After months of agonizingly painful waiting for Escalade fans, GM has finally unveiled its 2007 model of the Cadillac SUV. At its official Hollywood launch event yesterday, Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor said, "when you're selling luxury vehicles, you're not just selling transportation. You're selling fashion and you're selling image." Updates, made with input from A-list focus groups of athletes and hip hop stars, include optional 22-inch wheels, bolder styling and interior modifications. More pics and full release after the jump.
DETROIT- Cadillac unveiled the 2007 Escalade, the next generation of the iconic luxury SUV. The all-new Escalade establishes a new level of refinement and style, delivered with an instantly recognizable form that introduces the next step in Cadillac's ongoing renaissance.
Based on General Motors' all-new full-size SUV platform, the '07 Escalade features new powertrain, chassis, safety and interior systems. These integrated systems deliver the most powerful and most efficient luxury SUV in the segment, led by a new 6.2L all-aluminum V-8 engine with variable valve timing technology delivering 403 horsepower (301 kw)* and 417 lb.-ft. of torque (565 Nm).*
"The 2007 Escalade represents the next phase of Cadillac's product renaissance - a renaissance that was launched by the previous-generation Escalade," said Jim Taylor, Cadillac general manager. "Since its inception, Escalade has been an icon - the vehicle discerning customers aspire to own. The '07 model raises the bar with exceptional exterior style, interior refinement, increased performance and enhanced ride and handling smoothness."
Cadillac Escalade will be available in the first quarter of 2006, with extended-wheelbase Escalade ESV and Escalade EXT models to be introduced later in the year. The Escalade family is one of the most aspirational nameplates in the industry and attracts the youngest customers in Cadillac's portfolio of automobiles.
Cadillac Escalade will also be sold outside North America , thus strengthening Cadillac's global portfolio.
Escalade has a sleeker, cleaner and more athletic form with improved aerodynamics while appearing smaller in stature. It is instantly identifiable and incorporates styling cues from the landmark Sixteen concept vehicle, including a more detailed signature grille, front fender vent ports and layers of chrome accents.
"One look and there's no doubt it's an Escalade," says Taylor . "The '07 Escalade introduces the future of Cadillac design, which matches leading edge forms and styling with superior craftsmanship and attention to detail."
Details in elements such as wraparound fascias, styled mirrors and integrated running boards enhance Escalade's flowing design and bolster the feeling of refinement. All major sheetmetal and body components are new and feature crisp, taut lines. The sleek, toned look includes a faster windshield angle of 57 degrees, which flows gracefully into the roofline. This also improves aerodynamic performance to a segment-best 0.363 coefficient of drag, which helps improve fuel economy and reduce wind noise.
The bold Escalade front-end design features a Sixteen-inspired egg crate grille with detailed chrome elements and a prominent wreath-and-crest insignia. The grille is flanked by tri-element headlamps that use High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting technology, with available IntelliBeam automatic headlamp beam control. The sides of the vehicle look fresh and clean with new doors, a single-piece window surround and seven layers of chrome accents. Rear-end styling also is distinct and is highlighted by LED taillamps, LED-lit center high-mount stop light (CHMSL), chrome accents and an integrated trailer hitch cover.
Larger standard and available wheels, including standard 18-inch wheels and available chrome 22-inch wheels, are tailored to fit the wheel openings. This precise wheel-to-body relationship - enabled by a wider track - gives Escalade a more athletic presence and lowered stance.
Refined, spacious interior
All-new interior styling is a cornerstone of the new Escalade. The flowing, luxurious interior is complemented with premium materials and a distinct layout not shared with any other GM full-size SUV. The cabin also is more spacious, with an instrument panel that is lower and moved forward in the vehicle. This warm and inviting interior comes in two colors: Ebony and Cashmere .
Escalade's exclusive interior includes a unique instrument panel, instrumentation gauges with white needles and blue light inlays with continuously lit, white-LED backlighting, Nuance leather-covered seats, leather-covered door trim and center console, fabric-covered interior pillars and an available heated steering wheel.
