Last month, Cadillac launched a round of advertisements promoting the 2019 XT4 - including television spots. While the commercial is still set in New York City, it avoids the other trappings of the brand's previous "Dare Greatly" campaign. There is very little screen time without the crossover blitzing through the streets, backed by a high-energy soundtrack, and at no point does the brand try to encourage the viewer to assume its corporate philosophy. It's just a straightforward car commercial - or so we thought.

Apparently, there was a hidden element we all missed. 

Smack dab in the middle of the ad there is a moment where the XT4 drives by a theater named "Escala." Noticed first by GM Authority, the outlet claimed that no such theater exists in New York City and we're inclined to agree. Based on the traffic markers and signage, this author isn't sure if the street shown even exists within the Big Apple.

It would appear that General Motors digitally inserted the building specifically to hint that the ultra-sexy Cadillac Escala concept would be entering production. There's even text on the storefront that reads "new arrivals."

While entirely speculative, it seems unlikely that Cadillac would go to such great lengths to include this in the ad for no reason. The Escala sedan (which is technically a hatchback) appeared in 2016, via video, one day before making a sizable splash at Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It was later said by former Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen that the model served as a "potential addition" to the brand's product lineup - serving as halo vehicle.

Larger than the CT6, at least in concept form, Cadillac has previously confirmed the model's role but never said anything definitive on production. There were longstanding rumors that it would begin assembly before 2022 and others that it would simply serve as a concept model highlighting the brand's future design strategy and tech implementation. However, current Cadillac President Steve Carlisle said he'd like to see a new flagship model as well.

Earlier, we'd have suggested that the Escala would have been a poor fit. Carlisle wanted something electrified but the concept version of the car implemented a 4.2-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic. But we also suppose there is no reason GM couldn't make the Escala a battery-electric vehicle, especially considering General Motors wants to add over a dozen to its portfolio over the next few years.

As for the name itself, you probably noticed it wasn't a jumble of letters and numbers. But neither is the Escalade and the brass at GM has already said that new flagship models probably wouldn't need to adhere to the typical nomenclature of the brand. It definitely sounds like the Escala is coming but we've got no clue what it will be packing under the hood right now.

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