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Cadillac reveals new Escala concept at Pebble Beach

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co.’s luxury Cadillac brand Thursday debuted a new Escala Concept car larger than its CT6 flagship sedan as part of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California.

The concept, Spanish for “scale,” bowed in during Monterey Car Week. Cadillac revealed the car live on Facebook with President Johan de Nysschen and Andrew Smith, executive director of Cadillac global design.

The 210.5-inch (17.5 feet) long vehicle, about 6 inches longer than the current top-of-the range CT6 sedan, is what Cadillac describes as its next evolution in design, and previews technology and features that are being developed.

It’s powered by a 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine, a pilot of a new system Cadillac has in development for future vehicles, and is built on Cadillac’s new large car rear-wheel drive architecture. The brand has several new vehicles planned to come to market by 2020.

“The car is not an announcement of a forthcoming production car,” De Nysschen said. “It’s an announcement of the direction that we are thinking about for technologies, for automation, for connectivity, for interior design, for craftsmanship, but most of all a very tangible expression of the new Cadillac design language that you will find in forthcoming Cadillac products.”

Cadillac has not ruled out building the car, however. “Depending on the development of market segment for large luxury sedans, Escala is a potential addition to our existing product plan,” De Nysschen said in a statement.

De Nysschen told attendees at Pebble Beach that the car is the third in a “series of concepts and it signals Cadillac’s return to spacious and elegant flagship luxury cars.”

Cadillac in 2013 used Pebble Beach to showcase its Elmiraj grand coupe concept and its Ciel Concept, a four-door, four-seat convertible, in 2011.

The Escala four-door sedan includes a liftback design and a new face of Cadillac design that will begin to appear on production models. It features a new take on vertical lighting. Organic light emitting diode (OLED) lighting is thinner and sits deeper within the front, creating a sinister look.

Smith said he challenged designers to come up with a Cadillac that they’d be chauffeured in but also desperately want to drive themselves. Inside, the Escala has modern technology such as three curved OLED screens that are thin and layered in front of the driver.

mburden@detroitnews.com

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