The two-tone Cocoa-on-Cashmere appearance gives Escalade the aura of a roomy luxury sedan. The upscale styling is complemented by new, softer and low-gloss materials for the instrument panel and other trim pieces. The harmonious color and grain of the materials were carefully selected to provide a premium feel as well as durability. Flush-mounted controls and radios, with almost imperceptible gaps, convey precision and integration.
Attention to detail is evident throughout the vehicle. There is no visible hardware to greet occupants when the doors are opened and there are no exposed fasteners or hardware on the pillars, seats or seat tracks. The seats have "close-outs" that surround the seat bottoms and seat tracks, creating a more finished appearance. Fasteners and hardware are also covered when the seats are folded.
When it comes to convenience and capability, Escalade delivers with a new industry-exclusive power fold-and-tumble second-row seat feature that eases access to the third-row seat, as well as a power-assisted rear liftgate that opens and closes with the touch of a button. The remote starting feature is standard and is integrated with the tri-zone automatic climate control system, allowing the interior to be heated or cooled when the vehicle is remotely started.
An enhanced array of audio, infotainment and safety options also includes an available 8-inch touch-screen navigation system, as well as a DVD system with large 8-inch flip-down screen. A segment-first Bose 5.1 Digital Surround Sound system is integrated into the new family of radios that play DVD audio, DVD video, CD audio, CD videos, MP3s and XM Satellite Radio.
The new Escalade is more spacious. More fore/aft front seat travel provides the segment's leading legroom for front-seat passengers. Second-row seat legroom and knee room, and third-row seat headroom are increased over the previous models. The second- and third-row seats also have more shoulder room - a feat accomplished while also offering standard roof-mounted head curtain side air bags. Cargo room has increased by 4.2 cubic feet (118.9 liters) behind the second-row seats and 2.3 cubic feet (65.1 liters) behind the third row. The third-row seats fold flat and are easily tumbled forward or removed for maximum cargo area. Also, the unique, two-compartment center console is the segment's largest. The glove box offers 25 percent more storage space than previous models and features damped opening operation that reinforces Escalade's overall feeling of refinement.
With a reputation as one of the segment's top performers, the '07 Escalade builds on its heritage with a combination of performance, responsiveness and comfort that channels the vehicle-wide refinements into an effortless driving experience.
A new 6.2L V-8 rated at 403 horsepower (301 kw)* and 417 lb.-ft. of torque (565 Nm)* is exclusive to Escalade. This all-aluminum engine uses v ariable valve timing (VVT) to optimize camshaft timing to improve low-rpm torque and high-rpm horsepower. The introduction of variable valve timing through the unique, dual-equal cam phaser is the industry's first application of VVT on a mass-produced V-8 overhead-valve engine. The unique dual-equal phaser adjusts the camshaft timing at the same rate for both the intake and exhaust valves. Aluminum cylinder heads and an aluminum engine block offer reduced mass, an attribute that supports improved vehicle weight distribution and improved fuel economy.
A new Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the 6.2L engine. One of the industry's most advanced automatics, the 6L80 features clutch-to-clutch shifting and has a wide, 6.04:1 overall ratio - including two overdrive gears - that helps deliver an excellent balance of performance and fuel economy. The 6L80's six forward gears have smaller "steps" between them, compared to a conventional four-speed automatic, which bolsters both performance and the feeling of smoothness. Shorter steps between the gears help the transmission quickly find the best gear for the vehicle speed and road conditions, with less back-and-forth hunting on grades - a trait that is particularly helpful when towing. Also, the 6L80 has Driver Shift Control (tap up/tap down) capability that allows the driver to manually select upshifts and downshifts with a button on the column shifter.
A stronger frame and chassis supports the more powerful powertrain and enables the Escalade's exceptional responsiveness and ride and handling smoothness. A new, fully boxed frame offers 49 percent increased torsional stiffness and a 35-percent improvement in beaming frequency, compared to previous models. In addition, all front and rear suspension attachment points are stiffened for improved suspension performance and reduced road input into the vehicle. The frame supports wider front and rear tracks - approximately 3 inches (76.2 mm) wider in front and 1 inch (25.4 mm) wider in the rear - that enhance stability and driving confidence through a more secure road feel and a lower center of gravity.
