Cadillac announces ESCALADE IQ, another huge, low-volume EV

GM just announced the Cadillac Escalade IQ EV, which is a huge deal in automotive circles and comes coincidentally while Ford is having its Capital Markets Day announcing its own 3 row EVs.

GM revealed almost nothing about the vehicle except its existence and its name:

The Cadillac ESCALADE IQ will be revealed later this year and promises the same commitment to craftsmanship, technology and performance that has helped the Escalade nameplate dominate the large luxury SUV segment for the last 20 years. The ESCALADE IQ will join the LYRIQ and the upcoming CELESTIQ as Cadillac continues to build an all-electric portfolio.

About the name, it is the all-caps ESCALADE IQ. This is a departure for Cadillac, which until now has built NEW EVs like the LYRIQ and CELESTIQ rather than using current models. But it follows a more recent path for greater GM, which is making EV versions of the Equinox, Blazer, and Silverado/Sierra.

The IQ naming strategy celebrates Cadillac introducing a different type of EV to the market — one that works in tandem with people’s daily lives and environments. The IQ designation is Cadillac’s EV nomenclature and first debuted on the LYRIQ.

We previously saw that GM trademarked Escalade IQL/ESV so perhaps a longer (stretched?) version of this thing is coming along at some point perhaps in 2025. Also there’s been talk of turning Escalade into a sub-brand so perhaps a few more variants are in the pipeline.

So it is likely that GM will drip drop details throughout the year about the new ESCALADE IQ and have an event toward the end of the year. The Escalade is Cadillac’s best-selling model and the 2023 model starts at $80,000, so don’t expect it to qualify for federal tax credits outside of leasing.

Electrek’s Take:

Okay, where to start. First of all, we’re glad GM is moving its line, extremely slowly but surely, to EV. That’s great, let’s start ramping up production already?

However, the IQ name is uncomfortably similar to Mercedes “EQ” nomenclature for its EVs. That’s unfortunate. It worked a lot better as part of the naming like in LYRIQ but I’m glad they didn’t attempt to make an ESCALADIQ. Though I’m sure that name is on the cutting room floor somewhere in Detroit.

More importantly, with batteries being the bottleneck of EV production, it is disheartening to see GM seemingly move all of its EV momentum into these hulking, dangerous 200+kWh battery vehicles. I’m assuming here that the ESCALADE will share the over 200kWh battery as the Hummer EV and likely top-tier Silverado/Sierra EVs.

At the infamous EV Battery Day in 2020, right before the pandemic started, we got a look at some of GM’s future EV prototypes, and one was this huge Escalade-looking vehicle but actually somehow bigger than current Escalades. I really don’t like this direction in the automotive world.

But imagine in a different world, GM makes a 50kWh 225-mile 2024 Bolt EV with Ultium batteries instead. They could sell 4x as many with the same battery supply. An Ultium Bolt could easily have AWD, fast charging, and with 4x as many being produced, could make GM a lot more money if its services like self driving are really going to be a money maker.

As of right now, GM has produced more EV press releases than it has Ultium EVs.

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