Cadillac unveils Escalade IQ, an electric version of its big SUV

Cadillac has unveiled the Escalade IQ, an all-electric ‘full-size SUV’, scheduled for production in the summer of 2024. Based on General Motors’ Ultium platform, the Cadillac Escalade IQ gets an enormous battery.

The Escalade IQ, which will debut with the 2025 model year, has up to 559 kW of all-wheel drive with two engines. That’s on par with other Ultium models with the two-motor all-wheel drive system (562 kW in the GMC Sierra EV, for example).

It is not clear from the announcement whether the electric Escalade will also receive the option of the three-motor all-wheel drive system at a later date. In the GMC Hummer EV, this system produces up to 735 kW. The Cadillac Escalade IQ prices are expected to start at around $130 000.

Huge car with an enormous battery pack

What is clear, however, is that the Hummer EV, Sierra EQ, and Escalade IQ share the same battery with more than 200 kWh of usable energy. In the large (and tall) Ultium models, two 100 kWh packs of 400 volts each can be stacked on top of each other and combined into an 800-volt system.

In the smaller models like the Cadillac Lyriq, there is only room for one pack. In the Escalade IQ, the 200 kWh should enable ranges of  725 kilometers. This would correspond to a standard consumption of 27,6 kWh/100 km.

In terms of size, the Escalade IQ is 5,7 meters long (with a 3,46-meter wheelbase), 2,39 meters wide (exterior mirrors included), and 1,93 meters high. Ground clearance is 17,5 centimeters. The trunk holds between 670 and 3 374 liters, depending on the seat configuration (three seat rows), and a further 345 liters can be stowed in the frunk. Cadillac does not specify the curb weight in the announcement.

Nevertheless, Escalade IQ’s sleeker profile pays dividends on the highway, as it is estimated to be the most aerodynamic full-size SUV ever produced by GM, with an approximately 15% lower drag coefficient than previous generations. How ‘low’ this actually might be is not specified.

V2H and V2L

In line with GM’s recent announcement to offer all Ultium models with bi-directional vehicle-to-home (V2H) charging technology from the 2026 model year, the Escalade IQ will already have this system when it debuts with the 2025 model year.

When the car is combined with the corresponding ‘Ultium Home’ products from GM Energy, customers will be able to “send power from the vehicle’s battery to a properly equipped home”. In addition, there will also be the option of off-board power Vehicle-to-Load (V2L) to power external devices. It is unclear from the announcement which connections are used and what power will be available.

Focus on comfort

While the Escalade IQ inherits some features from the Hummer EV (such as the ability to drive diagonally thanks to the all-wheel steering in the ‘Crab Walk’), the focus for Cadillac was less on utility and off-road capability and more on on-road comfort.

Cadillac emphasizes that systems such as Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and Adaptive Air Ride Suspension are designed to isolate passengers “from undesirable road surfaces” while providing precise steering and feel.

An Executive Second-Row Seating package is available, including features such as foldable tray tables, 12,6-inch-diagonal personal screens, a rear command center screen, dual wireless phone charging pads, USB-C16 and HDMI ports, massaging seats, and headrest speakers /Cadillac

The air suspension can lower the vehicle by up to 50 millimeters or raise it by 25 millimeters. The turning circle is said to be around twelve meters, thanks to the all-wheel steering. Cadillac explains that the system provides better handling and more stability at higher speeds, “especially when towing a trailer”.

The final towing capacity is not yet specified, but the company says it is estimated at 8 000 pounds, the equivalent of 3,6 tons. “Escalade IQ raises the standard just as the original Escalade redefined luxury a quarter-century ago,” said John Roth, vice president of Global Cadillac, at the official presentation in New York.

“This reimagining of an icon marks the next step in Cadillac’s all-electric future. For more than 120 years, Cadillac’s bold, innovative spirit has defined American luxury. The Escalade IQ embodies this spirit in the most sophisticated form,” he added.

View of front seats, steering wheel, and pillar-to-pillar screen in the Cadillac Escalade IQ in Sport trim. There’s also a Luxury version available /Cadillac

The car has many driving aids as standard equipment, including Super Cruise, GM’s true hands-free driver assistance technology: a Level 3 autonomous driving aid that allows staying in lane and following cars automatically and overtaking them.

Regular production of the Escalade IQ begins next summer at GM’s Factory ZERO Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Center in Michigan, with domestic and globally sourced components. Factory ZERO was renovated and retooled with a $2,2 billion investment to serve as the launchpad for GM’s EV strategy.

EV coupés to come?

GM’s president, Mark Reuss, also confirmed that an all-electric Corvette was in the works last April, stating, “We will offer an electrified and a fully electric, Ultium-based Corvette in the future”. According to sources within GMs Tech Center, Corvette may even receive its own electric spinoff brand with a four-door coupé and crossover version.

In another report last December, sources inside GM claimed the next EV spinoff could include an electric 2+2 Camaro coupé, convertible, and two and four-door SUVs. It would be offered at a Corvette-like midprice and could be “loosely linked to the C9 Corvette in content”.

However, nothing is confirmed yet, from this side, but the electric coupé GM is promising could also include a potential high-end EV from the Cadillac brand as it works toward an all-electric line-up by 2030.


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