Cadillac debuts Escala concept, a preview of new design direction
Cadillac did something unusual Thursday: It used the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance to debut a concept that might actually reach production.
GM’s luxury arm debuted the Escala, a full-size, four-door sedan. The car follows in the footsteps of earlier Cadillac concepts that also debuted at Pebble Beach: the Ciel convertible in 2011 and the Elmiraj in 2013.
The goal of the Escala is twofold, according to the brand’s global president, Johan de Nysschen.
The first is to point in the design direction Cadillac is headed in; it previews a new look that the automaker will debut on production models “soon,” the company said.
Unlike the CT6, upon which the Escala is based, the concept is a liftback design and has a body roughly 6 inches (15 cm) longer than its donor car.
The narrow headlights and diverging taillight design are a radical departure from the brand’s current look, though the lower fascia of the Escala resembles production models.
Inside, the Escala promises a “dual personality” design, offering modern technology with three curved OLED digital screens for the driver and front passenger, while the rear seats are focused on relaxation, Cadillac said.
A new prototype infotainment and connectivity setup using voice commands and gesture controls is also included.
Escala (Spanish for ‘scale,’ rather than Escalade with the end chopped off) is also intended to signal Cadillac’s intent to move into a more premium space.
“Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan,” de Nysschen said.
The car rides on the same rear-wheel-drive platform that underpins the current CT6 sedan. It’s powered by a prototype 4.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 that Cadillac is currently developing for production use in the future.
Details on when the various features and components would actually hit the market in a production Cadillac weren’t disclosed.