Kez Casey | Aug 20, 2016

Cadillac has unveiled its vision of a future flagship model, the Escala concept, pointing to both a new design direction, and future technical aspects that will be seen on the next-generation of Cadillacs.

More of an evolution than a dramatic shift away from Cadillac’s current 'Art and Science' design movement which debuted in 2002, the Escala pushes Cadillac in a new, strongly European-influenced direction.

While purely a concept at this stage, the door remains open for a production version, with Cadillac’s global president Johan de Nysschen hinting that future market forces are all that hold the Escala at bay.

“Escala is a concept car, but one based upon the unrelenting rise of our product substance,” de Nysschen said.

“Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan.”

Instead of a traditional sedan the five-door Escala adopts a coupe-like hatchback form, complete with a large liftgate. The chrome-trimmed glasshouse also takes cues from Audi’s A5 Sportback and A7 models, as well as the Buick Avista concept from earlier this year.

At the front the traditionally chrome-heavy Cadillac face has been dialed back with a more subdued black chrome treatment, while the usual vertically-oriented lighting treatment has been split into a slim horizontal headlight with vertical running lights framing a minimalist face.

Front and rear lighting is handled by OLED technology allowing for a complex three-dimensional look, and again at the rear Cadillac has nixed its traditional upright lamps in favour of complex Y-shaped tail-lights.

Bodyside detailing draws connections to Cadillacs current range, with crisp straight lines running from front to rear, elements to emphasize the Escala’s 5.3 metre length - longer than the current CT6 flagship.

Under the bonnet the Escala features a twin turbocharged 4.2 litre V8, which points to a future flagship engine for Cadillac’s passenger car range to take the place of the Chevrolet-derived supercharged LSA engine currently used in the CTS-V.

The interior of the Escala features three curved OLED screens combined to take the place of a traditional instrument cluster and centre-stack.

The prototype system features a range of new connectivity and control options including voice commands and gesture controls.

The interior is trimmed in a combination of grey tweed, inspired by suit fabrics used in Cadillac's halcyon era, and with contrasting leather front seats, and tweed covered seating surfaces at the rear.

The Escala marks the third of Cadillac’s Pebble Beach concepts, following in the footsteps of the four-door convertible Ciel in 2011, and the Elmiraj coupe of 2013.

MORE: Cadillac | Pebble Beach | Concept

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