Ten facts that distinguish the Escalade’s innovative 10-speed transmission

  • The automatic transmission is an all-new design and the first to be introduced to a luxury SUV

Middle East –Engineers for the 2018 Cadillac Escalade’s new 10-speed automatic transmission have built on the experience of the previously critically acclaimed Hydra-Matic multispeed transmissions to push its performance, refinement and efficiency advantages to a new threshold. The 10-speed automatic transmission is an all-new design – and the first-ever application in an SUV – with a wider, 7.39 overall gear ratio spread, that enables the Escalade’s powerful and efficient 6.2L V-8 engine to achieve a more immediate feeling of performance.

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 Escalade is redefining luxury through prevailing powertrain, sophisticated cabin and cutting-edge technologies that is 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.

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

  • Improved efficiency
  • Quicker shifts for better performance
  • Precise and smooth shift feel
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Same size, double the power
  • Hydraulic pumps: redefined
  • Reduced spin losses
  • Transmission fluidity
  • Wider gear ratio speed
  • GM control system

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.

Coupled with a 6.2-liter V8 engine, rated at an SAE-certified 420 horsepower, the 10L80’s quick shifts 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.

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

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 greater fuel efficiency.

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, minimizing changes to vehicle interfaces.

As the clutches in an automatic transmission are hydraulically actuated and controlled, the new 10-speed transmission relies on two special 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 efficiently produce the hydraulics needed.

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

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.

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

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.

Highlighted by a powerful and efficient engine enhanced with the new standard 10-speed transmission, the 2018 Escalade’s performance is channeled 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 a precisely controlled driving performance.