Over the next few years, General Motors' up-and-coming redesigned large sports utility vehicles will feature diesel engines, hybrid powertrains and high-geared transmissions, Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for GM trucks, remarked when introducing the 2015 Cadillac Escalade. He said that there are "some interesting" powertrain technologies coming on the SUVs over the next few years.
The next-generation Escalade and the extended ESV model are set to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2014. In the eight years since the last redesign, GM only sought to enhance the looks of the SUVs to keep them fresh. Luke remarked that the "competition is tough" in the luxury SUV segment where the Escalade competes. Luke indicated that a higher-geared transmission would eventually replace the Escalade's carryover six-speed that will be used during the launch.
GM is working on a rear-wheel-drive eight-speed transmission and a rwd 10-speed gearbox. According to Luke, GM is mulling a hybrid, despite the fact that a hybrid version of the current generation Escalade was terminated for the 2014 model year, after years of weak sales. Luke added that GM also is "considering" a diesel engine.