CHICAGO - A luxury SUV battle is brewing for this summer.
In one corner are the redesigned 2007 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, which ride on General Motors' new truck platform known as GMT 900.
In the other corner are the redesigned 2007 Lincoln Navigator and its new extended-length version, the Navigator L, unveiled here at the auto show. The Navigators share their overhauled, stiffer platform with the redesigned Ford Expedition and Expedition EL.
The tale of the tape between the Navigator and the Escalade has been close. The wheelbase and length of the two SUVs have been roughly the same.
But the arrival of the Navigator L has Lincoln drawing a bead on Cadillac's Escalade ESV - a size class that Lincoln has not contested until now.
The Navigator L's wheelbase is 131.0 inches, and its length is 223.3 inches. Cadillac has not released specifications of the 2007 Escalade ESV. But the similar-sized 2007 GMC Yukon XL has a wheelbase of 130.0 inches and a length of 222.4 inches.
The Escalade will outpower the Navigator. The 2007 Escalade will have a 6.0-liter V-8 rated at 403 hp. The Navigator carries over the 300-hp, 5.4-liter V-8 from the current model.
One key change for the 2007 Navigator is a new front end marked by a grille inspired by the Lincoln badge. The chrome-colored design fills the main grille opening and a second opening below the bumper.
In addition to the stiffer frame, Lincoln says the Navigator's independent rear suspension has been reworked for a smoother ride. Stability control with a rollover sensor is part of the standard safety technology.
The redesigned Navigators go on sale this summer.