Cadillac is considering adding a sportier build of the Escalade to the lineup, as well as two V-6 engine options. The V-6 engines would be available in gas or diesel, and would improve the Escalade's poor fuel efficiency.
All Cadillac Escalades are currently equipped with a 6.2 liter V-8, the same engine used in a number of General Motors trucks and SUVs. The engine produces 420 horsepower, and in the all-wheel-drive Escalade can push the nearly three ton vehicle to 60 mph in less than six seconds.
According to brand manager David Schiavone, Cadillac may soon add a number of engine options for the Escalade. A "V-Sport" engine could provide extra horsepower, while two V-6 engines would improve fuel efficiency. A V-6 turbodiesel engine would run on significantly less fuel at highway speeds, while a twin-turbo V-6 engine would increase miles per gallon while running on regular gasoline.
The Escalade's nearest competitor, the Lincoln Navigator, made a full switch to V-6 engines for the 2015 model year, changing from a 5.4 liter V-8 to a twin-turnbo 3.5 liter V-6 as the only available engine. By adding a number of engine options, the Escalade could attract buyers who want something different that what the Navigator provides.
The increased fuel efficiency of the V-6 engine would also help sales overseas. China's severe pollution problems have led to incentives for the purchase of more fuel-efficient vehicles. The high price of gasoline in Europe also inhibits the sales of inefficient vehicles, and tax rates are often lower for vehicles with higher mpg ratings.
Another problem facing the Escalade is its chassis. While most other luxury car manufacturers develop a new chassis for their SUVs, the Escalade is based on the same frame as the Chevrolet Tahoe, which in turn is based on the chassis used for GM pickup trucks. While not particularly poor in quality, the chassis was not built with luxury in mind, and the vehicle can shudder when going over bumps in a way unfitting of its nearly $74,000 price tag.
The Escalade does come equipped with standard luxury trimmings such as a real leather and wood interior. Higher-end builds include automatic brakes that engage to prevent a collision and cameras that monitor blind spots. The driver's seat can also vibrate when hazards are detected. The premium build of the vehicle is priced at just under $88,000.