5th gen escalade

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Cadillac reveals the 5th-Gen Escalade

GM's roll out of it's full-size SUV line-up is now complete. First was Chevrolet with the Tahoe/Suburban, then GMC showed off the Yokun AT4/Denali models, and now it's time for the top-dog of the platform, the brand new Escalade. The fifth in the model name, stretching back 20 years.


Whilst still recognizable as a GM SUV, Cadillac has tried hard to separate the Escalade’s exterior from the Chevy/GMC twins. The front carries on from the look established with the CT4 and CT5 saloons, and the XT6 SUV. Clean, geometric shapes give it a premium look that should age gracefully. The signature vertical lighting elements remain front and rear, just freshened up for the new generation. There’s also an available Sport trim for the first time that blacks out all the chrome trim and adds a mesh front grill. 22 inch rims are standard, just in case you’re wondering.


This is where Cadillac seems to have spent the most time, and in pictures at least, it looks like it’s paid off. The interior, based on the Escala concept car, is a marked departure from other GM SUVs, both in terms of design and tech. The headline feature is an industry-first curved OLED display in front of the driver. It features 3 screens – a main 14.2 inch digital instrument display, a 16.9 inch centre infotainment screen (that can be controlled via touch, rotary controller and the steering wheel), and a 7.2 inch info display to the left.

A 19-speaker AKG sound system is standard, but the optional one is the one audiophiles will be interested in – 36 speakers powered by three amplifiers delivering 28-channel sound. The sound system also has built in microphones, so you don’t have to scream to the rear passengers. The front passenger also has their own volume control. AR-enabled satellite navigation, Night Vision, 3D surround cameras, and a rear camera mirror are some of the other highlights.


Being the big-daddy of GM’s SUV portfolio, the Escalade comes with all the good bits. Propulsion is supplied courtesy of a 6.2L V8 producing 420hp/313kW (there’s also a 3.0L turbo diesel for those who can do without the V8), with a 10-speed automatic the sole transmission on offer. The new platform also has fully independent rear suspension, to which the Escalade adds magnetic dampers and full air suspension, together with an eLSD. Of course, it also has Super Cruise (Cadillac's autopilot, basically) in case you want the car to take care of that chore.

The Escalade faces a pretty big challenge in front of it, though. The SUV market might be the hottest thing around at the moment, but EVs are gaining popularity and it's only a matter of time until cars like Rivian R1S start to take a piece of the pie. That's in the future, but even in the present, it arrives to face some of the fiercest competition ever, not just the Germans with the new BMW X7 and even newer Mercedes-Benz GLS, but also the excellent Lincoln Navigator. A brand new Range Rover is also in the works. Full-size luxury SUV buyers have never had it so good.

Sours: https://drivetribe.com/p/cadillac-reveals-the-5th-gen-escalade-Od-XX2SdTuGgBwoJ4AESjQ

2021 Cadillac Escalade First Look: Caddy's Ultimate Luxury SUV Is All-New

The fifth-gen Escalade's interior is revolutionary, and that’s a good thing

Cadillac Escalade Full Overview

In 2019, it was the Chevrolet Corvette that we were desperate to see, and the wait seemed interminable. This year it's the opposite end of the spectrum that has us transfixed in the big daddy of bling, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, which has had us waiting, wondering, and worrying it might not live up to the hype.

And make no mistake about the hype. The Escalade is the flagship of the Cadillac brand, and Cadillac is the only luxury brand GM has left. It's also a full-size vehicle, and that's a profitable footprint for any brand. It's the sales leader in its segment, and Cadillac is also GM's tech showpiece. And the new 2021 Escalade has a high bar to clear, with the stylish Lincoln Navigator garnering critical acclaim.

The expectations are also high because GM execs have built them up. It started with former Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen, who kept promising the new Escalade would be worth the wait and blow us away. His successor, Steve Carlisle, was equally full of promises albeit in his more quiet demeanor.

GM CEO Mary Barra herself made no bones about how she felt. Asked by MotorTrend if the 2021 Escalade would blow the Navigator out of the water, she didn't even blink: "I'm very confident about the next generation of Escalade. Let me just put it that way." The Escalade became the flagship for Cadillac at a time when other brands had large sedans in that role. The Escalade also made Cadillac cool again, and the brand needs a re-injection of that as it works to rebuild its portfolio and reputation.

