- On Wednesday in New York Metropolis, the wraps got here off the 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ.
- The brand new Escalade is a full-size battery-electric SUV with three rows of seats, all the posh Cadillac can supply (for underneath $340,000, anyway), and a projected 450 miles of vary.
- On the unveiling occasion, a number of Cadillac executives and GM president Mark Reuss spoke with Automobile and Driver concerning the automobile’s know-how and its place available in the market. Right here’s what we realized.
The 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ does carry Cadillac badges and have its personal sheetmetal, form, and inside, however the underpinnings of the Escalade IQ are literally straight from the GMC Hummer EV. To be honest, each are from GM’s Ultium modular battery structure, which is available in a outstanding number of sizes and codecs—from the hulking, absurdly quick Hummer EV all the way in which all the way down to a future era of Chevrolet Bolt EV. The identical platform utilized by the IQ additionally underpins the Chevy Silverado EV pickup truck and its counterpart, the GMC Sierra EV.
The electrical Escalade’s specs will sound awfully acquainted to any Hummer EV proprietor, although. It has the identical 24 battery modules because the Hummer EV pickup, offering greater than 200 kilowatt-hours of power, entrance and rear motor models, rear-wheel steering, and 800-volt charging (however not working) functionality as the electrical off-roader.
Wheelbases of the electrical Hummer pickup and the Escalade differ by lower than an inch, however that Hummer presents faster acceleration: 3.0 seconds to 60 mph utilizing the particular “Watts to Freedom” (WTF) mode, whereas the Cadillac’s zero-to-60 time is quoted at “lower than 5 seconds” with its personal particular mode, which has the extra dignified title of Velocity Max.
Second Escalade IQ Model?
GM president Mark Reuss very briefly teased the concept sooner or later, a second variant of the Escalade IQ would possibly seem, “for these consumers who need extra room.” Requested if he meant a stretch model like immediately’s Escalade ESV, Reuss grinned. “I did not say greater,” he stated. Then he modified the topic.
Completely different Proportions, Much less Intimidating
The IQ that debuted on Wednesday is visually extra completely different than you would possibly count on in contrast with the present Escalade, though the scale are related. Its general size of 224.3 inches is between that of immediately’s customary mannequin and the stretched ESV (at 211.9 and 227.0 inches), whereas its 76.1-inch top is a fraction of an inch shorter and its 94.0-inch width (with mirrors prolonged) is greater than a foot wider.
Alternatively, the IQ’s 136.2-inch wheelbase exceeds these of each the usual and ESV variations (120.9 and 134.1 inches, respectively), pushing the wheels to the corners as a lot as potential to permit extra size for the battery between the 2 axles.
We didn’t get an opportunity to see the current and future Escalades facet by facet, the place the variations in dimensions might need been extra seen. However aerodynamics is a tricky self-discipline; any EV should push apart as little air as potential to reduce the turbulence that causes drag and eats power. GM claims the Escalade IQ is 15 p.c extra aerodynamic than any earlier full-size SUV.
Importantly, in an period the place the peak of huge vehicles blocks drivers’ views of individuals outdoors the autos, the IQ’s cowl top of 54.0 inches above the bottom equals that of the gasoline/diesel Escalade (by our tough measurements of every car on the occasion). It ought to really feel acquainted to current Escalade drivers, although the roofline falls towards the angled rear window.
Perceptually, it is nonetheless a really massive and imposing SUV. However the raked liftgate and the beveled nostril with its smaller grille or protect make it considerably much less intimidating than the gasoline Escalade with a flatter hood and extra bluff entrance finish with its big radiator consumption. And the IQ actually doesn’t have the lengthy, sq. tail and upright liftgate of the gasoline variations.
Within the gallery of press pictures supplied to reporters, there’s a shot of a fast-charging twine plugged into the Escalade IQ’s charging port. It’s totally clearly the CCS customary that GM has used for eight years now. Wait, you say, didn’t Basic Motors announce in June it would swap over to the Tesla connector (often called NACS) and provides its drivers entry to the Tesla Supercharger community, following Ford’s related groundbreaking announcement of the identical factor the month earlier than? Effectively, sure.
However, did not GM additionally announce it’s among the many seven automakers who’ve collectively dedicated to funding their very own nationwide DC fast-charging community of 30,000 charging stations, beginning subsequent 12 months—one that can use the CCS customary in addition to the Tesla connector? Sure, that too.
To make issues much more complicated, at some point earlier than the Escalade IQ broke cowl, GM stated all Ultium autos will supply vehicle-to-home (V2H) backup-power functionality, extra formally often called bidirectional charging, by 2026. This skill is constructed into the spec for the CCS connector, however the software program protocols haven’t but been demonstrated on the Tesla connector. Whereas the Tesla plug is electrically able to feeding energy out, the corporate hasn’t carried out it, maybe as a result of Tesla sells PowerWall backup batteries to owners—and enabling its vehicles to serve the identical perform might injury that enterprise. Nonetheless, the Escalade IQ guarantees V2H functionality through an over-the-air software program replace through the 2025 mannequin 12 months.
