Cadillac Escala Concept Debuts At Pebble Beach With Company’s Future Style

The Cadillac Escala Concept is the latest in a line of show cars the company has launched at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance that ultimately preview the next Cadillacs.

And the concept that was shown Thursday night could mean promising new things for Cadillac design. An unconventional new grille, sweeping bodywork and the interior with Curved OLED displays Cadillac is eager to talk about could mean interesting things from the company that insists it dares greatly.

Cadillac has taken the CT6’s Omega platform and put a clear “four-door coupe” spin on it, with a liftback arrangement at the rear that’s pretty reminiscent of the Audi A7. Company officials say the Escala is about 6 inches longer than the new Cadillac sedan, with a wheelbase that’s nearly 5 inches longer. 

Debuting on the Escala is a 4.2-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 500 horsepower, a setup that’s long been rumored to be destined for a hotter CT6 in the near future. Inside, things are fairly minimalist thanks to the screens dominating the dashboard.

It’s also free of the highly polished wood and leather Cadillacs have now, in favor of light fabrics and polished metals, with a huge glass roof keeping things even airier.

Cadillac says the name Escala, Spanish for “scale,” is a not-so-subtle hint that this is an extension of the CT6, which makes us think it’s a preview of an upcoming variant of that sedan. Given Cadillac has been wrestling with what kind of flagship to build as of late, we’d say this would be an attractive way of topping Cadillac’s car lineup.

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  • Aj

    i love it

    • rover10

      At last a modern Cady that could sell globally! This is both stunning and advanced enough, to get the German premium makers truly worried. Unless the light technology is too far off production, I’d recommend GM build this car and fast. Without doubt this design is worthy of being the creation of their New York HQ, and showing a clear distinction between Detroit and the Big Apple thinking.

      • Andrewthecarguy

        Exactly! I like this exterior over the S Class. Here’s the problem: Cadillac knows how to build great concepts, then execute crap. This concept here is ready for prime time in 3 years tops, minus the interior (too retro). But what are the chances that GM will man up and do it? very little.

        • rover10

          That’s the problem with concepts, if they are only created to pump up design teams, who would otherwise be working on more prosaic projects, then they are a waste of time. However, in the case of this design, I would bet it’s been created to gauge customer reaction. If that is the case, this concept may survive into production, just let’s hope it’s 99% and within 24 months. There again??????

  • SgtBeavis

    I like the exterior styling of the El Miraj a lot more than than this but the interior is stunning and has quite a few great ideas. The finish of the cargo area is something that should go to a production car.

    That said, FU Caddy because you don’t have the balls to build it.

    • Pie in the GM Sky

      As usual, even if GM decide to build it, it would be nothing like the concept. Example: How do the rear windows roll down? There’s no way it can happen.

      • Mafio

        I can honestly see a toned version of this car donning the Deville name.

      • SgtBeavis

        Changes like that are to be expected. Adding a B pillar with overlapping glass is doable. There are other changes that would be needed as well but the overall design is adaptable to production. The El Miraj most certainly was adaptable.

  • donald seymour

    I’m not sold on it.

  • TheBelltower

    Holy crap… Enough with the concepts. Build one of them already.

    That said, this is sexy as fuc$

  • Cobrajet

    It’s brilliant! Best looking Cadillac in decades.

  • klowik

    If this put on an Audi grille, this will be a perfect Audi S9!!

  • Nordschleife

    This is nice. I may be the only one but that front end reminded me of the Genesis New York concept but all I can say is kudos Cadillac.

  • Ary Wisesa

    Hmm… , very interesting cars, even though for me it looks like a combination of: an Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf on the front grille, a Tesla Model S roof line, a Lexus LF-FC rear light, a BMW Hofmeister kink on the C pillar… But having said that, I must admit it’s very goodlooking and stylish. The only drawback is Cadillac usually makes very beautiful concept cars that never go into production. I hope that will not happen to this beautiful concept.

    • Nordschleife

      Yes I feel that the Lagonda comes to mind when viewing the front end

    • Ray

      BMW wasn’t the first to use the “Hofmeister Kink”. They were the first to name it. Cadillac beat both Audi and BMW to the dog-leg C-pillar game by decades. This is more of a heritage design element for Caddy than it is for those other two.