We've been let down by Cadillac before. The XT6, a smaller three-row SUV, failed to excite with styling that paled in comparison with the new Lincoln Aviator's. But some compromises were made in XT6 development, which shares underpinnings with the XT5, whereas the new Escalade has had high-priority status and the resources that come with it. The fifth-generation Escalade, on sale this summer, is a whole different animal, and our first look is heartening.

2021 Escalade Offers Luxury and Sport Models

It's not easy styling a massive SUV, but Cadillac has continued its Y branding strategy, where it offers both a luxury and a sport version for each nameplate. The Luxury models have the expected chrome and other bright bits, but the bling factor has actually been dialed back, and the result is a more sophisticated look for a maturing vehicle.

The new Escalade's first foray into a Sport-fettled version offers enough blacked-out features to easily differentiate the model, but with blessedly tasteful restraint. It would be easy to put an intimidating grille on an already massive vehicle, but designers kept the proportions measured. As the grille and wheels grew—22-inch wheels are now standard—the Cadillac crest emblem was also upsized. Goldilocks herself would likely deem the new proportions just right.

Designers were cognizant that Escalade buyers like that the SUV looks powerful, but consumers also wanted more sophistication in the evolution of the exterior design. The headlights have simple yet intricate layers, giving them depth but not too much jewelry.

Big, slabby sides are a challenge with any three-row, full-size SUV, and so effort was taken to add some slimming character lines, concave doors, and a jaunty outline of the greenhouse with a kick-up at the C-pillar. It was important given that the vehicle grew longer and taller—and this is the short-wheelbase version. We have yet to see the stretched Escalade.

The best view might be from the back. The Escalade keeps the familiar vertical taillights that have become a signature for Cadillac, but the look is more contemporary and fresh.

2021 Cadillac Escalade: The Gas and Diesel Engines

There will be more than one powertrain, but the Escalade will launch with an updated version of the 6.2-liter V-8 as standard, which already generates 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, and whose active fuel-management cylinder-deactivation system is supplanted by the more efficient Dynamic Fuel Management version of the same tech. It also has variable valve timing and automatic engine stop/start. GM's other recently redesigned large SUVs, the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and 2021 GMC Yukon/Yukon XL, have the 5.3-liter V-8 as the base engine and the 6.2-liter available as an option.

New to all three SUVs is the 277-hp, 460-lb-ft 3.0-liter Duramax I-6 turbodiesel, which will be added later in the 2021 model year. It won't be a high-volume engine but provides a fuel economy boost and a character that will appeal to some customers. Early plans to give the Escalade the 4.2-liter twin-turbocharged Blackwing V-8 engine were shelved. Any future performance or V versions of the Escalade are expected to instead have a version of GM's 6.2-liter supercharged small-block V-8.

All engines are paired with GM's 10-speed automatic transmission with paddles for manual gear selection and the smarts to downshift automatically when going downhill. In addition, GM's new electrical architecture provides for faster calculations and responses, plus more robust capability, for everything from infotainment and connectivity to safety systems.

The New Escalade Gets Enhanced Super Cruise

The 2021 Escalade will have Super Cruise, the hands-free, semi-autonomous driver-assist system that works on 200,000 miles of mapped highways. It views its surroundings with a new sensor set, with a front camera module, 360-degree cameras, and long- and short-range radar all reacting to lidar-enhanced map data and a camera on the driver to ensure readiness to take control of the vehicle suddenly if necessary.

Super Cruise won't be available at launch, but it will be offered soon after and has been enhanced to include lane change on demand. Flip on the turn signal to initiate, and the system will check the surroundings and change lanes when it's safe. Better sensors, map info, and software are designed to make the steering and speed control feel more natural.

Cabin Befitting an Escalade

We would classify the exterior as an evolutionary change in design, which is really all that was needed. The big project was improving the interior, and we're pleased to see massive changes to the cabin that are downright revolutionary.

