- Cadillac unveiled the latest generation of its Escalade SUV at an event in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
- The 2021 Escalade offers new tech features, including Super Cruise, Cadillac’s driver-assistance technology that it claims is compatible with more than 200,000 miles of highway for hands-free driving.
- It’s larger overall and offers more interior space than the outgoing model.
- The new Cadillac Escalade also offers a new turbo-diesel engine, and comes standard with a ride-quality-enhancing independent rear suspension.
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General Motors may plan for Cadillac to go electric in the future, but at least for the time being, the brand is still releasing the gas-powered luxury cars it’s known for.
Cadillac took the wraps off of the new 2021 Escalade at an event in Los Angeles on Tuesday, kicking off the fifth generation of its flagship luxury SUV. The redesigned Escalade represents the first new model since the fourth generation was introduced for 2015.
The 2021 Escalade comes with some new tech, a roomier interior, and refreshed engine options. It will also go on sale in late 2020 in North America, according to Cadillac.
Chief among the 2021 Escalade’s notable updates is the inclusion of Super Cruise, GM’s driver-assistance technology akin to Tesla’s Autopilot. Super Cruise, by Cadillac’s claims, allows for hands-free operation on more than 200,000 miles of highway in the US and Canada using GPS, lidar map data, and a system of cameras and radar sensors.
Super Cruise is already available on Cadillac’s CT6 sedan, but the 2021 Escalade sports an updated system with new features like automated lane changes.
Other new technology includes a stereo system with what Cadillac calls “conversation enhancement,” where microphones embedded throughout the cabin pick up what passengers say and broadcast it to other parts of the car through a 36-speaker system.
That feature may very well come in handy, considering the already-huge Escalade is even bigger for the 2021 model year. A larger overall size and wheelbase allowed Cadillac to increase third-row legroom by 10 inches and cargo space behind the third row by 68%, with the standard SUV measuring 17.6 feet long and the bigger ESV clocking in at 18.9 feet.
Propelling one version of the Escalade down the road will be a 6.2-litre V8 rated at 420 horsepower and 460 foot-pounds of torque, matching the stats of the 2020 model. But the 2021 Escalade will be the first generation to offer an available 3.0-litre turbo-diesel engine, producing a rated 277 horsepower and the same peak torque as the standard V8 – just at a much lower rpm.
Plus, the newest version of the Escalade receives an independent rear suspension for a cushier ride – a feature one of its main rivals, the Lincoln Navigator, has long touted over it.
Closing that gap is important, too. GM currently derives 72% of its profits in North America from large pickups and SUVs, according to estimates from Barclays, and those types of vehicles deliver profit margins as high as 30%, or more than $US15,000 apiece – a boon for manufacturers as consumers increasingly demand larger vehicles over small hatchbacks and sedans.
And if the new Escalade is one thing, it certainly is large.
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