Sheesh, the electric Cadillac Escalade IQ is even bigger than a Hummer | Top Gear
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Saturday 9th December

Sheesh, the electric Cadillac Escalade IQ is even bigger than a Hummer

A whole bunch of common features essentially make this Caddy a Hummer EV in a tuxedo

Published: 09 Aug 2023

Not many new cars can out-large-and-in-charge the ridonculous GMC Hummer EV, but leave it to General Motors to one-up itself in outlandishness. Making its debut Wednesday, the electric Cadillac Escalade IQ is an absolutely massive luxury EV. It certainly has the style and swagger you’d expect from an Escalade, with a huge electric driving range, massive multimedia screen and other big-sounding hyperbolic attributes. What a thing.

At 224.3 inches long, riding on a 136.2-inch wheelbase, the Escalade IQ is 7.5 inches longer than the GMC Hummer EV pickup, or more than two feet longer than the Hummer EV SUV. The IQ is also 85.3 inches wide with its mirrors folded, which is four inches wider than the standard Escalade, but an inch narrower than a Hummer EV. It’ll still be a chore to park, natch.

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The Hummer comparisons aren’t limited to the Escalade IQ’s size, by the way; there are a ton of common features under the Cadillac’s skin. The Escalade’s battery is a teensy bit smaller than the GMC’s, at 200 kilowatt hours, and it’s a little less powerful than a Hummer EV, too, only making – only! – 680hp and 615lb ft of torque. Cadillac fits the Escalade IQ with something called Velocity Max mode, which we assume is a lot like the Hummer EV’s stupidly named Watts to Freedom launch setting, where output increases to 750hp and 785lb ft of torque. Cadillac says this behemoth should hit 60 mph in less than five seconds. Impressive, considering this SUV likely weighs north of 9,000 pounds. Seriously.

Making this galoot easier to maneuver is four-wheel steering, like what you’ll find on the Hummer, and Cadillac fits the Escalade IQ with something called Arrival Mode, which the company says allows the SUV to move diagonally – you know, like the Hummer’s Crab Walk party trick. Low Ride mode – perhaps a nod to Cadillac’s Detroit roots – lowers the adaptive air suspension’s ride height by two inches. Oh, and before you ask: 24-inch wheels. On 35-inch tires. Thank goodness for constantly adjusting MagneRide dampers.

GM’s excellent Ultium battery tech gives the Escalade IQ 800-volt electrical architecture, resulting in impressive DC fast charging speeds. Plugged into an appropriately punchy charger, the Cadillac says the Escalade IQ’s battery can add up to 100 miles of driving range in just 10 minutes. The IQ’s total driving range is expected to be 450 miles, which is rad, and you’ll be able to cover lots of ‘em legitimately hands-free, thanks to GM’s Super Cruise driver-assistance tech.

From the outside, the IQ looks less like a traditional Escalade and more like an enormous Cadillac Lyriq, which sort of makes sense, given the company’s new styling direction. But inside, holy smokes, what a swanky son-of-a-gun. The interior looks absolutely ace, dominated by a 55-inch multimedia screen that spans the width of the dash – sort of like what Cadillac fits in its insanely expensive new Celestiq. You can get a four-place passenger arrangement for the ultimate back-seat experience, and there’s a ton of storage space, with 12.2 cubic feet of space up front in the frunk, and as much as 119.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row. You could probably fit a Scion iQ in the IQ. Also, hey, remember the Scion iQ?

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Obviously, none of this ostentatious luxury will come cheap, but weirdly, the Escalade IQ isn’t as uber-expensive as we expected. Cadillac says the IQ will start around $130,000 including destination charges when it goes on sale next year, where it’ll pretty much exist in a class of one. There’s no other electric car that’s as large, lavish, and luxurious. Heck, not even the Hummer EV comes close.

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