We've bled far too much ink criticizing GM's materials and design choices. The Escalade restores our faith with eight available woods, intricate cut-and-sew stitching and piping, ambient lighting, soft-closing doors, an air cleaner, an available refrigerator/freezer, and the introduction of the industry's first curved OLED screen. The interior was highly influenced by that of the Escala sedan concept shown at Pebble Beach in 2016.

There are 38 diagonal inches of display space for the driver and a pixel density that probably exceeds the quality of your TV at home. OLED screens don't need a backlight—organic light-emitting diode technology means each pixel is individually lit when needed. The result is higher contrast, more vibrant colors, and blacker blacks. The thin and flexible construction of the screen allows it to curve around the driver and makes it possible to lower the instrument panel overall for better visibility.

Although it is described as one giant screen, it presents as three separate ones. A 7.2-inch driver-focused touchscreen sits to the left of the steering wheel. Behind the steering wheel is a 14.2-inch display that can be customized with four cluster layouts, including gauges, infrared night-vision images, and navigation information with augmented reality. The 16.9-inch infotainment screen in the center console is trimmed in leather and displays items like navigation info, audio details, HVAC settings, and controls for rear passengers.

The Escalade's Big Curved Screen Has Augmented Reality

For those unfamiliar with augmented reality, it overlays navigation graphics onto live street views, using arrows to animate directions as you drive in real time to ensure you don't miss a specific turn. When you approach your destination, a pin on the camera feed indicates the exact location.

The infotainment screen can be operated by touch or via a controller in the center console; we're told the team worked hard to get the controller's weight, shape, and feel just right. The attention to this detail pays off on something the driver constantly connects with. It feels robust and easy to use. When you use the touchscreen, the presentation of the icons is horizontal, but when you use knob, the presentation changes to a carousel to mimic the controller.

Rear passengers can enjoy 12.6-inch, individually controlled touchscreens on the backs of the front seats. These can share entertainment with other screens or play unique content, and USB outlets provide audio and video connections. Passengers can track the trip, so no more "are we there yet?" questions. The driver can control the rear screens and lock out content, as well. Conversely, passengers can find info such as the nearest rest stop and send the info to the driver to accept or decline.

AKG Surround-Sound Audio Comes to the Escalade

Another first: an AKG surround-sound audio system exclusive to Cadillac in the automotive space. The standard Studio system has 19 speakers; the Studio Reference package upgrades to 36 speakers and 3-D audio. Speakers can be found in the doors, headliner, instrument panel, center console, head restraints, and even in the A-pillar with the airbags.

A cool feature is the ability to crank the tunes for the driver but turn down the volume for sleeping passengers. The system also automatically adjusts the volume and quality of sound to vehicle speed and in response to outside noise as you cruise along. And the speakers and microphones can also be used to enhance conversations between rows.

Improved communication will come in handy given how much more spacious the new Escalade is. The second row has a choice of a bench seat or sliding captain's chairs which move and fold easily with a lever for better access to the third row. That third row now has 34.9 inches of legroom—it grew a full 10.4 inches—and occupants there no longer sit with their knees in their chests. And behind the third row, cargo space has increased by 68 percent.

Thank You, Independent Rear Suspension

Much of this additional basking and storage space is courtesy of the switch to a four-link independent rear suspension, which gives the Escalade a lower, flatter floor as well as a smoother ride and the promise of better steering and handling.

There are several suspension choices. The base suspension uses coil springs with passive dampers. The next step up is to coil springs with the fourth generation of magnetorheological Magnetic Ride Control, now with new sensors collecting more precise data to adjust for every inch of the road at 60 mph. The top level is an air-sprung adaptive suspension with the magnetorheological MRC dampers. The adjustable ride height can be raised 2 inches in 4Low or by 1 inch in Off-Road mode in other drive settings. It can be lowered 2 inches to get in and out of the vehicle more easily, and it will automatically dip three-quarters of an inch for better aerodynamics while on the move.

A limited-slip differential provides better traction control, sending torque to the wheel with the most grip. All-wheel drive is available on all versions of the 2021 Escalade. For towing, the new Escalade has nine camera views to hitch and trailer like a pro, as well as a test function for trailer lights, a trailer theft alert, and air-pressure monitor. There are virtually no carryover parts from the current Escalade.

