Cadillac says new electric SUV has features to take on Tesla

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This photo provided by General Motors shows the Cadillac Lyriq. General Motors' Cadillac brand is the latest to roll out an electric vehicle with the promise of taking sales from market leader Tesla. Executives say the Lyriq midsize SUV will have a range of over 300 miles per charge as well as technology and features to pull buyers from Tesla. (GM via AP)

DETROIT – We’ve seen this movie before, an electric vehicle from a mainstream automaker that will take away sales from market leader Tesla.

But General Motors executives say Cadillac’s first fully-electric vehicle has all the features it needs to lure buyers where other companies fell short.

The Cadillac Lyriq, a midsize SUV that comes out first in China and reaches U.S. showrooms late in 2022, will be able to go more than 300 miles on a single charge. It will come in rear-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations with sleek looks, a premium interior, internet connectivity, a 33-inch dashboard touch screen, and a starting price tag somewhere below $75,000.

“Prior product offerings, at least on some of those measures, they fell a bit short,” said Steve Carlisle, GM’s North American president who used to run the Cadillac brand.

GM was to introduce a Lyriq “show car” Thursday night that executives say is close to the production version. And they’re confident it will succeed where the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron thus far have failed.

The Lyriq will go head-to-head with Tesla’s Model Y small SUV, which starts at just under $50,000. The Lyriq also could take sales from the Palo Alto, California, company’s other models.

GM wouldn’t release the SUV’s exact range or price, nor would it say if the Lyriq would match or beat the Model Y’s 316-mile range or best zero to 60 miles per hour (96.2 kilometers per hour) time of 3.5 seconds. The Model Y can easily top $60,000 with options.

But executives said the Lyriq’s underpinnings are designed specifically to be an electric vehicle, with balanced weight distribution. They promised crisp handling and fast acceleration powered by the latest generation of nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum battery chemistry.