The original Cadillac Escalade was based on GM’s GMT800 platform, sharing its underpinnings with vehicles such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon. For the next-generation of the luxury SUV, GM could go with the smaller and more car-like Lambda platform in light of changing economic trends and consumer tastes.
The Lambda platform is currently used for a host of GM SUVs and crossovers including the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse among others. According to MotorTrend, GM was originally planning to launch a V8-powered Enclave Super and had designed the platform to accommodate such an engine. While those plans have been nixed due to impending CAFE regulations, a V8-powered Lambda could be developed for the next-generation Escalade. The EXT model is expected to remain as well, with styling loosely based on the recent GMC Denali XT concept.
The introduction of the new Escalade Hybrid last month shows that a heavy and feature-laden SUV can still return reasonable mileage, as evidenced by the vehicle’s 20mpg (11.8L/100km) in the city and 21mpg (11.2L/100km) on the highway EPA rated fuel economy. A smaller model, based on a more car-like platform like Lambda would only improve on these and thus secure the Escalade’s future.