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Cadillac shows the scale of its future design

Escala Concept points to a future Cadillac flagship sedan

Published: August 21, 2016, 10:30 PM
Updated: August 28, 2016, 2:20 AM

Cadillac Escala Concept

Cadillac Escala Concept

At the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Cadillac showed off a new sedan concept the company says indicates a future design direction for the company’s cars.

The Escala Concept is a flagship sedan proposal which will slot in above the recently introduced CT6 (CT8, perhaps?). It shows an evolution of the current Cadillac sedan, with squinty OLED (organic light emitting diodes) headlights and coupe-like profile.

The grille is larger than that on today’s Cadillacs, and features a 3D pattern to give it substance and depth.

Cadillac Escala Concept

 “Escala is a concept with two clear objectives,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Global Cadillac, calling the concept a potential addition to the company’s existing product plan. “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. Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.”

The rear-wheel drive concept is 165 mm longer than the CT6, with a wheel base that is 119 mm longer. The body has also been widened by 68 mm, so the cabin is considerably larger. It rides on 22 inch wheels. It gets its power from a new 4.2-litre twin-turbo V-8 with active fuel management (cylinder deactivation).

“This concept shares how Cadillac will bring forward a new experience that is uniquely American, and unmistakably Cadillac,” says Andrew Smith, executive director of Cadillac Global Design. “Escala is an expressive symbol of reward and an exhilarating driving experience. On the interior, we pushed further. It’s about precision and ingenuity in craftsmanship, and the artistic integration of technology.”

Cadillac Escala Concept interior

Cadillac calls the interior Dual-Themed, indicating different zones depending on the occupants’ use. The front seating area is about functional technology, while the rear is about relaxation. The cockpit features an array of three OLED screens that integrate the gauge cluster and instrument panel display into one unit, behind the multi-function retro-look steering wheel. Vehicle functions are controlled by touch, voice or gesture (depending on the function).

“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,” Smith said. “So rather than a single design, this interior consists of two themes. It was an opportunity for our designers to break the rules a little bit.”

The interior is a blend of natural and hand-made materials, making broad use of hand-tailored fabric for door trim and the leather seat backings. The idea is to give the impression of finely designed and crafted fashion.