By on October 8, 2013

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As Cadillac introduces the all-new 2015 Escalade body-on-frame SUV, the luxury marque is considering extending the Escalade brand to include a large crossover that would slot in between the full size ‘Slade and the midsize SRX CUV. “I think there’s a lot of equity in Escalade,” Bob Ferguson, senior vice president of global Cadillac, told Automotive News at the NYC reveal of the revamped SUV, “I’d like to explore the notion of other vehicles that would carry that brand name.”

Ferguson said that GM planners “are still looking at” a unibody crossover larger than the SRX to complement the Escalade SUV, which is based on a GM truck platform. There is a segment of consumers that are looking for a large utility vehicle but one that’s more car-like. Of course with similar construction and layouts there’s no reason why an Escalade shouldn’t ride just as smoothly as a 1960s era BOF Cadillac sedan, but perception isn’t always the same as reality, and crossovers are a fast growing market segment. Since GM already makes the large Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Traverse CUVs on the unibody “Lambda” platform, it seems likely that the next generation Lambdas will include a Cadillac.

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107 Comments on “Cadillac Considers Lambda Based Unibody Crossover to Extend Escalade Brand...”


  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Asscholade?

    • 0 avatar
      billfrombuckhead

      Crossovers are taking over for sedans. It would be management malpractice not to offer a credible Cadillac large midsize crossover. Chrysler is supposed to be working on one too. They both need them yesterday.

      But then there’s the MKT hearse they buried Lincoln in.

      But I’m sure many will listen to this Ron Burgundy guy and just buy a Durango since it’s got a HEMI. I wonder what Ricky Bobbie drives?

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Isnt the Durango full size? If so isn’t that dodges fullsize crossover?

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Really no point of making a full-size CUV RWD-based as they are pretty much “soccer-mom” go-to vehicles – so things like maximum space and ride quality takes precedence over driving dynamics.

        Aside from a compact CUV based on the Alpha platform (to be shared with the ATS), Cadillac needs to switch the SRX back to RWD (either on the Alpha+ or a shortened version of the Omega platform) – so that would give Cadillac 2 RWD CUVs at the compact and midsize segments on the sportier side (to compete with the X3 and X5).

        A full-size FWD-based CUV would then serve the buyers who want something larger and not on the sportier side of things (when it comes to CUVs).

    • 0 avatar

      The ESCALADE is the only vehicle Caddilac makes which actually carries on the company’s legacy.

      The rest are a bunch of wanna-be BMW 3 and 5 series competitors that no German buyer would ever choose over a BMW.

      • 0 avatar
        Compaq Deskpro

        The Escalade is an iconic American car, and this redesign does it justice. It is beautiful. I wasn’t always so sure, I really didn’t like the look of this:

        http://www.autocars2015.com/2014-cadillac-escalade-debut-and-price/

        Not sharp enough, Caddies should not be rounded off with soft lines, but this, they outdid themself. Will drool over at the dealership, fully aware of its Tahoe lineage. (Is that really so bad? A major part of previous big Chevies and Caddies such as the Caprice/Fleetwood was their common platform.)

        Sorry for the pointless rant, but I just sat down and watched the video now, and I’m high on Escalade.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Um, every competitor in those 2 classes are “wanna-be BMW 3 and 5 Series competitors”, even MB nowadays as they have been trying to inject some “sport” into the C and E Classes (and Lexus has totally gone in trying to compete against the 3 and 5 Series when it comes to driving dynamics).

        The sad thing is that BMW has gone away from that – making both the 3 and 5 Series “softer.”

        Thus far, when it comes to the “wanna-be BMW 3 and 5 Series competitors” – Cadillac has done the best job of offering models which harken back to the good old days of the 3 and 5 Series with the ATS and the new CTS.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Shades of Cutlass? That worked out well. Escalade Ciera, Supreme, Salon.

    Since the Escalade sells so poorly it’s hard to think what equity they imagine it has, although it’s probably a better name than their alphabet soup mess, witness the CTS et al.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Sells poorly? It sells around 1000 a month. For comparison the Toyota Landcruiser sells 250 and the Lexus LX sells around 300 (all data from goodcarbadcar). So the Escalade outsells both Toyota and Lexus versions c. 2:1

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        http://247wallst.com/investing/2013/10/08/cadillac-releases-new-escalade-no-one-will-buy/

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          So will you be consistent and complain when the next Landcruiser or LX comes out since they sell in much smaller numbers than the Escalade? Or do you need a newspaper article to tell you?

