2012 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid

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New for 2012

  • Exterior colors: Crystal Red Tintcoat and Radiant Silver Metallic (late availability)
  • Platinum Edition offered with Ebony trim
  • New center console lid design
  • Navigation system enhancements


Cadillac’s innovative Escalade Hybrid is the world’s first hybrid full-size luxury SUV. It achieves an EPA-rated 20 miles per gallon in the city – a 33-percent improvement over the non-hybrid model.

Escalade Hybrid is powered by an innovative, fuel-saving two-mode hybrid system and offers the same dramatic design, luxury and full-size capability that have made the Escalade an icon. Both are available in RWD and 4WD configurations. They deliver up to 5,800 pounds (2,631 kg) of usable towing capacity on RWD models and 5,600 pounds (2,540 kg) on 4WD models.

Escalade Hybrid is offered fully loaded and also in a Platinum Edition, with both available in RWD or 4WD. Each includes Escalade’s standard comfort and convenience features, including an eight-inch, touch screen navigation system that displays performance readouts of the hybrid system. All models feature Magnetic Ride Control.

For 2012, two new exterior colors are offered: Crystal Red Tintcoat and Radiant Silver Metallic (late availability). The interior has a new console lid design and the Platinum Edition is offered with new Ebony with Ebony accents trim. Also, the navigation system is updated with guiding lines for the rearview camera system, low-fuel warning, point-of-interest franchise search, SiriusXM weather forecast and SiriusXM tune select features.

Escalade Hybrid Platinum

The Escalade Hybrid Platinum’s efficiency is complemented by an exclusive package of luxury, style and technology, including:

  • A distinctive front fascia with unique upper and lower grilles
  • Unique 22-inch wheels
  • LED headlamps
  • Exclusive interior appointments, including both Olive Ash and Walnut Burl woods, leather-wrapped instrument panel and upper door panels, as well as full Aniline leather first- and second-row seats
  • DVD entertainment system with screens integrated in front-seat head restraints.

Additional standard interior features include Platinum-specific door sills and floor mats; and heated and cooled cupholders and a power liftgate that opens and closes with the touch of a button.

Each front-row headrest screen has its own player and input controls. The headrest units can be operated independently or in tandem. This system enables passengers in different seats to watch or listen to different entertainment choices. Escalade Hybrid Platinum models include the acclaimed Bose 5.1 Digital Surround system, as well as the eight-inch touch screen navigation and control of the DVD, CD, MP3 and SiriusXM Satellite Radio entertainment.

Patented two-mode hybrid technology

Escalade Hybrid’s patented two-mode hybrid system consists of an advanced, electrically variable transmission and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System. These systems work in concert with the standard 6.0L V-8 Gen IV gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management and late-intake valve closing technology.

The key to Escalade’s two-mode hybrid system is that the hybrid system itself generates the electric power used to propel the vehicle. When the brakes are applied or the vehicle is coasting, the electric motors within the hybrid system create electricity that is stored in the 300-volt battery. This stored energy is then used to move the vehicle. This cycle repeats itself continually to increase fuel economy.

Providing power to the hybrid’s electrically variable transmission’s two electric motors is a 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System. This battery pack is under the second-row seat, where it takes up virtually no additional space and does not interfere with second- or third-row ingress/egress.

Additional features of the hybrid powertrain and supporting systems include:

