Optiq include:

  • Advanced radar, camera and ultrasonic sensors throughout the vehicle will “give customers enhanced views and sensing of their surroundings in everyday driving scenarios,” Cadillac said in its news release.
  • Cadillac-standard safety and assistance features, including adaptive cruise, Blind Zone Steering Assist, Enhanced Automatic Parking, Forward Collision Alert and more.
  • Built-in Google compatibility, including Google Maps and Google Assistant.
  • Standard 19-speaker AKG audio system with Dolby Atmos.

The Optiq will start at around $54,000, but precise details will be announced closer to the on-sale date. The U.S. version will be built in Mexico. Cadillac’s Shanghai plant is already making models for the Chinese market.

Cockburn said that despite General Motors’ rough launches involving the Ultium platform, the company has learned much. “We will not have Ultium-related launch problems,” he said.

By the way, Cadillac officials would like to remind everyone that Optiq is pronounced “op-tik,” not “op-teek,” and that the last syllable is pronounced this way for most of Cadillac’s EVs such as the Lyriq, Celestiq and the coming Vistiq. The only exception is the Escalade IQ, for which the last two letters are pronounced, well, like the last two letters.

Cadillac had previously signaled that its entire portfolio would phase out internal combustion vehicles by 2030. But at the briefing, Cadillac vice president John Roth said that the company will respond to market desires. The company will still have an “entire portfolio” of EVs but could still be selling internal combustion engine-powered or even hybrid vehicles by 2030.

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