Today’s Cadillac Escalade Design Started Three Years Before Production

As far as vehicle development is concerned, the design team has the longest lead on the project. Often, exterior and interior designers play with various themes before dialing in the final form. This could be sometimes 4-6 years before a vehicle sees production. And that’s exactly what we see from this early design sketch of today’s T1 Cadillac Escalade, which began production in 2020. The design, embedded below, was penned by Escalade Exterior Designer Robin Krieg in 2017.

The original Cadillac Escalade design looks beefier, smoother in some ways, and featured a beautiful, seemingly endless, window display spanning from the C-pillar to A-pillar without interruption.  The sketch also seems to share that we may have seen a shorter wheelbase than the current model Escalade and Escalade ESV (which stands for Escalade Stretch Vehicle). The sketch was recently shared on Instagram and the caption reveals the artwork was part of the early stages of development on the current model Escalade.

Of course, right after vehicle design is finalized, the push-pull with the engineering and product planning team begins. What will work within the budget? What sort of design is possible with the integration of subcomponents? Is it possible to package all of those wiring and safety systems into a shape that designers want?

A photo at the bottom of the article depicting the side angle of a production 2021 Cadillac Escalade Sport Platinum will allow you draw your conclusions on how the relationship with engineering and design went.

Today’s Cadillac Escalade:

Today, the Cadillac Escalade is a top-tier luxury SUV that packs a ton of content inside and out. One of the main highlights is Super Cruise, a hands-free driving assistant that uses radar and lidar to see the road and traffic ahead, while mapped out roads allow for operational accuracy down to the centimeter. MC&T reported earlier that the supply shortage forced the Cadillac Escalade to temporarily drop that feature, which is now recovered and is available again after a few months. The class-leading tech is available for $2,500. Which, if you’re in the market for a $100,000 SUV, that’s chump change.

Other features of the Cadillac Escalade include an optional 36 speaker system powered by AKG and a massive 38-inch curved OLED display housing the infotainment set-up, customizable cluster gauge as well as trip info. Powering the Escalade is an optional 6.2L L87 V8 producing 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Like its cousins, the T1 Chevrolet Tahoe and T1 GMC Yukon, the T1 Cadillac Escalade features a standard 3.0L Duramax turbo diesel in-line 6-cylinder engine that pushes out 270 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, while returning impressive fuel economy. Both engines are paired with a 10-speed transmission.

The 2022 Cadillac Escalade offers 5 trim levels starting at $77,790.

2021 2022 2023 2024 Cadillac Escalade Sport Platinum Super Cruise Design luxury SUV
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks

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