by Karl Furlong
Cadillac has revealed a fully electric version of the legendary Escalade, the company's large and luxurious SUV that remains popular with A-listers everywhere. General Motors already has a chunky electric SUV in its stable in the form of the GMC Hummer EV, but that electric utility vehicle isn't focused on ultimate luxury and on-road refinement like the Escalade IQ is. The headline figures for the new Cadillac Escalade IQ SUV are impressive: an estimated 450 miles of range from a massive 200-kWh battery, up to 750 horsepower, and a maximum towing capacity of 8,000 pounds.
Bristling with technology, the 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ will come with hands-free Super Cruise as standard, and the opulent interior will feature a 55-inch diagonal LED display. It's everything the Escalade has always been, but quicker, quieter, more luxurious, and with zero tailpipe emissions.
See trim levels and configurations:
Although a specific release date for the Cadillac Escalade IQ hasn't been shared, the manufacturer did confirm that production will start next summer at GM's Factory ZERO Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center in Michigan. It should reach dealerships before the end of 2024 for the 2025 model year.
The starting price of the 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ will begin at around $130,000, including destination, so it's much pricier than the gas-powered Escalade. Cadillac hasn't said what the MSRP will be for upper trims, but we assume that fully loaded models will cost over $160,000 in the USA.
Traditional Escalade rivals like the Lincoln Navigator and Jeep Grand Wagoneer have yet to go electric, so the Escalade IQ is set to offer a unique combination of three-row electrified luxury in a high-end SUV body. Customers willing to explore options beyond legacy automakers may also consider the Rivian R1S SUV, although this vehicle lacks the presence and status of the Escalade nameplate.
Appearing new but also faithful to the traditional Cadillac Escalade template, the bold exterior of the IQ underlines its role as the new premier SUV in the brand's lineup. The styling cues are clearly taken from the Lyriq, showing off the brand's EV design language beautifully. Where the regular Escalade is slab-sided and blocky, this is more elegant, modern, and sleek, if such a word can apply to a behemoth like this.
Crucially for such a large EV, Cadillac has worked hard to make this its most aerodynamic full-size SUV ever. Compared to previous generations, Cadillac says that the IQ has a drag coefficient that's lower by around 15%. Intelligent grille shutters, a smooth underbody, and the sharp trailing edge of the taillights have all been thoughtfully designed to optimize airflow around the body, helping this brute achieve its estimated 450-mile range.
The IQ's wheels have been moved farther to the corners, contributing to its more planted stance, and the sportier aesthetic has been created by the long hood and faster-sloping roofline. Speaking of those wheels, they measure 24 inches in size, and they're wrapped in 35-inch rubber.
The body comprises many sculpted surfaces, the side glass sits flush with the body, and there is an expansive glass roof. Tall daytime running light blades in front contribute to the flashy appearance, and approaching or departing the IQ is accompanied by an artful lighting show. An available feature includes the ability to open and close all four doors electrically.
No exterior colors for the Cadillac Escalade IQ have been confirmed yet, but the regular Escalade comes in hues like Argent Silver, Dark Emerald, and Crystal White. Of course, we'd be shocked if a stealthy black option was not provided for the 2025 Escalade IQ, a color that is as closely tied to the Caddy SUV as red is to a Ferrari. Customers will be able to select a two-tone finish with a black roof.
This is likely to be one of the largest EVs when it eventually hits the road. Whereas the normal Escalade measures 211.9 inches in length over a 120.9-inch wheelbase, the Escalade IQ's dimensions are even more substantial, with a total length of 224.3 inches over a 136.2-inch wheelbase. This is almost as long as the Cadillac ESV, although even that doesn't have a wheelbase this long. The 2025 Escalade IQ is over four inches wider than the regular version, too, with a width of 85.3 inches (excluding the mirrors) and 94.1 inches from the tip of one mirror to the other. It stands 76.1 inches tall and has a 6.9-inch standard ground clearance measurement.
The combination of a large battery and these ample dimensions will make the Escalade IQ one of the heaviest vehicles on the road. Recently, a teardown video demonstrated why the Hummer EV has a staggering curb weight of over 9,000 pounds. The Escalade is an even larger vehicle in some respects, and if the IQ model has the same heavy battery structure as the Hummer, it could also top 9,000 lbs.
To cope with its size and mass, the Cadillac Escalade IQ's powertrain won't be short on power. With dual electric motors, Cadillac states that the Escalade IQ will produce 680 hp and 615 lb-ft in normal mode and up to 750 hp and 785 lb-ft of torque with driver-selectable Velocity Max mode, which we assume is a Boost-type function. The eAWD system will direct power to all four wheels, helping to realize a 0-60 mph time below five seconds. This means the IQ could deliver performance that isn't far off the mighty Escalade-V.
