Drive Type: REAR
Brentwood, California, United States
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Compact luxury sedans are fast becoming the trend among upscale automakers. Mercedes has the new CLA (and its many platform-mates), BMW has the 1 Series and 2 Series, Audi has the A3 and, though Lexus apparently isn't interested in anything smaller than its CT 200h, Infiniti is getting in on the action with a compact model of its own. It would only follow logically, then, that Cadillac should launch a competitor, and according to the latest reports, that's just what it has in store.
Speaking with Car and Driver, Cadillac marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus confirmed that such a project is in the works. But unlike its rivals, Cadillac aims to go with a rear-wheel-drive layout. This despite research that apparently indicates that a surprising 80 percent of owners think that their BMW 1 Series is front-drive. It's the driving dynamics and styling proportions that motivate Ellinghaus and his colleagues to stick with rear-drive, however.
The new model would in all likelihood be based on the same GM Alpha architecture that underpins the ATS and CTS - a platform that has helped Cadillac keep the weight down on both models and which is expected to underpin the next-generation Chevy Camaro, as well. The sub-ATS could be positioned as a four-door 2+2, however, as the ATS grows a little larger in its next iteration in order to make room for its new baby brother.
Following the reveal of the new GMC Yukon, Chevy Tahoe and Suburban, the next in line is Cadillac, which is set to unveil the new Escalade on October 7 in New York. And in the lead-up to the reveal, the company has released this third teaser image, giving us a good glimpse of the 'Slade's interior.
Or part of the interior, we should say, because while the image above clearly shows the new dashboard and center console, as well as parts of the front seats and interior door panels, the Escalade is most certainly not a two-seat coupe. The outgoing Escalade can accommodate up to eight in either standard or ESV form (but not in EXT pickup configuration), and the new model promises to deliver the same, and we're curious to see what Cadillac has in store for the rear passenger compartment.
Compared to its more accessible counterparts, the new Escalade clearly offers a more upscale environment than even the uplevel Yukon Denali, with softer-looking leather, richer wood veneer and a waterfall center infotainment console that's different from the more modular design in the Chevy and GMC. The steering wheel is also unique and the instrument cluster appears to meld more smoothly across the dashboard, but the door mirrors, wide center armrest, column shifter and A-pillar grab handle all look like they were carried over from the Escalade's platform mates.
Vaunted men's magazine Playboy knows that its readers are nearly as interested in cars as they are in the female anatomy... sorry, we thought we could write that with a straight face. Anyway, the buff-book does occasionally fill some of its spreads with sexy metal, to accent all the rest of the sexiness.
To wit, the magazine has unveiled its feature on the 2013 Cars of the Year. Without giving us much in the way of criteria for the awards, nor a clear framing of the categories ("Responsible Ride" is a particularly challenging concept, especially when you consider that the Mazdaspeed3 was the winner), Playboy has nevertheless highlighted what we assume to be it's favorite 12 or 13 (depending on how you count) cars from the 2013 model year.
Headlining the class is the Porsche 911, which Playboy writers single out for having "remarkable electronic voodoo." BMW M5 is named "Slickest Sports Sedan" though the Cadillac ATS then follows on because "we couldn't resist giving the new Caddy a shout-out." The rest of the picks are pretty conventional (save, perhaps, the Honda Fit EV as "Ace Electric"), even if the categories and methodology are fairly wonky. Cruise through or gallery for a taste or check out the full list, here. The site is safe for work, and you can legitimately (this time) say that you were reading it for the articles.