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MotorTrend reports that GM insiders are saying that the next-generation Cadillac Escalade will jump from its current GMT900 truck platform to the Lambda crossover architecture that underpins the GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook, Buick Enclave, and Chevy Traverse. MT points to the Buick Enclave Super that didn't happen as evidence that an Escalambda would be able to handle an eight-cylinder engine, which would be a step up from the rest of El Generalissimo's increasingly-crowded crossover lineup. Edgier, CTS-like styling would likely be a given, too.

Frankly, this is a good idea. The packaging afforded by the Lambda platform is vastly superior to what the GMT900 trucks offer. Remember that in the latter, the 3rd row is bolted to the cargo floor, it doesn't fold flat, and it's generally uncomfortable. The Lambda solves that instantly, and is better suited for what's positioned as a luxury vehicle anyway. Ride quality would be much better, and if GM Design were to deliver an interior on par with what's now found in the CTS, a Lambda-based Escalade would probably represent a quantum leap forward in terms of styling and refinement over the current vehicle.

As for the Avalanche-based Escalade EXT, MT says that GM's mulling over the idea of moving to a unibody pickup, a la the Zeta-based GMC Denali XT concept, to replace both of those vehicles. Again, not a bad idea, especially for Cadillac. The downside is that owners of the current vehicles who use them to tow will likely need to look elsewhere to fill that need. Still, if Cadillac's gig is to sell legit luxury vehicles, moving to more car-like platforms makes all kinds of sense. It's going to be really interesting to see if any of this stuff actually pans out.

[Source: MotorTrend]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Regarding the issue of size, it doesn't wash, in my opinion.

      The Lambda CUVs are all roughly the same size as the current standard-length Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade.

      Using the GMC Acadia as the measuring stick, it is, versus the current Escalade:

      2" shorter in overall length
      .8" narrower
      3" shorter in terms of overall height

      The Acadia's wheelbase is almost 3" longer. Both luggage capacity (behind the third row) and total cargo capacity (all seats folded) beat the Escalade.

      You can look at all the specs side-by-side and judge for yourselves:

      Escalade:
      http://autos.aol.com/cars-Cadillac-Escalade-2009/specs

      Acadia:
      http://autos.aol.com/cars-GMC-Acadia-2009/specs

      Just because they're tagged as "crossovers" doesn't make the Lambdas smaller. With a V8 (at least an optional one) and an appropriately superior interior (this is key), a Lambda-platform Escalade would be a pretty impressive ride.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That's just it though, would an ESV even be possible anymore? I realize the Acadia is "almost" as big as a SWB Escalade, but it isn't AS big, and it most cetainly isn't bigger. The Escalade carries a presence on the road because of its "i'm bigger, then you" in your face attitude and I think some of that would be lost by putting it on a CUV style chassis. Plus that might mean the end of the ESV entirely, or we'd end up with what was IMO a goofy looking vehicle in the Tblazer/Envoy extended models.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It seems like a good move. There will always be a market for a luxury SUV and the more consolidated GM makes the platforms is better for the bottom line.

      However, they must be careful not to end up like Ford and their criticism that all Lincolns are simply rebadged Ford models.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Isn't the whole appeal of the escalade the fact that it is gigantic?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lambdas are gigantic. And they're going to look bigger in coming years, too, as the rest of the fleet shrinks.

        This was inevitable. The good news is GM's all ready to go with a platform ready to pimp up as a 'Slade.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't believe it. There will surely be a lambda Caddy, but the Escalade will still be based on the GMT900 and its successors. I suspect a good number of the folks who are wealthy enough to buy an Escalade also have boats and RV's and other stuff to tow. They'll sell in smaller numbers, but there are still enough people that need and/or want real SUVs. It would be foolish for Cadillac to not offer the ultimate Suburban. Maybe the EXT will die off, but not the standard length or ESV versions, no way.
      • 6 Years Ago

      The gives GM five versions of the same car, which is three too many.
      • 6 Years Ago
      NONSENSE --- I SAY!!
      They need some good market research here.

      Lambda == better for passengers and fuel econ.

      Present Escalade == macho truck in Cad drag, bought by A-holes who like to show off and hog the road.

      If mostly Mommies are buying, the revamped mini-van platform with FWD is pretty good.
      If mostly macho guys, or mostly Sarah Palins buying the Escalade, FWD kils it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It probably makes a lot of sense for the Escalade to go Lambda.

      But--and I repeat, but--that means that GM will have 5 variants on the Lambda platform

      This begs the question of why does GM continue to have so many overlapping vehicles that in many ways are courting the same customer? Instead of having 2-3 very focused offerings, they dilute themselves . . . which is just more of the same problem that plagues GM: too many models, too many brands, too many dealers.

      • 6 Years Ago
      If GM is going to do this they're just going to be digging the whole deeper. Caddi has the Escalade and part of the reason why it sells so well its because of its size. People see this car as a status symbol. Sure shrinking it might make sense in times like today when the Arabs and fuel companies are taking us for every penny...but people with money dont care, and thats the crowd who purchases large status symbol cars such as Escalades other other luxury SUV's.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't like this idea. While the Lambda is an excellent platform, the Slade just wouldn't fit the profile. Make it smaller, and then what? Now we have a CUV that looks, and may act like the new and upcoming SRX.

      They need to stay full-size and remain on the truck platform. People who need to tow, but can afford luxury should still have that option available.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think it could work, but only if there aren't four other interations of the vehicle. But still, part of me thinks a lot of Escalade owners like being the biggest on the road and that this won't work at all. So yeah, this is a bad idea, just get rid of the Denalis, make Escaldes really expensive to compete directly with Land Rover and LX570 (they are almost there now, but still offer base, stripped models) and have the Tahoe a whole lot cheaper so they can't be corss shopped at all, like some Denalis are now. Drop the EXT completely.
      vpoort
      • 6 Years Ago
      My first thought was "Escalade is going for the forbidden Brazilian dance?"

      But then I re-read it "Lambda" not "Lambada".
      • 6 Years Ago
      This will work about as well as making Lamda Hummers.
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