Cars

Cadillac will give its biggest SUV a gargantuan 38-inch curved screen

The Cadillac Escalade is all about excess. A massive SUV slathered in chrome and leather, it’s a car for anyone who believes bigger is better. So it’s appropriate that the next-generation Escalade will have one of the biggest screens ever installed in a production car.

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade won’t be unveiled until February 4, 2020, but an early teaser confirmed the SUV will be available with a 38-inch curved OLED display screen that stretches about halfway across the dashboard. This means the Escalade will have the largest screen in a car built by a major manufacturer. Byton plans to use a 48-inch screen in its electric cars, but the company is a relatively new startup that hasn’t produced a single car yet. Given the rocky history of automotive startups, it’s entirely possible Byton’s massive screen will never make it to production.

Cadillac claims this will be the first use of a curved OLED screen in the automotive industry, and that the Escalade’s screen will have twice the pixel density of a 4K television. It remains to be seen whether Cadillac will have a good use for all of that real estate and resolution. Giant screens have become a trend in cars, but the results have been mixed.

Tesla kicked off the screen wars with the 17-inch screen that dominates the dashboards of the Model S and Model X. While Tesla was able to make this work by eliminating most analog controls in favor of on-screen menus, other companies copying the Silicon Valley automaker have been less successful. The Toyota Prius Prime and Ford Explorer are both available with big screens, but nothing about the content displayed on those screens necessitated so much space. It just gives automakers something to show off to customers who already spend much of their time staring at phone or tablet screens.

The OLED screen will likely be the most high-tech part of the 2021 Escalade. As before, the redesigned SUV will likely be based on the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban. That means the Escalade will be an old-school SUV with body-on-frame construction, making it more of a fancy truck than a Range Rover or BMW X7 rival. Cadillac hasn’t revealed any other details, but expect the 2021 Escalade to borrow a burly V8 engine from the 2021 Tahoe and Suburban.

One other thing we noticed in Cadillac’s teaser is a light bar on the Escalade’s steering wheel, indicating the SUV will get Cadillac’s Super Cruise system. Super Cruise allows the car to take over steering acceleration and braking on certain stretches of highway (which have to be pre-mapped). While it does reduce the workload, Super Cruise still requires an attentive driver (Cadillac uses a driver-facing camera to make sure you’re still awake). Super Cruise availability was limited to the Cadillac CT6 sedan for years, but Cadillac is now adding the system to its higher-volume models.

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