Cadillac has just revealed the 2023 Escalade-V, along with a slew of specs on the upcoming luxury SUV. Heralded as being “the industry’s most powerful full-size SUV,” this beast takes a more aggressive approach to styling, and then gives it the Cadillac V performance chops to back it up.
While any vehicle bearing the Escalade badge is going to offer loads of opulence, this V version is the only one packing a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine. Engineered to produce 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque, the Escalade-V relies upon a 10-speed automatic transmission and full-time active all-wheel-drive system to keep things tidy.
Cadillac expects the Escalade-V to be capable of 0-60 mph sprints in under 4.4 seconds and a quarter-mile time of 12.74 seconds at 110 mph.
Standard Cadillac Escalade-V Features to Fawn Over
- Unique V-Series front and rear
- Quad exhaust outlets
- Exclusive 6-pot Brembo front brakes
- Edge Red rear brake calipers
- Bespoke 22-inch wheels
- Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 w/ Air Ride Adaptive Lowered Suspension and V-Series specific software calibrations
- Uniquely tuned rear air springs and damper hardware
- V-Mode customizable performance driving settings
- Active exhaust valves for louder or more controlled V8 thunder
- V-Series badging throughout
- Platinum trim interior w/ Zebra Wood decor, semi-aniline leather on all three rows, and heated/ventilated and massaging front seats
- Signature 38-inch curved OLED diagonal display
- AKG Studio Reference 36-speaker audio system
Beefy Superchargers and AWD Grip FTW
According to Cadillac, all of the Escalade-V’s estimated 682 ponies are intended to hit their peak at around 6,000 engine rpm, whereas the 653 lb-ft of torque are meant to make landfall at 4,400 engine rpm.
However, the difference between the Escalade-V’s motor and the rest of its siblings, is that while it greatly resembles the engine in the brilliantly built CT5-V Blackwing, it has a notably larger blower. Outfitted with a 2.65L R2650 TVS supercharger, the Escalade-V should have zero issues with the inlet and exhaust bottlenecks that typically plague the hulking SUV.
Spinning all the way up to 13,500 RPM on 10-pounds of boost, this blower relies upon an electronically controlled bypass valve for drivability and security. A bespoke four-lobe rotor setup within the blower unit further bolsters the engine’s power band both down low and up top. Meanwhile, a forged-steel crankshaft, forged steel connecting rods, and forged aluminum pistons help keep the block in one piece, with lightweight aluminum cylinder heads that come preloaded with titanium intake valves handling the heat up top.
As for the brand’s 10-speed automatic transmission, its unique calibrations transfer power to Cadillac’s signature active all-wheel-drive system. Although the torque can be split between the front and rear wheels for traction and control, Cadillac says that a splash of grunt will always make it to the front wheels. This is likely done in order to keep business executives from pulling a Mustang move and burying their brand new Escalade-V in an embankment halfway through an ill-advised burnout.
V-Mode Me the Details Baby!
Being that this is a Caddy and a super sporty one at that, each Escalade-V comes with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, along with Air Ride Adaptive Suspension, and some Escalade-V suspension hardware upgrades that are completely one-off. Will they make this hulking tank feel lighter and smaller than it really is? Perhaps a dash. But that’s alright. As long as you’re grinning when you are driving it’s all good.
While the Escalade-V’s stiffer rear air springs are desirable, it’s the electronically controlled damper calibrations and electronic limited-slip differential that gets our beehives buzzing.
Customizable V-Mode performance-driving settings along the center console automatically lower ride height by nearly 0.8 inches (20 mm), and offer all of the following:
- Toggleable Tour and Sport suspension, brake, and steering settings
- Stealth, Tour, and Sport engine racket options
- Tour, Sport, and Snow/Ice AWD and engine performance settings
- Launch Control function for more exhilarating launches between stoplights during your morning commute
And while it may not rewrite the history books when it comes to GM truck performance, the 2023 Escalade-V does look like it has a ton of potential. Intended to appeal to buyers with an extra $149,990 in the bank and zero interest in rowing our own gears, this supercharged goliath may not be as brilliant as the Blackwing, but it sure does set the bar for other full-size SUV automobiles.