The Cadillac Escalade ESV has been around for nearly 20 years, with General Motors introducing the extended-wheelbase variant of the luxury crossover for the 2003 model year. For just about the entire duration of the SUV’s lifespan, we’ve wondered what the ‘ESV’ abbreviation stood for, but we’ve never been able to track down a concrete answer.
Now our sister site, Cadillac Society, has gotten to the bottom of this long-running mystery. The site spoke to Escalade Global Product Manager, Dave Schiavone, at the recent launch of the Escalade and asked him about the ESV abbreviation. According to Schiavone, ‘ESV’ stands for ‘Escalade Stretch Vehicle.’ It’s fairly easy to see why GM wanted to shorten that name down for all public-facing naming purposes for the vehicle, as the full version is a bit of a mouthful.
“We obviously didn’t call it [Escalade Stretch Vehicle],” Schiavone said. “Instead, we went with ESV, which is much more friendly.”
“We want customers to know that it’s an Escalade,” he added. “It’s just a longer one.”
There’s perhaps no one better placed to speak on this matter than Schiavone. He has held his position as Escalade global product manager since the model’s inception in 1999, so he was around when the company first thought up the ESV moniker for the stretch Escalade.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade debuted earlier this month, but unfortunately, the extended-length Cadillac Escalade ESV was not shown at the event. We do know that it will have a 134.1-inch wheelbase, which is a full 4.1 inches longer than the previous-generation Escalade ESV’s. It will also be 2.6 inches longer in terms of overall length as well as 0.6 inches wider and 2.4 inches taller. It will be mechanically identical to the standard 2021 Escalade, riding on the same T1 platform and featuring GM’s 6.2L L87 V8 engine and 10-speed automatic transmission as standard.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV will make its official debut at the 2020 New York International Auto Show in April.
This report was written in collaboration with our sister publication, Cadillac Society.