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Next Cadillac Escalade to retain body-on-frame architecture

by Ronan Glon

Cadillac wants to move the Escalade up a notch on the market.

Putting an end to a long-standing rumor, Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen has revealed the next generation of the hot-selling Escalade will retain the current model's truck-derived body-on-frame construction.

"The Escalade must become more sophisticated and technically advanced, more detail oriented. We can do all that with a body-on-frame architecture," the executive in a recent interview with the Detroit Free Press.

Moving the Escalade up a notch or two on the market will allow Cadillac to better compete against Land Rover's iconic Range Rover and newcomers to the luxury SUV segment such as Maserati. De Nysschen hasn't suggested how far up the Escalade can go, but a previous report Cadillac is toying around with the idea of launching a range-topping model with a six-digit price tag. Currently, a base-model 2016 Escalade with a short wheelbase starts at $72,970, and a long-wheelbase Escalade ESV Platinum loaded to the gills with every single option offered costs just under $100,000.

It sounds like the Escalade's body-on-frame architecture will stick around in the foreseeable future, but de Nysschen hasn't revealed how the behemoth will comply with the stringent emissions regulations that are scheduled to come into effect in the coming years. Cadillac could replace the massive, naturally-aspirated V8 with a smaller eight or with a turbocharged six, it could resort to electrification, or it could even employ both solutions.

The next generation of the Cadillac Escalade isn't expect to arrive until the early 2020s, but the $100,000 model will land before the end of the decade if it's given the green light for production.

Photos by Mark Elias.

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