The OG is going electric.
Earlier this year, Cadillac announced that it's going all-electric by 2030. To achieve this goal, it's introducing several new models that will have fancy-sounding names ending with 'iq.' The first example is the all-new Lyriq, which sold out well before it's supposed to debut on showroom floors. It will be followed by the Celestiq, Vistiq, Lumistiq and the Ascendiq. We hope they also do a supercar called the Ballistiq.
While Cadillac is doubling down on the EV trend, it can't afford to scare away traditional customers. Those who come in every five years to replace the old Escalade with a new 'Sclade.
That's why we don't think Cadillac is in a rush to get rid of the name or the basic shape of the Escalade. It needs to be a big box to ferry families around in sheer opulence.
As you can see from our render, Caddy's new design language blends perfectly with the existing Escalade shape. The Lyriq's slimmer daytime running lights replace the headlights perfectly, and the rear is less generic. Those slim horizontal LEDs work much better than the existing pillars found on almost every SUV currently on sale.
You can take more liberties with the front end since an all-electric Escalade doesn't need a working grille. The actual headlights are moved down and incorporated into the triangular design motifs. Finally, the Escalade IQ will likely get the all-new Cadillac badge.
The grille might be a bit obnoxious, but as with the Lyriq, it's more of a design feature. It's part LED strips, part blacky crystal. Before you criticize it for being flash, remember what this car is and what it represents. Not that long ago, you had to mention the Escalade at least three times per song to get an album to go to number one.
An ICE Escalade already weighs 6,000 lbs, so add at least another 1,000 lbs. GM will need some serious battery power to give this big beast decent range and some hustle.
That's where GM's newly designed Ultium drive package comes in.
GM built it to be scalable, which means you can have it in three flavors. For the Escalade, Cadillac will likely use the same setup as the Hummer EV, which is a motor up front, a more powerful motor in the rear, and an additional all-wheel-drive assist motor. The combined power output is around 1,000 hp, but the range of more than 300 miles is more important.
Cadillac has yet to confirm a production date for the Escalade IQ, but the smart move would be to do it at least five years before the 2030 all-electric deadline.
Trying to convince traditional Cadillac customers to go electric will be a near-impossible task, but using an existing, respected name is a smart strategy.