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2020 Cadillac Escalade takes shape

Expect a sharper design and a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Chevrolet, GMC, and Cadillac are about to renew their full-size SUVs. New details about the next-generation Escalade shed insight into what we can expect from the model, what it will look like, and how engineers will keep fuel economy in check.

Enthusiast website Cadillac Society reports the next-gen line-up will include three engine options. The publication speculates the base engine will be an upgraded version of the naturally-aspirated, 6.2-liter V8 that powers the current truck (pictured). It will be more efficient yet more powerful than the current eight, which returns 17 mpg combined when paired with four-wheel drive and makes 420 horsepower, but we don't have numbers yet.

Second, the Escalade will receive the twin-turbocharged, 4.2-liter V8 inaugurated by the 2019 CT6 V-Sport earlier this year at the New York auto show. It will deliver at least 500 horsepower. If accurate, this would mark the first time the Escalade uses forced induction, and the eight-cylinder would likely be accompanied by a V-Sport badge to denote the extra dose of performance it brings to the table.

Finally, and still according to Cadillac Society, the Escalade will be offered as a plug-in hybrid. We don't have technical details yet so it's too early to tell which engine it will be built around.

Cadillac will continue offering two- and four-wheel drive models, and both eight-cylinder engines will shift through a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Cadillac is developing a brand-new Escalade; this won't be a mere mid-cycle update with a minor nip and tuck and a few new paint colors. Designers are incorporating styling cues from the well-received Escala concept car to achieve a sharper look. The Escalade needs to stand on its own, it's one of Cadillac's most popular -- and most profitable -- models, so it won't be a carbon copy of an existing car. The sheet metal will hide an independent rear suspension, a first for the model.

We expect to see the next Cadillac Escalade make its debut at a major auto show in early 2019. It will reach showrooms several months later as a 2020 model.

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