Cadillac unveiled the all-new 2021 Escalade, completely redesigned with pioneering technologies that add new dimension to the iconic luxury SUV.
Featuring exclusive, first-to-market technology advances including a curved Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) screen, the first AKG automotive audio system and Cadillac’s acclaimed Super Cruise driver assistance technology, the fifth-generation of Cadillac’s flagship expands on its more than 20 years of segment-defining leadership.
“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.”
Launching in the third quarter of 2020 in North America, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade has been completely redesigned to deliver improved driving dynamics and significantly greater passenger and cargo capacities.
“The 2021 Escalade takes its leadership into a new era of mobility, with comprehensive upgrades that are transformative to the driving experience,” said Carlisle. “It’s more than a new Escalade. It’s a new experience.”
SEE AND BE SEEN
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade features OLED and camera technologies developed to enhance driver vision, while its signature design evolves and strengthens, with added layers of craftsmanship and unique appearances for Sport and Luxury models.
Industry-first curved OLED display technology
Escalade’s industry-first curved OLED display offers more than 38 inches of total diagonal display area, with twice the pixel density of a 4K television. The technology delivers bold imagery, perfect blacks and the largest color range of any automotive display in production today.
The system includes three screens: a 7.2-inch-diagonal touch control panel driver information center to the driver’s left, a 14.2-inch-diagonal cluster display behind the steering wheel and a 16.9-inch-diagonal Infotainment screen to the driver’s right. The OLED is paper-thin, and its curvature positions the displays for optimal visibility.
The vivid color and visual quality of OLED technology also eliminates the need for the common “hood” shrouding many typical in-vehicle screens, creating a brighter and less cluttered environment.
The Cadillac Escalade incorporates several other advanced, vision-oriented features, including:
- All-new, available Augmented Reality-enabled navigation, which uses live street views with directional overlays and more to enhance driving directions.
- Surround Vision, a standard feature that employs four exterior cameras to provide a 2-megapixel bird’s-eye view of the scene around the vehicle.
- An available Trailering Integration Package, which offers up to nine camera views (including rear camera guidelines) to support easier hitching. The package also includes an integrated trailer brake controller and a trailering app that offers trailer profiles, tire pressure and temperature monitoring, and an Extended Side Blind Zone Alert.
- Rear Camera Mirror, an available feature that streams a rear-facing camera view on the conventional inside mirror screen.
- Night Vision, an available feature that uses infrared technology to enhance forward visibility, including detection of pedestrians and large animals, projected on the center cluster display.
- New rear-seat entertainment features a pair of 12.6-inch-diagonal independent touch displays with navigation as well as streaming capability to play games, music and videos through HDMI and USB inputs. The screens can also mirror Android smartphones. Additionally, destination “suggestions” can be “sent” by rear passengers to the front navigation screen, for the driver to accept or decline.
Be seen: Escalade presence
“Escalade has always made a bold statement that says you’ve arrived,” said Therese Pinazzo, exterior design manager. “We have updated that statement for a new era, adding layers of sophistication. The goal was to create a new Escalade that is unmistakable at a glance, and then rewards you with greater details on the second or even third read.”
Escalade maintains Cadillac’s signature vertical lighting element, but the new interpretation adds a sleek, horizontal headlamp to reinforce a broad, confident stance. The tall, vertical, rear light signature continues but adds deep three-dimensional layers and finishes with detailed etching. Twenty-two-inch wheels are standard and strengthen Escalade’s bold appearance.
The added layers of detail extend to unique trim elements and grille textures. Escalade will offer Cadillac’s Sport trim for the first time, featuring a black mesh grille and black trim across the exterior. Luxury and Premium Luxury models showcase a bright Galvano finish, while Platinum models top the range, with unique interior and exterior details.
Cadillac Escalade’s new interior design is heavily influenced by Cadillac’s Escala concept vehicle – a design that also debuted an OLED display – and breaks new ground with the first-ever Gideon Whisper Beige trim combination. This high-performance, high-fashion available interior is centered on a custom-woven fabric that adds a new level of style and ambience to the Escalade’s cabin.
“The expectations and desires of Escalade customers are factors everyone in the Cadillac design studio unequivocally understands,” said Phil Kucera, interior design manager. “This allowed us to reach greater levels of depth and detail than Escalade has ever had before.”
The new curved OLED display is the centerpiece of the interior, enabling designers to integrate and customize the entire environment, rather than simply inserting a standard rectangular screen into a conventional instrument panel. The result is a completely fresh, integrated cabin look that seamlessly blends the technology with handcrafted details.
A mix of electronic controls and physical switches offer intuitive operation of vehicle features. The OLED display includes touch-screen control for the center display, while the interior also includes a full-feature rotary dial controller and steering wheel controls. Additional touches include stainless-steel speaker grilles, intricate piping on the door panels and ambient lighting with a wide range of color choices.
The interior is further distinguished by no less than eight color and trim choices, which include unique seat designs, with custom perforation and quilting patterns.
HEAR AND BE HEARD
Sound creates and heightens experiences. In the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, that sense is elevated with the professional studio sound of AKG audio systems.
Industry-first AKG audio technology
Known worldwide for microphones and headphones used by leading musicians in recording studios and live venues, AKG has brought its audio technology to the auto industry for the first time, exclusively for Cadillac.
