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First Look

Cadillac Unveils All-Electric Escalade IQ

In a ground-up electric rethink, the Escalade gets 450 miles of range, $130,000 price tag, and an "Arrival" mode

Cadillac has unveiled the all-electric version of its iconic Escalade, the Escalade IQ.

That word “iconic” gets thrown around a lot when discussing automotive nameplates. You might expect cars like the Mustang or the Corvette to be “iconic”, given their 50-plus years of history winning hearts and various races - but an Escalade? That’s a decidedly modern thing.

We think the term is fitting here, though. Sure, the Escalade is a vehicle that earned its icon status rather recently. It was one of the first “luxury” SUVs to capture the zeitgeist - a stately symbol of success, both subdued in its styling and excessive in its heft, an avatar for rappers and heads of state and yes, airport Uber drivers. In an era when Cadillac struggled to define itself apart from its European competitors, the Escalade was an asterisk. It was a cultural juggernaut, an icon. And Cadillac’s best seller.

So it’s no small thing then to swap the heart of the Escalade for something a little friendlier for our future, and repackage the vehicle from the ground up as something new. This is perhaps Cadillac’s most important model, and this new IQ is the vision for its way forward. So what does a former symbol of excess look like in an era of electrification? 

Well, it looks like a symbol of excess. This Escalade is huge, and an astonishing 9,000lbs. It has enough illumination on the grill to converse with aliens in a close encounter. The interior features a 55” infotainment screen. It has a Low Ride mode, able to ride at its lowest air-suspension ride height at low speeds. In other words, low and slow.  It has 4-wheel steering, and it can use that party trick to “crab walk” diagonally into a valet stand, something Cadillac calls “Arrival” Mode. Someone will surely turn this into a gif for sliding into your DMs.

The starting price is also sort of excessive at $130,000. Or is it? After all, this is a lot of car. Cadillac is also selling the “CELESTIQ” at $340,000. 130-grand just doesn’t go as far today as it used to.

Speaking of going far, this Escalade brings an estimated 450 miles of range. That’ll get you there, no doubt. Careful not to confuse this long range with efficiency, because this Escalade IQ needs a 200kWh battery to move you that distance, one of the largest of any EV on sale today. You’ll spend more time at the charger, although Cadillac does mitigate this with a state-of-the-art 800 volt architecture. On the right charger, that’ll give you 100 miles back in just 10 minutes. 

This Cadi has a lot of features, so let’s hit you with a list of what we believe to be the most notable:

  • Up to 750 horsepower and 785 lb-ft of torque
  • 0-60 in under 5 seconds
  • Magnetic Ride 4.0, with adaptive air suspension about to lower by 2” or lift by 1”
  • Super Cruise driver assist package for "hands free" driving on select roads
  • Vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-load (V2L) charging capability (you can power your home or devices from the vehicle’s battery) available in 2025.
  • 8,000lb towing capacity
  • One-pedal driving and adjustable regenerative braking
  • Heat pump for improved cold-weather efficiency
  • Improved aerodynamics and a longer wheelbase than its gasoline sibling
  • A cooler to keep drinks cold
  • Optional 40-speaker AKG Soundsystem
  • 212 cubic feet of cargo space, including a massive12.2 cubic foot "eTrunk" that fits two golf bags
  • OTA updates
  • Air ride suspension, able to lower by 2” or lift by 1”
  • eAWD, with electric motors front and rear
  • 4 wheel steering for a tighter turning diameter (39.4 feet)
  • V2L (power external devices from battery) coming at a later date (expected as OTA software update)
  • Power-opening doors, that auto sense a driver approaching
  • Optional Executive Second-Row seating package with stoppable tray tables, 12.6" screens, wireless phone charging and more
  • Power folding third row of seats
  • Panoramic glass roof

The Escalade IQ also features a suite of standard active safety and driver assistance features, including:

  • Blind Zone Steering Assist, offering a firm turn of the steering wheel when a potential crash is detected with a moving vehicle in the lane the vehicle is entering
  • Intersection Automatic Emergency Braking, which can help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of an intersection collision with a detected cross-traffic vehicle
  • HD Surround Vision, providing selectable digital camera views of the area around the vehicle and can help drivers park or avoid vehicles and objects
  • Enhanced Automatic Parking Assist, which can automatically steer, brake and shift gears to park the vehicle into a dedicated parallel or perpendicular parking space
  • Front Pedestrian and Bicyclist Braking, which at speeds between 5 and 50 mph, can help drivers avoid or reduce the severity of a collision with a pedestrian or bicyclist it detects directly in front of them

The Escalade IQ is expected to go onsale in summer of 2024.


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