2021 Cadillac Escalade
More than 20 years ago, Cadillac made a brilliant move and created the Escalade — a luxurious version of GM’s full-size SUV. Since that time the Escalade has been among the best-selling luxury SUVs in America, introducing new technology while continuing to grow sales. Now Cadillac takes the wraps off an all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade, launching the fifth generation of this iconic vehicle with fresh styling, new powertrains and a range of innovative high-tech features.
“There is something special about driving an Escalade,” said Steve Carlisle, Cadillac president. “It has the bold presence and exclusive technology to elevate the extraordinary and make every drive feel like an occasion. The 2021 Escalade takes its leadership into a new era of mobility, with comprehensive upgrades that are transformative to the driving experience. It’s more than a new Escalade. It’s a new experience,” Carlisle enthused.
Cadillac introduces the auto industry’s first curved OLED display screen in the dashboard of the new Escalade, further setting this luxury SUV apart from the competition. With twice the pixel density of a 4K television, the colors and images are bright and clear. According to Cadillac, the new display is so bright it does not need for the typical “hood” over the gauges, and this helps brighten the interior.
There are actually three screens in the OLED dash display of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade: a 7.2-inch touchscreen on the driver’s left that acts as an information center; a 14.2-inch screen behind the steering wheel that displays the gauge cluster; and a very larger 16.9-inch infotainment screen on the driver’s right. All of these screens curve to provide ideal visibility.
More Cool Tech
Other cool tech enhancing the interior experience of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade includes a new Augmented Reality-enabled navigation system that superimposes driving directions and landmarks over a front camera view. Cameras are also used for the Surround Vision 360-degree view around the vehicle for parking, as well as a rear camera mirror that can be used in place of the standard rearview mirror. Available night vision technology uses infrared to enhance visibility, including highlighting pedestrians and animals, which displays in the gauge cluster in front of the driver.
Premium Audio from AKG
Occupants within the 2021 Cadillac Escalade will likely enjoy new audio options from AKG, a company known for building professional-level headphones and microphones. The Escalade system represents AKG’s first foray into automotive audio. With its 19 speakers and 14-channel amplifier, the standard system is no slouch; that said, Cadillac also offers the AKG Studio Reference system with 36 speakers and three amplifiers delivering 28 channels of sound. This system provides a separate volume control for each of the front seats and also features a conversation enhancer that allows use of the microphones and speakers throughout the vehicle for better communication with all seat rows.
When rear-seat passengers in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade are not trying to communicate with those in front, they can experience a new rear-seat entertainment system that employs two 12.6-inch independent touchscreens that display navigation routes as well as games, music or streaming video via HDMI or USB inputs. The screen also has the ability to mirror Android mobile devices.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade gets built with new architecture on a new chassis that helps increase interior space in this already large SUV. This represents 40 percent more legroom in the third row and almost 70 percent more cargo space behind the third row. “Escalade’s new architecture enables a unique series of wins for drivers and passengers,” said Tim Herrick, vice president for global product programs. “We greatly increased passenger space, expanded cargo carrying capability — and at the same time delivered significant enhancements to both ride quality and handling performance,” Herrick noted.
Even though Escalade has all-new exterior styling, there will be no mistaking it for anything else, thanks to a grille style and shape that has become familiar across the Cadillac lineup. For Escalade it looms much larger with a large Cadillac crest at its the center. The vertical lighting motif continues with thin LED running lights; however, the slim headlights sit horizontally, flanking the top of the grille. At the rear signature vertical taillights span the height of the vehicle but are enhanced with a three-dimensional look. Standard 22-inch wheels complete the bold presence.
The 2021 Escalade will be available with two engine options at launch. The standard powertrain features a new 6.2-liter V8 producing 420 horsepower. Also available for the first time is a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine producing 277 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque at a low 1500 rpm, which should be ideal for those who need the Escalade for towing. Both engines get teamed with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Ride and Handling
For improved handling and ride, the 2021 Escalade will be available with Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control. This system uses sensors to examine the road ahead and adjusts the damping rate of the shocks immediately to smooth bumps as well as reduce body roll and vibrations. A new Air Ride Adaptive Suspension is also available, able to adjust ride height continuously at each wheel. At highway speeds the Escalade is lowered for improved handling and fuel efficiency — conversely, the driver may choose to raise the suspension for better ground clearance when needed.
Cadillac Super Cruise driver-assist technology will be available on the new Escalade for the first time. This system allows for hands-free driving using LiDAR map data, GPS and a network of cameras and sensors. The key to this system’s success is a driver attention system. Although it is designed for hands-free driving, the driver must still be alert and engaged. If the system detects that the driver is distracted or otherwise engaged, Super Cruise will discontinue. For 2021 Super Cruise gets a few new features, including the ability to change lanes. The driver flips on the turn signal ,and after checking the road the system will move the car over one lane.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will be available in a standard or extended length that adds 15 inches to the overall length. Five trim levels will be available: Luxury, Premium Luxury, Platinum Luxury, Sport and Platinum Sport. Escalade can be equipped with rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive.
The all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade will be produced at GM’s assembly facility in Arlington, Texas, with sales expected to begin later in 2019. Pricing will be released closer to the on-sale date.