The result is the Escalade’s available AKG Studio Reference system, 36 speakers powered by three amplifiers that deliver 28 channels, offering a listening experience that is astonishingly crisp and immersive. A standard AKG Studio system includes 19 speakers and a large enclosed subwoofer, powered by a 14-channel amplifier.
In addition to its crisp sound output, AKG technology enables additional advanced features in the Escalade, including:
- Studio 3D Surround creates professional-level sound through the multichannel audio system, with strategically placed speakers finely tuned to deliver sound like being with the artist in the recording studio. Additional speakers in the headliner help create a 360-degree immersive listening experience.
- Conversation Enhancement. Vehicle communication is enhanced for front and rear passengers as their voices are captured by embedded microphones and reproduced in the designated zone using the 36-speaker system.
- Audio Rendering for navigation. Turn-by-turn navigation instructions are more intuitive with audio prompts coming exclusively from the audio system’s left- or right-hand speakers, with the prompt moving nearer to the driver as the turn gets closer.
- Front Passenger Volume Control. The front-seat passenger can take charge of his or her personal audio experience, with a dedicated volume control for each front seat (included with the Studio Reference system).
MOVE AND BE MOVED
Confident performance with advanced chassis technologies, a more spacious interior and leading driver-assistance technologies coalesce to offer an enhanced driving experience.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade enters the future of mobility as the first full-size SUV with Super Cruise driver assistance technology. It enables hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of compatible highways in the United States and Canada, using LiDAR map data, high-precision GPS, a state-of-the-art driver attention system and a network of cameras and radar sensors.
The 2021 Escalade features an enhanced Super Cruise system with several new features and improvements, including automated lane change. Automated lane change will allow the driver to direct the system to perform a single lane change using the turn signal to indicate the direction of the desired move.
Super Cruise’s driver attention system helps keep drivers engaged by detecting and signaling when drivers need to pay more attention to the road; and recent technology enhancements include dynamic lane offset, which can adjust the Escalade slightly over in its lane for driver comfort when other vehicles are passing in close proximity. Additionally, new messaging on the driver information center alerts drivers when Super Cruise may not be available in certain instances.
More room to move
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade offers more room for passengers and their cargo. A new architecture and new chassis technologies have significantly expanded interior space, offering 40 percent more third-row legroom (34.9 inches / 886 mm) and a 68 percent increase in maximum cargo space behind the third row (25.5 cubic feet / 722 liters) in the standard-length model.
The dramatic increases in passenger and cargo space are due primarily to a longer wheelbase and longer overall vehicle length, compared to the previous model, as well as a new independent rear suspension, which enables a lower interior floor – features that not only expand the Escalade’s roominess, but improve comfort by allowing easier access to the second and third rows, as well as creating a more natural seating position for third-row occupants.
Third-row legroom increases more than 10 inches, giving Escalade one of the roomiest third rows in the segment, while the lower floor and increased vehicle length allow cargo space to expand.
“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.”
The most spacious Cadillac Escalade ever is complemented with new and enhanced chassis technologies intended to deliver a responsive, precise driving experience that offers exceptional isolation from the road. Contributing elements include:
- An all-new independent rear suspension fundamentally transforms the driving dynamics of the Escalade, allowing each rear wheel to handle road conditions separately to dramatically enhance ride quality, steering responsiveness and overall driver control.
- Cadillac’s signature Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest reacting suspension technology, continues for Escalade. It uses sensors to continually “read” the road and alter the damping rate of the shocks almost instantly. It reacts much faster than computer-controlled shock absorbers to reduce vertical body motion, body roll and vibrations that can often resonate in a large SUV.
- New Air Ride Adaptive Suspension is available as a new system that combines with Magnetic Ride Control. The Air Suspension delivers automatic load-leveling and ride-height adjustments continuously at all four wheels. In highway driving, the system automatically lowers the ride height to improve aerodynamics; and a driver-selectable setting lowers the suspension 2 inches (51 mm) to aid passenger entry and exit when the vehicle is parked. Drivers can also raise the body for additional ground clearance when driving off-road.
- An electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) is available, offering more precise traction and power engagement for the rear wheels. Its infinitely variable clutch engagement delivers torque to the wheel with the most traction, including cornering and wet weather conditions.
Cadillac Escalade’s available and unique combination of Magnetic Ride Control, Air Ride Adaptive Suspension and eLSD offers exceptional body control and remarkable agility for a vehicle of its scale. Four-wheel drive is available on all models.
Power to move you
Confidence-inspiring performance remains a hallmark of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, with a new 6.2L V-8 engine offered as standard. With variable valve timing, stop/start and Dynamic Fuel Management technologies, it balances performance – 420 horsepower (313 kW) – with comparative efficiency.
For the first time ever, the Cadillac Escalade is also offered with an available 3.0L turbo-diesel engine, which is designed to produce strong torque across the power band for confident performance and trailering capability. In fact, its 460 lb-ft (623 Nm) of peak torque matches the 6.2L V-8.
Both engines are matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift control; and a trailering package is standard on all models. An enhanced trailering experience is offered with the available Trailering Integration Package.