Well, you may know this GM platform as the basis for the GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave, and the Chevy Traverse. Rumors over the last few years have had Cadillac investigating either moving the Escalade to a version of the Lambda chassis or introducing a separate crossover on this platform to add to the lineup.
Well, we are well into the time frame where we should be seeing some sign of this product, disguised mules, concept cars, etc. – but we have not.
The good folks over at GM Authority have heard from their sources why this is the case and it isn’t because Cadillac has chosen to not use this platform.
It turns out that the Lambda was originally developed around its current 3.6l V-6/6-speed automatic combo with very little flexibility for any other powertrains (like a forced-induction V-6 to get into Cadillac levels of power). So, rather than being able to bring out a Lambda Cadillac that is limited to the current powertrains…the Cadillac version will come with Lambda II which is due in 3-4 years (2015-2016 model year). Lambda II, as the name suggests, is a heavily revised version of the platform where architectural changes needed for Cadillac’s needs can be rolled in (this is similar to the changes Cadillac demanded of the Alpha platform that they use for the ATS so that it could support technologies needed to compete in its segment like V-6 and AWD options).
It remains to be seen if the new crossover would replace or supplement the Escalade and the ultimate decision will likely have as much to do with fuel economy numbers as anything else.