The burly Cadillac Escalade will soon get an electric sidekick. Called Escalade IQ, a name trademarked in November 2021, the battery-powered SUV will be sold alongside the existing, piston-powered model and aimed at buyers who want luxury without the exhaust note.
Cadillac didn’t have much to say about the model; it simply confirmed that the Escalade IQ is on its way and published a preview image that shows the SUV’s emblem. That’s where the trail of official details ends, but our crystal ball can point us in the direction of more information. This is pure speculation, but it’s not implausible to suppose that the Escalade IQ will be at least loosely related to the current and upcoming crop of electric trucks from Cadillac’s sister companies, like the Chevrolet Silverado EV and the GMC Hummer EV. After all, the Escalade has shared its frame, engines, and in some cases body panels with Chevrolet- and GMC-branded trucks since its inception in 1998.
We’re guessing Cadillac will put the Ultium technology at the heart of the Escalade IQ. This suggests — but doesn’t confirm — that the EV won’t land as a battery-powered version of the current-generation Escalade with a handful of powertrain-specific trim pieces. Much like the Silverado EV isn’t merely a Silverado with a plug, it wouldn’t surprise us if the IQ shares nothing but an “Escalade” badge with the Escalade.
As for the name, Cadillac explains that the “IQ” suffix now designates the electric cars in its range. “Escalade IQ” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it sounds better than “Escaladiq” or some other awkward mash-up. And, while the Celestiq and the Lyriq are new nameplates, Cadillac has too much equity in the Escalade name to call its range-topping electric SUV something else (Kinetiq?). Escalade IQ it is, then.
Interestingly, the range may not end there. Cadillac also trademarked the “Escalade IQL” nameplate in 2021 — could it sooner or later end up on a long-wheelbase EV? Looking further ahead, an unverified report published in December 2022 claims that Escalade will morph into a sub-brand within General Motors in order to offer buyers a wider range of models. Corvette and Camaro will allegedly get spun-off as well.
Cadillac will unveil the Escalade IQ before the end of 2023, and we expect to learn more about it in the coming months. Sales could start for the 2025 model year. Engine fans can rest easy: the internal combustion options (including a 682-horsepower V8) are sticking around.