That gorgeous Escala front end isn't just for the XT6.
Cadillac had a few big announcements at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show including the reveal of the three-row XT6 crossover (a much-needed model for the brand) and a teaser of the brand's first all-electric SUV, which will arrive at a later date. We sat down with Phil Zak, Exterior Design Director of Cadillac, and John Plonka, Global Vehicle Chief Engineer, to talk about the design language of future models like this all-electric SUV.
Although Zak and Plonka wouldn't speculate on future product, their positivity towards sedans certainly fills us with hope for the hotly anticipated replacements for the ATS and CTS. The XT6 is the first car to adopt the front end styling of the stunning Escala Concept, which debuted back in 2016.
Speaking about future Cadillac design language, Zak said, "we're going to continue to evolve it. The vertical light element in the front and rear will be consistent but we will do more variations on it." He then gave XT4 as an example with its vertical hook on the bottom of the rear taillights.
He added that "yes, you will be seeing a lot more Escala in all of the vehicles as we move forward. We don't want to do a Russian doll-type philosophy," as some automakers have done recently.
With the recent reveal of the Lincoln Aviator, many critics were disappointed that Cadillac went with a front-wheel-drive architecture and a carryover 3.6-liter V6 with 306 horsepower instead of creating a new rear-wheel-drive platform with a turbocharged or hybrid powerplant. We asked if the decision not to include a newer powertrain, like the twin-turbocharged Blackhawk V8, had anything to do with the shift to all-electric models.
"It's really more about responding to what we need in the market," Plonka responded. "What is the segment really looking for? We are really comfortable with our 3.6-liter V6 - it's very capable, well-proven, and highly-acclaimed. We think for the vast majority of the segment, we think this fits their needs."
While Lincoln has certainly built a great product with the Aviator, we think Cadillac will have no problem selling high volumes of the XT6. Cadillac may be a bit late to the three-row crossover game but we are excited to see how the XT6's Escala-inspired front end trickles down to other models - hopefully, some new V cars.
With more SUVs flooding the market and sedans being killed off left, right and center, we wanted to ask the luxury automaker if the future of the sedan is in serious doubt. When asked if the sedan segment is dead, both men answered with a resounding no. "Shifting but not dead," said Plonka. Zak added that "automobiles are like fashion - things go out and things come back in. Just when everyone thinks sedans are out, someone is going to come out with a great sedan and they will be back in."