Cadillac, the GM-owned American automaker that’s known for its large and often luxurious vehicles, has premiered its newest concept, the Escala. It’s a forward-thinking luxury limousine with a sporty fastback four-door shape.
Though the name sounds a distinctly off-tune from those we’ve heard from a Caddy before (the Lamborghini Espada comes to mind as phonetically similar), the Escala is just a couple of characters short of the marque’s famously substantial SUV but actually means ‘scale’ in Spanish.
The Escala Concept is made to be a more sporting and futuristic expression of Cadillac’s current range-topping CT6 sedan, possibly leading to cues seen here trickling down to the rest of their line-up. Given these four-door coupe proportions, it certainly isn’t a bad place to start.
Built upon the CT6’s Omega platform and lightweight multi-material construction, the wheelbase has been stretched and the front overhang left slightly shorter but longer at the rear. Upon first glance, Cadillac designers may have clearly had the Audi A7 in mind when developing the Escala Concept. The car measures 5.35-metres, which is 15cm longer than the CT6.
Up front there’s a new grille and thin OLED lights housed in deep set lamps. There’s an overall sheen of subdued aggression of the sort that the marque has been peddling for close to a decade now but hasn’t quite perfected until now. Behind that grille, though, is a 4.2-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that chucks out over 373kW.
While it isn’t the fully or partial electric setup that more and more automakers are gravitating towards in their concept vehicles, Cadillac’s V8 features dynamic cylinder shutdown to conserve fuel during long cruises or other periods of low engine load. It can effectively operate as four-cylinder in these cases with half its cylinder banks disabled.
The concept’s real centrepiece, though, is the futuristic digital dashboard that was developed in partnership with LG. Integrating instrument gauges, navigation, infotainment, and vehicle controls into a single mega-wide screen array, the cabin’s technological showcase should soon be seen in production Cadillacs.
Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac Global, said: “The Escala is a concept with two clear objectives. First, the 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. Secondly, the Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.”