General Motors on Monday released an update on development of the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV, which is scheduled to start production in the first quarter of 2022.

Cadillac engineers of completed 80% of validation testing, meaning they can now begin fine-tuning the Lyriq ahead of the start of production, the GM press release said.

The Lyriq is on an accelerated development program compared to typical new-vehicle launches, according to GM. The Lyriq launch had already been pulled forward by nine months.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq testing

2023 Cadillac Lyriq testing

GM believes it will still deliver the Lyriq well ahead of its original due date thanks to virtual development work and some creative scheduling. Cold-weather testing, for example, was conducted in New Zealand in August, during the Southern Hemisphere's winter, rather than waiting for winter to start in North America.

Like GM's other upcoming electric SUVs and pickup trucks, the Lyriq is built on GM's Ultium battery and motor systems. The Lyriq's platform will allow for an ideal 50/50 front/rear weight distribution, according to GM. It will also feature independent front and rear suspension with standard frequency-dependent dampers that can differentiate between smaller impacts and larger bumps in the road surface for a smoother ride and more precise handling, GM claims.

Pricing starts at $59,990, but GM hasn't detailed trim levels and options. The Lyriq will launch in Debut Edition form, with a 100.4-kwh battery pack and rear-wheel drive. GM is targeting 300 miles of EPA-rated range, plus 340 horsepower and 324 pound-feet of torque. 

Reservations for the Debut Edition are full, and reservations for additional Lyriq variants will begin next summer, GM said.

GM previously confirmed the Lyriq will be built at the Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant that originally made Saturn vehicles. In its latest release, GM noted that the Lyriq will be built alongside other Cadillac SUVs.

The Lyriq is part of a plan to make Cadillac all-electric by the end of the decade—although not all of Cadillac's dealers were sold on that plan when it was initially announced last year.