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Cadillac News: Cadillac Escala Concepts Previews the Future of Brand's Design

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The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has become an auto show of sorts in the past few years with luxury automakers showing off concepts and new models. Cadillac has used the event to show off various concepts such as the Ciel and Elmiraj. Last night, they revealed the Escala concept.

 

“Escala is a concept with two clear objectives. 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,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Cadillac.

 

Escala (Spanish for scale) provides a preview as to Cadillac's future in terms of design and a possible idea to a long-rumored flagship. The overall profile reminds us of the Audi A7 with a coupe-like roofline and liftback. The front end features a new grille design and slimmed down chrome surround. Flanking either side of the grille are slim headlights with organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology.

 

Size-wise, the Escala is 6.5 inches longer, 2.7 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches in the rear; and rides on a 4.5 inch longer wheelbase when compared to the CT6.

 

The Escala's interior is a feast for the eyes. Cadillac describes it as having a “dual personality”. The front is focused on technology with three curved OLED screens that consolidate the instrument cluster and center stack into one unit. The back is focused on comfort with seating for two and a panaromic sunroof.

 

Under the hood lies a brand new 4.2L twin-turbo V8 with cylinder deactivation. No power figures are given, but we expect to see this engine in the CT6 in the near future.

 

Could we see the Escala as a production model? We'll let de Nysschen answer this.

 

“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance. Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”

 

Source: Cadillac

 

 

Press Release is on Page 2


 

Cadillac Unveils Escala Concept, Previewing Future Design Direction

  • Concept showcases future design and technical systems in development
  • Flagship Sedan is a concept for a more expressive, expansive companion to the recently launched CT6
  • Dual-Theme interior includes Curved OLED displays, next-gen connectivity designs, ingenious details

 


The Escala Concept debuts in California tonight, introducing the next evolution of Cadillac design and previewing the craftsmanship and technology being developed for many future models. Following a series of private previews, Escala will be displayed this weekend at the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

 

The Escala Concept previews the design and technical ideas driving the next phase of Cadillac’s ongoing expansion.

 

“Escala is a concept with two clear objectives,” said Johan de Nysschen, president of Global Cadillac. “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.”

 

Cadillac has released a new slate of models bristling with expressive design and exhilarating performance, driver’s cars taking Cadillac into a new chapter of its storied 114-year history.

 

“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance,” de Nysschen said. “Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”

 

Escala — Spanish for “scale”— is a concept for a larger, more elite and expressive companion to the recently launched 2016 Cadillac CT6, the brand’s remarkable new range-topping prestige sedan. Escala is also the third in a series of concepts Cadillac has debuted at Pebble Beach in recent years, following the Ciel convertible (2011) and Elmiraj coupe (2013).

 

Escala is designed to be both a driver’s car and an indulgent flagship sedan. The large 4-door sedan features an expansive liftback design emphasizing the car’s considerable scale and versatility. At 210.5 inches in overall length, Escala is roughly 6 inches longer than today’s CT6.

 

Escala features a new and evolved face of Cadillac design that will begin appearing on production models soon. This includes a new expression of Cadillac’s vertical lighting, a brand signature since 1948. Organic light emitting diode (OLED) lighting elements are thinner and set deep within the fascia, creating a sinister look, day and night.

 

The concept’s details invite closer inspection, including a three-dimensional precision pattern in the grille design and 22-inch wheels with two layers of spokes.

 

“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.”

 

Escala features a “dual personality” interior crafted with distinctly different zones: The front is about intensely focused modern technology, while the rear delivers relaxation.

 

“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, exactly what Cadillac should do from time to time.”

 

An array of three curved OLED screens is a prominent feature in the front of the cabin. The very thin, curved displays are layered in front of the driver, with the back sides wrapped in hand-stitched leather embossed with the Cadillac script. The array of screens consolidate the traditional “cluster” of driving gauges with the “center stack” into one integrated unit.

