REVIEW: Cadillac Escala Concept 2016 (China Dealer Edition) 1:18 •

REVIEW: Cadillac Escala Concept 2016 (China Dealer Edition) 1:18 has a soft spot for concept cars and this one strikes a chord in that it captures the design language of modern sedans. Its flowing coupe-like roofline and panoramic glass roof reminds of the Tesla Model S, but the airiness of the design is carried further in that not only the door windows are pillarless, the entire B-pillar is absent (from above window level at least), very much reminiscent of the 1950s and 60s American car designs. It continues on the inside with a very clean modern sweeping lines cabin design in fabric, leather, wood and (touch) screens displays. Cadillac presented this concept car at Pebble Beach back in 2016 to show novelties in design language, but like previous concepts never intended to manufacture this car.

So once again it takes a Chinese initiative to offer this as a dealership model to promote the brand like they do with many other current production cars. Accordingly, the luxurious packaging does not yield information on who the model´s manufacturer might be. Inside an outer box, you get a very solid interior box in the same Cadillac branding. Inside that you find the model underneath a protective transparent plastic cover on a very solid glossy piano black base presenting the model at a slight sideways angle with a stainless steel/alloy colour trim bar bearing the vehicle’s name. Underneath that, you find tools to unscrew the model from that base and an opening tool with a Cadillac crest, a bag with the luggage, an instruction card on what you can open and a high gloss card advertising the real deal (I suppose, as all of it is in Chinese).

The model itself is in the Gaia brown/black colour of the original concept, with the paint applied smoothly to the model. Unfortunately, a short but deep scratch on the hood and an even smaller one in the panoramic roof, plus a slight paint scrape-off from the rear left door has escaped QC´s attention or caused by the additional efforts of the eBay seller to further protect its journey. Strangely, there are no windshield wipers at all. The radiator grille is a solid plate incorporating the Cadillac badge but disguises this on par with Norev´s CLS and is better than Kyosho´s Mulsanne. The hood does not open to reveal the V8 Cadillac envisioned for this car, but then, most concept cars never really ever get their engine as projected and Cadillac never showed the real thing with its hood ajar, so small wonder the model does not attempt this. The horizontal headlights have clear lenses with detailed silver LED replication despite being so slim, while the horizontal light elements are merely painted silver.

The rims of the concept car have been replicated wonderfully, with delicate hollow black spokes alternating with a pair of solid silver ones and a Cadillac badge at the wheel center. As usual with these Chinese models, no tire branding and a rather simple brake replication efforts. But all four wheels feature a softly sprung suspension and posable front wheels. The stainless steel trim all around the car is very convincing mirroring the same alloy as on the rims.

The trim element transitioning from the front fender into the door in an unbroken line disappears into the body when opening the front doors like on the real concept car. The rear doors are hinged on half a B-pillar thus recreating the open airiness of the concept very nicely. Difficulty with this, though, is making the doors fit and the gaps. Not only mine seems to leave such a wider gap where the B-pillar isn´t on the driver´s side and where the C-pillar is on the passenger side. That´s a challenge no manufacturer seems to want and accept for real cars at present, so it´s remarkable that they did not shy away from making the model.

Inside the cabin they have made every effort to showcase the modernity of the concept and its different materials and features: You get a nice glossy wood brown, only lacking a bit in veneer structure, a creamy white paint for the leather and a fine greyish print for the textile. The doors have striped trim and silvery door handles. All the displays, the dash, the tablet screens mounted at the rear of the front seats and the rear centre armrest touch panel are extended and shown with different displays. While each seat has fabric seatbelts matching the seat´s colour, the front seats slide back and forth. Carpeting would have seemed out of place with the clean modernity of the vehicle.

The rear has these wonderfully shaped transparent red taillights. The Cadillac badge recessed into the rear as a silver plastic piece seems a little cheap in contrast, while the rear exhaust tips are perfectly in line with the other trim. But the real party trick of the Escala is its liftgate: Like on the real car, the trunk´s floor will rise to parcel shelf height as you lift the tailgate. To highlight this, you need the three elegant bags matching the car´s interior colour included with the model. It´s perfectly clear that this would never make it into production, as having to hoist heavier luggage to that height is a chore, and there is no parcel shelf to hide any less beautiful cargo or keep it from being thrown around the cabin in an accident.

No high-end or perfect model, but a pretty flamingo of a model. And for the 120 $ I paid, it´s well worth adding to my zoo.

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10 Responses to "REVIEW: Cadillac Escala Concept 2016 (China Dealer Edition) 1:18"

  1. George K says:

    Thanks for the review. Pretty car.

  2. DS Team says:

    I put this one off a number of times. Just purchased for $128 US shipped. Love concepts and this model offers a lot in accessibility and style!

  3. Andy says:

    Curious, what scale is the model?

  4. Vitaliy D says:

    The detailing of this model is pretty similar to 1:18 GT Spirit model line, no? And this one is die cast with openings, for almost the same price! So why do we have so much sealed resin instead of such die cast cuties?

  5. Jai fait l,acahat cadillac escalla 1/18 jai hate de le recevoir.

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