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          That very article states caddy sold over 1,700 escalades in september. Sure it’s not as good as it’s peak at 60k sales, but 22k sales is still quite profitable.
          At 65k-95k prices,

          Okay, so;
          The vehicle is automatically profitable thanks to its chassis shared with 2 high volume trucks, and 4 other well selling SUV’s
          The vehicle has very good equity in its name
          It sells the largest number of fullsize luxury SUV’s
          GM makes easily over 10k per vehicle.

          How do they possible lose?
          How could any company not exploit such an easy source of revenue?
          Why is a Vehicle in the investment section of that website?
          Perhaps that is sign enough the writer has an agenda.

        • 0 avatar
          coachbbq

          The article behind this link makes as little sense as your comment. Did you write it? The article itself says that Cadillac sold over 1,000 Escalades just last month. 1,000 units at what must be more than $50k in profits is something worth doing.
          Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Land Rover, and Lexus all make the effort to compete in this segment, and the current (old) Escalade still outsells them all. Maybe it’s not for you, perhaps you find it loathsome, but people buy Escalades and GM makes money selling them.

          • 0 avatar
            whynot

            And don’t forget that right after announcing 1754 Escalade sales last month, the next paragraph ends with

            “It is another to pretend that the Escalade will ever sell more than a few hundred units a month, no matter how slick and advanced its interior and exterior are.

            Right.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Oh dear ThornMark undone by his own choice of article. He doesn`t have to like the vehicle (I personally would never buy one) but just because this isn`t a Honda (who doesn`t have a dog in this fight) means he has to mindlessly criticise it, and falsely at that.

            Did TM query Toyota extending the Prius name to encompass three vehicles?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    First XTS and now this, back to the Xerox machine!

    Old habits die hard eh, Rencen?

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      It would be a “xerox” in the same way a $100,000 Porsche Cayenne is a “xerox” of the $50,000 VW Touareg. I don’t perceive many undies bunching themselves up over that.

      Actually, I think the Escalade would be a FAR better vehicle if it was on a CUV platform, more like a Mercedes GL.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m not up on VAG’s platforms enough to retort but I see little difference between Traverse and Enclave, and at least prior to this Escalade, little difference between it, and its GMC/Chevrolet cousins.

        “I think the Escalade would be a FAR better vehicle if it was on a CUV platform”

        Blasphemy!

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Check out the roofline of the last-gen Cayenne and Touareg – they’re pretty much identical, and both are built on the same platform (as is the Audi Q7). If they can get away with that, then I don’t see how GM couldn’t get away with a Lambda-based Escalade.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Zee Germans get away with alot of stuff they shouldn’t, the fact VAG, BMW, and Daimler can sell you cars as unreliable as they are for the price speaks volumes. If GM didn’t already sell three Lambda variants I’d be more inclined to agree but adding a forth knowing how limited the platform is to upgrades (i.e. being unable drop in a V8 on a Cadillac only model) it seems foolish to go in this direction. I give a better suggestion to RenCen in a later post.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Twin turbo 3.6, Magnetic Ride Control, lots of LEDs, and blocky styling in place of the Enclave’s curvy styling. There you go. More than different enough from the other Lambdas.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thanks for the suggestions DAL, but I certainly wouldn’t be sold vs Enclave (depending on pricing).

        • 0 avatar
          coachbbq

          I don’t think it’s the worst idea… I wish that GM would have long ago consolidated its dealer network and positioned the different brands as models/trim levels in a GM fleet. This would eliminate some of the superfluous models and put a more honest and palatable face on their badge engineering.
          For example, I quite like the lambda crossovers for their spaciousness and smooth ride. It should be offered in a Cadillac trim, the same basic vehicle with sharper styling, a bit more power, and a fancier interior.
          If Cadillac wants to maintain positive traction, they need to go where the buyers are. The real Escalade is a gas guzzler. The SRX doesn’t offer a third row. If I’m not mistaken, the Infiniti JX outsells the less expensive Pathfinder. I think that Lexus is preparing something for this segment as well. It’s more badge engineering, but it can be done well if they make the effort, and Cadillac just might be stupid if the DON’T do this.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The XTS is in now a “xerox machine” – no one is going to mistake it for the LaCrosse, much less the Impala.

