"The 2021 Escalade takes its leadership into a new era of mobility, with comprehensive upgrades that are transformative to the driving experience," Cadillac President Steve Carlisle said in a statement. "It's more than a new Escalade. It's a new experience."
The 2021 Escalade goes on sale late this summer in North America. It will be built at General Motors' full-size SUV plant in Arlington, Texas.
The Escalade, a Cadillac mainstay for two decades and one of GM's most profitable nameplates, is the top seller in its segment. It faces more competition in the growing full-size luxury SUV and crossover segments, with the all-new BMW X7, the Lincoln Navigator, Land Rover's venerable Range Rover, the Lexus LX and the Mercedes-Benz GLS and G class, in addition to Jeep's forthcoming Grand Wagoneer.
U.S. sales of the Escalade declined 9.4 percent in 2019 to 22,478, while Escalade ESV deliveries rose 7.4 percent to 12,946.
The latest Escalade will come in five trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury, Platinum Luxury, Sport and Platinum Sport. The 2021 model is the first to offer the Sport trim, an option Cadillac says customers have been asking for. The Escalade Sport has a black mesh grille and black trim across the exterior,a contrast to other models decked out in chrome.
A new 6.2-liter V-8 engine with 420 hp comes standard, and a 3.0-liter turbodiesel also will be available. Both engines have torque ratings of 460 pound-feet and come with a 10-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift control.
The technology alone makes the retooled Escalade a standout from previous generations and signals the direction Cadillac is headed.
The Super Cruise driver-assist system will be available with enhancements that include automated lane-changing. It marks the most significant update since Super Cruise was introduced on the CT6 sedan in 2017.
The SUV also comes with Surround Vision that uses four exterior cameras to show a bird's-eye view of surroundings and two rear-seat displays with navigation and entertainment options. The screens can mirror Android smartphones, and back-seat passengers can send destination suggestions to the front navigation screen. Night vision, a rear camera mirror and a trailering integration package also are available.
An optional augmented reality-enabled navigation tool uses live street views with directional overlays and incorporates turn-by-turn navigation over the street view.
Audio company AKG brings enhanced sound to the Escalade, with 36 speakers on higher trim levels and 19 speakers standard. AKG is known for microphones and headphones used in recording studios and at live venues.