U.S. Markets closed

2021 Cadillac Escalade getting a star-studded introduction

Ronan Glon

Now that Chevrolet's Tahoe and Suburban are out of the bag, it's Cadillac's turn to introduce its new body-on-frame SUV. The next-generation Escalade will make its public debut on Feb. 4, 2020.

The Escalade could have been one of the stars of the 2020 Detroit Auto Show had the event not moved to June. That's far too late for Cadillac, so the company will introduce the model during a special event held in Beverly Hills, Calif. The date wasn't chosen at random; it's less than a week before the 2020 edition of the Academy Awards, an event Cadillac has partnered with for the past six years. It's reasonable to assume the Escalade will play a key role in the ritzy event.

The Escalade won't look anything like its Chevrolet-badged siblings, as leaked images show a tall, upright rendition of Cadillac's shield-shaped grille, but we expect many similarities beneath the sheetmetal. It will be bigger and correspondingly more spacious than the outgoing model, and an independent rear suspension will make it more comfortable. Inside, the digital instrument cluster and the infotainment system's screen will blend into a single unit angled toward the driver.

Powertrain specifications remain under wraps, though we expect a naturally-aspirated V8 will come standard. An earlier report claims the twin-turbocharged Blackwing engine available in the CT6 will not make its way to the Escalade, and we doubt Cadillac will follow Chevrolet's lead by making a 3.0-liter straight-six turbodiesel available at an extra cost. An electric model is in the works, however.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade will go on sale about halfway through next year with a base price in the vicinity of $80,000. It will again be available with a short or a long wheelbase. Once it's unveiled, the coast will be clear for GMC to round out General Motors' portfolio of full-size SUVs with new variants of the Yukon and the Yukon XL. They'll likely break cover during the first half of 2020.