2024 Cadillac Celestiq vs. 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre: Here’s How the Ultra-Luxury EVs Compare

Cadillac and Rolls Royce: That’s a comparison you probably didn’t expect to ever see.

byPeter Holderith| PUBLISHED Oct 18, 2022 1:44 PM
2024 Cadillac Celestiq vs. 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre: Here’s How the Ultra-Luxury EVs Compare
Rolls Royce, Cadillac

Ultra-luxury EVs don't come around often—if ever—but this week saw two new entrants on what's becoming a very crowded space. On Monday, we saw the production version of the 2024 Cadillac Celestiq sedan after first seeing a concept car a few months ago. On Tuesday, we saw the 2024 Rolls-Royce Spectre coupe properly for the first time. Both cars have a list of specs to compare and aesthetics to mull over. One has a few more doors than the other, sure, but they're the first two ultra-luxury EVs with truly astronomical price tags. We gotta put them head to head.

The Celestiq has the Spectre beat in every objective performance figure given by the two automakers, save torque. The Cadillac has 600 horsepower, 23 hp more than the Rolls Royce. It also hits 60 mph in 3.8-seconds, 0.6 seconds faster than the Rolls. Likewise, it has more range; 300 miles versus the Rolls' 260. The Spectre's torque figure is 664 pound-feet, which is 24 more than the Celestiq's 640 lb-ft.

Rolls-Royce says their figures are only preliminary, so they very well may improve by the time it hits the market. Also, a few notes on the range. Cadillac's figure is an internal General Motors estimate. They tend to be very accurate and even a hair conservative, though. Rolls-Royce's figure is also an internal projection but likewise is based on the American EPA test cycle. Estimates based on the more liberal European WLTP cycle give Spectre a 323-mile range. We likely won't see a WLTP estimate for the Cadillac because the Celestiq will not be sold in Europe, at least not initially.

In terms of price, Rolls-Royce ballparks the Spectre between its Cullinan SUV and its flagship Phantom sedan. A price in the $400,000s is fair speculation. The Celestiq will start in the "low $300,000s" according to GM, so a fair bit cheaper than the Rolls-Royce as a base model. However, it's unlikely anyone will buy the base model of either of these cars.

Comparing the aesthetics is subjective, we'll admit that. The two cars are both fitted with 23-inch wheels, which is about where the similarities end. The Spectre's more of an Art Deco throwback, as is the entire car. The Celestiq's wheels are less ostentatious, which similarly follows the theme for the rest of the car. The Celestiq recalls past Cadillacs, but not in a way we've ever seen before—at least outside of the Lyriq. The Spectre looks similar to the Wraith coupe, although its front fascia isn't something we've seen from the brand before.

The Celestiq also hides its sensor suite on the front fascia better than the Rolls-Royce. That's surprising considering the Cadillac will feature Ultra Cruise—GM's most advanced hands-free driving tech. The Rolls-Royce doesn't come equipped with that level of driver assist technology, at least it hasn't talked about it coming to the United States. It does have a big radar sensor stuffed into its lower fascia, though. The company is, likewise, definitely trying to hide it. I boosted the shadows in both of the pictures below to get a better look, and the large radar sensor in the lower fascia of the Rolls looks like it's been completely edited out. It can be seen clearly in this video, for reference.

On the inside, the two are similar on paper. but they could not be more different in the execution. They both feature multiple displays for the driver and passenger, but the Rolls-Royce still has a number of hard controls for things including HVAC. Some buyers will definitely prefer that. Others might like the way the Celestiq rejects the old days of luxury outright with its ocean of digital displays. The rear passengers get two screens on the seatbacks in the Celestiq as well as one lower down to access various functions of the car. The front passengers also get three screens; one for the driver, one for the passenger, and another down low.

The rear seat comfort is not quite the same in the Rolls-Royce, but that's because it's a coupe. Despite that, both offer very appealing takes on what ultra-luxury automotive interior lighting should be like.

Both of these machines will offer extreme levels of customization. Cadillac's big bet on the Spectre is that an ultra-luxury automobile from Detroit can hold up against the world's best and most storied luxury brands. It's a big task for Cadillac and one that could upend the luxury stratosphere Rolls-Royce has dominated for a while now.

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