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Here's When Cadillac Will Become A Serious Tesla Rival

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Forget the past hybrid coupe nonsense.

When you think "Cadillac,” you'd be forgiven for imagining big V8s powering giant highway-cruising sedans. But GM's luxury division is out to change that – not just with smaller internal-combustion vehicles, but with its first dedicated electric vehicle as well.

That much we've been anticipating, at least since it revealed these design renderings for an electric crossover at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year. Now we have a clearer idea, however, of when that new model will come: according to unnamed "sources familiar with Cadillac's product strategy,” Cadillac Society reports that the brand's first dedicated EV will launch in 2022.

Given the shape of the vehicle in the renderings, and all the intel we've seen since, the electric Caddy will be a crossover. And word has it that the automaker's been benchmarking vehicles like the Tesla Model X and Audi E-Tron, which tells us something about what end of the growing EV market it intends to target.

The as-yet unnamed EV is anticipated to be based on GM's forthcoming BEV3 architecture – shorthand for Battery Electric Vehicle, 3rd generation. The highly flexible platform will allow the American automaker to produce a wide array of vehicles, driving the front wheels, the rear, or all four.

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The last time Cadillac produced a dedicated electrified vehicle, it didn't go so well. The ELR was a two-door plug-in hybrid coupe, based on the Chevy Volt and produced for just three short years. Fewer than 3,000 examples were made before GM pulled the plug, so to speak. So it's undoubtedly hoping the broader appeal of an electric crossover will serve it better than the sportier coupe did.

It also has other EVs in the pipeline, as an electric version of the big Escalade sport-ute is anticipated to launch sometime after the next-gen model hits the scene next year.