The all-new 2015 Cadillac Escalade’s exterior design uses architecture-influenced approaches to take its unmistakable appearance to a new level of sophistication while the brand’s heritage and the powerful appearance of modern urban buildings inspired a bold new interpretation of Cadillac’s vertical light signature.
“The 2015 Escalade exterior light signature draws inspiration from a variety of sources, beginning with Cadillac’s heritage of vertical exterior lamps and extending into architecture,” said Exterior Lighting Design Manager Martin Davis. “Iconic buildings, like the Hearst Tower in New York City, were a big inspiration due to the interplay of glass and metal.”
Vertical lighting, a Cadillac signature since 1948, remains a vital and ever-evolving theme for designers today. Davis and his team studied various Cadillacs from history for inspiration.
The strong relationship between glass and metal of Manhattan skyscrapers especially influenced the Escalade’s designers. The combination of the materials suggest the lighting elements are floating in space. Each of the five rectangular parabolas separated by metal accents in the headlamp appear to float within the lamp. Together, they give the lens the look of fine-cut crystal.
“Combining metal and glass elements also allows for a uniformity of appearance,” said Davis. “We wanted something that conveys an artistic integration of technology for the front daytime running lights and the taillights.”
In particular, the tail lamps emphasize the technical dimension of using light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. At approximately one meter, or 39 3/8 inches, tall; the tail lamps are “neo-tailfins,” recreating the drama from the 1960s in a modern interpretation. Edge-lit blade technology is the only one that would make the light look like it was floating in space. The Cadillac Crest is also laser etched into the glass light blade. It catches the light as it passes through the blade.
A total of 142 LEDs make up the front and rear lights of the 2015 Escalade. Forty-eight LEDs – 17 for each headlamp and seven for each lower fascia lamp – fully enable the desired appearance and functionality of the front lamps. The remaining 94 LEDs create the provocative appearance and technical functionality of the rear lamps. Each taillamp uses 29 LEDs with 36 in the center high-mount stop light.
The 2015 Escalade is an entirely new design yet instantly recognizable. Much of the story of Cadillac’s redesigned flagship SUV focuses on the artistic craftsmanship that went into the vehicle’s creation, from the refined and detailed exterior to the luxurious cut-and-sew interior.