 

Escala includes new designs for connectivity and control, providing a prototype for the user experience in development for future production models. The system features a central control module that enables the driver to execute tactile commands across the spectrum of connectivity functions, in addition to voice and gesture control technology. Inside the controller sits a new edition of Cadillac’s “flying Goddess” icon, a nod to the brand’s illustrious heritage.

 

Like all Cadillac models today, the interior is assembled using hand cut-and-sewn techniques. However, Escala presents several new and unique touches, blending overt luxury with covert technology. Escala makes broad use of hand-tailored fabric on the door trim and seating areas. Inspired by suiting material used by Cadillac’s partners in the fashion industry, the fabric provides a new level of hand-applied craftsmanship and color, unique in today’s auto interior landscape.

 

The Escala Concept utilizes Cadillac’s new RWD-centric large luxury car architecture, featuring one of the world’s most advanced body structures, which debuted on the new CT6. The mixed-material construction enables unprecedented agility and efficiency.

 

Escala uses a new 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, a prototype of a new system in development for future Cadillac models. The advanced engine utilizes Active Fuel Management technology, enabling fuel-saving 4-cylinder operation.


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I would agree on the horizontal lights, it gives it a bit of an Impala look and a Cadillac should have vertical lights.  Overall I like this car.  I am not a big fan of lift back rear ends, but it does add to cargo space, so that is a plus.   Few minor issues aside, I think it looks good.

 

The name is stupid, I thought right away of Escalade without the "de" and Spanish for scale?  Why would you name a car scale.   I guess it won't matter because it will be called CT8 if they build it.

Thing is though, this is a small segment that is shrinking.  Many here have said how the S-class has sinking sales, but the S-class outsells the A8, 7-series and Jag XJ combined.

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Not sure the headlamps will be an issue unless some laws are changed. 


The car is interesting and too difficult to judge in photo's. It for sure is a concept and not really close to production outside. But inside the cars is as close as any of the show cars have been. What they have in there is pretty close to possible at a higher price point. 

 

I have seen claims of it looks like an Audi A7, Jag, Aston, Lexus and the hatch hints at Tesla in a odd way. 

I think the car has some real global appeal and the real key is the styling would play well but they must execute top trim materials and features. They need to lead the way on some technologies and not just add Apple play and call it a day. 

While this may be a show car I think there are elements of the future of A&S on the car. I picture this with a more formal roof line and even in a coupe and while I will not pass final judgment till I see it in person I think it is decent. 

The responses on the web have been all over as expected as some of the traditialist are ranting not enough chrome or no bench seat and others appear to like it. One survey had a 75%+ approval which is good. 

This is some of the first work JDN may have had some influence on so this will give us some direction  to where to expect changed. We know he has been very critical on present interiors and this one shows a new direction. 

I feel things will be getting very interesting in 2019 and later. 

While I am not blown away with the photos I am not put off. I expect it will be like the Lacrosse where I was ok with it and then when I saw the first one I was shocked at how well the proportions played out. The wider look really better balanced the car and design. 

 

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The only criticism I have is consistent with everyone else so far - the headlights need to be vertical.  Otherwise, the front end looks a bit too much like a new Mustang.  Everything else seems like Cadillac is tipping the scale in the right direction.

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I have no problems with the car or design, I think big grill is good and can translate to other products.  I do have a problem with Johan saying this :  

“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance. Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”

Unrelenting rise of product???  What the CT6 and the $39k XT5?  Not really unrelenting or all that much of a meteoric rise.    The thing for Cadillac fans to worry about though is when he says depending on development of the large sedan segment.  Well the large sedan segment is shrinking, people just want crossovers.  Johan has already built in an excuse why not to build the car.

 

 

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Don't understand the light issues some are having. It's just a concept and those kind of lights will never see production. Overall, I like what I see here and the numbers are a plus. It measures longer than the S class while having way more cargo room. That's a nice start in my book. 

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The grille reminds me of a 1969 Coupe De Ville.  That gives props to the old school design.  I want more details about these new V8s though.  How many will there be and what kind of output will they have?

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Good looking car, but doesn't identify as a Cadillac in the slightest bit. You could replace the badge with Kia, Hyundai, or Audi logo and never no the difference.