      • I agree, Ray …and Tucker had it one year before in its Torpedo

  • Six Thousand Times

    I’ve always liked Art & Science but Caddys have never looked as good from the back as they do from the front. The Escala resolves this. I do really hope something very close to it makes production.

  • Anthony Bugge

    Clearly has elements of Mike sincome design to it. It’s a little future Holden profile

  • Anthony Bugge

    Is it a fast back hatch

  • NG212

    For years, I’ve longed for Cadillac to update their design language away from the Eldorado glory days.

    The Ciel and Elmiraj were mega, but I can say that Cadillac has finally captured my imagination and made me excited for its future.

    Well done.

  • Zandit75

    So this is Cadillacs version of the Buick Avenir concept from last year?
    Got to admit that it’s much more cohesive around the rear end than the Buick.
    Not too sure about the material choice for the interior. The fabric looks like it would sag, especially in the luggage area in the back. Doesn’t look hard wearing enough.

  • NEXT TO THE ELMIRAJ THIS IS A DUD. WHAT’S WITH THE “BRACE” BEHIND THE FRONT SEATS AND THE “DROP IN” TRUNK?

    • Ray

      When you open the hatch the trunk floor lifts up. It’s pretty fancy.

  • goodtoberight1

    Squinty headlights is laughable and unatttractive. Looks like a very old person peeking out squinty old eyes. Perfect for the old people’s car. Is it a sedan or a cross over. It has a 5″ ultra short rear deck which is ugly.

  • CarCzarDesigner

    I am not impressed. I agree with Zandit75, this looks like Cadillac’s version of the Buick Avenir. Cadillac should have come forward with totally new, radical styling that is both tasteful and elegant, which would break the mode. It is high-time to dump the tail-fin styling left over from the 1950s because the 50’s like Elvis, is not coming back. We are entering a new era of the automobile and this looks as if GM has lost sight of what the future could be. When you consider they rendered the future so well in the past, it is as if they are out of ideas. In my opinion, Cadillac really needs something revolutionary instead of evolutionary right now.

    • donald seymour

      I don’t fully agree with what you are saying, but I do see where you are coming from.

    • Cobrajet

      No this more like their version of the Avista (but with 4 doors), because they previewed a new direction for the brand. The Avenir used the styling Buicks already had, the Elmiraj was more like the Avenir that sense. Cadillac has now done some thing profoudly new and stopped trying improve the Art & Science theme anymore. The styling can’t always be too radical, otherwise the production version would then look too different to what the public will expect. But for Cadillac this is a big change and for once they have done something tasteful and elegant & not edgy & overly youth oriented. I think they are beginning to phase out the tail-fin with that added stroke on the taillight, also they are finally getting rid of those vertical headlamps, which were there to resemble “front fins”. However the vertical tail lights at least make them look unique from other brands, because I can agree why this isn’t revolutionary, because it looks like what Audi has already done before.
      The thing is that the current “Elmiraj” looking Cadillacs – ATS, CTS, CT6 etc. have only just began their product life cycle, so there will be long time from now to when Cadillac will implement the new styling from the Escala on their lineup, unless if they can enter a new segment with another model. The problem is this should have been done sooner.

      • CarCzarDesigner

        No, Cadillac couldn’t have done it sooner because their competition hadn’t introduced new cars for them to emulate.

        • Cobrajet

          The competition had designs like this for at least around 2-4 years and Cadillac was still going along with the same Art and Science theme trying to revitalize it rather going for something new. I am just saying something like this was needed earlier, considering the time it will be implemented it may be too late.

          • CarCzarDesigner

            Cobra, please explain to me, why couldn’t GM say their Art & Science theme brought this new design forward? What is the particular aspect of the theme that hindered them from creating a concept that is now more comparable to their competition? Was the theme so important, that Cadillac found themselves in a position where if they had introduced a Concept like this 10 years ago, it would have sparked a media revolt & vehement protests by their customers?

          • Cobrajet

            They didn’t know better I guess and they just went ahead with what they had. It’s just my opinion that it would been good if something like this came out soon enough so it would have been implemented on the new CT6 so it would look new, striking and bold, rather than being dull and then having to wait up to maybe 6-7 years for it to be restyled again. Although they say this will be used for a brand new model, there always the chance that it will be axed.

