Cadillac Humanizes Technology
When Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen unveiled the Escala concept at Monterey Car Week in August, onlookers fell in love with the vehicle’s sculpted, smooth lines, and the luxury carmaker claimed it to be the “more expressive, expansive companion” to the CT6.
Late this November at the Los Angeles Auto Show, audiences got another look at the next-generation luxury concept, which Taki Karras, design manager for Advanced Vehicles at GM, says exhibits “quiet confidence” while being “bold, sophisticated and optimistic” without erring into the flamboyant.
The L.A. Times named the Escala concept their top pick from the show, praising its “quiet and confident masculinity.” AutoTrader also lauded the Cadillac concept, saying it has “gone simultaneously retro and modern” with the overall design.
Details from the latest show state that the full-size Escala sedan packs a 4.2-liter turbocharged V8 under its hood, and the interior is remarkably spacious and luxurious while maintaining a minimalist approach. Karras explains that this flagship sedan is meant to embody Cadillac heritage while positioning the American carmaker on the forefront of modernity.
On the exterior, bright LED and new OLED lights provide thin, modern design touches, and the simple grille and monochromatic Cadillac badge compliment this reserved styling. The Escala shares the same platform as the new CT6, meaning the Escala also manages to trim weight thanks to the platform’s extensive use of aluminum. CNET reports that this inspired the Escala’s “light” design, steering clear of any design elements that convey a sense of weight.
The Escala’s rear design is very smooth and unadorned, with the rear lights echoing the design of the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado. The cargo floor rises for easy access to storage, and Karras says it keeps the rear edge from making storage difficult.
Comfort in any seat
The Escala continues to deliver on its promise to build a car that buyers both want to drive and be driven in, with as much attention to detail being given to the back seats as is to the front. This passenger focus is noticeable in many of the concept’s features, such as a pillar-less cabin design that makes for easy access. However, this poses a problem when it comes to production, and many Cadillac enthusiasts wonder if the feature would make it on to the final product.
User interfaces, such as the touchscreen dashboard, are curved and smoothed out to make the interface appear more natural instead of calling attention to the traditional rectangular lines of a tablet. Other switches, such as climate control, are found on ledges just below the dashboard’s wood trim.
The leather-covered front seats and their large side bolsters exude comfort, and even the rear seats, with their wool-blend and power adjustment, provide luxury. The backseat even features dual OLED screens that can slide into the front headrests for easy storage and a sleeker look.
Moving forward, it’s difficult to say what features will and will not make it onto the full-size flagship sedan from the Escala concept. However, it seems that the future of luxury is clear for Cadillac, and those of us at Arnie Bauer are excited to see where it goes.