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I don't know what to think of it honestly. It seems like there are bits and pieces with vague familiarity to other cars but not sure what is taking priority here, form or function. As well, I feel they do not want to keep A&S stagnant, but some themes like vertical blade lights appear a little to watered down and the rear reminds me of a GT BMW wagon.

 

Given Cadillac's recent history of concept cars, I am alright with it as the nice gesture they seem to do for pebble beach, but outside of that I see the same kind of stagnation and trying to cater to old and new with this design as anywhere else.

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Yeah....

This concept's face looks familiar to me in the form of Elmiraj grille and Aston Martin Lagonda fascia rolled into one.

I like it but like others, I would prefer vertical headlamps like the Elmiraj had.

It did not blow me away like the other concepts, it is pretty, but like Frisky said, it dont feel like a Cadillac.
Im ready to let go of Arts&Science, but only if it is replaced by something that identifies what a Cadillac should look and feel like.I dont know what that is, but this concept's exterior does not have a Cadillac feel to it.

Let me repeat, I like it, and Im sure it will be quite imposing in person, but so far, I aint feeling any Cadillac vibes with it.

 

Interior is simplistic in a very elegant way.

I LOVE THAT.

Im not sure about the suit material effect they chose, its different and its cool, and I think it could work...instead of the usual all around leather that has been the go to luxury material. Suede is leather, but I was never a fan of it either on a jacket or car interior.

I think I might like the expensive personally tailored designer suit look of it all!

 

LOVE THAT TRUNK.

The  way it opens, the volume, the way its designed and the way the interior materials of it gel. It looks expensive..

Who ever thought that a trunk could be so luxurious and beautifully made to look expensive like the rest of a car's interior???!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

 

 

 

 

I ran out of editing time...

And best of all with that trunk, no need to go SUV with a trunk opening and space like that!!!

 

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Interior is cool, not sure on some of the fine details they did, but hey, it is a concept. Exterior, Hate the coupe look. Been done to death. Rear Sucks, keep a more traditional vertical tail light. Front, over all fine but loose the horizontal head lights like everyone has mentioned and get to a vertical set, a true symbol of Cadillac.

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That awkward moment when the new guy drops his bags on your designers and says "make me a Cadillac A7!  I'm going to turn this new house into a home!"  Also, Cadillac lights simply do not zig like that.  Needs vertical lights without branches, front and rear.  I do like the interior and the engine and the RWD chassis.

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The name reminds me of La Scala, the opera house in Milan.   The fastback roofline reminds of the A7 mixed with the Citroen C6... the front makes me think Mazda mixed w/ current Cadillac styling...I like the dimensions--127 inch wheelbase, 210 long... maybe a preview of a possible CT8? 

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Cadillac La Scala, circa 1973 :

1973-Cadillac-La-Scala-sedan-concept.jpg

 

- - - - -

RE the Escala ~ IMO its very crisp & contemporary, but as with the El Miraj, I find a number of details I don't think are optimum WRT being on a Cadillac. I am digging' the dimensions, but I would love to see the Escala & CT6 next to each other, in person.

Edited by balthazar
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Sadly with where the market is today, Cadillac could roll out 10 crossovers and all 10 would outsell a full size sedan.  

It is amazing how similar the La Scala looks to the 1992 Seville, took them a long time to get there.

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Lutz is pretty much right on, Cadillac advertising is doing nothing, and they need crossovers in a bad way.   Too many 5 year plans and lack of consistency to stay on the attack.

I liked the Seville of the 90s and the 98 redesign as well, and the Northstar in the 90s was very competitive, it beat most other V8s in power.  Then they let it rot on the vine like GM often did with products back then.

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On 8/19/2016 at 8:20 PM, Frisky Dingo said:

Good looking car, but doesn't identify as a Cadillac in the slightest bit. You could replace the badge with Kia, Hyundai, or Audi logo and never no the difference.

It's funny, because when i first saw the pictures of this thing, I thought, what the eff is this?

