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Cadillac signs Regina King to be the new, human face of redesigned 2021 Escalade

A new ad campaign features the Cadillac Escalade alongside Emmy- and Oscar-winning actress and director Regina King.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Emmy and Academy Award winning director and actress Regina King has been tapped as the new, human face of the Cadillac Escalade. King served as a brand ambassador to assist in the debut of the 2021 Escalade earlier this year alongside Spike Lee.

The first part of the campaign, dubbed "Never Stop Arriving", features King and will center around Cadillac's first-to-market technologies and bold design. This includes Super Cruise hands-free driving technology and a long OLED driver information and infotainment screen. This aspect of the marketing push begins in October.

Regina King Cadillac Escalade Never Stop Arriving Regina King worked with two other powerhouse women in the film industry on the campPhoto courtesy of Cadillac

King – who recently won an Emmy for her performance in "Watchmen," also won an Oscar in 2019 for her performance in "If Beale Street Could Talk" makes her directorial debut in her forthcoming film, "One Night in Miami", set to open on Christmas Day.

"The Cadillac experience is all about ambition, being hopeful and being relentless as you work toward your goals," said King. "Cadillac looks to make every journey extraordinary, and we all should be striving for that."

Dee Rees, the campaign's director, says that the campaign is all about the theme of bravery, resilience, and overcoming obstacles. Cadillac's new marketing initiative brings together three women who exemplify those traits: Reese, King, and award-winning Director of Photography Rachel Morrison.

"This is a new era for Cadillac – fearless, innovative and one where we never stop pushing boundaries, and Regina King reflects all those facets and so much more," said Melissa Grady, Cadillac chief marketing officer. "King's unique ability to defy convention and look toward the future are how we approach the opportunities ahead of us at Cadillac."

2021 Cadillac Escalade | Never Stop Arriving | Cadillac www.youtube.com

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is arriving at dealerships now, but it's not the only thing Cadillac has been busy doing. The company launched Cadillac Live, an interactive virtual vehicle shopping experience, earlier this year. The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq was unveiled and promised to be riding on the new General Motors platform technology, which includes the Ultium battery.

The company confirmed that the -iq ending as part of its vehicle names will expand in the coming years, including in the Cadillac Celestiq ultra-luxury electric car. One thing the company has not confirmed is the rumored plans to add an all-electric Escalde to the lineup by 2025.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The Cadillac Escalade is one of the most luxurious SUVs you can buy.

Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac has given the 2021 Escalade the tagline "Never stop arriving" which seems apropos for a full-size SUV that shows up in nearly every way. Having undergone a complete redesign, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade finds itself securely at the top of the company's lineup showcasing the high-tech features and plush accommodations buyers are looking for.

The three-row SUV is built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, and the GMC Yukon at the General Motors Arlington Assembly plant outside of Dallas. The platform is ridged and good, allowing the Escalade and its brethren to take on corners at speed without fear of coffee spilling.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury The Escalade continues to have a commanding presence on the street.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

That also means that it's big. Huge, in fact. But, the Escalade isn't so big it's unmanageable. Sure, you'll need a stepladder to see below the hood. But, how many Escalade owners are doing their own maintenance these days? Camera views help tremendously, as does safety technology.

As tested in the Premium Luxury trim, the two-wheel drive Escalade was powered by Cadillac's standard 6.2-liter V8 that's paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, a fresh addition to GM's offering list. The power plant delivers 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, just as it is in the SUV's full-size GM stablemates, and has the same SAE-certified horsepower and torque top-out points. It's a competent power plant but it works better in the Yukon Denali.

Why?

That's the big question. The two SUVs are nearly the same weight – pushing 5,800 pounds – and were similarly equipped underneath, as tested. Yet, the Escalade drove like it had a 1,000 pound-boulder strapped into the second row. It didn't feel as agile or swift as the Yukon, but also didn't give the feeling like you're towing when you're not.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury The Escalade's imposing body style is not so large that it proves unmanageable. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The Escalade was test driven back-to-back-to-back with other vehicles in its segment, the Yukon and the Ford Expedition, and it proved to be, hands down, the least maneuverable. Those poor limousine service drivers in L.A. are not going to enjoy working their way up, and then back down the snaked driveways of the Hollywood elite in this Cadillac.

However, once they get on the road and are able to sit back and relax a touch with their clientele all buckled up, they're going to enjoy the drive. The tester wasn't equipped with GM's Super Cruise, which is a hands-free driver assist technology, but the addition would be a welcome one as the lane keep assist isn't as proactive as other systems from other automakers, and the massive Caddy requires a driver's full attention to stay in the lane.

The 2021 Escalade's massive standard 38-inch OLED screen display area is the highlight of the interior and likely the biggest talking point of the vehicle. Its layout is sensical, proves to not be distracting while driving, and supplies just the right amount of information without going overkill on moving graphics.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury The OLED display darkens to deep black at night, giving your drivers' eyes a rest.Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The best part of the tech, which is actually made up of three separate screens under the same thin housing, is that it quickly and smoothly goes to near-black, giving drivers the least amount of distraction possible while on the road at night. Its resolution is twice the pixel density of a 4K television.

Though a minor issue, the screen's design does not allow for turn signal indicators to be easily seen as they are positioned directly behind the steering wheel rim. With the indicator's generally soft tone, it's easy to miss when an indicator remains on when exiting a roundabout or merging into traffic.

Surrounding the Escalade's screen are a variety of appointments, some of which feel and look luxurious while others do not. These are, however, typical General Motors product quibbles. The synthetic materials on the dashboard, and thin leather door inserts are not as luxe as what you'll find in SUVs made by Cadillac's rivals. Not that anyone will notice them for long with the OLED elephant in the room.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury The layout of the OLED display is easy to understand and read on-the-fly. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Seats in the Escalade are comfortable, providing ample room. No matter the row, the upholstery is well-executed and the ride is sublime as the suspension easily soaks up the road's imperfections. It's a vehicle the aforementioned elite won't mind being seen in and will look forward to riding in.

