When Cadillac pulled the sheet on the Escala concept car in Monterey just over a week ago we knew it would showcase the brand’s future design direction–but we didn’t know in what way.
Andrew Smith, executive director of Cadillac Global Design, may have answered that question for us in an offhand conversation on the Concept Lawn during the Concours d’Elegance.
When asked about his favorite part of the Escala Smith responded somewhat surprisingly, saying it was the interior he fancied the most.
The reason being Escala features an interior design feature not seen since the golden age of the automobile: bespoke fabric on the door trim and seating surfaces.
Once upon a time leather upholstery wasn’t the only standard of the luxury interior–materials such as broadcloth, velour and tweed used to feature regularly in American and European cars of a certain vintage. Leather wouldn’t become the standard until the Germans and the Japanese entered the higher end of the market.
When Smith approached his interior design team about the possibility of broadly using hand-tailored suiting fabric inside Escala, the team came back and said no bueno, because they didn’t know how to assemble it. Smith then suggested for them not to assemble it, but to tailor it.
And that’s when the lightbulb went off, why not tailor the interior like a Gotham City hand-crafted suit? It would certainly be unique in the highly competitive premium automotive marketplace, and give off an air of luxury.
Based on Smith’s comments, it would seem the Escala’s interior holds the largest significance in terms of production intent, and that, my friends, would be the “pinnacle of premium.”