Tesla is the first thing that popped into my head.  Then, it's got some of the Hyundai Genesis going on.  A little bit of an Acura greenhouse even.  Then, Cadillac A7.  And then I am like, there really isn't much traditional Cadillac going on.  Front end is totally bland.

Johan wants to, or thinks he can, or has been told to make Cadillac more global and exclusive.  So it's interpreted as throwing the baby out with the bath water.  Anytime you have a 'new design direction' it's supposed to be a stunning statement.  Think Chrysler's cab forward for example, or the mid 00's new 300.  This really doesn't achieve that sort of statement.  Anything that was maybe positive on the Elmiraj is totally gone also.

It basically is throwing out art and science. Well, it was interesting because while on vacay, in a small bodunk town we visited this wkd sat a brand new ATS coupe in that really stunning red color.  So mad i didn't take a pic.  If i had seen the car in profile first i would have been like 'second ever G6 coupe'.  But all the bling and detailing on the car apart from its being not a spot on the car it was a stunner.  PArt of the reason for that was whatever the residual leftover of the Cadillac A&S cues....the bladed front and rear (albeit moderately expressed) The vertical taillights, the highly detailed and sharp edged grille....the bombastic logo.  And this is with the ATS and CTS that have the mutt styling of A&S and some weak attempt at trying to look German.  (where the ATS fails the wow meter here is it's physical size just isn't large enough to convey wow like a CTS sized car could....not enough width, not enough length and wheelbase).  If this had been a gen 2 CTS coupe with a similar new era eased over styling of the last CTS coupe and with a bit more rakish look I think it would have been more effective.

Cadillac is having so much trouble putting a face on the cars like the CTS and CT6, and finishing the rest of the car too.   

Johan's probably wanting to take a dump on the traditional Cadillac fan base in every way.  Jack up the prices, get rid of the old styling, rather have them be big in other countries.  GM prob thinks Buick will pick up the old fan base with its lower prices, etc.  At the same time, they'll give up on sedans now and stock the house with a bunch of crossovers.

IMO Cadillacs biggest failures of the last 5-8 years is the ATS came out and quite simply is way too small to appeal to any customer base that would even consider Cadillac.  Even those who may be lured by its performance.  The new CTS went up too far in price and really with its ugly front end, wtf rear end, and confusing sides messed with the Cadillac look too much.  The XTS really should have been promoted more to at least get some customers in the showroom (and yes, it's ok to have your XTS at a discount and basically offset cars like the Lexus ES). Many Cadillac customers never even knew what an XTS was, they were told the DTS was dead and nothing to replace it.  The CT6 just arriving may have confused everything even more.  No v8, it's long but not wide, rear lacks length and presence, and pricing is again an issue.  Cadillac hasn't done anything to compete with Tesla and as for gas engines, they really could stand to have a much better 2.0 turbo.  Only just now is Cadillac putting a respectable turbo 6 in their cars.  And then, CUE.

It would be one thing for Cadillac to price their cars way up if the cars they were selling were desirable.  When you miss the mark badly with new and existing customers on styling or size or powertrains or features, and your ad campaigns suck, how are you supposed to build brand equity or expect to get big profits?

^^^^92 Seville, still the total package.  My folks didn't have the STS version, they had the SLS equivalent.  It's fine for Cadillac to have maybe 1 model with the four door coupe / hatch look but i hope they don't turn their whole lineup to these jellybeans.  Cadillacs should have some creases, some blades, edges, angles, etc.  ELR gets big thumbs up for it's styling (it just is limited to electric) and look at it's creases.  Cadillacs didn't ever have hofmeister kinks like this confused thing has.

I don't think Johan is going to work out the way it's been going.

 

 

2016_cadillac_ats_ats-coupe (1).jpeg

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Cadillac has already done the 'a7 fastback / 4 door coupe look'

(this would have made a great badge engineered Saab 9-9 too)

 

84CadillacSeville.jpg

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They could put the Evoq concept into production now and it would be the best looking and most modern looking Cadillac and it was from 1999.  The XLR washed out a lot of the good looks and had weird shape.  The Evoq still looks stunning today.

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