Cadillac has a history of building drop-dead gorgeous concept cars, only to drop the ball on the whole production side of things. Its latest effort, the Escala, continues in the tradition of drool-magnet Caddy concepts. Hopefully, the automaker will have the stones to actually see this one through to production.
What you see here is likely to form the basis for the next generation of Cadillac vehicles, not only in terms of design, but with regards to technology as well. The front end features thin-slit headlights and a running-light pattern similar to the current. Out back, its long, thin taillights use OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology, and its fastback-style rear makes for a very large trunk opening.
You might not be able to tell from the pictures, but this is not a small car. With a 210.5-inch length, it's nearly 6 inches longer than CT6, but it's still a whole foot shorter than Mercedes' Maybach coupe concept. Even the 22-inch wheels look sensibly sized on this luxury leviathan. Were it to move toward production, it would likely assume the flagship position, setting the standard for all future Caddy products.
The interior takes a "dual personality" approach to its design. The rear is all about comfort, with drop-down tablets offering up controls and connectivity for the passengers out back. Up front it's heavy on technology, as evidenced by three massive curved OLED screens. It's like Audi's Virtual Cockpit gone mad. The screens can be controlled by touch, voice or gesture controls, and Cadillac claims it's a prototype for future production models.
The Escala features a 4.2-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 under its hood, which is all well and good, but with Cadillac's history of leaving its most beautiful concepts on the table, and its decision to not produce a flagship above CT6 for now, it doesn't really matter what Cadillac does with the engine. Let's hope that, for the first time in a long time, Cadillac takes a risk and actually puts something like the Escala into production.