While the release of the first-ever electric 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ won’t happen until next year, there’s lots to get excited about in the meantime. Featuring a ground-up redesign, the seven-passenger zero emissions SUV is bigger and sleeker, and it boasts the most premium and advanced cabin ever seen on the model.
“The Escalade IQ is totally uncompromised. From a styling perspective, performance, luxury, and technology, we went all in on this vehicle and made sure that we continue to raise the bar both for the Cadillac brand as well as just a luxury electric vehicle,” chief engineer Mandi Damman says during a recent interview about the upcoming flagship. Joining General Motors in 2003, she also led the development of the second-generation Chevrolet Volt EV. Noting features such as the e-trunk (frunk) with 12 cubic feet (340 litres) of storage, the 55-inch pillar-to-pillar screen, executive second row, and 450 miles (724 kilometres) of electric range, she adds, “It’s an incredible vehicle.”
Approach the SUV carrying the key fob, and the door automatically swings open for the driver. Upon entry, the centrepiece is the aforementioned massive LED display that dominates the entire dashboard. Serving as quite the upgrade from the current Escalade’s already impressive 38-inch example, it houses an instrument cluster, infotainment system, and passenger entertainment device all in one.
Another noticeable improvement is the extra cabin room for personal belongings. “Usually on an all-wheel-drive I.C.E. [internal combustion engine] vehicle, you have a drive shaft and an exhaust travelling from the front to the rear. And that takes up that centre tunnel space, which we were able to give back to the customer,” Damman says. “The floating cantilever front console has plenty of room underneath it for a bag, small cooler, or whatever you’re travelling with.” This is in addition to the 671 litres of cargo capacity behind the bench, which opens up to 3,375 when all the rearward seats are folded down.
The interior is draped in what appears to be fine leather but is actually a vegan substitute. Equipping the Executive Second Row package turns the area into a business-class airplane lounge complete with recline and massage-enabled captain’s chairs, pull-out tray tables able to support a laptop, individual monitors, and speakers installed in the headrests.
Above, the fixed glass roof gives a full-length view of the outside world and is both tinted and UV-treated to ensure the interior never gets too bright or hot. The one caveat is that its sloping nature, while sporty and aerodynamic, reduces overhead room a bit at the very back compared to the current gasoline model.
Finally, Damman adds that a lot of work has gone into ensuring the quietest of rides for all occupants. “I absolutely love just how peaceful the overall experience is, without having downshifts and clunks and bumps. And we’ve refined all of that in our I.C.E. applications, but there’s just something smooth and calming about an EV,” she says. “And the amount of noise and vibration technology we’ve put in is really cool—things like road noise cancellation, active noise cancellation, you name it.”