          • CarCzarDesigner

            First of all, you didn’t answer any of my questions. From what you posted, it is quite plain to see, you have no clue what you are talking about since you couldn’t articulate how the process works and why Cadillac’s Art & Science theme (which you hammered home) is relevant to why GM’s executives couldn’t have brought this Concept forward much earlier. So, you are just making things up and arguing for the sake of being heard, with nothing meaningful to add to the conversation.

          • Cobrajet

            OK I will answer some of the questions

            1. why couldn’t GM say their Art & Science theme brought this new design forward?
            The Art & Science theme is just simply too worn out and a bit cartoonish looking.

            2. What is the particular aspect of the theme that hindered them from creating a concept that is now more comparable to their competition?

            They made a different concept that with that theme before a few years ago, which was just an update of A&S. All the new Cadillacs had just been based on that. Once they implemented a theme onto the car. You have to wait a period for that generation to take it’s course until a newer theme can be implemented. So it would take a longer time now for this new Escala theme to catch on up on the production models,

            3. Was the theme so important, that Cadillac found themselves in a position where if they had introduced a Concept like this 10 years ago, it would have sparked a media revolt & vehement protests by their customers?

            Yes if it looks more modern and refined and up to standard to the competition.

            The reason why they couldn’t bring it forward earlier because they are obviously slow compared to the Germans. I just trying to point out that they are behind.

  • mb4design

    At first glance it look promising & refreshingly uncluttered. By the time you mentally shorten it to realistic production wheelbase length it’s going to look like the next Impala. Mostly good, but please pick a head lamp/tail lamp theme instead of using your top 2 picks together.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    GTA V, Audi, and Genesis all did it first. But not in that order.

    And those headlights are laughable.

    • MultiKdizzle

      Did what first?

      • nik

        I think they’re referring to the roofline perhaps, but either way its a very common design element that can be applied across numerous bodies. Saying one stole this silhouette is like saying one car copied another for merely having headlights.

        • MultiKdizzle

          Oh wow, that’s absurd. In that case the Mercedes CLS predates his examples. Or the Rover P5B from 50 years ago…

          • Tumbi Mtika

            not what i’m saying. At all.

        • Tumbi Mtika

          Not what I mean.

    • CarCzarDesigner

      Tumbi, you have to keep in mind this Concept is merely suggestive. Car companies create concepts like this to help point them in a particular direction for their future models. The idea here is headlight technology will hopefully move forward to being smaller, thinner and offer more powerful lighting. So it is not that much of a farce only because, the goal going forward is the engineering will attempt to make it happen and therefore, this is theoretically plausible. Or the technology is already there, it is just too expensive to implement for the time being.

      • Tumbi Mtika

        This concept is supposed to show the direction their cars are going in styling. so it’s not merely suggestive. This is where they want to go as a brand. I also highly doubt that this is tr explicitly showcasing headlight technology.

    • Ray

      Cadillac did it long before Audi or BMW.

      • Tumbi Mtika

        Touche.

  • nik

    That interior is unbelievably tasteful! Good job Caddy!

    That said, this better carry forward to a production version of this car, enough with the let downs!

  • TheHake

    Now THAT is a fantastic looking car!

  • roy

    Audi A7

    • gary4205

      Cadillac actually tweeted today comparing itself to the Audi!

      • roy

        Even better

  • fabri99

    NO. Please. Everyone. STOP SQUEEZING THOSE DAMN HEADLAMPS. PLEASE.

    • donald seymour

      Fab, I see you got your MICHGO going on. Laugh out Loud.

      • fabri99

        Lol I am fighting bad and unoriginal design. I NEED full-on MICHGO mode. 😉

  • disqus_83g6mJmr6l

    beautiful.the new jag xj

  • Vassilis

    Stunning!