Along with its comfortable seats and enough legroom in all three rows for adults, one of the best parts of the Escalade is its sound system. It's the first vehicle with an AKG system (offered with either 19 (standard) or 36 speakers), and it pairs the system with an already-quiet cabin. The sound is all-encompassing for front row occupants and musical elements are separated, coming at you like you're at a concert, rather than listening to a glossed-over recorded session. Turning it up, the quality of the sound is not lost. D-E-lightful.

Individual technology elements of the Escalade are why buyers should choose it over the Yukon and the Lincoln Navigator. The OLED display, Super Cruise, and AKG sound system make the Cadillac a step up from its competition even though its drive feels like a step down.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Premium Luxury Cadillac has made the seats of the Escalade comfortable and appointed them well. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

The Cadillac Escalade is pricey. As tested it was well over $85,000, and that's just a mid-grade model. The Escalade faces stiff competition from the Yukon Denali, which comes in at least $15,000 cheaper and delivers a better drive experience. The similarly priced Navigator is also an elegant option that's sure to be upgraded with Ford's hands-free driving technology in the not-too-distant future.

There may be a sleeper competitor on the horizon. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer is set to debut soon and will likely rival the Escalade with its sound system and elegant design, and come with a similar price tag.

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The GMC Hummer Edition 1 is the first Hummer EV that will be avaalibe.

Photo courtesy of GMC

The Hummer name has officially returned to the automotive world. General Motors has brought back the moniker for the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, a fully electric truck that will arrive on dealership lots in 2021.

The numbers are the sexiest bits of the reveal. The Hummer EV Edition 1 delivers 1,000 horsepower, has a 350-mile all-electric range, and goes for $112,959. Yes, one hundred twelve thousand, nine hundred fifty-nine American dollars.

Built on GM's new flexible architecture, the Hummer EV fits between the traditional and extended wheelbase sizes of the 2021 GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. It's over a foot longer than the Hummer H2 and a few inches taller than the Ford F-150 Raptor.

2022 GMC Hummer EV Where a traditional hood and engine would be is instead a front trunk.Photo courtesy of GMC

At its front is an illuminated six-slot grille with the unmistakable "Hummer" lettering emblazoned across the front. Slim headlights flank the grille above a rough-and-ready bumper and skid plate. The Hummer's windshield is upright, which is reminiscent of the model's heritage.

GMC will only sell the 2022 Hummer EV in one cab style - a four-door that is paired with a short bed. Think of this as similar to the Jeep Gladiator.

Every Hummer EV will come with the company's Infinity Roof as standard equipment. That means that the Hummer EV is a t-top style convertible that blends truck and sky by removing four Sky Panels that can be stowed in the Hummer's front trunk.

Like the GMC Sierra, the Hummer EV will come with the versatile MultiPro tailgate. Rear drop glass and a power tonneau cover are available.

It's long wheelbase allows for the truck's Ultium battery pack to sit under the floor in the middle. The truck will be first to market as an Edition 1 grade with a 200-kilowatt-hour battery back. That battery is attached to two motors at the front and one at the rear producing 1,000 horsepower and 11,500 pound-feet of torque. Other forthcoming Hummer variants are set to have unique powertrain setups.

2022 GMC Hummer EV The Hummer EV comes standard with a short bed.Photo courtesy of GMC

GMC has given each Hummer EV four-wheel drive allowing it to have CrabWalk mode, which utilizes torque vectoring technology. When activating that mode, the Hummer EV to move diagonally.

It also allows the truck to have a launch mode called “Watts to Freedom". Yes, you read that correctly. WTF mode. It allows the Hummer EV Edition 1 to travel from zero to 60 mph in three seconds.

The 2022 GMC Hummer EV Edition 1 will have 350 miles of range and be capable of charging via an 800-volt DC fast-charger and a 350-kilowatt charger. The Hummer is the first EV to have this capability, which allows it to gain 100 miles of range in 10 minutes.

The Hummer EV also offers adjustable ride height functionality, shock damping that can respond to input at the rate of 500 times per second, and stability control, all of which are controlled to varying degrees using the truck's drive modes. It has two differential lockers.

GMC has given the truck an Extract Mode, which raises the Hummer EV's ride height by six inches and gives the truck a 50-degree approach angle. In total, there's eight inches of height adjustability and the truck is capable of 13 inches of front-to-rear travel.

Also, it can scale 18-inch vertical walls and has 2-feet of water fording capability. GMC says that the truck has an 11.3-meter turning radius, which is tighter than what the Chevrolet Sonic is capable of.

2022 GMC Hummer EV

Photo courtesy of GMC

The Hummer EV runs on standard 18-inch wheels that are wrapped in 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler All Territory MT tires. Up to 37-inch tires will fit on the truck without modification.

GMC has covered the entire underbody of the truck with steel plates and affixed two cameras and their washers that allow drivers to see obstacles ahead.

Inside, the Hummer EV is minimalistic but effectively designed. In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster while a 13.4-inch infotainment screen sits in the center of the dashboard. The two screens are powered by Epic Games' Unreal Engine, the same architecture that Fortnite runs on.

GMC hasn't divulged much about the specific interior appointments but does say that they're "premium".

The automaker is putting its Super Cruise hands-free driver assist technology on every Hummer.

The Edition 1 model will be first out of the gate with deliveries slated to begin in fall 2021. Pricing for the Edition 1 starts at $112,595. That will be followed by lower-priced, less-powerful models in a cadence that won't fully roll out until spring 2024.

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