      Seems like some people still don’t understand the diff. between platform sharing and re-badging (with a few cosmetic changes).

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        XTS is a Xerox sir, and a poor one at that. When you copy up brands, the top level offering should be the “best”. The Impala is much more enticing than XTS and Lacrosse.

  • avatar

    Both Lincoln and Cadillac have lost their way -and their prestige – to BMW and Mercedes Benz.

    However I think we can all agree Cadillac’s products are better than Lincoln’s.

  • avatar

    $70,000 in your pocket…

    You get one choice:

    ESCALADE, NAVIGATOR or JEEP SRT.

    What do you do?

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I have an honest-to-goodness observation that I would like to hear some feedback on… I hope someone from within the General is listening:

    –> Is there not a business case to do an SUV based on the 2500/3500 HD truck platform complete with the Duramax 6.6 diesel? I think a Silverado/Sierra/Escalade SUV based on the styling and underpinnings of the HD series trucks would sell like mad in many markets (including China and UAE). I know it is illogical and doesnt make much sense, but neither does a 1,200hp Bugatti or 6×6 Mercdes G wagon.

    I think the new Silverado HD is pure sex on wheels. I also notice that many many HD trucks are driven in light-duty applications most of their lives (Vancouver BC is awash in $40k+ trucks that rarely go off pavement).

    My perception is, many affluent buyers in North America gravitate towards the safety, cachet, and pure bravado of the large HD truck offerings (and 1500 series) from Ford/GM/Chrysler over luxury cars such as the S Class, 7 series, or the like. I see it everyday.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      They don’t sell HD diesel Suburbans anymore? I had no idea, my folks had one back in the 80s, great truck, even with the old non-turbo lump under the hood.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      They sell 2500 suburbans, but their advantage over a 1500 is laughable at best, the 6.0 is to weak for towing.

      I still don’t understand the lack of diesel myself, used diesel excursions command a premium, and the number of companies doing diesel swaps into suburbans should signal the need for the availiblity.

      The last suburban that realistically had a good towing setup was the 8.1, although it lacked the Allison that the 8.1 trucks had, it still gave the suburban credibility.

      Although I don’t see a duramax coming by looking at the new burbans, they look more like fashion statements than the work vehicles people need.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Ford tried this with the Excursion and it was and still is very popular. The problem is trucks get a pass as being blue-collar work oriented machines while SUVs, that are 95% the same, reek of the gas-guzzling, housing-bubble, giant chrome rim excess of the mid-2000′s. Manufacturers these days will go to great lengths to avoid that image or having their green credentials called into question.

  • avatar
    WaftableTorque

    Yes, there is equity in names. Like Eldorado, de Ville, Sixty Special, Fleetwood…

    Is this quote for real?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “I think there’s a lot of equity in Escalade,” Bob Ferguson, senior vice president of global Cadillac, said at the NYC reveal of the revamped SUV, “I’d like to explore the notion of other vehicles that would carry that brand name.”

    Coming soon

    Cadillac Escalade SRX
    Cadillac ATS Escalade trim
    Cadillac XTS Presidential Escalade edition

    Why don’t you just rename the whole brand Escalade, Bob?

  • avatar
    Hummer

    A fullsize crossover… What’s the point at that size?
    To make the the windows even smaller and the vehicle look worse?

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      Pretty much. I’m envisioning something that looks a little like Jabba’s sail barge and is about equally as classy.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Well, take a look at the Buick Enclave, or the Mercedes GL, or the Audi Q7. Those are “full size” crossovers. And they all have dimensions that are substantially tidier than the truck-based Escalade.

