Could Cadillac Soon Compete With Rolls-Royce?

Luxury / Comments

An Escalade trim above Platinum? It could happen.

Once upon a time, Cadillac was regarded as the crème de la crème - a symbol of opulence and sophistication, no expense spared. In fact, so entrenched in the American consciousness was this image of the Cadillac brand that to this day, the expression "the Cadillac of [x]" is still used as an analogy to mean "superior to all others."

CarBuzz, for example, is the Cadillac of automotive news sites.

Decades of unimaginative, sub-luxurious badge-engineered products have watered down that reputation, but Cadillac could be planning moves to reclaim its old position as a symbol of luxury on par with the likes of Mercedes-Benz Maybach, Rolls-Royce and Bentley. The brand's vehicle of choice for this push further upmarket? The brand new 2021 Cadillac Escalade.

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Speaking to Muscle Cars & Trucks on the eve of the 2021 Escalade's reveal, various Cadillac Escalade Marketing Managers and Exterior Design Managers said that while they didn't have anything specific to share, they think that the Escalade name has "plenty of room to grow."

That move up could come in the form of a new, higher trim level above Platinum, although it's hard to imagine what more GM could throw at the Escalade in terms of equipment beyond its available tailored-fabric interior, acres of high-tech OLED displays, and 36-speaker AKG audio system.

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That brings us to the other possibility: that Cadillac could launch a bespoke vehicle upfitting shop, like Bentley's Mulliner or Rolls-Royce Bespoke. Such an operation might be able to offer some of its more well-heeled and choosy customers more variety with regard to exterior paint, interior color palette, custom stitching, and even materials.

MC&T raises the idea of wool carpet and coach doors, which do rather have a way of screaming "I've arrived!"

Cadillac officials admit to exploring new opportunities for the Escalade, and "there's always an appetite for that kind of thing" in the luxury SUV segment, when it comes to bespoke programs.

The Escalade is brand new from the ground up for 2021, featuring striking new styling and the same independent rear suspension that debuted on the new Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon.

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