The US luxury automaker teased the introduction of an all-new concept car for the Monterey Car Week and we can safely say the Escala fits right into the pattern of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance because it could become a timeless classic.
But more importantly the prototype of a luxury sedan, Escala could be the preview of a new model that would fit the range above the new CT6. Cadillac has officially revealed the Escala in California in time for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance and we can clearly see how this concept is a statement for the future design lines of the Cadillac family. “First, Escala is a statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language, and also technical concepts in development for future Cadillac models,” commented Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen in the accompanying release. “Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.” And boy do they need a model that would be willing and able to take on the Lexus LS, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S Class flagships.
The Escala delivers on that respect – it’s half a foot longer than the CT6 sedan, at 210.5 inches and even shares the same mixed-materials, rear-wheel-drive platform – so it’s technically feasible for production series. The styling even hides a surprise – you might take it for a classic sedan but it’s actually a liftback just like the Audi A7 or Porsche Panamera. The rear is deeply rooted in the current, straight-edged, vertical-taillight design of recent sedans, adding just a touch – a small horizontal element at the top. Up front meanwhile the designers took liberties to project their vision on the future of the brand’s corporate design identity. The vertical running lights, a Cadillac signature, remain, but the ultra-narrow OLED (organic light-emitting diode) headlights have a different styling – and the grille takes gargantuan proportions.
Stepping inside the cabin, the brand says it aimed to deliver on both fronts – putting the same emphasis on both the front and back – so the owner can switch from driving the beauty to being chauffeured without feeling it lost something. For the driver there’s a minimalist dashboard which makes you see those three curved OLED displays in a different light – as they do the classic job of providing instrumentation and infotainment information. There are also tactile feedback control knobs, while luxury is right at home: and-cut and hand-stitched leather is all over the place and tablet-inspired screens emerge from the seatbacks to keep the two rear passengers entertained. “My brief to the designers was to create a car you desperately want to drive, and also one in which you want to be driven,” added Andrew Smith, executive director of Cadillac Global Design. “So rather than a single design, this interior consists of two themes.”
Power comes courtesy of a 4.2-liter biturbo V8 engine – but that’s about all the information we’re getting from the company. Other than that, they only said there’s also cylinder deactivation technology, with the engine actually being a working concept for “a new system in development for future Cadillac models.” With such a close to production platform and powertrain we can easily imagine the rumored CT8 flagship taking the design cues and offering a more down-to-Earth cabin for the production series duties.