      They also have a lower ride height, which appeals to female buyers.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I thought the ladies enjoying riding up high, wasn’t that the original point of the CUV? “I like riding up high but don’t like the truck feel of the SUV” Make up your minds…

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          There is definitely a happy medium in that. Even at over 6′ tall, I find getting in and out of my p38 Range Rover a bit of a challenge. The Jeep Grand Cherokee it replaced was much lower. But once you are up there the view is mighty nice! Makes the Jeep seem like a delicate sporty little thing.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ah. I find this a little puzzling, my mother has a Gen 1 Liberty and as much as it rides very nice, I don’t like the “sit up” feeling it provides. I also feel hesitant to really book in it because of a fear of rollover or losing control, although I don’t feel this in my Pontiac or my Volvo.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            28 your not the only one with those feelings, I’ve ridden in a 1st gen patriot once, as soon as we started backing up, that vehicle felt top heavy.
            I was more scared in that driving around town then I was riding a Bronco II on a farm just screwing around on hills and doing generally stupid stuff.

            If it’s going to be tall, it needs to be wide.

        • 0 avatar
          azmtbkr81

          They like low floor/high seat, UPS truck style.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Wasn’t there an article several months back noting how women would buy vehicles designed for men, but men weren’t as likely to buy vehicles designed for women?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Women like SITTING up high. They don’t necessarily like having to clamber into the driver’s seat, and a certain amount of that is necessary with a truck-based SUV like an Escalade.

          That’s why they like CUVs – they have lower step in height. If you gave female buyers a choice between the full size Escalade, and the CUV-based Escalade SUX, or Escalade II, or Son of Escalade (or whatever they want to call it), I bet a lot of them would go for the CUV.

          Naturally, a 6’10″ NBA power forward with $5 million in signing bonus money burning a hole in his pocket isn’t going to care about the Escalade’s step-in height.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Women like SITTING up high. They don’t necessarily like having to clamber into the driver’s seat”

            I see a standard automatic power seat w/memory as a solution to this, then the driver could adjust his/her driving height and it power down like a dentists chair when the door opens.

            “Escalade SUX”

            Very nice.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I always figured they were midsized, they look small above the waist, at least the escalade remembers people don’t all have big waists and small bodies.

        Escalade owns the entire segment the whole idea is to make something smaller, but trying to capitalize on the escalades image with something that isn’t in the same league, degrades the image of the actual escalade, and destroys the new vehicles chance of competing based upon its own merits.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “I always figured they were midsized, they look small above the waist”

          Have a look at actual interior dimensions. Every one of those utes has more interior space than the SWB Escalade despite being smaller and lighter outside.

          One consequence of basing a SUV on a truck platform is that packaging is going to be terrible. The big frame necessitates a high floor. The huge wheelwells eat up interior volume. The super-long hood takes away legroom (and adds length outside).

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    “There is a segment of consumers that are looking for a large utility vehicle but one that’s more car-like”

    WHO? Whos saying “I want a huge butt SUV with a ton of space, but rides like a car”, just re-tune the Escalade and be done with it, or have them suck-up and buy an Escalade.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “Whos saying “I want a huge butt SUV with a ton of space, but rides like a car”?”

      The buyers that are causing the Benz GL and Range Rover to kick the Escalade’s ass in sales, that’s who.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Cadillac has the SRX to compete with the GL, and from what I can tell the Evoque is Land Rovers popular seller, again the SRX could compete with it.

        But then again I know squat about what people want out of a car these days, aside from the color gray being popular.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The SRX is smaller than the Benz ML, let alone the GL. The RR Sport and the big RR, combined, far outsell the Slade. A Caddy Lambda would land right on top of the GL and between the two bigger Rangies.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I’m pretty sure they named it Escalade just so Ford didn’t get all the “Esc/Ex” sounding SUV names. Now you’re calling it a brand?
    I’ll check my calendar again, but I’m pretty sure it’s not 2003 anymore, Old GM.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Raping the “equity” out of a name is nothing new. I dub thee Lambda Caddy “Escalade II”.

  • avatar
    jimble

    “I think there’s a lot of equity in Cadillac. I’d like to explore the notion of other vehicles that would carry that brand name, like a tarted-up Chevy Cavalier.” What could go wrong?

