From a secret location in suburban Detroit, Cadillac introduced its futuristic-yet-familiar Escalade IQ: the first all-electric version of its massively popular Escalade full-size SUV
The 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ is slated to arrive in mid-2024 and will be sold alongside its gas-powered progenitor in showrooms for the foreseeable future, although Cadillac has publicly committed to going all-electric by 2030. Company executives, therefore, expect a gradual ramping up of the Escalade IQ electric model to the point where sales equalize and then tilt increasingly towards the EV version before the expected phaseout of ICE Cadillac models by the end of the decade.
Despite the name, the Escalade IQ is not just a conventional Escalade with the engine, transmission, and gas tank replaced by batteries. It rides on GM’s Ultium all-electric platform, and shares a lot with the Hummer EV pickup, including its 24-module battery pack. Executives here said this battery will offer over 200 kWh of usable capacity. But the Escalade’s smoothened aerodynamics – 15 percent better than any other Escalade – plus lighter weight than the Hummer combine to allow Cadillac to estimate more than 724 km (450 miles) of range in ideal conditions.
Big battery, Big Range
Recharging a pack that large will take a fair amount of time at any charger, with GM estimating roughly 24 km of range added per hour using home or office L2 charging speeds, or roughly 60 km of range per hour if you opt for GM’s high output 19.2 kW AC charger, which requires 100-amp dedicated service to the EVSE.
Cadillac hasn’t stated its specific DC quick charge speed but will offer similar charging speeds to the top-line Hummer, offering up an estimated 160 km of range in 10 minutes of charge time at a 350 kW Level 3 charging station. GM Canada helpfully points out that DC chargers this powerful are very rare in Canada, with roughly 100 currently, and not in all areas of the country, though that number is destined to increase.
This doesn’t include Tesla Superchargers, by the way, which currently max out at 250 kW. The Escalade IQ will launch with the larger CCS connector, with a Tesla adaptor becoming available soon after to allow it to charge at Tesla DC fast chargers.
New levels of power, similar max towing, and pricing
The advanced powertrain in the Escalade IQ will offer 680 hp and 615 lb-ft of torque in its Normal mode, which is roughly the same power as the performance-oriented Escalade-V. Once in Cadillac’s “Velocity Max” mode, this increases to a gargantuan 750 hp and 785 lb-ft of torque, though it doesn’t quite reach the Hummer EV’s 1000 hp “Watts to Freedom” mode.
Still, Cadillac promises a 0-60 mph time of less than five seconds, which is incredible for a vehicle this size.
The Escalade IQ’s max tow rating also matches the top Escalade’s 8,000 lb maximum figure of the 2023 gas model, though Cadillac drivers can certainly expect a significant decrease in range when towing.
The American arm of Cadillac has announced an expected price of US $130,000 for the Escalade IQ, which is closer to the Escalade-V’s current starting price of roughly US$150,000.
That price brings with it a new level of luxury inside, with a visually masterful 55-inch curved screen sweeping across the dash. AKG Audio comes in either a 19-speaker or 36-speaker version. The interior includes wireless charging for two phones, available power doors that open at the touch of a button, and over-the-air updates which promise to keep the software and features up-to-date and snappy.
Size-wise, the seven-passenger Escalade IQ lands in between the standard and extended Escalade ESV models, with a similar wheelbase to that longer Escalade. Plus the Escalade IQ has a front trunk that powers open to reveal a healthy 345 litres of carpet-lined space up front, on top of the 670 litres available behind the third row, which is slightly less than the 722-litre space in the current Escalade.
The Escalade IQ is expected to arrive in showrooms next summer but the smaller Cadillac Lyriq EV expected last fall has only just started trickling into showrooms over the last few months. So it’s likely wise to take all these planned arrival and departure dates as estimates versus locked-in timelines.