Luxury sedan concept could signal a new model above the CT6.
Cadillac revealed its Escala concept in California ahead of this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance to show future design directives for the luxury brand. The car, which draws its name from the Spanish word for “scale,” is an imposing concept that could point to a model that sits above the CT6 in Cadillac’s lineup.
“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,” Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen said in a statement. “Secondly, Escala builds Cadillac’s aspirational character, signaling the brand’s return to the pinnacle of premium.”
A long, large car with serious presence, the Cadillac Escala is half a foot longer than the CT6 sedan, at 210.5 inches long. It’s built on the same mixed-materials, rear-wheel-drive platform as the CT6, and although it looks primarily like a traditional three-box sedan, there’s a liftback design for the cargo area, à la the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera.
The rear essentially continues the straight-edged, vertical-taillight look of other recent Cadillac sedan trunks, albeit with the addition of a small horizontal element at the top. The front of the Escala concept, meanwhile, advances the brand’s design aesthetic considerably. There are still vertical running lights, a Cadillac signature, but ultra-skinny OLED (organic light-emitting diode) headlights are now recessed deep into narrow slits at either side of the grille. The grille itself is an enormous trapezoid, while the hood has several bold strakes leading toward the windshield.
In profile, the Cadillac Escala’s length is broken up by two hockey stick-like chrome elements, one at the bottom of the rear windows and the other emerging from the 22-inch front wheels. Recessed door handles are evident only as small outlines in the door sheetmetal.
The inside of the car is supposed to combine both a driver-focused cabin and a chauffeur-ready back seat. Up front, that means a very minimalist dashboard dominate by three curved OLED displays that serve as the instruments and infotainment display. The steering wheel is similarly minimalist, with a very small-diameter hub. The center console features various control knobs, which are said to provide “tactile” controls to supplement touchscreen and voice commands. Throughout the cabin, hand-cut and hand-stitched leather adorns most surfaces; Cadillac claims that it even drew know-how from fashion companies to further decorate the car’s interior. Tablet-like screens slide out from the seatbacks to entertain the two rear passengers.
“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,” Andrew Smith, executive director of Cadillac Global Design, said in a statement. “So rather than a single design, this interior consists of two themes.”
Under the hood is a 4.2-liter biturbo V8 engine of undisclosed power; Cadillac says the engine, which has cylinder deactivation, is a prototype for “a new system in development for future Cadillac models.”
With so many details offered about its platform and its powertrain, and the fact that rumors have persisted for years about a range-topping CT8, it wouldn’t be impossible to imagine a car like the Escala reaching production. Cadillac even seems to be underlining that point, emphasizing that the concept car demonstrates the direction in which its styling and technologies will progress in coming years.
“Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan,” de Nysschen said in a statement.
Live Photos: Nathan Leach-Proffer / Motor1.com