  • avatar
    carguy

    They could call the uni body SUV Escalade Mommy Edition.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Seriously though, a Cadillac clone is a mistake here. There are only so many buyers for a Lambda based model in a given market, spending hundreds of millions to spin up a Cadillac equivalent to something you already sell under *three* other brands will simply rob sales from the other GM divisions. So what would be the difference between the Enclave and this?

    You’ve been successful with SRX and yes the Escalade is a completely different type of vehicle I agree. So the obvious solution is to… sell a LWB’d SRX similar to your extended Cadillac Suburban.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “So what would be the difference between the Enclave and this?”

      I’d sell performance and technology with a sumptous interior and lots of bling. A high performance Enclave would bomb, but Cadillac can sell high performance cars. So…I’d give the Caddy Lambda real performance cred – magnetic ride control, AWD only, and the turbo 3.6 from the XTS-V (Lambdas already have the naturally aspirated version, so it should fit with no issues). Add in real wood, premium leather, full length sunroof, etc, and a NON-DEMONIC version of CUE.

      Sell it as a high-performance, high-tech full size CUV, like the Mercedes GL, Audi Q7 or BMW X5, but with a lot more style. I bet it’d steal quite a few sales from those models.

      IF they could do this on a stretched version of the SRX/Equinox/Terrain platform, great, but I’d rather see a shortened Lambda for this.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        DAL gave a similar suggestion above, and you both might be right. Personally I don’t see a 4922lbs minivan replacement in any performance vein (weight of AWD Enclave). I do suppose people with enough money to burn are also not necessarily the brightest folks and may be impressed by a little bit of chrome, a nicer suspension, and shiny LEDs inside.

        http://www.buick.com/enclave-luxury-crossover-suv/features-specs/dimensions.html

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          A Caddy-ized Lambda would still be almost half a ton lighter than the current Escalade, and comparable in weight to most of the German competition.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Yeah, it’s hard to see this type of vehicle as high performance, but believe it or not, if done right, even a vehicle like this can be fun to drive. Ever driven a Mercedes GL? It doesn’t feel even remotely as big and heavy as it is. And if Mercedes can pull this off, so can Cadillac – the CTS and ATS, and V models show they can build outstanding performance vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Theres some guy in town with a Yukon that has a Cadillac badge on it, GM should take tips from him with cloning their models.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    How come there’s no carpet on the sides of the cargo area?! Every luxury SUV has that. Good redesign, though. Looks like an Escalade and makes the old one look dated instantly!

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Carpet on the sides?
      Do what?

      Also don’t agree with the old one looking dated, however I would gladly buy an extremely discounted GMT900 Escalade.

      I’n hoping these pictures (new escalade) are deceiving, otherwise it looks like the successor of the navigator by how narrow it appears.

  • avatar
    JD321

    It is incredibly stupid that Cadillac doesn’t have a Lambda SUV. Even political hack / Communications degree Bob can figure that out.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      By that same vein would it be incredibly stupid that Buick doesn’t have trucks? Or that GMC doesn’t have a car?
      The lambda CUV’s, (NOT SUV’s) sell well enough with their own brands, offering it with a caddy badge hurts the Caddy image more then any profits it could potentially create.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Not if it’s done right.

        And other luxury brands sell versions of downmarket CUVs and SUVs. Nissan sells a version of the Pathfinder through Infiniti, Toyota sells versions of the 4 Runner and Land Cruiser as Lexuses.

        Oh, yeah, and a version the Volkswagen Touareg is sold by some premium brand called “Porsche.” Last I checked, this car can go for over $100,000.

        None of these folks get trashed for “cheapening the brand,” last I checked. But somehow when Cadillac considers it, it’s bad, bad, bad.

        • 0 avatar
          Piqutchi

          Toyota and Nissan don’t get attacked for doing that, but I’m pretty sure Porsche got plenty of shit from their fans when they introduced the Cayenne.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          To most people the only Nissan that exists is the GTR. That one aside, I quit caring for Infiniti when they started sticking Nissan Quest engines into their “prestige” G35s. I dunno if anyone takes them seriously .

          With Porsche and Audi people think that theres enough differences to make them not VW clones, I disagree with this, but its the general opinion.

          If Caddilac threw out another CUV thing it’d be no better or worse than what Mercedes or what other “prestige” brands are doing, selling out to soccer moms.

