Escala — Spanish for “scale”— is a concept for a larger, more exclusive companion to the recently launched 2016 Cadillac CT6. It is also the third in a series of concepts Cadillac has debuted at Pebble Beach in recent years, following the Ciel convertible (2011) and Elmiraj coupe (2013).
The large 4-door sedan features an expansive liftback design emphasizing the car’s considerable scale and versatility. At 210.5 inches in overall length, the Escala is roughly 6 inches longer than today’s CT6.
Escala features a new and evolved face of Cadillac design that will begin appearing on production models soon. This includes a new expression of Cadillac’s vertical lighting, a brand signature since 1948. Organic light emitting diode (OLED) lighting elements are thinner and set deep within the fascia, creating a sinister look, day and night.
Escala features a “dual personality” interior crafted with distinctly different zones: The front is about intensely focused modern technology, while the rear delivers relaxation.
An array of three curved OLED screens is a prominent feature in the front of the cabin. The very thin, curved displays are layered in front of the driver, with the back sides wrapped in hand-stitched leather embossed with the Cadillac script. The array of screens consolidate the traditional “cluster” of driving gauges with the “center stack” into one integrated unit.
Like all Cadillac models today, the interior is assembled using hand cut-and-sewn techniques. However, Escala presents several new and unique touches, blending overt luxury with covert technology.
Escala makes broad use of hand-tailored fabric on the door trim and seating areas. Inspired by suiting material used by Cadillac’s partners in the fashion industry, the fabric provides a new level of hand-applied craftsmanship and color.
Escala also represents a lab vehicle for testing user experience in development for future production models. The system features a central control module that enables the driver to execute tactile commands across the spectrum of connectivity functions, in addition to voice and gesture control technology.
Inside the controller sits a new edition of Cadillac’s “flying Goddess” icon, a nod to the brand’s illustrious heritage.
Official designers’ statements
“This concept shares how Cadillac will bring forward a new experience that is uniquely American, and unmistakably Cadillac,” says Andrew Smith, executive director of Cadillac Global Design.
“Escala is an expressive symbol of reward and an exhilarating driving experience. On the interior, we pushed further. It’s about precision and ingenuity in craftsmanship, and the artistic integration of technology.”
“My brief to the designers was to create a car you desperately want to drive, and also one in which you want to be driven,” Smith said.
“So rather than a single design, this interior consists of two themes. It was an opportunity for our designers to break the rules a little bit, exactly what Cadillac should do from time to time.”
The Escala Concept utilizes Cadillac’s new RWD-centric large luxury car architecture, which debuted on the new CT6. The mixed-material construction enables high levels of agility and efficiency.
Escala is powered by a new 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, a prototype of a new system in development for future Cadillac models. The advanced engine utilizes Active Fuel Management technology, enabling fuel-saving 4-cylinder operation.