Cadillac has unveiled the Escala Concept, signalling a possible return of the American luxury marque to the large sedan arena. Set to be unwrapped at this weekend’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the Escala Concept previews the next evolution of Cadillac design and technology.
“Escala is a concept with two clear objectives,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Global Cadillac. “First, Escala is a statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language, and also technical concepts in development for future Cadillac models. Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.”
The Escala is expected to an early mould for Cadillac’s long-rumored S-Class and 7 Series fighter, slotting above the not-quite-big-enough CT6.
“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance,” de Nysschen said. “Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”
Designed to be both a driver’s car and an indulgent flagship sedan, the large 4-door sedan features an expansive liftback design, and at 5347mm in overall length, Escala is roughly 15mm longer than the CT6.
Escala features a new and evolved face of Cadillac design that will begin appearing on production models soon. This includes a new expression of Cadillac’s vertical lighting, a brand signature since 1948.
There are also the three-dimensional precision pattern in the grille design and 22-inch wheels with two layers of spokes.
“This concept shares how Cadillac will bring forward a new experience that is uniquely American, and unmistakably Cadillac,” says Andrew Smith, executive director of Cadillac Global Design.
“Escala is an expressive symbol of reward and an exhilarating driving experience. On the interior, we pushed further. It’s about precision and ingenuity in craftsmanship, and the artistic integration of technology.”
The Escala features a “dual personality” interior crafted with distinctly different zones: The front is about intensely focused modern technology, while the rear delivers relaxation.
“My brief to the designers was to create a car you desperately want to drive, and also one in which you want to be driven,” Smith said. “So rather than a single design, this interior consists of two themes. It was an opportunity for our designers to break the rules a little bit, exactly what Cadillac should do from time to time.”
An array of three curved OLED screens is a prominent feature in the front of the cabin. The very thin, curved displays are layered in front of the driver, with the back sides wrapped in hand-stitched leather embossed with the Cadillac script. The array of screens consolidate the traditional “cluster” of driving gauges with the “center stack” into one integrated unit.
The Escala Concept utilises Cadillac’s new RWD-centric large luxury car architecture, which debuted on the new CT6. The mixed-material construction promises new level of agility and efficiency.
Powering the Escala is a new 368kW 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 engine, which Cadillac has finally confirmed is under development for future models. The engine utilizes Active Fuel Management technology, which allows 4-cylinder operation under light loads to save fuel. While Cadillac won’t reveal anything more, we expect the new mill to pair with GM’s all-new 10-speed automatic transmission driving the rear wheels.