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Celestiq EV is GM’s most audacious Cadillac since Great Depression

General Motors Co’s (GM.N) Cadillac brand on Monday pulled the wraps off the Celestiq, a $300,000-plus flagship electric vehicle that is the brand’s most audacious new model since the 1930 Cadillac Sixteen.

Unlike the 16-cylinder roadster that was launched just months after the 1929 crash, the 2024 Celestiq has no monster gasoline engine under its long hood. Instead, it boasts twin electric motors producing 600 horsepower and a 111-kilowatt-hour battery pack shared with GM’s Hummer EV.

It is also one of the strangest-looking vehicles ever created by GM. The company’s design boss Mike Simcoe refers to the Celestiq — a long, four-door fastback that is not quite a sedan — as a “spaceship,” adding, “there will be nothing like it on the road.”

The hand-built Celestiq, which goes into production late next year, has two things in common with the Sixteen: Customers can spec out the car in intricate detail, and it will be assembled in extremely low numbers.

GM built just over 4,000 Sixteens in Detroit during the Great Depression. The company says a new dedicated facility at its Warren, Michigan technical center can build two Celestiqs a day — about 500-600 vehicles a year.

The Sixteen could be ordered in 1930 in several body styles, including roadster, coupe, sedan and limousine. The largest of these measured 6.1 meters long — about 20 feet. The Celestiq is a tad smaller, but not much: 5.5 meters, or 18 feet.

The late historian Beverly Kimes noted that the 1930 Cadillac Sixteen Town Brougham was priced at just over $9,000, or roughly $163,500 in today’s money.

That is about half the price of a basic Celestiq, which will start “in the low 300s,” according to Cadillac vice president Rory Harvey, who declined to say how high that sticker might go with all the bells and whistles added.