Cadillac Escalade to get eight-speed transmission, 'Platinum' trim

New range topper to fetch $90,270 (including freight).

General Motors has announced several enhancements, including a new transmission and range-topping trim package, that will arrive later this year for the 2015 Cadillac Escalade.

The luxury SUV will be the latest GM offering to benefit from an eight-speed transmission, following similar additions for the latest Corvettes, full-size pickups and the Cadillac CTS.

The new automatic gearbox is expected to help improve performance and fuel economy over the current six-speed transmission, though specific numbers for the Escalade remain unclear.

The lineup also brings a new Platinum Collection model for buyers who are looking for an even higher level of luxury. First- and second-row seats are upholstered in Nappa semi-aniline leather, with hand-stitched and hand-wrapped leather also found on the upper door panels, center console and dashboard. Sueded microfiber headliner trim and exotic wood accents complete the environment.

The package includes heated and cooled 18-way power front seats, seven-inch LCD screens in the front head rests -- complementing the nine-inch overhead display -- and a cooled center console to store chilled beverages.

The exterior is distinguished by 22-inch wheels and extra chrome accents, along with a unique grille design and 'Platinum' badging.

Buyers of lower trim levels will all benefit from standard 4G LTE connectivity and a Surround View camera system, both available as standard features across the entire range.

The eight-speed automatic transmission and new trim options will be available sometime in the fourth quarter of the year, with the Platinum packages starting at $90,270 (including $995 freight).

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