The 2021 Cadillac Escalade has made its debut during a special event in Beverly Hills, California, arriving with a new platform, modern exterior styling and innovative new technologies.
Riding on a re-engineered platform with independent four-link rear suspension, the new Escalade promises to be more comfortable and more refined than the outgoing model. The new IRS system has allowed Cadillac to make more room for passengers and their cargo in the cabin, as well. The SUV now offers up an extra 10.4 inches of third-row legroom and has 80 percent more cargo room behind the third row.
Those looking for more refinement can opt for the available Magnetic Ride Control system or new Magnetic Ride Control with Air Ride Adaptive Suspension. The new air ride system expands on the dynamic and comfort advantages of the Magnetic Ride Control, giving the vehicle adjustable ride height. This can be used to lower the vehicle for loading passengers and cargo or to raise the vehicle when off-road.
Power comes from Cadillac’s 6.2L V8 gasoline engine (production code L87), which makes 420 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 460 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 RPM. That’s not all, though, as the next-generation SUV now also offers a 3.0L I6 turbodiesel engine (production code LM2) as an option. The diesel engine makes 277 horsepower and a class-leading 460 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are paired with Cadillac’s 10-speed automatic transmission, while the automaker’s electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) is available as an option.
One of the first official announcements Cadillac made for the 2021 Escalade was with regard to its 38-inch curved OLED dash display. The curved display is the first in the industry and serves as both the driver’s display and the central infotainment display. With twice the pixel density of a 4K television, Cadillac promises the screen will offer bold imagery with popping colors and rich, deep blacks. Joining the curved OLED display is a new rear-seat entertainment system, which gives rear-seat passengers independent screen content and supports Bluetooth and USB and HDMI devices.
Cadillac also put quite a bit of effort into the 2021 Escalade’s available new audio systems, which it developed with Austrian audio company AKG. Two versions of the system will be available: Studio (the standard system) and Studio Reference. The Studio is already a 19-speaker surround system, but the Studio Reference adds additional height speakers for a total of 36, with speakers even hidden in the headliner and headrests.
The latest version of Super Cruise will be available on the 2021 Cadillac Escalade, as well, enabling SAE Level 2 semi-autonomous driving. The recent update to the system added an automatic lane change functionality, allowing the user to prompt an auto lane change by moving the indicator stalk.
Like other Cadillac models, the 2021 Escalade follows the brand’s Y-trim level strategy. The Luxury trim serves as the base model, with Premium Luxury on one branch and Sport on the other. Standard equipment on the Luxury trim will include 22-inch wheels, quad-tip exhaust, a 19-speaker AKG audio system, leatherette seats and Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking.
A Platinum package is optional on the Premium Luxury and Sport trim levels, offering unique interior and exterior details. Meanwhile, the extended-length Escalade ESV will debut in April at the 2020 New York Auto Show.
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