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Revealed: 2018 Cadillac Escalade Shines with New 10-Speed Transmission

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The Escalade has long defined spacious luxury driving with its modern design, powerful capability and lavish amenities that keep luxury firmly in the driver’s seat. The premium Cadillac experience is further enhanced with the unique performance for one of the world’s best dual-clutch transmissions, providing quick, smooth shifts and proving an upgrade in its road manner.

“Customers have often looked up to the Cadillac’s flagship Escalade as setting the standard for big-size luxury SUVs, especially given the high reputation it holds when it comes to versatility and premium styling. The 2018 Cadillac Escalade is redefining luxury through prevailing powertrain, sophisticated cabin and cutting-edge technologies that are exceptionally emphasized through the new 10-speed transmission, dominating any direct comparisons.”

Developed by General Motors and applied on Cadillac’s full-size premium SUV, the 10-speed has four simple gear sets and six clutches: two brake clutches and four rotating clutches. That’s only one more clutch than the previous eight-speed, despite having two more forward gears, contributing further to the compact packaging, while also improving spin losses to enhance fuel efficiency.

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Here are the top ten facts that make the 10-speed transmission on the 2018 Cadillac Escalade stands out.

  1. Improved efficiency

With the update of the wider overall ratio spread, the new 10-speed transmission enables a lower numerical top gear ratio – an attribute that reduces engine speed on the highway.

  1. Quicker shifts for better performance

The 10L80’s rapid shifts, coupled with a 6.2-liter V8 engine, rated at an SAE-certified 420 horsepower, help the Escalade’s engine,  achieve a more immediate feeling of performance, as the perfect gear is available whenever the driver tips into the engine’s power reserve.

  1. Precise and smooth shift feel

Shorter steps between gears and proprietary controls provide a quick, seamless shifting experience for the 2018 Cadillac Escalade driver. Thus, making the new transmission more efficient in each of its gears than the six- and eight-speed transmissions it replaces.

  1. Fuel efficiency

The wider overall ratio enables a lower numerical top gear ratio, thus, contributing greater fuel efficiency in comparison to the eight-speed transmission. The 10-speed automatic has lower friction that also adds to higher fuel efficiency.

  1. Same size, double the power

With so much power packed into the 10–speed transmission, it may come as a surprise that there is no significant increase in the size. The 10-speed is approximately the same size as the six- and eight-speed transmissions, minimising changes to vehicle interfaces.

  1. Hydraulic pumps: redefined

As the clutches in an automatic transmission are hydraulically actuated and controlled, the new 10-speed transmission relies on two individual pumps to provide the necessary hydraulic muscle. Hydraulically controlled and stimulated, the clutches are part of an automatic transmission that relies on two pumps that work to produce the hydraulics needed efficiently.

  1. Reduced spin losses

Friction-reducing design features, including all-new ultra-low viscosity transmission fluid, internal thermal bypass, a minimal number of non-applied clutches and other lower mechanical spin losses, contribute to the 10-speed’s effect on improved vehicle efficiency.

  1. Transmission fluidity

The new 10-speed transmission enables the fluid to reach a viscosity of 4.5 centistokes, thus, significantly reducing friction and the workload for the hydraulic pumps.

  1. Wider gear ratio speed

The 2018 Cadillac Escalade has a wide spread of ratios between the first and the tenth gear. The increase in the size of the gear to 7.3 allows for a smoother run and enables the car to stay in the selected gear for longer when driving on the highway.

  1. GM control system

World-class shift time quickness and responsiveness are accomplished by leveraging the base transmission hardware in concert with GM exclusively developed algorithms, software and calibrations. An externally mounted electronic control module executes millions of controls instructions every second.

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Highlighted by a powerful and efficient engine enhanced with the new standard 10-speed transmission, the 2018 Escalade’s performance is channelled to a sophisticated chassis and suspension system, engineered for a great feeling of solidity and a smooth, quiet ride. Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system, is also a standard feature on the 2018 Escalade, contributing to precisely controlled driving performance.

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