A 2021 Cadillac Escalade was recently spotted entering Ford Motor Company’s vehicle development facilities Michigan, indicating that the luxury SUV was acquired by Cadillac’s cross-town rival – which markets the Lincoln luxury brand – for benchmarking purposes.
Our sister publication, Ford Authority, was the first to report on the Escalade’s venture into rival territory. Automakers often benchmark competing vehicles, so it’s not completely out of the ordinary that Ford has gotten its hands on a fifth-generation Escalade.
Ford’s motive is likely to compare the new Escalade to its Lincoln Navigator, as the Navigator competes head-to-head with the Escalade. The Lincoln offering is expected to undergo a mid-cycle refresh for the 2022 model year, and Ford is clearly doing its homework to see how its offering stacks up.
- See complete details about the 2022 Lincoln Navigator
This isn’t the first time that Ford has acquired a Cadillac Escalade for benchmarking purposes. As Ford Authority reported back in March, a fourth-generation Escalade was undergoing testing alongside a Navigator. The reason that Ford was studying the last-gen Escalade instead of the all-new model is unclear, but it’s likely that the new, 2021 Escalade was simply not available at that point of time.
The Escalade dominates its segment from a sales standpoint, outselling all rivals, including the Lincoln Navigator, Infiniti QX80, and Lexus LX, on a combined basis.
Sales Numbers - Full-Size Luxury SUVs - H1 2021 - USA
|MODEL||YTD 21 / YTD 20||YTD 21||YTD 20||YTD 21 SHARE||YTD 20 SHARE|
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is offered as either a regular-length Escalade model or as a longer variant called Escalade ESV (Escalade Stretch Vehicle). The luxury SUV comes standard with the naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 (production code L87) rated at 416 horsepower and 460 foot-pounds of torque. Additionally, the 2021 Escalade and 2021 Escalade ESV can be outfitted with the optional turbo-diesel 3.0L I6 (production code LM2) making 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to the 10-speed automatic transmission.