The Escalade is Cadillac’s de facto flagship vehicle. The large-and-in-charge SUV has been long been defined by its extravagance — whether that’s its colossal proportions, its gargantuan rims or the sheer amount of gasoline it burns on a typical school run. With the rival Lincoln Navigator, our 2018 car of the year, mounting a strong challenge these days, the new 2021 Escalade is expected to retort in classic Escalade fashion: by going big. Which, apparently, includes a giant screen.
Yesterday, Cadillac teased the defining feature of the Escalade’s new dashboard ahead of its launch date, a 38-inch OLED display that the company says it will have twice the pixel density of a 4K television. A new iPhone 11 Pro Max, for the record, has a 6.5-inch screen, which means the Caddy’s screen is about six times as large from edge to edge. It’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison, as the dimensions are different, but it’s certainly a jumping-off point in terms of understanding how big this display is.
Admittedly, this screen’s size isn’t that revolutionary: Cadillac merely connected the instrument cluster and dashboard displays that are separate in most vehicles. Cadillac says the display “enables bold imagery, perfect blacks, and the largest color range available in the automotive industry.”
Our two cents: Connecting these displays doesn’t really make any sense, other than just as a way of bragging about screen size. The steering wheel obstructs the area where the two screens would be connected. How much of a boon will all this depth of color be to a driver who’s not supposed to be distracted by the display while driving? And we’re sure the typical Escalade customer will be raring to crack open that owner’s manual in order to dig through the menu settings to configure their ideal array of information.
The release also notes the new Escalade will launch on February 4 during Oscars week, when America celebrates, as Caddy put it, “the big screen.” You probably see what they did there.