Body-on-frame just isn't sexy anymore...or is it?
The Cadillac Escalade was once the king of luxury SUVs. The hulking size of the Escalade was unmatched by very few vehicles over the years. As the years went by, other enormous SUVs died off as crossovers took over the market. Buyers demanded more sophisticated, unibody models. Despite this market change, Cadillac has stuck with the rugged body-on-frame chassis (like what is found on a pickup truck). Why keep making the Escalade? Because it is profitable. In fact, it is the luxury brand's most profitable model.
Cadillac dealerships simply adore Escalade customers. Company president Johan de Nysschen says these are the types of customers who come in every two or three years and pay cash for a fully loaded Escalade. Despite having loyal customers, the Escalade has lost some of its market appeal because the bulky, body-on-frame design just doesn't look sleek enough sitting in the driveway next to a sleek sport sedans or crossover. Does this mean that Cadillac will soon axe the Escalade? Nysschen says that the model needs to become " more sophisticated and technically advanced, more detail oriented." He also believes that all of that can be accomplished with body-on-frame.
We could see some new innovations from Cadillac that fix a whole lot more than the Escalade. For example, the company is working on a new 4.2-liter V8 engine with twin turbochargers. This engine is still two or three years away, but we could see it debut in the new CT6 or a larger CT8 model. A tuned version of this engine could also power future V models. We aren't sure if a new engine is enough to make the Escalade relevant again, but we think that Cadillac is on the right track with this new engine.