Whereas the gas-powered Escalade can tow up to 8,200 pounds, the Escalade IQ gets surprisingly close with a maximum towing capacity of 8,000 lbs. That's a good number for an EV, but as always, towing will considerably impact the total range.
New to the Escalade nameplate is the IQ's One-Pedal Driving and Variable Regen on Demand functions made possible by the fully electric powertrain. Comfort will still be a top priority, so the Escalade IQ will be offered with an adaptive air ride suspension that can be lowered by two inches or raised by an inch. Four-wheel steering is standard and keeps the turning circle to 39.4 feet at lower speeds, while helping to disguise the vehicle's size.
These features, together with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, should deliver a smooth ride and precise steering feel. And with a stretched wheelbase and a hefty curb weight, it should be comfortable for passengers, too. We expect it to soak up bumps and provide a limo-like experience in all respects.
With technology where it is right now, a massive battery is one of the only viable ways to provide a large EV with a decent range. GMC proved that much when it stuck a simply enormous 205-kWh (usable capacity) battery in the Hummer EV Pickup, and even this is only enough for a range of up to 355 miles or 314 miles for the Hummer EV SUV. The Hummer's efficiency is one of the poorest for EVs, with just 47 MPGe combined.
The 24-module Ultium battery in the Escalade IQ is almost as large, with 200 kWh of available energy, sufficient for an estimated 450-mile range. The high-voltage architecture is compatible with 800-volt DC fast charging, with the Escalade IQ able to add 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes. These numbers suggest that the Escalade IQ will be more efficient than the Hummer.
The large battery may not be great for the vehicle's mass but it has other benefits. The Escalade IQ will be equipped with Vehicle-to-Home (V2H) bidirectional charging, which can power your home. Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) offboard power, meanwhile, can be used for powering external devices. Another touch of luxury comes via the charge port door; it's motorized and opens automatically when touching it.
The gas-powered Cadillac Escalade already has a superb cabin replete with plush materials and impressive technologies, and the interior of the Cadillac Escalade IQ is even more special. Said to be inspired by the worlds of fashion, upscale furnishings, and architecture, the dashboard is particularly stylish and uncluttered.
The cockpit is a technological hub with a pillar-to-pillar LED display that measures 55 inches across the width of the dashboard. It is powered by the latest Snapdragon Cockpit Platform from Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. which also boasts virtual Smart Controls, integrated Google built-in, live traffic updates, and the ability to download your favorite apps.
The impression of luxury is further elevated by the cabin's elaborate lighting and choice of materials. There are 126 color choices for the ambient lighting, and this system even illuminates the interior decor and trim. Two trims, Luxury and Sport, will give customers a choice regarding how the cabin is attired. Laser-etched patterns liven up the wood panels, and there will be a selection of four interior themes. As seen in these pictures, the perforated Nappa leather in this color, which looks like Cadillac's 'Brandy' hue, looks particularly classy.
Entry to the cabin is by means of doors that can be opened automatically, and the glass roof underscores the impression of acres of passenger space. But despite its larger proportions, legroom across the three rows is just a little tighter than in the regular Caddy, although headroom is more generous. There are seven seats inside the Cadillac Escalade IQ across three rows, with the third row having a power-folding function to free up more cargo space. An available Executive Second-Row Seating package comes with 12.6-inch personal screens, a rear command center screen, dual wireless phone charging pads, massaging seats, and headrest speakers. These speakers form part of the 40-speaker AKG Studio Reference sound system, but there are also 36-speaker upgrades available over the standard 19-speaker sound system.
A five-zone climate control system and a UV-filtering film for the glass roof should keep everyone comfortable, and the Escalade IQ will also ship with many driver-assist safety technologies. Besides the Super Cruise hands-free system that's standard for three years (Ultra Cruise becomes available later on), the IQ will also come with blind zone steering assist, an HD surround-view system, and front pedestrian and bicyclist braking.
Traditional cargo space in the Cadillac Escalade IQ is a little less than in the regular Escalade, with 23.7 cubic feet behind the third row to the standard model's 25.5 cubes. Fold the rear seats down, and you get 69.1 cubic feet (almost four cubes less), with maximum cargo volume coming in at 119.2 cubic feet behind the front seats. The regular Escalade has 121 cubes behind the first row. But that's not the whole story. Since the IQ is an EV, there's a front - or eTrunk, according to Cadillac - measuring 12 cubic feet. It has enough room for two golf bags and has an available storage tray.
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