2020 Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV: What to Expect
September 6, 2017
By: Automobile Staff
Illustrated by: Radovan Varicak
Lincoln is just now launching the third Navigator to be equipped with an independent rear suspension, and yet we’ve got a couple years before Cadillac finally responds with IRS and/or air suspension in its much-anticipated fifth-generation Escalade. Despite having most of the decade to develop the ’20 Escalade—the “all-new” 2015 model was more an evolutionary update of the ’07, hobbled by General Motors’ 2009 bankruptcy —it is rumored that company brass approved ditching the solid rear axle on its most profitable model late in the program. So the Escalade, its long-wheelbase ESV variant, and the less-expensive Chevrolet Tahoe/Suburban and GMC Yukon/XL brethren finally will offer a flat cargo floor. No more lifting out the heavy third seat before you head to Target.The new Escalade is expected to be one of the first Cadillacs equipped with the new 4.0-liter double-overhead-cam V-8 to which the Escala concept alluded. Like the next-generation pickups and SUVs, it has been in development for much of the decade, and it’s not clear how quickly the twin-cam will replace the small-block (which will then be 65 years old) in GM’s narrowing V-8 lineup. We do know the Escalade’s V-8, whichever engine, will be paired with a 10-speed automatic added last year, and that rear- and four-wheel drive will be offered. Don’t be surprised to see a plug-in hybrid variant possibly as early as the second model year.