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Cadillac confirmed for Australia as EV-only brand, Lyriq to launch in 2024

It’s official, Cadillac is coming to Australia, and the Lyriq electric SUV will be the first model to arrive. This is part of GM’s plans to increase Cadillac’s right-hand drive footprint around the world.

The news was confirmed today during a media event in Melbourne, with Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in New Zealand to be three focus cities for the new business.

Cadillac is launching in Australia as a pure EV business model, whereby it will offer only electric vehicles. Speaking about the news, general manager for GM in Australia and New Zealand, Jess Bala, said:

“Today signals the arrival of an automotive masterpiece in Australia and New Zealand and I have every confidence people will share my enthusiasm for Lyriq – the first model in what promises to be a portfolio of right-hand-drive Cadillac EVs for these markets.”

GM will sell the Cadillac Lyriq and any future models via an online business model or through retail hubs set up in Sydney and Melbourne. Distribution will be handled by GMSV (GM Specialty Vehicles), the same team responsible for the Chevrolet Corvette and Silverado sold in Australia and NZ.

However, unlike the Silverado, Cadillac models sold here will be made in right-hand drive from the factory in the USA and then shipped to Australia. The first will be the Lyriq, which is a large luxury SUV (pictured). It is a bit of a shame we missed out on Cadillac’s recent twin-turbo V6 and supercharged V8 offerings, but premium marques are quite popular in Australia nonetheless.

The Lyriq is offered in single-motor and dual-motor forms in the USA, but in Australia local customers will be offered the dual-motor setup. Although local specs haven’t been confirmed, the overseas dual-motor version features a 102kWh battery and two motors that combine to produce 373kW and 610Nm.

It offers a maximum charge rate of 190kW using a DC fast-charger, or 19.2kW with AC power. The full-charge range is 494km under the EPA-estimated test cycle. These figures might be slightly different for Australian-delivered models. Acceleration figures haven’t been confirmed for Australia either, but in the USA the Lyriq AWD covers 0-60mph (97km/h) in 4.7 seconds.

The Cadillac Lyriq will launch in Australia and New Zealand in 2024, with other models to follow. John Roth, vice president for Global Cadillac, said:

“Cadillac is experiencing great sales momentum thanks to our strong product portfolio – and we are now expanding our business globally. The introduction of a right-hand-drive Lyriq will enable new opportunities in important markets where EV adoption is strong. Lyriq sets the standard for the future of Cadillac. It elevates our iconic brand through artfully integrated technology, premium craftsmanship and dedication to delivering spirited performance.”

The news follows GMSV’s announcement last week that it will be introducing the GMC Yukon and the Corvette E-Ray in Australia in the next couple of years.

This isn’t going to be the first time Cadillac operates in Australia. It sold vehicles here back in the 1960s, and came close to returning at around the time of the Global Financial Crisis in 2007-2008.

Brett Davis

Brett started out as a motor mechanic, but eventually became frustrated working on cars that weren't his. He then earned a degree in journalism and scored a job at Top Gear Australia back in 2008, and then worked at Zoom/Extreme Performance magazines, CarAdvice, and started PerformanceDrive/PDriveTV in 2011 with Josh Bennis, and ran it for 12 years. He's now the owner and managing editor here at Driving Enthusiast.
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