General Motors continues its assault on the high-end EV category with the 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ. An electric take on the three-row Escalade luxury SUV, the Escalade IQ was introduced in New York on Wednesday.
The only relation to the gas-powered Escalade is the name, as the Escalade IQ has its own design, platform, interior, and drivetrain.
Like the GMC Hummer EV and the subsequent Chevrolet Silverado EV, GMC Sierra EV, the Escalade IQ goes big on power and battery size. A pair of motors, one front and one rear, deliver up to 750 hp and 785 lb-ft of torque, provide all-wheel drive, and launch the vehicle to 60 mph in less than five seconds. The top power and performance figures are available in a mode Cadillac calls Velocity Max, and in Normal mode the ratings are 680 hp and 615 lb-ft. A one-pedal driving mode is part of a regenerative braking system that Cadillac calls Variable Regen on Demand. Cadillac estimates the max towing capacity at 8,000 pounds.
The motors are fed by the same Ultium 24-module, 200-plus-kwh (we estimate 205 kwh) battery from the Hummer EV Pickup, and Cadillac is quoting a range of 450 miles. The vehicle has an 800-volt architecture that can add 100 miles of range in 10 minutes on a 350-kw DC fast charger. It can also accept a charge of up to 19.2 amps on a 240-volt outlet, which Cadillac says adds 37 miles per hour. In addition, it offers bidirectional charging ability that can charge home goods offered through GM Energy’s Ultium Home products.
The Escalade IQ may be distinct from its gas sibling, but the family resemblance is still there, with a tall, blocky shape, a long, high-set hood, and the brand’s signature vertical headlights and taillights. The nose sports a “crystal shield” instead of a grille, but it’s still in the shape of the Cadillac shield logo. The roofline is also different, with a greater overall slope and a gentler downward angle at the rear instead of the blocky look and sharp downward turn at the rear of the gas model. Overall, it has a 15% lower coefficient of drag than the gas model.
Buyers can choose from seven colors, including black, and a black roof is offered for all. It’s all set on big 275/50R24 tires, which measure 35 inches in diameter and fill up the large wheel wells.
Cadillac sizes the Escalade IQ between the regular- and long-wheelbase versions of the gas model, but at 224.3 inches long it’s within 2.7 inches of the long wheelbase version. The IQ’s wheelbase is actually 2.1 inches longer than the Escalade L’s at 136.2 inches, in part because the front wheels are moved forward 11.8 inches, which also reduces the front overhang.
However, interior space is close to the standard Escalade, mostly because Cadillac moved the greenhouse back almost 11 inches. Cargo space tops out at 119.2 cubic feet behind the first row compared to 121 cubes in the standard Escalade. However, the long hood makes room for a 12.2-cubic-foot frunk. It’s a long but shallow bin that Cadillac says can hold two golf bags.
Underneath, the Escalade IQ features a four-corner air suspension and the fourth-generation of GM’s magnetic dampers. The air suspension can raise the ride height 1.0 inch and lower it 2.0 inches. A short-arm, long-arm independent suspension controls wheel movement front and rear. Standard rear-wheel steering shortens the turning circle by about 6.5 feet, to 39.4 feet, according to Cadillac, and allows the vehicle to move diagonally in Cadillac Arrival mode to make it easier to get into or out of parking spots. It’s all built on an EV-specific platform that makes the battery part of the structure.
Inside, the Escalade IQ has a high-tech dashboard with a full-width 55.0-inch bank of digital screens. It consists of a digital instrument cluster and center touchscreen that account for 35.0 inches, and a 20.0-inch passenger screen. Below that on the center console is an additional 11.0-inch touchscreen to control climate and vehicle settings, including available power-opening doors. Those doors can open automatically as the driver approaches, and Cadillac also includes a power-opening charge port activated with a touch. A standard panoramic fixed-glass roof gives the cabin an airy feel.
The displays are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Cockpit Platform and run a Google-based system with Unreal Engine graphics and Google Built-in, Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play. It does not include support for Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, a move GM announced in April.
Standard seating is for seven, with either second-row captain’s chairs or an Executive Second Row package with rear bucket seats that mirror the front seats and have heating, cooling, and massage functions. The package also includes a rear center console with fold-out airline-style tables, a pair of 12.6-inch rear entertainment screens, a pair of wireless smartphone chargers to go with the two that come standard up front, and its own 8.0-inch touchscreen for comfort controls, including power-opening rear doors. In all versions, the upholstery is synthetic leather.
A 19-speaker AKG audio system is standard and Level 2 equipment comes with a 36-speaker AKG system. That increases to 40 speakers with the Executive Second Row package that adds two speakers in each second-row headrest.
GM’s Super Cruise hands-free driver-assist feature is also standard (though only for three years), as are blind-sport monitors with steering assist, a surround-view camera system, automatic parking, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and bicyclist detection.
The 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ is due to hit the market in the summer of 2024. It will be sold in Sport and Luxury models, available in 1 and 2 trims. Luxury models will have brushed aluminum trim, while Sport versions will have darkened metal finishes. Cadillac says the Escalade IQ will start at about $130,000. Level 2 equipment will only add to that, as will the Executive Second Row, so it could easily top the $150,000 price of the 682-hp Escalade-V.
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