Now, just to be clear, it wasn't me who referred to the yard-long LED tail lamps of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade as "neo-tailfins." That comes directly from the brand itself, which recently released a short primer on the new Escalade's premium exterior lighting. Why all the fuss? LED lighting has become a de rigueur part of the package for any luxury vehicle worthy of its name, and at this stage, it's even trickled down to mainstreamers like the 2014 Toyota Corolla. So, with Audi already moving on to laser lights at the upper end of the spectrum, Cadillac was looking to take its own star turn in the spotlight.
That's where Martin Davis, exterior lighting design manager for the all-new full-size SUV, joined the fray. According to Davis: “The 2015 Escalade exterior light signature draws inspiration from a variety of sources, beginning with Cadillac’s heritage of vertical exterior lamps and extending into architecture. Iconic buildings, like the Hearst Tower in New York City, were a big inspiration due to the interplay of glass and metal.”
The very size of the light treatments is tower-like with, as mentioned, the taillights of the 2015 Cadillac Escalade stretching vertically for "approximately one meter." Each one features 29 individual LEDs, while the center high-mounted stop light boasts 36. On the other hand, size isn't everything, even when you're talking about the Escalade, and much effort also went into the "Art" side of Cadillac's "Art & Science" approach to design. For example, designers used what Cadillac calls "edge-lit blade technology" to provide a floating effect for the tail lamps, accented by Cadillac crests that are laser-edged right into the glass.
A similar floating look was used up front as well, with 17 LEDs mounted in each headlamp and another 14 deployed, seven to a side, in additional lighting that's integrated within the Escalade's lower-front fascia. Particularly notable here are the five main lighting elements, separated by metallic trim, that create a holistic design that pays further homage to the glass-and-metal Manhattan skyline.
“Combining metal and glass elements also allows for a uniformity of appearance,” added Davis. “We wanted something that conveys an artistic integration of technology for the front daytime running lights and the taillights.”
The 2015 Cadillac Escalade will light up local dealerships beginning this spring.