The 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ made its formal introduction earlier this month, dropping in as the first-ever all-electric SUV to wear the iconic luxury nameplate. Naturally, the new Escalade IQ is dressed in an aero-friendly, streamlined design, but interestingly, the door handles aren’t flush with the body, as is the case for the Cadillac Lyriq. Rather, the Escalade IQ’s door handles are identical to those found on the ICE-powered Escalade. Now, GM Authority has uncovered the reason behind this decision.
GM Authority Executive Editor Alex Luft recently sat down with Escalade IQ aerodynamics engineer Chenxing Yu, who addressed why the new all-electric Escalade didn’t have deployable door handles like the Cadillac Lyriq.
According to Yu, the side of the Cadillac Escalade IQ is so well-shielded, flush-mounted door handles don’t have a positive impact on the overall aerodynamic efficiency. Essentially, aero efficiency is enhanced when the air can move around the vehicle with minimal disruption. The more effective the front fascia is in directing the air around the vehicle, the more energy-efficient the vehicle can be. The same goes for the side profile. If the front fascia can shield items in the profile that stick out from the body, such as the wheels or door handles, the less of an impact these items will have on the vehicle’s overall aero efficiency.
Notably, the 2024 Cadillac Lyriq incorporates deployable door handles that sit flush with the sides of the vehicle, popping open when an individual approaches the vehicle with a key fob. The door handles are illuminated as well.
As a reminder, the 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ features a 24-module, 200 kWh GM Ultium battery pack with 800-volt DC quick-charge capabilities, propelling the SUV with 450 miles of range per charge. Output is rated at a maximum of 750 horsepower and 785 pound-feet of torque. The GM BT1 platform provides the underpinnings. Production will take place at the GM Factory Zero plant in Detroit.