Cadillac President Steve Carlisle says, "This is the one we always wanted to do." It's certainly clear Cadillac pulled out all the stops.

Looks good! More details?

More 2021 Cadillac Escalade

2021 Cadillac Escalade Specifications

BASE PRICE $77,500-$102,000 (estimated)
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD/AWD, 8-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINES 6.2L/420-hp/460-lb-ft OHV 16-valve V-8; 3.0L/277-hp/460-lb-ft DOHC 24-valve turbodiesel I-6
TRANSMISSION 10-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT 5,650-6,350 lb (est)
WHEELBASE 120.9-134.1 in
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT 211.0 x 81.0-81.1 x 76.4-76.6 in
0-60 MPH 5.5-8.0 sec (MT est)
ON SALE IN U.S. Summer 2020


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Sours: https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/2021-cadillac-escalade-first-look-review-photos-specs/
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First Look: 5th-Generation Cadillac Escalade

This story includes new information.

In the age of the SUV, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. But few models have stood out like the Cadillac Escalade, the original “King of Bling.”

The original model helped redefine what the luxury sport-utility vehicle was all about, though Caddy seemed to have lost its direction with recent iterations of the ‘Slade. Now the big beast is getting a complete makeover for 2021, and Cadillac President Steve Carlisle says it’s a critical part of the brand’s “journey to be the standard of the world – as we once were.”

Carlisle was on hand Tuesday night to pull the wraps off the fifth-generation, 2021 Escalade during a splashy preview in Los Angeles. Set to go on sale in late 2020, the new model will feature not only bolder styling but also an array of high-tech features such as Cadillac’s hands-free Super Cruise system, as well as an array of digital displays that run virtually the entire width of the new Escalade’s instrument panel.

(Spike Lee set to help introduce next-gen 2021 Cadillac Escalade)

This is “bad-ass luxury,” said Dave Schiavone, the Escalade marketing manager, during a media backgrounder ahead of the big SUV’s L.A. unveiling.

There was a time when SUVs were the purview of rugged outdoorsmen. Nothing transformed that image like the arrival of the original, 1999 Escalade. It quickly became a hit with the urban community, a must-have among athletes and a requisite prop in countless rap videos.

That’s a love affair Cadillac hopes to rekindle with the fifth-generation Escalade which is being introduced with the backing of a new, sponsored documentary, “Anthem,” produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee.

Lee told TheDetroitBureau.com that he agreed to do the mini-doc because “I’ve always loved Cadillac. Since I was a little kids it was part of the (my) culture.”

Despite its history, the ‘Slade will need some help.

After scoring big with the first few versions, Escalade lost momentum as fuel prices soared, parent General Motors giving serious thought to pulling it from production a decade ago. When a new version was introduced, belatedly, in 2014, it largely lost the original magic, yielding ground to competitors like the similarly sized Lincoln Navigator. It didn’t help that the outgoing model suffered from some of the most serious quality issues of any GM product.

Caddy officials promise to address those problems, starting with the new model’s design.

For Escalade fans, it will look immediately familiar, picking up many of the original model’s design elements. But it’s not just a tired rehash. Where Caddy designers have focused their efforts gives the new model a decidedly fresh new look.

That starts with the oversized Cadillac grille – which is offered in several different iterations depending on which model you opt for. (Like other recent Caddy products, the Escalade will follow a “Y” strategy, split between “Sport” and “Luxury” models.) The new grille is framed by new slit-like LED headlamps. Their vertical layout may surprise some folks. But to placate traditionalists, the 2021 Escalade still features vertical LED running lights.

From the side, the 2021 ute features a more sculpted look, with a distinct crease just below the shoulder line and a subtle coke-bottle style curve to the door panels. To add to the ute’s presence, all versions now ride on 22-inch wheels.

“The goal was to create a new Escalade that is unmistakable at a glance, and then reward you with greater details on the second or even third read, explained Therese Pinazzo, the manager of exterior design.

