May 25, 2012
Chris Salamone

Back In Black: Escalade Pardoned From Death Row

Somehow, someway the Cadillac Escalade will reborn in early 2014, as a 2015 model. Coming right on the heels of a Consumer Reports study which found fuel efficiency to be the singularly most important factor in car shopping, GM has nevertheless decided to reboot the aging megalodon of fuel guzzling SUVs. Apparently the old brute was just too dang good at making money.

For years now industry analysts have speculated that large body-on-frame SUVs would slowly die off. And GM’s recent decision to axe the Chevy Avalanche, and ritzy twin Cadillac Escalade EXT, added wood to the Escalade’s impending funeral pyre.

Even so, a senior Cadillac official has just recently breathed new life into the Escalade via The Detroit Bureau, suggesting the Escalade’s legendary street cred amongst professional gangsters and athletes translated into some kind of broader consumer desirability: “We were finding that for everyone turned on by that image there were four (potential luxury buyers) who were turned (on as well).”

So far we know next to nothing about the future Caddy full-sized SUV, except that GM is planning to use the upcoming Chevrolet and GMC pickup chassis in the vehicle’s underpinnings. Although delayed because of an economic downturn, the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra reboots are scheduled to land for the 2013 model year – giving a full year of market exposure before Cadillac offers a new Escalade.

To that end, we can assume the 2015 Escalade will remain a body-on-frame utility vehicle. Apparently GM has determined that full-sized luxury SUV buyers have no interest in fuel costs OR handling. The Detroit Bureau speculates that hybrid and diesel options are “thought to be in the mix.” Let’s hope they are efficient enough to overcome the aerodynamics, weight, and body roll typically associated with Escalades of yore.

It may come as no surprise, then, that Lincoln will also redesign their equivalent battle cruiser, the Navigator, around the same time. As both brands struggle to redefine themselves as “current” in the coming decade, it’ll be interesting to see how Cadillac and Lincoln frame their respective poster children of the prodigious wastefulness from a bygone era.

Tree hugging aside, Cadillac has some diehard supporters – and with good reason. The company has a long track record of setting new marketplace trends. Perhaps an all-new Escalade will do just that, with or without the advice of Consumer Reports.

Source : The Detroit Bureau