  • avatar
    fr88

    With the GMC Denali brand already in the GM stable, Cadillac has no reason to be in the truck business in the first place. Another truck in the Cadillac portfolio would be pointless, yet another badge-engineered piece of nonsense that does little but suck resources away from Cadillac pursuing excellence as a purveyor of the world’s finest luxury cars.

    If Cadillac got out of the truck business, Denalis could easily fill the void. Then, perhaps, Cadillac could finally address what should be its number one priority – creating the finest luxury cars in their market segments, including a take-all-comers flagship sedan, convertible and pillar-less HARDTOP coupe.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I’m glad you don’t run the business… you’d trade tens of thousands of sales (luxury SUV) for a few hundred (hardtop coupe and flagship convertible combined).

      Mercedes currently has the full-size luxury coupe segment completely to itself. Yearly CL-Class sales: 500, give or take.

  • avatar
    alexndr333

    Cadillac should compete in the every size / class SUV, but only with premium underpinnings. There should be an ATS-based small SUV, a CTS-based mid-sizer (the current FWD SRX should be redesigned as a Buick) a larger SUV off the new LTS sedan platform, and finally the Escalade. I know that the SRX is a very popular vehicle, but its comparison to the Lexus ES means that it should be a Buick, which GM claims to be Lexus competition. Then Cadillac can go after the high-performance SUV market (i.e., the Germans) with proper rear-wheel drive architecture, V-Sports and V series models.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The SRX feels far more premium from behind the wheel than the Escalade. Truckish is about as far from premium as you can get, and much worse than an FWD-based AWD car platform in this segment.

  • avatar
    sparc

    Why does GM need 4 largely cloned versions of the same SUV? This seems like a move backwards. One fantastic SUV is better than 4 mediocre one’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      4?
      You mean 3?
      Or rather 2 sets of 3

      Although I agree that they are much to similar I believe the better answer is in different packaging, give the chevy version its cajones back by making it a functional SUV similar to SUVs of yore, the other two are fine.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Call it the XTCUV…

    Oy Cadillac how much time have you spent trying to get people to forget the debasement of your name that happened during the 70s, 80s, and 90s? But hey let’s introduce a tiny little Cadillac (ATS) and a big old Lambda Cadillac so we have 3 Cadillac CUV/SUVs…

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Why not?

      Benz has 4 CUVs and a SUV (GLA, GLK, ML, GL, G).
      BMW has 4 CUVs (X1, X3, X5, X6), and considered and rejected a fifth.
      Lexus has a CUV and 2 SUVs (RX, GX, LX).
      Infiniti has 3 CUVs and a SUV (EX, FX, JX, QX).

      Why shouldn’t Cadillac have just 2 CUVs and a SUV in 2 lengths? (Theta+, Lambda, K2XX SWB + LWB)? That’s where the heart of the market is these days.

      • 0 avatar
        billfrombuckhead

        Don’t forget Audi, Porsche, Acura. Land Rover, all have several CUV’s/SUV’s

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          This is why I’m surprised that any “prestigious brands” mean anything to enthusiasts, they all have so many CUVsSUVs its ridiculous.

          At the same time though CAFE’s partially to blame too.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        The thing is that at least a couple of the SUVs for those brands are on premium platforms or are based on premium products. The Cayenne and Q7, for example, may share their platform with the Touareg, but that is a very capable vehicle that is a cut or two above most unibody CUVs. Same with the Lexus LX and its Land Cruiser-based BOF platform. Cadillac already has two strikes against it for the SRX (which, despite being on the “Theta Premium” platform, isn’t at all premium under the skin), and for the Escalade, which is a blinged-out Tahoe/Suburban. Adding a Lambda-based crossover would (a) probably result in dimensions that weren’t very flattering for a Cadillac, and (b) not lend Cadillac any credibility for having a structurally-premium vehicle. The first-gen SRX was nice because it was one of the first true luxury three-row crossovers and because it was on the Sigma platform (basically making it a lifted STS wagon).