  • AstonMartin

    I stared at the gallery for the Escala Concept at length prior to determining if I liked it. When it comes to class leading luxury cars, my initial impression is usually made immediately however this concept didn’t strike me right away as a vehicle with curb appeal – at least not like the Elmiraj Concept Coupe that nearly everyone found stunning along with the equally amazing Ciel Concept – sadly, each stillborn and shelved. The Escala appears to borrow inspiration from the AM Lagonda upfront – admittedly not a head turning look with thin headlights and a high badge however a tasteful pillar-less coupe-like side profile (A7/Model S w/hints of Lexus LF-FC) and a GM family dose of Impala with its high waistline and chrome accent bits. The rear reminds me strongly of the Genesis Concept Coupe (w/XJ inspired tail lights) and the silk/linen interior is a different choice (Volvo Concepts) being clean and airy thanks to the glass roof design however it doesn’t go far enough to convey luxury – at least not for a flagship model (re-think rear entertainment seat integration). Overall the design does not appear as fresh and cohesive as it could be – however a production model could show promise if certain details are updated inside and out. The most recent concepts from Cadillac were the way to go – that same design team should have been given free hand to create and told to design the future of the brand in one luxurious model. Art & science is yielding way to a new theme that hopes to strike a chord with younger affluent buyers that have so much choice. I still would love to see a two door flagship luxury coupe and a sports car based on the next generation mid-engine Corvette. See the reveal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=al4bt2D4zQ4

    • CarCzarDesigner

      I agree with much of your post. The design of the Escala is not that fresh, it is merely Cadillac playing catch up. Cadillac’s XLR model was pretty much a flop. The fresh appeal and Wow factor of the Concept was so washed out for the production model, it wasn’t good looking enough to matter. From talking to one owner, who was in his 70’s, he complained the ride was too hard for his liking. Therefore, I doubt if Cadillac tried this experiment again, even with a mid-engine model, if the results would be any different. As we can see from this concept, Cadillac is merely trying to stay relevant but isn’t leading the way.

    • donald seymour

      You hit the nail right on the head.

  • Craig

    I like the interior. The exterior… not so much. I see a lot of Genesis G70 Concept at front and hint of the Lexus LC500 at back. And overall… it just doesn’t look all that different from every other 6-window sedan. That said… and given that I love the G70 and love the LC500 you would think that I would love the Escala. But I don’t! It just doesn’t work.

  • psiqtas

    Another Audi themed A5/A7 – GM, not anybody wants an expensive Impala limo-coupe… Pass on that, I’m not moved by it!

  • Kash

    I like this a lot, except for the profile, it looks a little too humped past the rear doors, but then it looks good from the rear 3/4 view? And yeah the front has a somewhat generic look to it (Lagonda Taraf, Genesis New York Concept, most Audi’s, etc.) but there’s a little more to the front, i think it’s the lights, all of them, and the rear isn’t that bad looking but they should’ve switched it up and stretched them all the way across the rear, over the badge, or across the top of the bumper, or instead of running them down, run them up the pillar like the Escalades. The interior though is gorgeous and the screens that drop out of the seats is really cool. I liked when the last CTS had the nav screen that dropped into the dash but left the little bit so you could see some things.

  • J Hod

    a sleek sports saloon with 500hp and monochrome contemporary design – Groundbreaking

  • A dead hooker would feel really good in that trunk.

    • antbee

      Really?😩

    • donald seymour

      Bojan, Really?

    • Tumbi Mtika

      Wow.

  • antbee

    I love it, now Cadillac, just build it! I know some things, like the headlights, will not make it to production, but the linen and silk interior is an absolute must. The craftsmanship of the interior is superb, well-done, Cadillac. I really like the huge trunk space, the minimal real wood, the glass roof, really just about everything. I just hope this isn’t another one of Cadillac’s, “look what we can do,” stunts.

  • Craig

    I finally found it! That NAME sounded so familiar to me. It was driving me mad!! As it turns out – it only ‘sounds’ similar – but it’s awfully close. [Don’t you think?!] When Chrysler was designing the all-new for 1981 Chrysler Imperial – it started off with a different name. It was going to be called the ‘Chrysler LaScala’. [Or ‘La Scala’] And before that – it was the name used [along with LaSalle] for what turned out to be the 1975 Cadillac Seville. Oh yeah!! You just learned something!

