Escalade Escalation: Cadillac Looks At Twin-Turbo V-6 Vsport, Considers Diesel, Too

The battle Escalades
Before the end of the year, Cadillac will restore the uplevel Platinum version to its Escalade lineup of luxury SUVs. Moreover, the brand is considering a sporty derivative, a V-6 turbo-diesel, and a twin-turbocharged gasoline V-6. The new engines would complement the model’s 6.2-liter small-block V-8, which remains the backbone of the Escalade portfolio.

Although the previous-generation Escalade was available with a Platinum trim level as well, brand manager David Schiavone says the new model is a step up: “The new, regular Escalade picked up where the previous Platinum left off.” It adds luxury trim such as a suede headliner. He didn’t confirm a series-production model, but Schiavone also said that a sporty variation of the Escalade is possible. It could be called Vsport.

The Escalade, which is Cadillac’s longest-running offering, will be sold all over the globe, said Schiavone. And that’s one of the reasons why Cadillac is looking at smaller engines. One of them is a V-6 turbo-diesel that could be shared with the CTS. But the brand is also considering a twin-turbocharged V-6 gasoline engine, such as the one sold in the XTS and the CTS.

Cadillac isn’t expected to bring a pickup version of the Escalade to market. That means the outgoing Escalade EXT, a close relative of the defunct Chevrolet Avalanche, will remain without a successor. Schiavone said that the Escalade moniker has so much equity that switching to Cadillac’s long-customary three-letter model designations was roundly dismissed.

First Drive: 2015 Cadillac Escalade / Escalade ESV
Instrumented Test: 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL550 4MATIC
2015 Lincoln Navigator Research: Prices, Photos, Reviews, and More

The Escalade’s closest competitors are the Mercedes-Benz GL-class, the Land Rover Range Rover, and the Lincoln Navigator, which was downgraded with an EcoBoost V-6 engine for the 2015 model year. Cadillac’s full-size SUV will also face strong competition from the upcoming BMW X7.

About Jens Meiners