Pebble Beach. Those two words conjure up visions of exotic classics of long ago, each displayed fender-to-hubcap each August on the grass at one of the world’s most beautiful golf courses. But, especially in the past few years, it’s also become a showcase for manufacturers to feature their best and most-fantabulous concept cars. Into that fray jumped Cadillac a few years back and they did it again this year, with 2016’s show-stopper (and perhaps a future entrant in to the show itself) – the Cadillac Escala.
I expect that many readers are somewhat familiar with the Cadillacs of recent years – those angular, high-performing vehicles with sophisticated suspensions (did you know that the best of Ferrari’s and Lamborhini’s shock absorbing systems share the same megnetorheological technology which Cadillac has used for several years?). Perhaps you’ve seen auto luminary Derek Hill (son of former World Champion Phil Hill) putting Cadillacs through their paces on challenging roads in faraway places. And maybe you know about the “skunk works” group at Cadillac who shoehorn in powerful Corvette-inspired engines in to the Cadillac CTS-V models. If so, then you won’t be surprised to see Cadillac’s latest creation, the gorgeous Escala, which drew crowds at its Monterey unveiling during the recent Pebble Beach festivities.
When Cadillac announced that the Escala is testament to the brands ascension to the “pinnacle of premium”, today that can be said with both a straight face and street cred to back it up. But first, let’s focus on the visual. Incorporating the trick new lighting option, OLED (organic light-emitting diode) units are very thin and can be located a few inches behind the fascia, giving the car a “sinister look both day and night” (perhaps the first time ever that “Cadillac” and “sinister” have been used together in a press release). The car’s 22-inch wheels are of a size which once only appeared on custom cars cruising the boulevards. And the description of the design goals for the interior further add interest – the front-seat folks are treated to “intensely focused modern technology while the rear delivers relaxation” (which might not be the case were I chauffeuring you in a V version of the car).
As might be expected, the car is slated to have a twin-turbo V-8 (no horsepower figures were announced) but, in a nod to today’s social consciousness, it also will have the ability to operate on only four cylinders when the load demands aren’t too great, providing exceptional fuel economy.
Cadillac wowed us all with its two prior concepts showcased at earlier Pebble Beach car weeks – the Ciel convertible (in 2011) and the Elmiraj coupe (in 2013). Neither of them has made it into production (at least, not yet) but we can hope that the Escala will come to fruition sometime soon.
An internationally-recognized attorney, Tim Lappen is a partner at a major Los Angeles-based law firm, where he chairs the firm’s Family Office Group and its Luxury Home Group. He can be reached at [email protected]; Facebook; Instagram.