After being unceremoniously kicked off of the SUV throne with the upcoming electric Hummer, and after at least three leaks, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade is finally out in the open, and it’s a big blocky son of a bitch.
As was clear in the many leaked images of the new Escalade, Cadillac has dialed back a lot of the loud, sharp and angled features of the outgoing model with something that’s simple, softer, and incredibly blocky.
I fear it won’t stand out among the Chevy Suburbans and GMC Yukons of the world, no longer chromed to hell and screaming for attention in the Starbucks drive-thru running ten minutes late to drop Brayden and Jasper off at their crystal reading lessons.
The key theme for this Escalade is blocky. The fascia has rectangular headlights and fog lights that frame the rectangular grille in a larger rectangular mass with no caution for how these shapes reveal the sheer mass of this vehicle. As my colleague Raph pointed out, it’s very modern Rolls-Royce, where maybe the headlights are too small, and the overall look unimaginative, but somehow incredibly expensive looking out of pure will.
The blocking continues down the side with a floating roofline, and in the back with two tall taillights squaring off the rear-window like on the outgoing Escalade. It’s a big block of banality, for big blocky boomer buyers.
Cadillac’s flagship SUV will include Super Cruise for the first time (finally), which now includes automatic lane change technology. Inside there are a massive 38 square inches of screen for driver and passenger to look at. Cadillac says those screens have the pixel density of a 4K tv for super high resolution.
Another cool new feature is augmented reality navigation, which projects turn by turn directions over a live video feed of the road ahead.
Power will be provided by a familiar set of engines if you’ve been paying attention to the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon launches recently. The most common engine will be the 6.2-liter small-block V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. The Duramax 3-liter inline six turbo diesel will also bow for the full-sized luxury SUV, delivering 277 hp and 460 lb-ft. All engine options will be backed by a 10-speed automatic.
How much will this big bad boy cost? Expect a starting price around 80 grand.