For us Brits, few cars symbolise American motoring excess as well as the Cadillac Escalade. There’s now an all-new one for the 2021 model year, and it’s more fantastically ostentatious than ever.
There is, of course, that gigantic grille that’s rather hard to ignore, and the sheer size of the thing - it’s bigger than a long-wheelbase Range Rover even in its standard, non-stretched form. Opt for the gigantified ‘ESV’, and it’s about half a metre longer.
The OTT theme continues inside, where you’ll find 38 inches of OLED screen. The display real estate - which has “twice the pixel density of a 4K television,” Cadillac says - is made up of three separate screens. There’s a 7.2-inch touchscreen to the driver’s left, a 14.2-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 16.9-inch display for the infotainment which all blend into absolute unit of OLED tech.
If you want, you can have almost a speaker for every inch of screen, via a 36-speaker AKG sound system that’s fitted as standard on Platinum Luxury and Platinum Sport trim grades. Also on the tech front, we have a Level 2 ‘Super Cruise’ driver assistance system and an augmented reality system.
The cabin is - as you’d expect - vast. Third-row passengers have 40 per cent more legroom than before, and there’s a 722-litre boot to fill with whatever Escalade owners normally carry. Large wads of cash, probably.
Since whoever’s sitting in the back is going to be quite far away from the occupants in the front, there’s even a system that’ll pick up conversations via microphones and pump it through the speakers, so you don’t have to shout at each other. Neat.
Despite all that modernity going on, the Escalade is quite old-school under the skin, with a body-on-ladder-frame construction. The engines are very traditional too, with the standard option coming in the form of a 6.2-litre naturally-aspirated V8 with 414bhp. If preferred, there’s a 3.0-litre Duramax inline-six diesel, which develops 274bhp and 460lb ft of torque, the latter figure being identical to the V8’s. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic gearbox, with four-wheel drive available as an option.
The 2021 Escalade will go on sale late 2021, although we don’t know what the price will be just yet. It’ll be built at GM’s facility in Arlington, Texas.