Just as we got an unintended sneak peek at the next refresh of the Ford Edge in an investor's report, so we're getting a little more information about the debut of the new Cadillac Escalade, a mid-2000s hip-hop auto icon and an enduring fixture in Cadillac showrooms for the past 15 years. The report highlighted "Spring 2014" as its debut timeframe, making it the last of the full-size SUV trio to reach showrooms, after the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL.
The general formula of body-on-frame and live rear axle is expected to continue, even as all the Escalade's competitors, foreign and domestic, have gone to an independent rear suspension. The ruggedness, and incrementally better efficiency afforded by the live axle likely tipped the scales in its favor. As is the case with the new 2014 full-size pickups, the Escalade's already good NVH isolation is expected to improve even further, although a clearly audible exhaust note from the burly V-8 has always been a hallmark of the Escalade, and the engine will likely not be completely muffled.
In a nod to tightening CAFE standards, the Escalade may be offered with two engines, the 5.3-liter L83 and 6.2-liter L86 direct-injected V-8 engines, the latter reportedly making more than 420 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. The Escalade may also be the first of the full-size SUVs to get an eight-speed automatic transmission. There has been some rumor of a hybrid version of the new Escalade, but seeing as that variant has been dropped from the full-size truck lines for the time being, it's unknown if or when that powertrain option will become available again.
Source: General Motors