Cadillac Escala concept previews future hatchback(!) flagship

Cadillac-Escala_Concept-2016-1600-01

Cadillac is weighing demand for a future flagship sedan with the Escala concept, unveiled yesterday at California’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

Caddy boss Johan de Nysschen said the Escala is both “a statement of intent for the next iteration of the Cadillac design language… (and) a potential addition to our existing product plan.”

With the big CT6 sedan having just rolled into showrooms, it seemed like Cadillac had the top end of its lineup set, but the Escala indicates the strong possibility of a further stretch: measuring nearly 5,350 mm (210.5 in.) in tip-to-tail, the concept is 152 mm (6 in.) longer than the CT6.

And while Cadillac refers to the Escala as a sedan, it sports an “expansive liftback” to emphasize the car’s “considerable scale and versatility.” We read that as Cadillac’s intent to take on the Audi A7 and Porsche Panamera, two liftback “sedans” which have enjoyed considerable success.

Inside, organic LED (OLED) screens dominate the dash, a nod to technology that we’ve seen in recent Audi concepts.

Escala shares its underpinnings with the CT6, meaning it’s a rear-driver to start, and under its hood is a 4.2L turbocharged V8 Cadillac says is itself a concept of sorts for future production drivetrains.

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Chris Chase

Chris Chase

As a child, Chris spent much of his time playing with toy cars in his parents’ basement; when his mother would tell him to go play outside, he made car sounds while riding his bicycle or dug roads for his toys in the flower garden. Now he gets to indulge his obsession playing with real cars that make their own cool noises, and gets paid for it.