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Could Cadillac Compete With Bentley And Rolls-Royce Once Again?

2021 Cadillac Escalade Platinum Premium Luxury
Image copyright Steven Pham, Muscle Cars & Trucks.

70 years ago, Cadillacs were the pinnacle of luxury in the automotive market. Take the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, which was priced at a staggering $13,000 at the time. You can’t find any new car for $13,000 today, but back then, that was more expensive than a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II. The audacity. These days, however, is of course a different scenario. But if there was any GM product on the market right now that has a puncher’s chance at moving further upmarket, it’s the Cadillac Escalade.

“I think so. We don’t have anything to tell you about today. But I think the Cadillac name and the Escalade name have plenty of room to grow. I do think potentially there’s room to move up,” said Robert Benbow, marketing manager of the Cadillac Escalade, to MC&T.

We’re also left imagining what’s possible beyond the Escalade Platinum. Interior materials like wool carpeting, and elegant coach doors come to mind. Unfortunately, that’s not happening on the 2021 Escalade.

“We didn’t (evaluate coach doors or gullwing doors). Even though it’s ground-up, we wanted to hold true to what it is and how people use it,” said Therese Pinazzo, Escalade exterior design manager, to MC&T. The Escalade also has to fit into the specified assembly process happening at the General Motors Arlington Assembly Plant, alongside the 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, as well as the 2021 GMC Yukon.

However, Cadillac didn’t deny the possibilities of special programs like bespoke offerings. Such as what is currently seen from Rolls-Royce and Bentley when it comes to one-of-one stitch work, custom door sills, and more.

“Is it possible? Sure. We’re exploring new opportunities, and in luxury, there’s always an appetite for that kind of thing… nothing to tell you about today,” said Benbow.

“I can’t really talk about it. It’s something we’ve talked about all the time,” said Pinazzo.

Maybe they’ll give coach doors another look in the future.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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2021 Cadillac Escalade


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