Cadillac made to sure throw in all of its best tech.
Following the recent reveals of the all-new Chevrolet Tahoe (and Suburban) and the GMC Yukon, it was only a matter of time before Cadillac announced its version of General Motors' full-size SUV platform. Today, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade makes its debut in the City of Angels, Los Angeles along with the reveal of a new Spike Lee film. As with the new Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon, the new Escalade will be built on a new platform assembled at GM's Arlington, Texas plant.
The "base" engine is a 6.2-liter V8 shelling out 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque through a 10-speed automatic transmission. This may sound like an old-school engine but Cadillac has fitted it with variable valve timing, stop/start and Dynamic Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation). Optionally, and for the first time ever, Escalade customers can opt for a 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine producing 277 hp and the same amount of torque as the V8. Fuel economy has not been announced but we expect the diesel to be the more frugal option.
"Escalade has always made a bold statement that says you've arrived," said Therese Pinazzo, Escalade exterior design manager. "We have updated that statement for a new era, adding layers of sophistication. The goal was to create a new Escalade that is unmistakable at a glance, and then rewards you with greater details on the second or even third read." The new Escalade retains Cadillac's signature vertical lighting element but adds a new interpretation to give a more bold appearance. Cadillac will offer Luxury and Premium Luxury models which use a bright Galvano finish, while the first-ever Sport trim uses black accents and the Platinum trim uses its own unique exterior details.
If the exterior weren't special enough, Cadillac went bananas on the interior. The cabin was inspired by the Escala Concept, which has influenced much of Cadillac's recent design language. The centerpiece is an industry-first curved OLED display measuring 38 inches of total diagonal display area and showing twice the pixel density of a 4K television.
Escalade owners get three paper-thin screens - a 7.2-inch-diagonal touch control panel driver information center, a 14.2-inch-diagonal gauge cluster display, and a 16.9-inch-diagonal Infotainment screen. On these screens, Cadillac has crammed in advanced features like Augmented Reality-enabled navigation, Surround Vision, Trailering Integration Package, and Night Vision. For even more screens, a rear camera mirror and rear-seat entertainment are also available. To enjoy music from the infotainment system, Cadillac has equipped the Escalade with an available 36-speaker AKG Studio Reference audio system.
As with its Chevy and GMC siblings, the Escalade also boasts more space inside due to its new architecture and chassis technology. Third-row occupants have 40 percent more legroom and maximum cargo space behind the third row has increased by 68 percent on the standard-length model. All passengers will be more comfortable in this new Escalade courtesy of an independent rear suspension, Magnetic Ride Control, and Air Ride Adaptive Suspension.
With a reveal as important as the Escalade, it's no surprise that Cadillac has also included its revolutionary Super Cruise driver assistance technology. This system allows for hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of compatible highway in the US. We assume Super Cruise won't be a standard feature but it will include updates such as automated lane change.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade goes on sale in late-2020 in North America, with availability in other regions to follow later on. Pricing and fuel economy information should be revealed closer to launch.