The fifth-generation Escalade looks mighty fine from our vantage point

General Motors has been busy rolling out new-generation versions of its SUV lineup. The all-new Chevrolet Suburban and Chevrolet Tahoe have arrived and it looks like the next-generation Cadillac Escalade is about to follow suit. Leaked photos shared on the Instagram page cochespias show the 2021 Cadillac Escalade in full view.

There are several leaked photos of the fifth-generation Escalade, including one that clearly shows the luxury SUV’s front section. Another photo shows the side profile of the full-size SUV while a third photo gives us a glimpse of the Escalade’s posh interior. All signs point to significant changes for Caddy’s flagship SUV as it prepares to set its sights on the Lincoln Navigator.

All-new looks point to the Escalade’s aesthetic future

If this is the all-new, fifth-generation Cadillac Escalade, then we should all be in for a treat when Cadillac debuts the full-sized luxury SUV sometime in the first quarter of 2020.

The all-new look is a huge departure from the aesthetics of the previous-generation Escalade.

Not surprisingly, Cadillac’s new corporate face will be adopted in the new Escalade, including the same horizontal lighting setup that we’ve already seen from the XT6 SUV. The Escalade’s grille is a lot larger than that of the XT6’s grille, but that should also be expected given the Escalade’s status as Caddy’s flagship SUV. Similarities with the all-new Chevrolet Suburban and Chevrolet Tahoe can also be identified, though it is difficult to see the lower end of the Escalade’s front section, specifically the design of the bumper and how it coalesces with the new headlights, the large grille, and the overall upright appearance of the Escalade.

With the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban Revealed, Someone Has Leaked Images of the 2021 Cadillac Escalade
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The leaked image of the Escalade’s side profile reveals something a lot more telling.

Perhaps it’s a byproduct of General Motors’ T1 truck platform — the Escalade shares it with the 2021 Suburban, 2021 Tahoe, and soon enough, the next-generation GMC Yukon. But based on what we’re looking at, the new Escalade’s side profile is eerily similar to the Tahoe and the Suburban. There are some distinguishing marks, of course, but for the most part, you might find it difficult at first to distinguish these SUVs based on how similar they look from this angle.

On the other hand, comparing the 2021 Escalade’s new look to its predecessor reveals some telling differences.

The shoulder line, for example, isn’t located as high up as in the previous model. Part of it can be attributed to the design of the horizontal headlamps.

They’re not vertical anymore so the shoulder lines don’t start as high as they used to. A few chrome touches surrounding the greenhouse, accenting the lower section of the doors and wrapping the mirrors establish the Escalade’s premium stature. But for the most part, the new Escalade resembles the equally new Suburban and Tahoe more than you think. Need proof? Check out the turn signals on the front wheel arch of the Escalade. You’ll see the same thing on the two new Chevrolet SUVs.

The leaked photo of the Escalade’s interior shows exactly why the Escalade is a luxury SUV.

You see a lot of premium materials all over the Escalade’s interior, but it’s the technology that’s included in the Escalade that makes the SUV stand out.

Take the dashboard, for example. The dual-screen setup can rival Mercedes MBUX infotainment system. You’ll also notice the Escalade’s raised center console, making it more convenient for the driver. This is part of what establishes the Escalade’s luxurious and driver-focused cabin, things that you don’t get in either the Suburban or the Tahoe.

Powertrain options should come aplenty

2015 Cadillac Escalade High Resolution Drivetrain
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There’s still no official word on powertrain options for the next-generation Cadillac Escalade, but it is believed that Cadillac will carry over the same 6.2-liter V-8 engine that can be found in the existing SUV. The unit produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque.

2019 Cadillac Escalade specifications
Type: 6.2L V-8 VVT DI with Active Fuel Management
Bore & Stroke         (in / mm): 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block Material: Cast aluminum
Cylinder Head Material: Cast aluminum
Valvetrain: Overhead valve, two valves per cylinder, variable valve timing
Fuel Delivery: Direct high-pressure fuel injection with Active Fuel Management
Horsepower (hp / kW): 420 / 313 @ 5600 rpm (SAE certified)
Torque (lb.-ft. / Nm): 460 / 621 @ 4100 rpm (SAE certified)

This is the only engine available in the current Escalade, but don’t be surprised if Cadillac offers more engine options for the next-generation Escalade.

A high-performance version of the Escalade is reportedly in the works and, among other high-spec features, it will reportedly carry a supercharged version of the same V-8 engine with an output of 650 horsepower.

Don’t be surprised if this model ends up carrying Cadillac’s “V” performance designation.

On the other end of the spectrum, it remains unclear if the Escalade will carry the same engines like the ones that are available to the 2021 Chevrolet Suburban and the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe. Outside of the 6.2-liter V-8 that the Escalade is expected to pack, the two new Chevy SUVs are available with the following engines.

  • A 5.3-liter V-8 engine that produces 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque
  • A 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder turbodiesel engine that produces 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque
2020 Cadillac Escalade
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The 5.3-liter V-8 engine is a possibility, especially if Cadillac wants to create a three-trim lineup of the Escalade. This trim could serve as the entry-level model while the 6.2-liter V-8 version could serve as the middle-trim version. The Escalade V could serve as the range-topping model, owing to its performance designation.

It’s interesting to imagine an Escalade with a diesel engine, but I don’t think the 3.0-liter turbodiesel will ever make it to the Caddy SUV. It just doesn’t fit the Escalade’s identity as a super-luxury SUV.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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