    • antbee

      Chrysler needs either the Imperial or the New Yorker, to get back into the luxury market. I know, there is the 300c, but it’s a sports car with luxury stylings. I’d get the 300s anyway.😊

      • Craig

        But can you imagine? Take a 300C. Change the front and rear. [enough – but not enough to require new crash tests] Fancy up the interior. [Which is already quite nice on the ‘Platinum’ editions] Make everything ‘standard’ INCLUDING the Hellcat HEMI. Put that up against the CT6 and the Lincoln Continental! Imagine – a 200 MPH Chrysler Imperial. That would bring some excitement back to Chrysler. I would love it!! And given that FCA still has a waiting list for Charger and Challenger SRT Hellcats – the Imperial would be an instant sales success. [Another thing Chrysler desperately needs right now] And it would be SO easy for FCA to create. It’s a no-brainer!

        • antbee

          That all sounds great to me, except for the Hellcat engine. Maybe detune it to 500-550HP, and it would still be killer.

          • Craig

            You might be right. And that might quiet it down a bit. [Which would better suit an ‘Imperial’] That said…. I think the ‘Imperial’ should be an exclusive flagship. Special Edition cars that are limited in number and come out for one model year every 5 years. Just to give the ‘Chrysler’ brand an image boost. [If nothing else]

  • Mafio

    Not bad Caddy! Not bad at all…

  • Six_Tymes

    Fantastic. its so good they should be making this now, because they will be late to the party again when other restyle before them

  • Rick Astley
  • FlameWater

    wow is that design actually…original?!?!

    • Tumbi Mtika

      Nope.

    • getoffme

      Heck no. Look at the Lagonda.

  • Anthony Bugge

    Aussie designer produced this car. It has hints of GM Holden in the style. That’s why it’s a good looking car wasn’t designed by Americans.

  • ediotsavant

    Thus what it would look like when they put it in production.

  • BlackPegasus

    Wow that baby is pretty stylish.

  • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

    why i see LC , LF-FC T rear lights?

  • Maricaibo

    The El Miraj still gets my top vote…

  • Gerald Michael

    Another stunning concept that will never see production. How often have we seen that storyline? This is the bane of designers everywhere. A great idea that goes nowhere because marketing has no idea how to sell it.

  • Afi Keita James

    Stylish

  • Toronado_II

    Nice, but more Lincoln than Cadillac to me…

  • Enter Ranting

    No. This is a mess. I thought Cadillac was doing vertical headlights. Now they’re squinty slits? What’s going on with the taillights? The trunk pit? The cheap gray fabric covering everything, including the steering wheel?! The row of identical buttons on the dash? At least CUE is gone – Cadillac FINALLY got the hint on that disaster. The whole thing seems unresolved. Just, come on, BUILD THE ELMIRAJ ALREADY!!! Stop goofing around! Constantly re-inventing yourselves with concepts doesn’t count unless you actually build one of them.

    • Cobrajet

      The CT6 is already a four door Elmiraj.

  • Afi Keita James

    Built it.

  • getoffme

    Bored as hell and Aston Lagonda wants its face back.

  • Cady or Buick

    Buick called and they want their concept back especially the front end…

  • Bash

    amazing… now how about Cadillac actually have a guts to build it!!

    • Bash

      and by guts I mean balls… XD

  • Six_Tymes

    So awesome, such amazing perfection I am shocked that its not production, it should be. The designers who worked on this deserve some serious accolades.

  • yo

    something looks “Off” with the front end. The cadillac emblem is way too far up. It looks artistically bad so far up. And that mess of a tail light design….EWW

  • If it is RWD or AWD with 400+ hp, yes please

  • Celt Jochanan

    The Escala is impressive, but not as a Cadillac. Inside, the updated instrument panel and interior environment look great. Outside, Escala is a handsome yet very generic design. It is only in the rear-end that this car remotely says “Cadillac” to me. The rest of this design could have come from any number of manufacturers and that saddens me, because I feel that Cadillacs should be both bold and original. You should know a Cadillac when you see one, there should be no confusing it with any other brand. The ElMiraj and Ciel had it right.

  • d’Aforde

    This car is amazing! It has hints of Jaguar and Tesla, but is still distinctive. Although the Art & Science design has gotten better, this design is much better. Modern without being boring.

  • Marc Leslie Kagan

    To me it looks like they copied the side of the Audi S7. Plus Cadillac has spent too much time and money on their big SUVs. All their concepts NEVER, NEVER look like the cars that they actually produced Its always water-down in design. GM has those bean-counting looking over the designer’s heads.

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