        A customer may not care that his Lexus RX is pretty much a reshaped Camry, or that his Infiniti JX/QX60 is basically rooted to the plebeian Altima, but lots of people do care about these things. And when Cadillac is on its way to becoming the Standard of the World, it doesn’t do the brand any good to have a lineup of SUVs that are ultimately gussied up versions of cheaper cars (especially in the case of the Lambdas, where it’ll be quite obvious). Cadillac needs at least one SUV that is decidedly above the rest of the GM portfolio. Can’t they modify the Alpha platform and build an X5 fighter or something?

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          In the context of a CUV, a RWD-based platform (what you seem to be defining as “premium”) just means poor packaging. 95% of CUV buyers, asked to compare an X5 and a Caddy Lambda, would notice two things:

          1) The X5 is a BMW. Cool!
          2) The X5 has a tiny interior. Hmmm…

          Cadillac found that out the hard way when it sold the Sigma-based SRX, which was as much of a sales flop as the Theta+ SRX has been a success.

          A squared-off, macho, Lambda-based Caddy (think blinged-out Acadia Denali with two snails under the hood and XTS-like interior quality) would compete just fine with the Q7s and GLs of the world. The X5 and FX buyer is a different, much rarer beast.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            All very good points, though never said anything about a premium platform having to be RWD-based. It so happens that (besides Audi cars) all of them basically are, but that’s beside the point. You’re right in saying that a Lambda-based CUV would do just fine (just as the Camry-based Lexus RX does just fine), but I think that it’s time for Cadillac to move upmarket. That means that they should take the time to develop an SUV that’s actually special.

            At the same time, now that I really think about it, there *is* room for a three-row Cadillac that isn’t as large and ostentatious as the actual Escalade (just as there was apparently room for the Murano-baed Infiniti JX to slot underneath the giant QX). And it *could* be based on the next-gen Lambda platform…as long as the next-gen becomes less of a compromised minivan in terms of styling and dimensions. GM has already stated that the current Lambda platform has too many hard-points that won’t support Cadillac styling, especially this new squared-off school of design. The Caddy Lambda would also need to be quite a bit nicer than the Enclave, if there is to be another one.

            But you know who *really* needs a three-row crossover? Lexus. They should have turned the GX into a large crossover after the end of the first generation, and the demise of midsized BOF SUVs. I suspect the slow-selling GX is only economical to produce because it’s a gussied up Land Cruiser Prado.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        And Lexus is going to add another CUV.

        A RWD Alpha-based compact CUV is almost a certainty from Cadillac.

        The question is whether to switch the SRX back to RWD – no longer would compete against the Lexus RX and instead compete against the X5 (so higher price making up for lower sales volume).

        When it comes to a full-size CUV which really has no sporting pretense – FWD is the way to go (when it comes to CUVs – buyers really don’t care about FWD vs. RWD – big reason why Acura CUVs sell so well while their sedan offerings struggle).

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    This isn’t even remotely wise. You couldn’t compare this to the Denali lineup (as some aficionados are trying to do), because there *is* no Denali lineup. It’s just a trim for top-of-the-line GMCs that happens to have an oft-used name, but whose individual models ultimately have nothing in common in terms of metrics or niche. The most successful implementation that I’ve seen of what GM is actually trying to do would be the Range Rover sub-brand, which over the last eight years has spawned two additional models….BUT Range Rovers have distinct styling and unique traits between them, and they are also internationally desirable. The fact that the only Escalades to date have always shared their bodyshells with Chevrolets and GMCs already makes the nameplate not unique enough to become a bona-fide sub-brand. If Cadillac is going to push another crossover, it shouldn’t also be called an Escalade…and it shouldn’t be on the current Lambda platform, because the Lambda CUVs are basically minivans without sliding doors and wouldn’t wear Cadillac styling very well. A next-generation Lambda platform…maybe…

  • avatar
    Spartan

    Range Rover makes the Evoque, no one says a word. Cadillac thinking about making an Escalade crossover, everyone throws a fit.

    The same people who say this isn’t a good idea are the same people who said the Porsche Cayenne wasn’t a good idea. Financially, this is an outstanding idea that will make money for Cadillac, which is exactly what they need so they can continue to bring us great products. You purists need to pipe down because much of your analysis is flawed because it doesn’t take into account the $$$$ that will be made from such a project.


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