2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ Brings the Flagship Into the EV Era

Lee Bailie
by Lee Bailie

Cadillac's flagship debuts in stunning EV form.

The next shot from Cadillac’s EV quiver was unleashed this morning when GM’s premium luxury division took the wraps off its third pure electric, the first-ever 2025 Escalade IQ. The full-size EV will join the mid-size Lyriq SUV and ultra-luxury Celestiq sedan in the brand’s electrified portfolio.

Brimming with technology, including a curved, pillar-to-pillar 55-inch digital screen, Super Cruise hands-free driver-assistance system, and GM’s Ultium battery technology with 800-volt charging architecture, the Escalade IQ will go into production at GM’s Factory ZERO Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant next year and will begin arriving at dealers in summer 2024.

During a recent media preview event in suburban Detroit last week, Cadillac representatives showed a pre-production level prototype, and walked assembled journos through the Escalade IQ’s—henceforth referred to as the IQ—many features.

A few caveats before proceeding, however. First, no media photography was allowed, and two, we could not touch or sit inside the vehicle. The former makes sense as we were seeing the IQ before its splashy public reveal in New York this morning. As for the latter, well, it’s a one-off prototype: if stuff breaks, it can’t be easily fixed.

That said, we did get about an hour to look the IQ over and talk to Cadillac reps about it, which proved to be quite revealing. There are a few main areas to cover, but let’s begin with the IQ’s basic platform, electrified architecture, and powertrain.

As mentioned, the IQ is built on GM’s Ultium EV architecture, and it is the first full-size SUV (three-row, seven-passenger) the platform has produced. It will also use Ultifi, GM’s new software suite that will deliver regular updates, including many that will be delivered OTA (over-the-air), like other electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

In terms of battery, the IQ will utilize a 24-module Ultium lithium-ion pack that produces more than 200 kWh of energy. Fast charging is also on the menu thanks to 800-volt charging infrastructure which, when connected to a 350-kW charger, can deliver roughly 100 miles (160 km) of range in about 10 minutes. As for total range, Cadillac estimates it will be about 450 miles (724 km).

Working in concert with the Ultium battery is a two-motor eAWD system that Cadillac estimates can produce up to 750 horsepower—which is called Velocity Max and is driver adjustable—and 785 pound-feet of torque, which is also called Velocity Max and is driver adjustable. As one might expect, the IQ is quite fast with an estimated 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) of less than five seconds, when Velocity Max is engaged. Cadillac estimates the IQ’s maximum towing figure at 8,000 pounds (3,629 kilograms).

Chassis features of note include GM’s Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 that works in conjunction with Adaptive Air Ride Suspension, which can lower the IQ up to two inches (50 millimeters) and raise it up to one (25 mm). Standard Four-Wheel Steer reduces the IQ’s turning radius to 39.4 feet (12 meters), which is a reduction of 6.5 feet (1.98 meters).

Optional features include Low Ride Mode, and Cadillac Arrival Mode, which enables the IQ to move diagonally for getting in and out of tight parking spaces. The latter was demonstrated in a video which showed the IQ’s rear wheels turning inward and outward to help the vehicle squeeze in and out of tight spaces. This the same tech GMC is using with the Hummer EV and its “crab walk” feature.

As for its looks, the IQ’s exterior bears a strong family resemblance with its smaller Lyriq sibling, especially when viewed from the front, which features a prominent vertical light signature for both the LED headlights and daytime running lights, along with intricate walk-up / walk-away animations.

Other lighting details include a lit Cadillac badge in the center of the grille surrounded by smaller lights that fan out on each side. At the rear, LED taillights are bisected by the IQ’s tailgate with a striking spoiler-mounted central brake light.

According to Cadillac, the IQ is the most aerodynamic full-size GM SUV ever built. Its steeply raked A-pillars and massive 24-inch wheels and 35-inch tires produce a coefficient of drag that is 15 percent lower than previous generations. Black trim is liberally applied to the IQ’s surfaces, including a floating black roof, which will be available as a two-tone appearance option. A fixed-glass roof and flush side glass is also standard on the IQ, which will be offered in six exterior colors.

Inside the cabin, the real showstopper is a 55-inch pillar-to-pillar digital display that is powered by a Snapdragon Cockpit Platform built by Qualcomm Technologies. The display features intuitive smart controls, 5G connectivity and a suite of Google software, including Google Built-in with Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play. The screen also has a panel specifically designed for the front passenger, which is angled away so that it cannot be viewed by the driver, creating distraction.

In terms of seating, second row captain’s chairs are standard, but the optional Executive Second-Row Seating Package delivers stowable tray tables, 12.6-inch personal screens, a rear command center screen, two wireless phone charging pads, USB-C and HDMI ports, and massaging seats and headrest speakers.

As is the case with the ICE Escalade, the IQ can also be outfitted with an AKG Studio Reference audio system which, in this case, comes with 40 speakers. Of note, this system is available with the Executive Second Row package. Standard audio is a 19-speaker AKG Studio system.

Other interior features of note include power folding third-row seatbacks, ambient lighting with 126 color options and a 12-cubic foot (340-liter) eTrunk, which can swallow two golf bags. Trim detailing includes laser-etched patterns that are used to accent wood panels.

Touch points such as the steering wheel, drive selector and other switchgear are like those in the Lyriq and will flow into other Cadillac EVs moving forward. On that note, Cadillac reps indicated that two more vehicles will be revealed by year’s end.

The 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ goes on sale next summer. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

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Lee Bailie
Lee Bailie

With more than 20 years of industry experience, which includes automotive retail, motorsports PR, and writing and editing for various automotive publications, Lee is an AutoGuide freelancer, and car guy to the core. For nearly a decade and a half, he has married his two consuming passions together – journalism and the automotive industry. Whether it’s providing coverage on debuts from an auto show floor, writing road test reviews, or previewing a new model coming soon, Lee is eager to share his passion for the automotive industry with his readers. He is a long-standing member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) and won a feature writing award in 2018.

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 1 comment
  • Don Don on Aug 09, 2023

    i'll believe it when we see it.

    Lyriq isn't even really in production yet after 3 yrs hype. Neither is anything else Mary Barra spews out.

    i am still waiting for the loaded LT Equinox EV for $30,000??

    gm's only vehicles under 30K are a Trax and an unloaded Bolt