2022 All Electric Cadillac Escalade Is On The Way, But It Won’t Be On The BEV3 Platform

Cadillac’s flagship Escalade is past due for a full redesign.  Until recently it had been thought there would be a:

  1. mild reskin – updated Cadillac design language grill and head lights for instance
  2. evolutionary drive train changes – replacing the rear suspension live axle with a better riding independent suspension and the latest Cadillac 6.2 V8 engine
  3. noteable interior rework – improved seating, next gen infotainment and dash and improved access to rear seating
  4. major technology changes – specifically the addition of all the sensors required for Cadillac’s amazing SuperCruise

However, in early July 2019 rumors of an all PHEV all electric Escalade variant started appearing.  We first took notice of CadillacSociety.com article:

“…The forthcoming electric Escalade is not expected to launch with the introduction of the new fifth-generation model, which is currently slated for a debut for the 2021 model year. Rather, the electron-driven variant will likely show its face sometime later in the fifth-gen Escalade product lifecycle.” SOURCE

Since then there have been many outlets have reported on this:

Detailed specifications at this point are just speculation as even Cadillac will not yet know what they will be producing.  Given the scale of the Escalade they will no doubt be able to add a substantial battery pack but it unfortunately will not be riding on GM’s BEV3 skateboard platform.  Instead the fifth generation Cadillac will be derived off a typical body on frame truck platform:

“…The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will stay true to its body-on-frame heritage, so expect it to share hardware and other components with the forthcoming Tahoe and Yukon.” SOURCE

This is a great disappointment for those thinking GM’s January announcement that Cadillac will be the General’s electrified brand meant that Cadillac will be treated like GM’s Saturn brand.

Saturn was setup to compete with Japanese automakers and while it shared many things from the GM parts bin, it was a separate from GM as a GM product could be with its own design studio, manufacturing plant, all plastic (PVC) panels and even separate retailers.

GM is apparently going to take the BEV3 platform slowly and that includes Cadillac.

As disappointing as this is, it makes sense.  The Escalade brand is the poster of scale and inefficiency.  Cadillac can not afford to alienate its highest margin customers with a radical departure and the fact is that most Escalade buyers are older and are going to want gasoline engines that they understand.

We expect Cadillac will likely bring out an all electric 6 seater ultra luxury and performance Escalade competitor in the coming years, not completely unlike what they are doing with the CT6 and XTS sedans today.

Like nearly all auto manufacturers Cadillac typically revises a vehicles platform and announces an ‘whole new’ version.  Three to four years later, the refresh the top hat (grille, lights, interior), leaving the core the same.  This allows them to extend the life of their original investment in factory tooling and share both components and manufacturing facilities with other GM makes and models.

This new BEV3 skateboard Cadillac ‘e-Escalade’ with an untainted name plate will slowly kill the Escalade likely over two model generations allowing Cadillac to bring new, younger, electrified consumers into the fold while maintaining sales to their traditional clientele.   Smart but disappointing.

imatthews

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