The all-new, fifth-generation 2021 Cadillac Escalade introduces a fresh diesel engine option to the model lineup. The engine in question hails from General Motors’ Duramax engine family, as denoted by a Duramax engine cover under the hood of diesel-burning Escalade models.
Although initially only available with the naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 L87 gasoline engine, production of the Cadillac Escalade diesel models is now underway, with the the 3.0L I6 LM2 turbodiesel Duramax onboard for motivation. The 2021 model year marks the first time the Escalade has been available with a diesel engine option, and while parts-sharing between the various General Motors brands is perfectly normal and accepted, the use of a Duramax engine cover is somewhat unexpected.
Typically, Cadillac’s policy has been to establish a unique position for the Cadillac brand outside the rest of the General Motors product portfolio, seeking to instead foster a more luxurious, premium image. As such, the inclusion of an engine cover that creates such a clear and obvious link between the iconic Cadillac Escalade and non-luxury GM products like the Chevy Silverado 1500 and GMC Sierra 1500, both of which offer the same LM2 Duramax powerplant, seems a bit out of place.
This could come down to a variety of different reasons. It’s possible no one at Cadillac considered a Duramax engine cover to be an issue, or it’s possible the resources required to produce a new engine cover exclusively for the Cadillac Escalade diesel did not justify hiding the link to the rest of the GM portfolio.
Another possibility is that Cadillac simply didn’t think owners would notice. After all, GM Authority has criticized Cadillac’s engine cover treatments in the past, but according to one Cadillac insider, “Cadillac owners don’t open the hoods of their vehicles,” so why bother creating a new cover for the Escalade that hides the Duramax branding?
As a reminder, the 3.0L I6 LM2 Duramax engine produces 277 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, while the naturally aspirated 6.2L V8 L87 gasoline engine produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. Both engines connect to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
This post was created in collaboration with our sister publication, Cadillac Society.