  • Fully blended regenerative braking captures energy that would otherwise be lost during vehicle deceleration.
  • A 6.0L V-8 engine with Active Fuel Management and late intake valve closing (Atkinson-cycle combustion process) for reduced pumping losses and better overall fuel economy. It is rated at 332 horsepower (248 kW) and 367 lb.-ft. of torque (498 Nm) and runs on regular unleaded fuel.
  • Auto Stop mode. Once the vehicle reaches 0 mph, the gasoline engine may automatically shut down, thereby conserving fuel and emitting no tailpipe emissions. 
  • At low speeds such as during city driving or heavy stop-and-go traffic,  the hybrid may use only electric power
  • When engine loads permit, the hybrid will use both engine and electric power sources to move the vehicle.
  • An exhaust system and resonator specially tuned for the 6.0L LIVC engine’s Active Fuel Management operation. It ensures comfortable interior acoustics and a pleasant exhaust note during both V-4 and V-8 operation
  • An electrically driven, 300-volt air conditioning compressor reduces vibration and allows the HVAC system to cool the passenger compartment even when the gasoline engine is shut off. It includes the standard tri-zone climate control system.
  • Electrically driven, 42-volt variable-assist power steering system reduces vibration and provides up to a 0.5-mpg fuel economy improvement by reducing parasitic losses common in belt-driven hydraulic systems.
  • The Energy Storage System cooling system’s internal fan is tuned to be quiet at low vehicle speeds, when occupants could more easily hear it.

The Escalade Hybrid’s battery pack durability and reliability are maintained via optimized charge and discharge cycles, as well as a dedicated cooling system that draws air from the passenger compartment.  The vehicle’s emission control system, hybrid drive line and the energy storage system are warranted for eight years/100,000 miles.

Escalade Hybrid design details

Standard and available exterior features include:

  • High-intensity discharge headlamps with Twilight Sentinel feature and fog lamps are standard on Escalade Hybrid.
  • IntelliBeam headlamp feature is standard on all models.
  • LED headlamps are standard on Escalade Hybrid Platinum.
  • Power retractable assist steps standard on Platinum and available on Escalade Hybrid.
  • Power-assisted liftgate is standard on all models.
  • Roof-mounted luggage rack with chrome accents is standard on all models.
  • Twenty-two inch, seven-spoke chrome aluminum wheels are standard on Escalade Hybrid.
  • Twenty-two inch, multi-spoke chrome aluminum wheels are standard on Platinum.
  • Exterior color choices include: Black Raven, Gold Mist Metallic, Black Ice Metallic, Crystal Red Tintcoat, White Diamond Tricoat, Radiant Silver Metallic and Mocha Steel Metallic.

Escalade Hybrid interior

Escalade Hybrid models seat up to eight, with generous cargo room available with the third-row seat removed. A unique instrument panel is a defining attribute of the interior. It includes gauges with white needles and blue light inlays with continuously lit, white-LED backlighting. Leather-appointed seating is standard, along with an array of power-assisted and high-technology features, including a navigation system that also displays key readouts for the hybrid system.

Standard and available interior features include:

  • Three rows of seating are standard on all models. The second row is a three-passenger bench with a 60/40 split and the third row features a 50/50-split design and is removable.
  • Leather-trimmed, heated and cooled front bucket seats with 14-way seat adjusters are standard on all models.
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control is standard on all models.
  • Navigation radio with touch-screen operation is standard on all models and includes MP3/CD/DVD video/audio changer, voice recognition and USB port.
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with three month of service is standard on all models.
  • Rear-seat entertainment system is standard on all models, including DVD player with remote control, overhead display, two sets of wireless infrared headphones, auxiliary audio/video jacks, remote game plug-in and mute button in overhead console.
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity is standard on all models.
  • Heated and cooled cup holders are standard on Platinum.
  • Auto-dimming inside mirror with OnStar controls is standard on all models.
  • Power-adjustable pedals are standard on all models.
  • Remote vehicle starter system standard on all models.
  • Power-operated sunroof is standard on all models.
  • Interior color and trim choices include: Ebony with Ebony accents, Cashmere with Cocoa Accents and Cocoa/Light Linen.
  • Platinum Edition interior contents include: cut-and-sewn leather-wrapped instrument panel top pad and upper door panels, embroidered Cadillac insignias on the front seats, Olive Ash Burl and Walnut Burl woods with wood inlays and aluminum-trimmed instrument panel and console, heated and cooled cupholders, chrome trim around the climate vents and door handles, full TEHAMA aniline leather trim on the first- and second-row seats, full Nuance leather-trimmed third-row seat and DVD screens located on the backs of the front-seat headrests.

