Lenny Kravitz is building a ‘futuristic’ $300,000 electric Cadillac

Lenny Kravitz grew up being transported – physically and metaphorically – by Cadillac cars. “My grandfather, he always had Cadillacs. He changed them every few years,” the AD100 musician, composer, photographer, actor and designer said. VF during a recent visit to Metro Detroit. “He was a hard-working man, had five jobs, grew up in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. But Cadillac was his thing. And he used to cram us all in the back, like five or six kids, and he was taking us out of Brooklyn. He wanted to expose the neighborhood kids to art, museums, theater, sports. So the Cadillac was his vehicle to put us all in and take us around to expose us to all those things wonderful.

Inside the famous Eero Saarinen “Design Dome” vehicle viewing scene at the General Motors Technical Center, Kravitz was again in the back of a Cadillac. But it wasn’t one of the gas-guzzling Sedan de Villes or Fleetwood Broughams of his youth. This was the all-new, battery-powered, zero-emission Celestiq sedan, the brand’s imminent flagship. Handcrafted, the Celestiq is expected to cost around $300,000. And the price will rise from there thanks to the customization of the various materials available for almost any interior design: fabrics, woods, leathers, metals and carbon fibers can be selected individually and drilled, engraved or printed in 3D according to customer specifications.

Courtesy of Cadillac

Given Kravitz’s personal history, this notion of a premium electric Cadillac – especially one as long as the brand’s sniffling Escalade SUV, with a bulbous hatchback profile that looks like a Syd Mead fantasy – initially seemed anathema. “When I came here it was a bit shocking because it’s such a futuristic vehicle. And I really like classic, vintage cars and lines,” he said. “As I’ve spent more time with the vehicle, I see that it really respects the heritage.”

As part of its collaboration with Cadillac for the launch of the Celestiq, Kravitz will offer its own customized version of the electric vehicle, in collaboration with Michael Simcoe— General Motors’ vice president of global design — and his team. Kravitz already has some ideas. “I think this car is going to Paris, where I have my house,” he said.

His home in Paris is, like most of his residential designs, very eclectic. “There’s a lot of African art mixed in with a more European sensibility,” Kravitz said. And he plans to take a similar approach to the car’s interior design. His moodboard so far includes exotic woods with strong patterns, mixed with colors like camels and chocolates and caramels. For the exterior, Kravitz says he’s leaning toward a color that “would look like sort of black-in-black, but it’s really a rich brown with a bit of metal flakes in it.” A bit of dimension.

Courtesy of Cadillac

Unsurprisingly, for someone who wore oversized sunglasses and head-to-toe black leather during our interview, he’s somewhat nocturnal. “I’m also a day person, but I come alive at night. That’s when I feel most creative,” he said. He therefore envisions this motorless electric sedan as a silent chariot through the City of Light. “I want it to be a sort of nocturnal vehicle that roams the streets of Paris. I just want it hovering there at night. And I’ll only go where you can park it right out front.

Kravitz says he never had an automobile in the 15 years he had his place in Paris, cruising around the city instead on Triumph Bonneville motorcycles. But he has cars at his other current residences, including his resort in the Bahamas, near where his maternal grandfather was born. He spent the pandemic there composing three upcoming records.

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