We requested GM president Reuss concerning the state of the charging panorama immediately, and the way we should always kind all this out. He confirmed the adoption of the Tesla connector—”We’re doing it as quick as we will”—but additionally “compatibility with the SAE customary” (the Tesla connector isn’t truly a technical customary as but). He did add the qualifier “for now” to CCS compatibility.
Okay, so does that imply future GM Ultium EVs will swap over from one connector to the opposite, or might they’ve each? “That may change with time,” Reuss stated. “We do not have a definitive reply immediately, on the place it goes, what the final word [arrangement] is. We’ve got to have the ability to do each.”
We surmise GM’s battery and charging engineers are digging into the Tesla plug and connector and software program proper now—attempting to know the way it works, its security margins, and the way autos that do not run on Tesla OS software program will behave at Supercharger websites. Keep tuned on this one.
GM’s personal Cellular Telephone Interface
In the event you count on Android Auto or Apple CarPlay functionality as a normal function in any new automobile you contemplate, you’re out of luck for any of the upcoming GM autos on the Ultium structure—together with the Escalade IQ. GM will discontinue the usual telephone mirroring functionality beginning with the 2024 Chevrolet Blazer EV, for which deliveries ought to begin this quarter or subsequent.
Automobile and Driver requested Reuss what is going to change these features. Beneath GM’s substitute programs, he stated, drivers and passengers will have the ability to do every little thing they will do now utilizing both of these two connectivity protocols. And he acknowledged the skepticism amongst reporters and car buyers on listening to the acquainted Android Auto and Apple CarPlay would not work.
When reporters get entry to the Blazer EV, someday this fall, we’ll see the way it works in follow. Till then, the jury is clearly out.
Robust Timing for GM
The Escalade IQ debut got here at a tricky time for GM. It has struggled to get its first high-volume Ultium cell plant, in Ohio, as much as full-scale manufacturing to offer the volumes of cells wanted to produce the tens of hundreds of Ultium autos a month it tasks it would promote by the tip of the 12 months.
Within the phrases of 1 battle-scarred battery engineer, getting a brand new cell chemistry, in a brand new plant, with new workers, up and working at enough quantity and acceptable yields, is “actually, actually, actually, actually, actually, actually, actually onerous”—and GM is doing that twice in a single 12 months. Reuss stated the corporate is now “totally capacitized” at its first cell plant, with the second in Spring Hill, Tennessee, following carefully behind.
In that case, the corporate’s EV gross sales figures for the third and fourth quarters of this 12 months had higher replicate it. For the primary half of the 12 months, the majority of GM’s electric-car gross sales have been the two-car lineup of ageing Bolt EV and EUV fashions, each compact hatchbacks utilizing a seven-year-old battery structure. The Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EVs are already in manufacturing (although Hummer gross sales halted as a result of a months-long battery recall), and the Chevy Silverado EV, Blazer EV, and Equinox EV, plus the GMC Sierra EV, are scorching on their heels—with the electrical Escalade now added on prime of that.
GM Goes Conventional, Follows Tesla
When GM developed the EV1 nearly 30 years in the past, it was a extremely aerodynamic two-seater by necessity. The lead-acid battery know-how of the time merely didn’t maintain sufficient power for its weight to propel a standard four-seat car. Then got here the Toyota Prius, in a number of generations of more and more odd-looking autos—and the Nissan Leaf which adopted in 2010 was blatantly, distinctively uncommon wanting. It was additionally a compact hatchback, then the preferred car sort globally, if not in North America. GM’s personal Chevrolet Volt was additionally a compact hatchback, with the extra complication of being a plug-in hybrid—a powertrain that to today salespeople and buyers don’t essentially perceive.
However all through automotive historical past, new and superior applied sciences have are available on the excessive finish, both in luxurious or sporting autos. From the primary electrical self-starter in 1912—on a Cadillac—to automated transmissions, disc brakes, turbochargers, and all the remainder, high-end autos supplied extra revenue margin to offset the prices of the brand new applied sciences.
Tesla understood this; it began with a high-performance Roadster, at a six-figure value, then adopted it with the mass-produced Mannequin S at costs of $50,000 and above. Now GM, with its emphasis on the Hummer EV and Escalade IQ, plus their Silverado and Sierra EV pickup siblings, is placing its EV know-how first into high-end autos as nicely.
John Voelcker edited Inexperienced Automobile Experiences for 9 years, publishing greater than 12,000 articles on hybrids, electrical vehicles, and different low- and zero-emission autos and the power ecosystem round them. He now covers superior auto applied sciences and power coverage as a reporter and analyst. His work has appeared in print, on-line, and radio shops that embrace Wired, Standard Science, Tech Evaluate, IEEE Spectrum, and NPR’s “All Issues Thought of.” He splits his time between the Catskill Mountains and New York Metropolis and nonetheless has hopes of at some point changing into a global man of thriller.