2008 Cadillac Escalade review and pictures

Posted on Monday, 27 August 2007 , 16:08:28 byAngela

Filed under CadillacSUV

Cadillac Escalade

Having earned a position as the image and sales leader among large luxury SUVs, Cadillac Escalade enters 2008 looking to extend its considerable momentum. With three body styles â€" Escalade, and the extended length Escalade ESV and EXT luxury sport-utility truck â€" Cadillac offers the widest array of models in the segment. This broad lineup will expand even further when the Escalade Platinum edition and the Escalade Hybrid join the family later in 2008.

Completely redesigned for 2007, the â€󏅐 Escalades feature integrated powertrain, chassis, safety and interior systems that deliver the most powerful, efficient luxury SUVs in the segment, led by a 6.2L all-aluminum V-8 engine with variable valve timing technology delivering 403 horsepower (301 kW)* and 417 lb.-ft. of torque (565 Nm).* The Escalade and Escalade ESV are available in AWD and 2WD configurations (2WD is new to Escalade ESV for â€󏅐), while the Escalade EXT sport-utility truck features standard, full-time AWD.

Escalade sports a sleek, clean and athletic form with improved aerodynamics. It is instantly identifiable as a Cadillac and incorporates styling cues from Cadillac’s landmark Sixteen concept vehicle, including a detailed signature grille, front fender vent ports and layers of chrome accents.

It was Escalade that first introduced the exclusive Platinum series to Cadillac as a limited-edition model expressing the full extent of the brand’s luxury attributes. Details on the 2008 Escalade Platinum will be announced later in 2007.

Luxury and advanced technology also converge in the Escalade Hybrid, to be introduced in the 2008 calendar year. The Escalade Hybrid will feature GM’s two-mode hybrid propulsion system combining gas and electric engines for significant fuel economy improvements, while maintaining the traditional capabilities of a full-size SUV.

While conventional full hybrid systems offer only one electric mode that is used during low-speed driving, GM is teaming up with DaimlerChrysler and BMW Group to co-develop the patented two-mode hybrid system. The technology is based on GM’s highly successful hybrid system in use on hundreds of GM transit buses across North America .

The first mode of the system is for low speed and light loads. In this mode, the hybrid system can operate with electric power only, engine power only and any combination of engine and electric power. When the first mode operates as electric only, fuel consumption is reduced in heavy stop-and-go traffic by shutting off the engine for extended periods of time and moving exclusively under electric power at low speeds.

The second mode is primarily used at highway speeds. In addition to electric assist, the second mode integrates sophisticated electronic controls, such as Active Fuel Management, cam phasing and late-intake valve closure, to allow even more efficient engine operation with electric motors less than half the size of a traditional “one-mode” hybrid system. Full eight-cylinder engine power is provided when conditions demand it, such as passing, towing or climbing a steep grade.

Additional details about the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid will be announced later in 2007.

Power with a purpose

A 6.2L V-8 rated at 403 horsepower (301 kW)* and 417 lb.-ft. of torque (565 Nm)* is exclusive to the Escalade family. This all-aluminum engine uses v ariable valve timing (VVT) to optimize camshaft timing to improve low-rpm torque and high-rpm horsepower. The introduction of variable valve timing through the unique, dual-equal cam phaser is the industry’s first application of VVT on a mass-produced V-8 overhead-valve engine.

A Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission is matched with the 6.2L engine. One of the industry’s most advanced automatics, the 6L80 features clutch-to-clutch shifting and has a wide, 6.04:1 overall ratio â€" including two overdrive gears â€" that helps deliver an excellent balance of performance and fuel economy.

A strong frame and chassis support the Escalade’s robust powertrain and enable exceptional responsiveness and ride and handling smoothness. Large, four-wheel disc brakes and a Bosch ABS system help ensure braking performance. ABS works with the StabiliTrak stability control system’s rollover mitigation technology. This software algorithm technology uses sensors to proactively predict vehicle “tip-up” and apply appropriate brake force to help prevent such events.

Safe and sound

Escalade is designed to be among the industry’s safest and most secure vehicles, with numerous safety systems and crash-avoidance technologies. Occupant protection features include head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for all seating rows and an industry-first 360-degree front safety belt pretensioner activation system.

In keeping with Cadillac’s reputation for advanced technology, OnStar-equipped Escalade models feature Generation 7 technology and OnStar’s Turn-by-Turn Navigation, the first factory-installed, fully integrated GPS navigation system from OnStar. Turn-by-Turn allows consumers to talk to a live advisor, who in turn sends complete step-by-step directions to customers` vehicles through their OnStar system. These audio directions automatically play through the vehicle’s stereo as needed, triggered by the OnStar system’s GPS capabilities. This enables drivers to be led to their destination while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.