Cadillac’s supercharged, $150K Escalade-V is more powerful than your Z06

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When the CT6 ended its production run in North America, Escalade once again became Cadillac’s flagship model in its home market. Its latest iteration, the fifth generation of the full-size SUV, is the most technologically advanced and marked the model’s move to independent rear suspension while also expanding the powertrain offerings with the addition of a diesel. The thorough redesign was noticed by the buying public, as Escalade sales bounded back in 2021 after the industry took a beating in 2020. With more than 40,000 units sold in 2021, Escalade was easily the brand’s number one nameplate with just over one-third of Cadillac’s total U.S. sales.

The Escalade has always been big and comfortable, and with a 420 hp, naturally aspirated V-8 it wasn’t a slouch. But when you’re talking about a true flagship model, “not a slouch” doesn’t exactly cut the mustard. At long last, the Escalade is getting The Big One: Like its sedan siblings, the Escalade finally has a V-Series trim. To nobody’s surprise, it’s brutally powerful.

Each hand-built Escalade-V engine uses a forged steel crankshaft and rods and forged aluminum pistons. Cadillac

Propelling the three-ton super SUV is a hand-built 6.2-liter V-8 that is not found in any other Cadillac. The 668-hp CT5-V Blackwing, like the C7 Corvette Z06 before it, uses an LT4 that’s topped by a 1.7-liter Eaton TVS supercharger. The Escalade-V’s as yet unnamed V-8, on the other hand, uses a 2.65-liter Eaton TVS supercharger like the one from the 755-hp C7 ZR-1 that represented the pinnacle of front-engine Corvette. The supercharger delivers up to 10 pounds of boost and prods the V-8 to crank out an estimated 682 hp at 6000 rpm and 653 lb-ft of torque at 4400 rpm. That V-8 will channel its power through a 10-speed automatic and a full-time all-wheel-drive system to deliver 0–60mph sprints in less than 4.4 seconds. The quarter mile is dispatched in just 12.74 seconds.

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Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and Air Ride Adaptive Suspension are both standard here, each system tuned specifically for duty in the Escalade-V. V-Series-specific software calibrations include a “V-Mode” with customizable settings for the steering, engine performance, suspension, AWD system, and active exhaust. While the settings include a “Sport” mode, Cadillac knows Escalade buyers won’t be tackling chicanes with their uber SUVs. Meagan Quinn, Product Marketing Manager at Cadillac, told us, “Blackwing is intended for the track, V-Series is intended to drive to the track.” Indeed, the Escalade-V will come with a 7,000-pound tow rating, plenty for a tandem axle trailer and a race car. With nearly 700 hp on tap, it should make that load feel like it’s hardly there.

In proper flagship fashion, the Escalade-V will offer GM’s Super Cruise as standard, allowing hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of highway. Early adopters may miss out, however, as Cadillac noted that the high-tech driving aid will be a later addition. Load up an Escalade Platinum on Cadillac’s configurator and you’ll easily eclipse $115,000, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise to learn that the Escalade-V has a sticker price, including destination, of $149,990 for the standard-wheelbase model. An extended-wheelbase Escalade-V ESV will also be available, although there’s been no mention of price there. Expect a premium of around $2500, in keeping with current trims.

Cadillac also hasn’t mentioned any EPA fuel economy ratings just yet but has warned us not to expect a fuel-sipper. For that, it offers the 3.0-liter diesel with up to 27 mpg highway. While the brand is no doubt heading towards an all-electric future, there’s still plenty of demand for a brutish, grand-touring SUV with tremendous passing power and the V-8 soundtrack to match.

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