It’s often said that a vehicle’s exterior design is what draws you in, but it’s the interior that keeps you happy. If you had a chance to check out the Escala concept that was introduced at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance a few years back, the 2021 Escalade picks it up almost down to the last double-stitch of its leather and suede cabin.

(Cadillac President sees brand moving to all-electric line-up by 2030)

Open the door and the first thing you’re bound to notice is the near door-to-door video display. In fact, it’s actually four different screens, including the industry’s first curved OLED touchscreen that anchors the new Escalade’s infotainment system. There’s also an unusual, albeit smaller, touchscreen to the left of the steering wheel, as well as a digital display cluster visible through the wheel. All told, they compromise a total of 38 inches diagonally.

As has become the norm, you’ll be able to operate the system in a variety of ways, including voice, touch, steering wheel buttons and a new multifunction controller on the center console. For those who were put off by the slow Cadillac Cue system, the brand’s tech team has worked hard to make the new infotainment package work almost instantly.

They’ve also added a variety of interesting functions. For one thing, the navigation display can move off the curved, 15.9-inch OLED screen onto the gauge cluster in order to reduce the amount of time a driver’s eyes are off the road. There’s also a new Augmented Reality function that, for one thing, displays a camera view with added arrows to show you when and where to turn.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade also will become the brand’s fourth model to get Super Cruise, the semi-autonomous system that allows hands-free operation on about 200,000 miles of U.S. roads that have been mapped in super-high resolution. And the system now adds the ability to change lanes simply by tapping the turn signal when Super Cruise is active.

The 2021 SUV migrates to AKG for its sounds system, the well-known Austrian company providing a “base” package with 19 speakers. The upgrade jumps that to 36, and offers a 3D surround feel that few, if any, products on the market currently can match.

Of course, technology has become an essential part of today’s automobile. But the 2021 Escalade also features plenty of traditional luxury elements, including double stitched leather and other high-line materials.

Offered in both standard and long-wheelbase versions, the Gen-5 Escalade shares the same, underlying platform as we saw introduced recently for both the Chevrolet Silverado and Tahoe models, as well as the GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. The standard-length Escalade grows by 7 inches, to a full 211 inches nose-to-tail. The wheelbase was stretched by 4.9 inches.

Significantly, all those utes now feature independent rear suspensions, though there are some key upgrades unique to the Escalade. There will be three different options, including two using the fast-acting magnetic ride control system that can change each individual shock’s setting from soft to firm in the time it takes to travel just one inch at 60 mph.

The top-tier system, which adds air suspension, can adjust its height by up to 4 inches, depending upon whether you’re running off-road, on the highway or simply getting in or out.

The switch to an independent rear suspension has a number of advantages. Among other things, Cadillac notes, the standard-wheelbase model now offers 40% more third-row legroom – and the floor itself is lowered so adults won’t be riding with their knees in their chests. There’s also 68% more cargo space behind the third row.

As for powertrains, the “base” engine is an upgrade of the outgoing model’s 6.2-liter V-8. It gets features like fuel-saving Stop/Start and now makes 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The upgrade is a 3.0-liter Duramax I-6 turbodiesel making 277 hp and 460 lb-ft. Both are paired with a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

There has been some speculation that Caddy might offer a hybrid or even a plug-in version of the new Escalade. “The answer is no,” GM President Mark Reuss told TheDetroitBureau.com in an exclusive conversation. That said, Reuss left often the possibility we may yet see a full battery-electric vehicle dubbed Escalade in the future, considering the Detroit automaker’s stated goal of going all-electric.

(Cadillac sales hold strong despite overall slide in critical Chinese market)

As to pricing, Cadillac officials aren’t yet saying, but few would be surprised to see the automaker nudge up the outgoing Escalade’s base price of $75,195. And the top end will easily push into new territory considering all the new features, such as Super Cruise being offered on the Gen-5 SUV.

Tuesday’s debut focused on the short-wheelbase Escalade. The long-wheelbase model, said Caddy President Carlisle, will take its own bow at the New York International Auto Show in April. Officials noted that production will begin in the third quarter of this year and the new ute will hit dealer showrooms this fall.

Sours: https://www.thedetroitbureau.com/reviews/first-look-5th-generation-cadillac-escalade/
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