2024 Cadillac Escalade V-Series Shines with Black OLED

The Escalade’s OLED displays are a sight for sore eyes, even if the price tag and EPA rating are what made them sore.

Dan Carney, Senior Editor

May 20, 2024

3 Min Read
The Cadillac Escalade's welcome splash screen.
The Cadillac Escalade's welcome splash screen.General Motors Co.

The Cadillac Escalade is a traditional body-on-frame SUV built like the original SUVs; like a truck with more passenger space. Such a traditional vehicle might not seem like the place to look for innovation, but as Cadillac’s version of GM’s T1 platform (which is shared with the similar Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe and GMC Yukon), the Escalade is a technology leader.

Part of that technology in the tested Escalade is a fire-breathing 682-horsepower, 653-lb.-ft. supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine. The Eaton 2.65L R2650 Twin Vortex Screw supercharger features a four-rotor design for maximum effectiveness. It spins at up to 13,500 rpm to produce approximately 10 pounds of boost and has an electronically controlled bypass valve for optimal drivability.

The Eaton supercharger is also notable for its quietness, producing less of the signature supercharger whine than earlier designs did. The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and ZR1, Dodge Charger Hellcat and Challenger Hellcat, and Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 have all used Eaton TVS superchargers previously.

Naturally, all of that power requires fuel, which means that the EPA rates the Escalade V-Series at a dismal 11 mpg in city driving and 16 mpg on the highway, numbers on the car’s Monroney window sticker that are nearly as eye-widening as the $157,190 price tag. I get 11 mpg in around-town driving over a week.

Related:Supercharging Engine Power Like Mad Max's V8 Interceptor

Body-on-frame vehicles struggle to deliver the kind of ride comfort luxury drivers expect, so Cadillac has applied the BWI Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 adaptive damping system and Air Ride Adaptive Suspension that uses air springs at all four corners. The company says that these systems partner to “form the foundation of a heightened feeling of driver control, without sacrificing the isolated precision ride comfort for which the Escalade is renowned,” and I’d say that my week in the test car validated this claim.

For me, the Escalade’s most impressive technology is its use of organic LED (OLED) display technology for its instrument panel and infotainment displays. For those of us who keep our devices on dark mode and who turn down the brightness of the dashboard lighting when driving at night, the inescapable glow produced by the backlighting of conventional displays is an inescapable irritant.

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Turning down the brightness helps, but not enough. Even worse, in some cars, turning the display off only blacks out the picture without turning off the glowing backlight. For us, the Escalade’s OLED displays with their self-lighting LEDs that require no backlight are a salvation.

Related:LG Is GM’s Innovator of the Year

For televisions, an OLED’s blacker blacks make for a better picture. But in a car, the truly black screens mean less annoying ambient light in the cabin when driving after sundown. The LG displays in the Escalade are as stunning to see as they are relieving to use in the dark, with the kind of brilliantly contrasting colors on the signature black background that have made LG’s TVs popular. The Escalade’s main display stretches 16.9 inches diagonally and the instrument display is 14.2 inches across. The displays boast double the pixel density of a 4K television.

2021-Cadillac-Escalade_OLED_IP.jpg

The Escalade was the world’s first vehicle to use OLED display technology when it debuted in 2022. “Debuting this technology with a storied brand such as Cadillac is not only an honor, it confirms that our automotive solutions are among the best the industry has to offer,” said Kim Jin-yong, president of the LG Vehicle Component Solutions Company. “The years of knowledge and experience LG has accumulated in becoming the global leader in OLED TVs will be applied to improving the in-car experience.”

Cadillac has since been joined by others, but the hope for those of us who appreciate freedom from images as much as we appreciate high-quality images is that OLED  technology will eventually proliferate and become the ubiquitous standard in automotive displays.

Related:Video: How Do OLED Displays Work?

About the Author(s)

Dan Carney

Senior Editor, Design News

Dan’s coverage of the auto industry over three decades has taken him to the racetracks, automotive engineering centers, vehicle simulators, wind tunnels, and crash-test labs of the world.

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