General Motors Unveils 2021 Cadillac Escalade, 360 Visualizer; Reports 2019 Earnings

General Motors Co.’s Cadillac brand has unveiled its 2021 Escalade, which is completely redesigned with technologies the automaker says add a new dimension to the luxury SUV. It also introduced a new 360-degree, 3-D visualizer for Escalade buyers.
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2021 Cadillac Escalade
Cadillac has unveiled its 2021 Escalade, which is expected to be available in the third quarter. // Photo courtesy of Cadillac

General Motors Co.’s Cadillac brand has unveiled its 2021 Escalade, which is completely redesigned with technologies the automaker says add a new dimension to the luxury SUV. It also introduced a new 360-degree, 3-D visualizer for Escalade buyers.

At the same time, GM announced that it had a full-year income of $6.7 billion and EBIT-adjusted of $8.4 billion, which includes a negative $3.6-billion impact from the fall UAW strike.

The 2021 Escalade, which goes on sale in late-2020 in North America, will be manufactured at GM’s Arlington, Texas assembly facility. Pricing will be revealed closer to production.

The fifth generation of Cadillac’s flagship SUV features first-to-market technology advances including a curved organic light emitting diode (OLED) screen, the first AKG automotive audio system, and Cadillac’s Super Cruise driver assistance technology.

“There is something special about driving an Escalade,” says Steve Carlisle, president of Cadillac. “It has the bold presence and exclusive technology to elevate the extraordinary and make every drive feel like an occasion.”

Launching in the third quarter, the 2021 Escalade has been completely redesigned to deliver improved driving dynamics and greater passenger and cargo capacities.

“The 2021 Escalade takes its leadership into a new era of mobility, with comprehensive upgrades that are transformative to the driving experience,” said Carlisle. ”It’s more than a new Escalade. It’s a new experience.”

Among the other features of the 2021 Escalade are:

  • Augmented reality-enabled navigation with a live forward camera view.
  • Surround vision that employs four exterior cameras to provide a 2-megapixel bird’s-eye view of the scene around the vehicle.
  • An available trailering integration package, which offers up to nine camera views (including rear camera guidelines) to support easier hitching. The package also includes an integrated trailer brake controller and a trailering app that offers trailer profiles, tire pressure and temperature monitoring, and an extended side blind zone alert.
  • Rear camera mirror, an available feature that streams a rear-facing camera view on the conventional inside mirror screen.
  • Night vision, an available feature that uses infrared technology to enhance forward visibility, including detection of pedestrians and large animals, projected on the center cluster display.
  • New rear-seat entertainment features a pair of 12.6-inch-diagonal independent touch displays with navigation as well as streaming capability to play games, music, and videos through HDMI and USB inputs.

On the exterior, Escalade maintains Cadillac’s signature vertical lighting element, but the new interpretation adds a horizontal headlamp to reinforce a broad stance. The tall, vertical, rear light signature continues but adds deep three-dimensional layers and finishes with detailed etching. Twenty-two-inch wheels are standard. Escalade will offer Cadillac’s sport trim for the first time, featuring a black mesh grille and black trim.

Escalade’s new interior design is heavily influenced by Cadillac’s Escala concept vehicle — a design that also debuted an OLED display — and breaks new ground with the first-ever Gideon Whisper Beige trim combination. This high-performance, high-fashion available interior is centered on a custom-woven fabric that adds a new level of style and ambience to the Escalade’s cabin, according to the company.

“The expectations and desires of Escalade customers are factors everyone in the Cadillac design studio unequivocally understands,” says Phil Kucera, interior design manager at Cadillac. “This allowed us to reach greater levels of depth and detail than Escalade has ever had before.”

To help Escalade buyers customize their new vehicles, Cadillac has introduced a new 360-degree visualizer that uses a 3-D model of the Escalade Premium Luxury Platinum to allow customers an immersive view of the new vehicle from every angle, and to let them get inside and explore its interior.

The Cadillac Escalade visualizer allows customers to switch between eight available exterior colors, three available interior configurations, and four choices of wheels to see how the combinations look together.

“The visualizer allows customers to engage with the 2021 Escalade right from their phone or desktop, six months before the vehicle is available in showrooms,” says Robert Benbow, marketing manager for Escalade. “And it will only get better over time.”

GM reported 2019 full-year earnings that were heavily impacted by a work stoppage in the third and fourth quarters. Performance remained strong, the company says, driven by sales of GM’s all-new full-size pickups and the company’s ongoing cost actions.

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