• Oct 31, 2012
Within the next year or so, Cadillac will be launching its fourth-generation Escalade, and the SUV will be entering into a very different market than the one its predecessor first encountered in 2006. Over its history, General Motors' most expensive SUV has carved out a high-profile, highly profitable niche for itself as a larger-than-life, flamboyant style statement. But the next Escalade will dial back the chrome and the overtly conspicuous design that made it popular among attention-grabbing celebrities. Instead, General Motors' North American President, Mark Reuss, says the 2014/2015 Escalade will be "much less ostentatious" to be better in-step with the times.

At a media roundtable held earlier today at GM's downtown Detroit world headquarters, Reuss told Autoblog that Cadillac is changing its design tack with the next Escalade because there has been a "permanent mindset change about what luxury looks like." The new luxury, it follows, is more substantive and less showy, with a greater emphasis on efficiency. As a consequence, the Escalade will be "understated yet elegant," though Reuss was quick to assert that the SUV's new design "is not feminine." Indeed, spy shots of the next Escalade suggest that the truck's design will still have gobs of presence, including a massive front grille and an intimidating stance marked out by large wheels.

The Escalade will be "understated yet elegant," though Reuss was quick to assert that the SUV's new design "is not feminine."

Reuss cautions that even though GM is targeting a more refined visual and driving experience, the Escalade will still hold appeal for current owners, with a much more upscale interior and the same high ride height that buyers have come to know and love. And as the Escalade will remain a body-on-frame truck with V8 power, it should still maintain its workhorse capabilities for those who tow regularly, despite posting sizable efficiency gains.

At the same roundtable, Cadillac's new Global Vice President, Robert E. Ferguson, noted that the current Escalade has a surprisingly diverse ownership base, with clusters around both single males and mothers with young children. The next-gen Escalade will look to better leverage that spectrum of buyers, with GM hoping that its "audience will expand significantly." In order to court that broader consumer base, Reuss points out that the new Escalade also "won't be marketed the same as we did five years ago."

Of course, GM isn't looking to abandon core customers that helped make Escalade one of the industry's most recognizable nameplates. To that end, Reuss assured Autoblog that "there will continue to be a place and trim" for the model's traditional customers who were drawn to the current Escalade's splashier style.


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  • 70 Comments
      wilkegm
      • 2 Years Ago
      i think Escalade buyers want austentacious. otherwise, they would buy a much more subtle Yukon Denali, usually at the same dealership.
      Steve
      • 2 Years Ago
      WHY ? If those people want to burn up gasoline like money is going out of style, can't they at least look good while doing it. Maybe they will opt for a Maseratti SUV instead. I don't know, maybe they are thinking like FEMA, spend the maximum amount to the same job as an ESCAPE, but burn alot more gas, and take up two parking spots.
      Vinuuz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I suppose they would make the escalade significantly lighter with aluminium etc. and put in some high tech transmission to eek out 20-30% more efficiency from the v8. In a way am glad that the escalade retains the larger than life body on frame dimensions. Perhaps they can do a dedicated off road capable model now that GM doesn't make the hummer any more - something that can compete with the range rovers toe to toe on luxury and capability.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm gonna go against the general consensus here and say that I think this is a mistake. Cadillac has always been a division that was willing to push styling norms and try designs that were over-the-top. Taking that away from the next Escalade seems like a dumb idea when someone could just as easily buy a Tahoe or Suburban for many thousands less money. Now don't get me wrong, I am not even necessarily a fan of the Escalade itself - but that demographic tends to like some flash.
      Swordfish
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like the new design, especially the round rear windows. It also looks like it would be comfortable to lean against.
      nychubby
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why mess with something that is good. Car targets a certain market and it sells. They're going to screw up just like when GM dumped the Trans-AM , to build the Aztec.
      dogbolter
      • 2 Years Ago
      For pathetic people, lacking in the upstairs and downstairs department.
      Making11s
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good luck trying to make a $70,000 tarted up Tahoe understated and elegant.
      Scooter
      • 2 Years Ago
      What is an Escalade? Its an boat sized SUV, oversized headlamps, big tires with gaudy chrome rims, overpowered engine that generates a laughable mpg rating. It embodies the sense of wasteful spending, over zealous proportions and tacky chrome strips galore. Its one of those cars that completely embodies the attitude of the most of its owner base. Its big, its wasteful, its nothing you need for a price tag that represents the money your wasting.
        lasertekk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scooter
        And people blame the 80's for being shallow and obscene.
      XJ Yamaha
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's incredible to think people will pay close to $100k for one of these things. Even if I were a millionaire I wouldn't be be dumb enough to blow that kinda money on this heap.
      aobg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Typical comments are typical - the Escalade has a loyal following and has for a long time - if you don't get it, fine, but don't make ludicrous comments that are clearly clueless!
      • 2 Years Ago
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        • 2 Years Ago
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