Escalade Hybrid chassis and suspension

All Escalade Hybrid models are built on GM’s full-size SUV platform, incorporating a fully boxed frame, coil-over-shock front suspension, five-link/coil-spring rear suspension and rack-and-pinion steering.

Magnetic Ride Control is standard on Escalade Hybrid and the Platinum Edition. It is a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control – “reading” the road every millisecond and changing damping in just five milliseconds. It replaces conventional mechanical-valve shocks with electronically controlled shocks filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles. Under the presence of magnetic charge, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance almost instantly.

Additional chassis and suspension highlights include:

  • Wide front and rear tracks – 68.2 inches (1,732 mm) front/67 inches (1,702 mm) rear – enhance handling and vehicle stability for a more confident road feel.
  • A stiff frame reduces vibrations transmitted to the passenger cabin, while the strength and accuracy of the fully boxed frame also enable precise mounting and tuning of chassis and suspension components.
  • A two-speed transfer case is standard on 4WD models.
  • The standard axle ratio on all Escalade Hybrid models is 3.08.
  • A locking rear differential is standard on all models.
  • Escalade Hybrid safety and crash-avoidance features
  • Standard head curtain side air bags with rollover protection for all seating rows. The roof-mounted head curtain air bags include design features that provide increased rollover protection and occupant containment. These head curtain side air bags stay inflated longer than air bags developed only for side impacts, since rollover incidents can last longer. The deployment duration and other design features of the air bags combine to provide increased occupant protection and the ability to help keep occupants inside the vehicle.
  • Standard seat-mounted side-impact air bags for driver and right-front passenger provide thorax and pelvic protection.
  • StabiliTrak with rollover mitigation technology helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both.
  • Ultrasonic rear parking assist can detect certain stationary objects in the rearward path of the vehicle and gives an audible warning sound.
  • Rearview camera system is designed to provide the driver with a view of people or objects in the rearward path of the vehicle.
  • Side blind zone alert is standard on all models.
  • Standard four-wheel-disc brake system with ABS features smooth, quiet operation, longer pad life and more resistance to brake pulsation.
  • Pretensioners minimize forward movement during a collision, and are standard on the front safety belts. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly.
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system, which is included in all second-row seating positions.
  • Tire pressure monitoring system, standard on all models.
  • Standard remote keyless entry (RKE) system provides a second function for the red panic button. Drivers can use it to locate their cars without sounding the panic alarm.
  • Strong body structure to absorb crash energy and provide a protective “safety cage” around occupants.

OnStar details

OnStar is standard on Escalade Hybrid. It uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of crash. OnStar subscribers also can use the service to be Good Samaritans by sending help to other motorists, and to call for help in other non-crash emergencies.

  • OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada.
  • One year of complimentary OnStar Directions and Connections service with Turn-by-Turn Navigation for easier route guidance on all Escalade Hybrid models. The feature is easy to use because all directions are sent to the car by an advisor, without the need to stop.
  • Stolen Vehicle Assistance helps police track the vehicle.
  • myCadillac and OnStar myLink mobile apps offer vehicle information and OnStar services via the customer’s smartphone.

To thwart thefts, Escalade has a sophisticated cryptographic immobilizer system, PASS Key 3+. Since 2010, Escalade has included a steering column lock system to help prevent other theft conditions, including push-away theft.

New for 2012, the Escalade includes:

  • A new and more robust steering column lock system that makes it nearly impossible to maneuver the Escalade onto a flatbed tow vehicle.
  • An available inclination sensor that sets off an alarm when the system senses a change of the angle of the vehicle, such that would occur with towing, flatbedding or jacking up the vehicle. 
  • An available shock sensor intended to reduce content theft and push away theft by sounding the alarm when the vehicle is “shocked,” such as breaking the glass.
  • A new wheel lock system is available to help prevent the theft of Escalade’s wheels and tires.

In addition, OnStar has the capability to locate stolen vehicles, immobilize them to prevent the thief from restarting the vehicle and slow the stolen vehicle once police are on the scene, which can help prevent high-speed chases.

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