New Cadillac Escalade's Cabin Is All About Handcrafted Goodness

In order to wash away the shame of the last gen Escalade's dreadful plasticky interior, Cadillac paid much attention in developing the latest incarnation of the luxury utility vehicle. High-end furniture provided the inspiration for Caddilac's interior design team and their utilization of authentic cut-and-sew materials.
Cadillac Escalade Interior 1 photo
Photo: Cadillac
Elements such as the dashboard, door panels and steering wheel feature hand-stitched and hand-wrapped supple leather in standard. “We have cut and sew materials with real live stitching throughout the entire interior,” said Eric Clough, director of design, Cadillac interiors. “It is the foundation of the cabin design, and similar to the way fine furniture and seating are made.”

Each of the three interior environments is accented by genuine wood and metal trims, in order to exceed customer's expectations: the Shale environment features gloss American Walnut, open-pore Natural Finish Elm accents the Kona Brown environment, and the Jet Black environment is complemented by low-gloss Santos Palisander wood. The wood species used to decorate the Escalade's cabin pull from mid-century modern design aesthetics, allowing the natural grain and structure to create a warm and inviting cabin combined with the ambient lightning, revealing an unprecedented level of attention to detail.

The stitching process requires leather and other premium materials to be precision cut, wrapped and stitched on the instrument panel, center console, door panels and other interior components in order to highlight a tactile experience tailored to refined tastes. “As designers of luxury vehicles, I think it is important we do things that will make our customers say ‘Wow,’” said Clough. “One area that stands out in my mind is the end of the dashboard, called the instrument panel end cap. You only see it when one of the front doors is open; however, we still cut-and-sew wrapped this area with live stitching. In a vehicle like the Escalade, it is one more step that demonstrates the attention to detail we are taking to surprise and delight the customer.”

Even if the new Escalade closely resembles the old generation's exterior features, the interior has come a long way. Much of the Escalade redesign focuses on the interior, where new levels of hand-crafted luxury combine with the latest gadgetry, such as the CUE infotainment system and the 16-speaker Bose Centerpoint surround sound system. Cadillac will build the all-new Escalade in Arlington, Texas, and dealers will start selling it this spring.
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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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