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The Cadillac Lyriq. Image courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac on Thursday unveiled the Lyriq, the luxury brand's first all-electric model and GM's first consumer electric vehicle unveil since the Chevy Bolt several years ago.

Why it matters: It's the first reveal by GM of an electric vehicle that will use the company's new modular platform and Ultium battery system — technologies meant to underpin the 20 electric vehicles that GM plans to launch by 2023.

  • GM is pouring $20 billion over the next five years in electric and autonomous vehicles — a big bet that they will eventually become a profit segment.
  • That push also includes the upcoming unveiling of the electric GMC Hummer this fall, which will actually go into production before the Lyriq.

The intrigue: The auto industry is making a wider bet that electric vehicles can break through in the huge, lucrative SUV market, but Cadillac will have lots of competition, and not only from Tesla.

  • It's also part of a reboot for the Cadillac brand, which is slated to unveil several electric vehicles at a time it's long removed from being the top of the food chain in the U.S. luxury market.

What's next: It'll take a while to show up in U.S. dealerships. U.S. production is slated to start in late 2022, not long after launch of the vehicle in China, the world's largest auto market.

By the numbers: Cadillac said the Lyriq will have over 300 miles of range based on a single charge of the 100 kWh battery pack.

  • Its interior features include a 33-inch LED screen. The pricing isn't yet clear, but it will likely begin under $75,000, per several reports.

Threat level: The electric SUV market is looking like a brutally competitive space, with a bunch of automakers fighting for what's still a small pool of electric vehicle buyers.

  • "The Lyriq will go up against not only the Model X from Tesla but also Jaguar’s I-Pace and the e-tron from Audi, two models that have already been selling in the North American market," Kelley Blue Book analyst Eric Ibara notes.
  • He also points out that brands including Mercedes-Benz and BMW are bringing new electric SUVs to market.
  • And startups Rivian and Fisker are also bringing electric SUVs to market, with Rivian's launching next year.

What they're saying: "The stakes are high for GM as right now Tesla is the one to beat and no one — including the luxury players — have been able to replicate its success," Edmunds analyst Jessica Caldwell tells Axios.

  • She notes that multiple automakers have changed their strategies to emphasize premium models to better compete with Tesla.
  • "The introduction of the Cadillac Lyriq and the GMC Hummer will bring premium electric vehicles to the GM lineup in an attempt to steal these desirable, affluent electric buyers away from Elon Musk," Caldwell says.

Go deeper

Oct 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

How Trump and Biden would steer the future of transportation

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden would likely steer automotive policy in different directions over the next four years, potentially changing the industry's road map to the future.

Why it matters: The auto industry is on the cusp of historic technological changes and the next president — as well as the next Congress — could have an extraordinary influence on how the future of transportation plays out.

Oct 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

What we're driving: Genesis GV80 SUV

2021 Genesis GV80. Photo by Genesis

Hyundai's emerging luxury division, Genesis, is out with its first SUV, the GV80, and like the brand's first three sedans, it's a worthy contender against better-known Japanese and European rivals — and a relative bargain, too.

The big picture: Even before the SUV's arrival, the 4-year-old Genesis brand was punching above its weight, pushing brands like Lexus out of the way to snag top industry ratings on quality, dependability and safety.

31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.