The front suspension consists of an all-new coil-over-shock design that delivers linear, solid and unwavering ride and handling characteristics on all road surfaces. Also new is a rack-and-pinion steering system that provides precise and responsive control and superior on-center feel. A highly refined five-link rear suspension complements the front suspension for great road isolation and vehicle handling.
Larger, four-wheel disc brakes and an all-new ABS system from Bosch help ensure braking performance. Larger vented front and rear brake rotors, 50-percent stiffer dual-piston calipers, longer-life brake pads and the new system's design result in enhanced pedal feel, reduced brake noise, predictable, linear brake response and shorter braking distances. A new Bosch 8.0 next-generation four-channel ABS system is also standard. The ABS system works with the standard StabiliTrak stability control system's new rollover mitigation technology. This software algorithm technology uses sensors to proactively predict vehicle "tip-up" and apply appropriate brake force to help prevent such events.
Enhanced driving control and ride smoothness are offered with the standard Road Sensing System, which uses electronically controlled shock absorbers to make nearly instantaneous damping adjustments. The system "reads" the road and anticipates the best damping rates.
Safety and security
The '07 Escalade is designed to be among the industry's safest and most secure vehicles, with numerous safety systems and crash-avoidance technologies. New occupant protection features include head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for all seating rows and an industry-first 360-degree front safety belt pretensioner activation system.
The roof-mounted head curtain air bag tethers hold the bags in place longer for increased rollover protection and occupant containment. Sensors located at the front and rear of the vehicle, as well as the side doors, provide increased and more immediate crash detection. The exclusive rear pretensioner sensors can trigger the front seat pretensioners during a rear-end collision, holding the occupants firmly in place and helping to prevent whiplash injuries.
The myriad of crash sensors are complemented by crash-avoidance systems such as standard StabiliTrak with rollover mitigation. The electronically controlled system continuously measures the side angle of the vehicle and, if a rollover appears imminent, it can deploy the side curtain air bags before the crash occurs. The 360 degrees of detection capability allows the electronically controlled safety systems to deploy in a greater variety of situations.
Crash avoidance is bolstered through enhanced driver control dynamics such as wider front and rear tracks, as well as a more responsive suspension - including a new coil-over-shock front suspension design and new rack-and-pinion steering. The Escalade is built on a stronger and stiffer, fully-boxed frame that is designed for improved crash energy management. The front frame section, for example, has improved crush dynamics that provide the equivalent of 17.7 inches (450 mm) of additional crush space - in a vehicle that is only approximately 3 inches (76.2 mm) longer than its predecessor. The frame also is designed for improved vehicle-to-vehicle height compatibility in the event of a frontal impact with a smaller vehicle.
Additional safety and security features include:
Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation technology
Standard dual-stage driver and front passenger frontal air bags
Automatic Occupant Sensing System turns off front passenger air bag if a small occupant is detected in the seat
Standard roof-mounted head curtain side air bags for all seating rows
Standard front safety belt pretensioners with activation sensors in the front, sides and rear of the vehicle
5-star frontal impact ratings anticipated
Standard tire pressure monitoring system
Standard rain-sensing wiper system
Standard heated washer fluid system
Standard Ultrasonic Rear Parking Assist that can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and send a visual and audible warning
Standard perimeter lighting
Standard Road Sensing Suspension
Available rearview camera system that can visually detect people or objects in the rearward path of the vehicle
Standard pull-up/push-down power windows
Escalade comes with the Generation 6 OnStar system (with a one-year Directions and Connections service plan). The system includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to emergency services to potentially dispatch the appropriate life-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster. If the vehicle is in a crash that activates an air bag, the OnStar system automatically notifies an OnStar Advisor, who will check on the occupants and summon emergency help if necessary. OnStar also can assist authorities in locating a vehicle if it is reported stolen (ability to locate stolen vehicles varies with conditions).