NEW YORK – Twenty-five years after the Cadillac Escalade launched General Motors into large, highly profitable luxury SUVs, the Detroit automaker is hoping a new all-electric version of the vehicle will ignite the same success for a new generation of luxury buyers.
GM on Wednesday revealed the 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ, an all-electric vehicle with more power than the current supercharged V-8 SUV, an estimated range of 450 miles – more than any GM EV to date – and a 55-inch LED screen across its dashboard.
“The importance of Cadillac to our global portfolio can’t be overstated,” GM President Mark Reuss said during the vehicle’s reveal in New York City. “You are witnessing the rise of Cadillac.”
The vehicle is expected to arrive in dealer showrooms late next summer, starting at around $130,000. That’s a premium compared with its traditional counterparts that have on average been selling for about $115,500 this year (but still lower than a limited-edition performance model of the vehicle that went on sale last year that started around $150,000).
GM President Mark Reuss during the reveal of the all-electric 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ on Aug. 9, 2023 in New York City.
Michael Wayland / CNBC
The Escalade IQ is the first – and most important – traditional Cadillac model to be released as an EV. It’s set to eventually replace the current gas- and diesel-powered vehicles, unlike Cadillac’s Lyriq and Celestiq EVs that represented new entries for the brand.
Cadillac plans to reveal two more all-electric vehicles by year’s end. Reuss declined on Wednesday to comment further on those models.
The three-row electric SUV will be an important proof point for reassuring investors that GM can deliver on a promise to produce profitable EVs and increase annual revenue from the vehicles to $90 billion by 2030.
Cadillac plans to exclusively sell all-electric vehicles by 2030, making it GM’s luxury EV brand. Investors will be watching for how, or whether, the automaker can also transfer the Escalade’s lofty profit margins – estimated at upward of 30% – to the EV models.
2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ
Reuss said the company is keeping Cadillac’s all-electric 2030 target “in mind” but ultimately demand will decide how long the company continues to produce the traditional Escalade models.
“The customer and the market is going to tell us. We really honestly haven’t made any decisions when we stop and do EV-only on this. We’ll see,” he told reporters after the reveal. “We’re going to do what the customer wants first.”
Escalade IQ sales are expected to begin slowly and ramp up through the end of the decade, as the company phases out the gas- and diesel-powered versions of the SUV.
The Escalade IQ features a much smoother, more aerodynamic exterior than the current Escalade, with overall styling more similar to Cadillac’s current EVs than its gas- and diesel-powered siblings. It features large 24-inch wheels, an illuminated grill with lightning sequences and an ultra-plush interior.
“It’s American luxury,” GM design chief Michael Simcoe told CNBC. “So, it has to be a little bit brash, a little bit bold. It has to retain the presence that the Escalade demands. The iconography of an Escalade is pretty important.”
2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ
The smoother exterior design, larger wheels and longer distance between the front and rear tires makes the Escalade IQ appear smaller than the current SUVs, but the vehicle is larger and features more room than the current standard Escalade.
“When you see it in person, it has a presence,” said Tyson Jominy, J.D. Power vice president of data and analytics. “It’s got a very unique shape. You know that it’s an Escalade, but you know that there’s something radically different about this.”
The IQ also has a large front trunk, or frunk, that includes 12 cubic feet of cargo room – making it one of the industry’s largest, though still smaller than the frunk on the electric Ford F-150 Lightning.
The Escalade IQ will feature up to 750 horsepower and 785 pound-feet of torque with a performance “Velocity Max” mode. In normal driving, the vehicle will still deliver 680 horsepower and 615 pound-feet of torque.
“Escalade has always been about being bold, so that’s what we set out to accomplish,” Mandi Damman, chief engineer of the Escalade IQ, said in a release.
Powering the vehicle is a 24-module battery that includes more than 200 kilowatt-hours of available energy. GM says the battery is capable of charging up to 100 miles of range in 10 minutes when using an 800-volt DC fast charger – the quickest form of charging currently available.
The Escalade IQ features a host of standard safety and convenience features, including GM’s Super Cruise hands-free highway driving system and an available 40-speaker AKG audio system.
The interior of the vehicle also features customizable ambient lightning with 126 color choices and an available executive seating in the second row that includes a personal “command center” with 12.6-inch-diagonal screens, dual wireless charging and other features such as a stowable tray.
The electric Escalade will be produced at a factory in Detroit alongside EV versions of the GMC Hummer, Chevrolet Silverado and Cruise Origin shuttle. The vehicles all share GM’s new “Ultium” vehicle platform, batteries, motors and other components.
The traditional Escalade will continue to be produced at GM’s Arlington Assembly in Texas along with full-size SUVs from Chevrolet and GMC that share a vehicle platform and other components with the Escalade.
2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