Over the past couple of months, it became apparent that some of the other rumors regarding GM’s future plans may also be true. Corvette is almost certain to become a brand with an electric SUV and sports sedan offering, and the Camaro will also do its own 4-door thing, it seems. But did you hear about Cadillac? Apparently, there’s an Escalade minivan on its way.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be so surprised. For many years, we’ve been hearing how the Chinese market is the biggest for some of these traditional American brands and models. And the Escalade name is one of the most iconic in the world, synonymous with a sort of over-the-top luxury you can get from the Germans.
The Escalade was, at one point, the most stolen vehicle ever, and it was also Cadilac’s hip-hop machine, meaning it was so popular that it may have saved the brand. The Escalade came out in 1999 and was little more than a badge-engineered GMC Yukon Denali, GM’s rushed response to the Lincoln Navigator. Standard features included 16-inch chrome wheels, OnStar, and a premium sound system with 6 Bose speakers. It had lots of leather and only one powertrain, 4×4 with a 5.7-liter Vortec making 255 hp.
Fast forward to today and the Escalade top out at over $150,000 thanks to its performance version, the Escalade V, which is possibly the loudest SUVs in the world thanks to its 682 horsepower supercharged V8.
Rumors about a Cadillac minivan have been intensifying, so the website Kolesa decided to bring speculation into digital reality by rendering its own Escalade-badged Toyota Sienna rival. While nobody knows what this will look like, these images use the familiar identity of the current SUV, which has been chiseled over five generations and more than 20 years in production.
The sharp lines and creases are then stretched over the shape that’s already in production, GM’s own Buick van called the GL8 Century. It’s sold, you guessed it, in China where there’s a 4-seat VIP version.
Think of it not as a family car with seats for lots of children and 20 cup holders, but as a luxury shuttle. We know Lexus has one too, called the LM, and we were surprised to hear it can cost as much as $250,000. That’s right, there’s a minivan that costs as much as a Lamborghini, yet it only packs a hybrid 4-cylinder engine.
Buck has been selling the GL8 in China since 1999, so it’s just as historic as the Escalade, even though you may not know about it. The current generation is offered exclusively with a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder making 237 horsepower, and because this thing is over 17 feet long (5230 mm), it takes over 10 seconds to reach 62 mph. Expect quite similar things from the Escalade.
And before you start discrediting this story, know that the first GL8 had several relatives: Chevrolet Venture, Oldsmobile Silhouette, Pontiac Montana, and Vauxhall Sintra. What a Cadillac added to the list?!