Cadillac Escala: Another Gorgeous Concept Doomed to Never Reach Production?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

For the third time in recent years, Cadillac has unveiled a stunning concept car to showcase the brand’s future design language, but forgive us for taking Cadillac’s hint at a production model with an Elmiraj-sized grain of salt.

The Escala, revealed last night at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, is a pillarless liftback sedan with styling that previews the automaker’s future products. Or so we hope.

Buckets of drool were shed over Cadillac’s past concepts — the yacht-like Ciel four-door convertible in 2011 and the elegant and athletic Elmiraj coupe in 2013 — but production vehicles they were not. The amount of design language that made the hop from those concepts to the CTS and CT6 is anyone’s guess. Not enough, many would say.

According to Global Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen, the design and technological concept could make it to production. Maybe, just maybe.

“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance,” he said in a statement. “Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”

The Escala’s interior reveals a bipolar personality — technology-minded in the front, comfort-focused in the back. A center control module combines the gauge cluster and center stack, while hand-tailored fabric throughout the cabin provides the opulence we all demand (but often never receive).

“My brief to the designers was to create a car you desperately want to drive, and also one in which you want to be driven,” said Andrew Smith, executive director of Cadillac Global Design, in a statement. “So rather than a single design, this interior consists of two themes.”

Cadillac calls the Escala a “flagship sedan,” which doesn’t bode well for its future, given the planned CT8’s “on hold” status. Who knows, maybe the Escala previews a future replacement for the brand’s current range-topping CT6.

At six inches longer than a CT6, the Escala’s liftback would add a new measure of versatility to a premium sedan, but crossovers and SUVs will remain our vehicular overlords, now and in the future.

[Images: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.
  • IBx1 Never got the appeal of these; it looks like there was a Soviet mandate to create a car with two doors and a roof that could be configured in different ways.
  • CAMeyer Considering how many voters will be voting for Trump because they remember that gas prices were low in 2020–never mind the pandemic—this seems like a wise move.
  • The Oracle Been out on the boat on Lake James (NC) and cooking up some hella good food here with friends at the lake place.
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