Next-Gen Escalade Will Do Away With Column-Mounted Shifter18
The all-new fifth-generation Cadillac Escalade is on its way, bringing with it a total overhaul for the full-size luxury SUV. In addition to a new exterior design, fresh engineering under the skin, and a new cabin, the next-gen Escalade will also gain a new push-button gear selector, replacing the column-mounted shifter used on the current model.
The news comes to us courtesy of a recent exclusive report by our sister publication, Cadillac Society, which learned about the 2021 Escalade’s move to an electronic gear selector via sources familiar with future GM product plans. Cadillac Society states that the move to a push-button shifter is made possible by the Escalade adopting GM’s Electronic Precision Shift (EPS) technology.
Rather than making a direct, physical connection to the transmission like the current model’s column shifter, EPS makes the gear selector process completely digital, resulting in greater levels of refinement by reducing Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) levels, while increasing ease-of-use.
Because EPS is completely digital, it enables engineers and designers significant flexibility in creating the gear selection interface. For instance, EPS can enable gear selection using a rotary knob, a joystick, a push-button interface, or even a more traditional, gated gear selector. EPS was first introduced on the Cadillac XT5, and can be found today on a variety of new Cadillac vehicles, including the XT4, XT6, CT6, and CT5, all of which feature EPS via a console-mounted shifter/gear selector.
EPS in the next-gen Escalade will use a row of vertical buttons placed to the left of the central infotainment screen. Each of the previous four generations of the Cadillac Escalade used a column-mounted shifter, which was sometimes criticized for its old-school pickup truck roots and lack of luxurious feel and refinement. By comparison, the new push-button shifter will be more contemporary, and should do well to underline the Escalade’s position as the flagship Cadillac utility.
The next-gen Escalade is also expected to offer three engine options, including a pair of gasoline powerplants at launch and an all-electric option later in the model’s lifecycle. Look for the revamped luxury SUV to make its debut sometime in the second half of 2019, with an on-sale date later in 2019 or in the beginning of 2020.
The 2021 Escalade will be one of six all-new Cadillac models slated for a reveal through the 2021 calendar year as part of the brand’s latest strategic product offensive. Stay tuned, as more info on the next-gen Escalade is expected to drop in the very near future, and don’t forget to subscribe to GM Authority for more Escalade news, Cadillac news, and around-the-clock GM news coverage.
Source: Cadillac Society
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Push button is lame! I’d rather have a column or console shifter.
At the very least, they could use an electronic, column mounted one like MB does.
I really like a column shifter out of all the choices offered now. Why not just keep what works? That rotary dial crap is awful!! Chrysler did push-button way back in the late 50’s, why bring it back?
“I really like a column shifter out of all the choices offered now. Why not just keep what works?”
Because column shifters are unbecoming of a Cadillac, and despite column shifters working reliably for decades in countless trucks, they have a poor public image in luxury consumer circles of being inferior and cheap.
It’s a glorified Chevy Suburban which makes it a truck not a freaking sportscar. Keep the column shifter.
If you insist on thinking of Cadillac as an expensive Chevy, then you don’t know why it is important to get rid of the column shifter in the Escalade.
The Escalade has to carry a greater load than the Suburban does, and I’m not talking about towing capacity.
Making a truck look and feel more like a car is ridiculous!!! But unfortunately the buying public wont change their buying habits.
The problem isn’t with GM it’s with the people who make the decision to purchase the crap that force Cadillac to change.
Unfortunately the masses end up listening to those people instead of people who really know how trucks should be built.
Funny when Mercedes-Benz and Rolls Royce both use column shifters.
I know about the GLS and it’s column shifter. I’ve mentioned that a couple of months ago. I genuinely forgot about the Phantom and Ghost though.
The difference there is the GLS shifter is electric, not mechanically linked, and therefore there isn’t any play or looseness in the shifter when you change gears.
I can overlook the amount of play in a shifter in an Express, but not in a vehicle claiming to be the best SUV an automaker can make.
Criminy, what’s the world coming to? I’d rather have a shift lever.
Yes, they should keep the column shifter. sometimes i think they change things on cars just for the sake of changing them. it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better. my sister has one of those joystick electronic shifter things in her chrysler 300 and its an annoying car to drive. i always have difficulty changing the gears and then verifying i am in the gear i want to be in before taking my foot off the brake. my sister had an incident where she thought she was in reverse and she was actually in drive and the car surged forward instead of backward. luckily no accident happened. but with the old school column shift, you can feel the pull of the car when you physically shift from parks down through reverse and nuetral to the forward gears. i can tell what gear i am in just by the feel of the notches in the lever, as well as the slight pull of the car as you go through the gears. i don’t even need to look at the selector to be able to tell what gear i am in. with these electronic type, you have stop and look down at the buttons or joystick to make sure your in the gear you want to be in. then there’s the issue of what happens if the battery is totally dead and you need to shift the car into neutral or out of park to roll it or some situation like that? then what? the electronic shifter was the one feature on the Navigator that made me pause. otherwise i would like that car over the escalade. now with this new change, the one thing i liked better about the cadillac is now being eliminated. For me, i just rather not have things that are electronic if they don’t need to be. as the car gets older these electronic stuff develop problems. i never heard of a column mounted mechanical lever developing a software glitch.
I got excited and almost screamed halaluah, then I started reading, saw the Terrain photo and almost threw up, then I read this part:
“EPS in the next-gen Escalade will use a row of vertical buttons placed to the left of the central infotainment screen”
And I facepalmed so hard …
Don’t they remember the Lincoln MkZ saga? And the confusion it brought?
At the very least I was expecting the precision shifter as used in the CT6. Push and pull buttons are lame and few I have talked to like this setup on the Terrain.
Not an issue.
I want bigger front side windows and bigger mirrors like the f150
I dont care about the escalade
Is the next yukon sle /slt gonna also lose the shift colum ??? 🙁
FINALLY, get rid of the column shifter and get with the times. I’m good with mechanical linkage but have it in the floor the way Ford does it. Electronic is also ok. The full-size GM trucks and other SUVs need the change as well. The column shifter is the only thing that’s kept me from getting GM the last 12 years.
It wouldn’t surprise me to see a drop in sales for any of these GM SUVs and Trucks coming up. I can tell you right now that this is a Deal breaker for me and I am sure I’m not the only one thinking that way. Once they see the drop in sales I hope they will reconsider bringing the column shifter back. As much as I want to buy one I will not, as long as it has push buttons.