The 2024 Cadillac Celestiq’s Horizontal Battery Cells Are the Secret to Its Low-Slung Looks

GM’s Ultium batteries were mounted sideways underneath the Celestiq to help give it its unique appearance.

byRob Stumpf| PUBLISHED Oct 25, 2022 1:13 PM
The 2024 Cadillac Celestiq’s Horizontal Battery Cells Are the Secret to Its Low-Slung Looks
via GM
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The all-new 2024 Cadillac Celestiq is General Motors' definition of over the top. Just about everything stuffed into the ultra-premium EV has focused on being engineered in the name of luxury in order to make Cadillac's leap into the future as opulent and performance-oriented as possible. From the outside, many will just see an electric car wrapped up in a pretty shell—but the tech underneath (including the structure of its battery packs) does all of the heavy lifting to help keep its design sleek and improve its handling.

GM designed its Ultium battery packs to be ultra-modular, meaning that they can be configured in myriad different ways for complex packaging requirements. In fact, that's one of the reasons why GM was able to sell its packs to the U.S. military recently The Celestiq takes full advantage of this modularity by quite literally flipping battery cells on their side in order to fit them in the Celestiq without compromising internal space, the external appearance, or the performance of its new flagship EV.

Along the bottom of the Celestiq sit 16 separate battery modules. Inside each module is a hoard of pouch-style cells that are stacked horizontally—a first for any Ultium-powered car—with the number of cells varying depending on where the pack is located. For example, higher-stacked cells are found under the front and rear seat of the vehicle, whereas fewer cells are stacked under the footwell. If the battery cells were arranged vertically (like they are with the Cadillac Lyriq, for example), the Celestiq wouldn't have the same flexibility to be so low-slung. For comparison, GM says that the Lyriq has 12 individual battery modules as opposed to the Celestiq's 16, however, the Celestiq's horizontal packaging enables its low roof configuration.

Cadillac says that this mounting solution also helped to keep the Celestiq's center of gravity low. While the brand doesn't give an exact figure, it does specifically call out the low-mounted batteries as being the key to the 6,000-pound behemoth's enhanced handling. It also credits the horizontal cells as being crucial to the vehicle's overall dimensions, as well as its spacious interior. The modularity also likely helped engineer the vehicle's low and lean proportions without altering any of its hardpoints or other physical engineering constraints.

In total, Cadillac was able to fit 111 kilowatt-hours of battery storage inside of the Celestiq thanks to its 130.2-inch wheelbase. In all, that accounts for around 300 miles of range on a full charge per GM's estimates. Comparatively, the similarly weighted Lyriq packs a 102-kWh battery pack and offers around 312 miles of range. Before you slam the Celestiq for getting less range, keep in mind that it also gets a 100 horsepower boost over the Lyriq, and likely, a more car-like driving experience thanks to its battery placement.

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