Cadillac is going all-electric, and in the process, the brand will spearhead GM's pivot toward a zero-emissions future. But that green movement still resides in the future; for now, Cadillac will cater to customers' wishes — even the flagrantly absurd ones — and focus on "smiles per gallon."
To that end, the brand just unveiled the new Escalade-V, the most rip-roaring full-size family SUV on the market. It's potentially the most bombastic vehicle in the GM lineup besides the Hummer EV SUT.
Here's what you need to know.
The Cadillac Escalade-V packs a handbuilt, supercharged version of GM's 6.2-liter V8. Cadillac says there are similarities between the Escalade-V engine and the CT5-V Blackwing, but the Escalade version actually has a larger supercharger. That engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
What does that get you? 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque. That's enough oomph to accelerate the Escalade-V from 0-60 mph in "under 4.4 seconds" and have it hit a quarter-mile in 12.74 seconds at 110 mph. It also makes it the most powerful production Cadillac ever made.
The Escalade-V gets some goodies to supplement its stupendously powerful V8 engine. It comes with exclusive six-piston Brembo front brakes, an active exhaust system for your auditory pleasure (or sneaking out in the morning without waking anyone) and standard Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and Air Ride Adaptive Suspension. The Escalade-V also gets full-time active all-wheel drive and an electronic limited-slip differential for better traction.
A V-Mode button will put you in the optimal performance settings and allow you to customize the suspension, steering, brake pedal, all-wheel drive, engine performance and exhaust sound characteristics.
Style is why buyers love the Escalade. Cadillac gives the Escalade-V a more aggressive look without going over the top. On the exterior, the Escalade-V sports unique front and rear fascia (with a quad exhaust). It receives unique 22-inch aluminum wheels, Edge Red brake calipers and V-Series badging on the side doors and rear of the SUV. The interior features a V-Series badge on the steering wheel and Zebrawood trim.
The Escalade-V won't be fuel-efficient. Cadillac did not reveal the expected gas mileage, but considering the standard four-wheel-drive Escalade achieves just 14 mpg in city driving in 16 mpg combined, the Escalade-V may be breathtakingly inefficient — perhaps even Ram 1500 TRX level.
Inefficiency would be one thing if this were a sparingly used Ferrari. However, the Escalade-V — rolling on all-season treads — is a vehicle Cadillac expects its owners to drive daily, year-round.
The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V will start at $149,990 MSRP, with the available ESV version being slightly more expensive. The Escalade-V will be a limited production run, though GM declined to spell out how limited. GM's Super Cruise hands-free driving tech — delayed to the chip shortage — will be late availability and cost an additional $2,500.
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