Despite being an SUV, the Escalade served as Cadillac's luxury flagship for a number of years. This fourth generation of the car that came to represent the brand shows off a curiously boxy design and quite a bit of technology.
The grille looks even more massive than in the previous generation, partly due to the large chrome bars. Behind that grille sits a 6.2-liter V-8 engine producing 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Although Cadillac has not released fuel economy figures yet, the engine relies on direct injection and cylinder deactivation to improve efficiency.
One key new element is these LED headlights, standard in the new Escalade. Some previous Escalade models have included LED headlights, but now these ultraefficient lights are designed into the package.
The design of the Escalade shows simplicity, lacking much in the way of contours or sheet-metal decoration. At the same time, it is less dramatic and edgy than the Art and Science design language used in the CTS models.
As another technology touch, the Escalade will come standard with Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension technology. Using magnetic coils, the system affects the ferric fluid in the dampers, helping maintain stability or add ride comfort.
Cadillac will offer the Escalade with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Optional driver assistance systems include adaptive cruise control, and automatic braking for forward and reverse, which should prevent low-speed collisions.
Although different interior configurations are likely, Cadillac emphasizes these captain's chairs in each row at launch, suggesting it's targeting an adult and professional demographic, rather than being a family-oriented SUV.