Cadillac returns to the UK with Optiq electric SUV

Cadillac has confirmed that it is returning to the UK this year with the launch of the Optiq EV.

The US brand unveiled the mid-sized SUV as the second model in its new electrified range and confirmed that it would be bringing the car to the UK by the end of 2024. That will be followed by the larger Lyriq, which is already on sale in some parts of Europe.

The Optiq is positioned as a ‘luxury entry point’ set to compete with the Audi Q4 e-tron, Tesla Model Y and BMW iX3. At 4.8m long, it’s larger than any of those models but around 15cm shorter than the BMW iX-rivalling Lyriq.

Following a familiar pattern, the Optiq uses a two-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain offering 300bhp and 354lb ft of torque. That’s a little more than the Audi, BMW or regular Tesla but less than the Model Y Performance.

Cadillac says it expects an official range of around 300 miles from the 85kWh battery based on US testing. Given that the EPA results are less generous than the WLTP system, that’s likely to mean a longer official range in Europe. The Optiq is based on GM’s 800V Ultium platform, which should allow ultra-rapid charging. Cadillac hasn’t confirmed speeds but says the Optiq will add 79 miles of range in 10 minutes.

As well as chasing European sales, Cadillac is targeting younger buyers with the Optiq, claiming it adds a ‘sporty and youthful persona’ to the brand’s range. The car has a sleeker and more coupe-like profile than the larger Lyriq, with a gloss black grille topped with slimline headlights, and fancy louvred glass in the rear panels.

Cadillac says the Optiq’s interior blends high-tech functions with sustainable materials and will offer class-leading rear seat and boot space. At the heart of the cabin is a 33-inch digital array that curves towards the driver and features instrument and infotainment controls. Among the eco-friendly materials are an accent fabric made from 100% recycled materials and a ‘PaperWood’ veneer made up of equal parts of tulip wood and recycled newspaper.

European and UK specs haven’t been finalised but standard features are set to include a 19-speaker Dolby Atmos-capable sound system, adaptive cruise control and blind spot warning. In the US the car is also fitted with ‘Super Cruise’ assisted driving but it is yet to gain regulatory approval for use in Europe.

Pricing for the UK and Europe hasn’t been announced but the Optiq costs from $54,000 (£42,445) in its native US.

The launch marks a new chapter for the US brand in the UK after its owners GM effectively pulled out of Europe seven years ago. It is also the second American EV unveiled in recent days that is coming to the UK after Jeep announced details of the Wagoneer S, which is expected to arrive in 2025.

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Matt Allan

Matt is Editor of EV Powered. He has worked in journalism for more than 20 years and been an automotive journalist for the last decade, covering every aspect of the industry, from new model reveals and reviews to consumer and driving advice. The former motoring editor of, The Scotsman and National World, Matt has watched the EV landscape transform beyond recognition over the last 10 years and developed a passion for electric vehicles and what they mean for the future of transport - from the smallest city cars to the biggest battery-powered trucks. When he’s not driving or writing about electric cars, he’s figuring out how to convert his classic VW camper to electric power.