2020 Cadillac Escalade spy shots

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Behold the first spy shots of Cadillac's next-generation Escalade.

The new flagship SUV is due out next year as a 2020 model and will bring with it major weight savings, a significant uptick in style, and loads of new technology to combat Lincoln's impressive Navigator. In fact, the Lincoln rival can be seen in some of the shots, confirming it's being used as a benchmark for the new Escalade.

General Motors is in the process of redesigning its full-size fleet around the T1XX body-on-frame platform for SUVs and pickups. The platform is an evolution of the current K2XX design and swaps out some steel for aluminum to shed the pounds.

We hear it might help the new Escalade shed close to 300 pounds compared to the current model. The platform also brings the option of independent rear suspension, which the spy shots confirm will feature in the redesigned Escalade. This should significantly improve ride comfort and handling over the solid rear previously fitted to the luxury SUV.

2020 Cadillac Escalade spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2020 Cadillac Escalade spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500 pickup trucks are the first vehicles to ride on the T1XX. GM has since unveiled a 2020 Silverado 2500 Heavy Duty on the platform, and redesigned Chevy Suburban and GMC Yukon SUVs based on the platform are just around the corner. The redesigned Escalade should bow in the first half of 2019 before starting sales in the fall.

The fifth-generation Escalade is one of five new or redesigned models Cadillac will introduce through the 2020 calendar year. The first was the XT4 compact crossover and at next month's 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit we'll see the covers come off a new XT6 mid-size crossover. Also in the pipeline are CT4 and CT5 sedans.

As with the upcoming XT6 crossover, the redesigned Escalade will get a frontal lighting design that isn’t as relentlessly vertical as the current model. We can see that the primary headlights sit at the top of the front fascia and reach toward the center, while a daytime running light with Cadillac's signature vertical motif remains. The taillights still run vertically up the rear fenders, although camouflage disguises how far they will run up the rear pillar.

It appears the Art and Science design language isn't fully dead just yet but expect the latest Cadillacs, including the redesigned Escalade, to adopt the more evolved look first shown on 2016's Escala concept car. The Escala's mesh pattern for the grille can also be seen poking through some of the camouflage gear. The nose of the vehicle also looks to be bulkier and sit higher than on the current model, which should give it a dominating stance. Adding to the impressive stance are 22-inch wheels which on the testers are wrapped in 275/50-size Bridgestone tires.

2020 Cadillac Escalade spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2020 Cadillac Escalade spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

A side mirror design unique to the Escalade prototypes seems to be in play, encompassing additional sensors, likely for Cadillac’s SuperCruise partial self-driving feature that will certainly make its way into the new SUV.

It isn't clear what Caddy has in store for the powertrains but the brand-exclusive 4.2-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 should feature in a model delivering 500 horsepower or more. A naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 should also be offered, and possibly a plug-in hybrid option at some point. A 10-speed automatic will be standard and buyers will be able to chose between rear- and four-wheel drive.

It's too early to talk pricing but a starting figure approaching $80,000 is likely. A pricier ESV long-wheelbase model is also planned and could see the Escalade enter six-figure territory.

Stay tuned for updates as development continues.

 
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