What you are looking at is not only the most powerful Escalade, but also the most powerful Cadillac and the most powerful full-size SUV ever. Yes, the small block 6.2 under the hood has been worked on to offer some serious power upgrades. While it won’t be a track weapon, the added performance hardware has certainly transformed this Escalade. But crucially, is it worthy of the revered V badge? Well, read on to find out.
It was earlier this year in January that Cadillac released just five images of a full-fledged V-Spec Escalade. We had no idea of the vehicle’s interior or engine specs. Well, that wait is finally over, and just as Cadillac promised the Escalade-V would be here in the spring, the performance SUV is finally here.
Now the V name is reserved only for the most powerful models in Cadillac’s lineup and sure enough, the folks at GM have worked hard to give it the full V treatment. The upgrades and improvements are not only visual, but go deep into the skin.
We already knew what the outside looked like. To convey sportsmanship, this Caddy ditched all the chrome for blacked out trim and I have to say, it definitely helps cut down on the bling the Escalade is so synonymous with. Don’t get me wrong, the grille is still big and brash, but not like in your face, thanks to the black treatment.
You’ll also find more black trim around the window surrounds and trim around the aggressive rear diffuser. There are enough V badges on the body and good exhaust units to let people know exactly what they are looking at and as if that wasn’t enough, 22” gunmetal gray rims with sporty red Brembo calipers should be able to give.
2023 Cadillac Escalade-V Exterior Dimensions
|Wheelbase (inch/mm):||120.9 / 3071||134.1 / 3406|
|Overall length (inches/mm):||211.9 / 5382||226.9 / 5766|
|Overall width (inches/mm):||81.1 / 2059||81.1 / 2060|
|Overall Height (Inches/mm):||76.7 / 1948||76.4 / 1941|
|Gauge (inch/mm):||68.5 /1737 (front)68.3 / 1730 (rear)||68.5/1737 (front)68.3 / 1730 (rear)|
We didn’t get to see the interior of the Escalade-V in January. But in line with the sporty theme, the V builds on the already impressive interior of the regular Escalade. The all-black theme that Cadillac likes to call the platinum interior. The glossy Zebra wood certainly adds a touch of panache and you’ll find semi-aniline leather seats in all three rows with the heated/cooled and massaging Blackwing front bucket seats.
As for the driver information and infotainment screen, you have the same 38-inch curved OLED screen equipped with GM’s brilliant super cruise driver assistance system. It uses a number of sensors and LiDAR to provide level 2 autonomy for a more relaxed ride. For a more immersive sound experience, you have an AKG audio system with 36 speakers. You also have speakers in the headrests of the front seats.
2023 Cadillac Escalade-V Inside Dimensions
|Headroom (inch/mm):||42.3 / 1074 (first row)38.9 / 988 (second row)38.2 / 970 (third row)||42.3 / 1074 (first row)38.9 / 988 (second row)38.2 / 970 (third row)|
|Legroom (inch/mm):||44.5 / 1130 (first row)41.7 / 1059 (second row)34.9 / 886 (third row)||44.5 / 1130 (first row)41.7 / 1059 (second row)36.6 / 930 (third row)|
|Shoulder room (inch/mm):||65.5 / 1664 (first row)64.6 / 1641 (second row)62.7 / 1593 (third row)||65.5 / 1664 (first row)64.6 / 1641 (second row)62.8 / 1595 (third row)|
|Hip Chamber (inch/mm):||61.7 / 1567 (first row)61.2 / 1554 (second row)49.4 / 1255 (third row)||61.7 / 1567 (first row)61.2 / 1554 (second row)49.4 / 1255 (third row)|
|EPA passenger volume (cu ft/L):||168.4 / 4733||170.4/4802|
Okay, now it’s time to address the elephant in the room. It’s what makes this Caddy a true V, the engine. But it’s not just any engine, it’s basically the same grinder we’ve seen in speed-correct machines like Cadillac’s own CT5 Blacking and the Camaro ZL1. The 6.2-litre small-block V-8 has been tinkered with and now rocks a larger 2.65-litre R2650 TVS Supercharger} as opposed to a 1.7-litre supercharger on the sedan.
It spins to an insane 13,000 rpm and offers 10 pounds of boost. The result? A whopping 682 horsepower and 653 pound-feet of torque. This engine was hand built at Chevy’s Corvette Assembly Plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky. These numbers put the Escalade V in the company of some of the fastest SUVs on the market.Power is sent to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission, I can’t imagine a stick shift with the Escalade.
2023 Cadillac Escalade-V Specifications
|Type:||6.2L V-8 Supercharged DI VVT|
|Displacement (cu. in./cc):||376 / 6162|
|Bore & Stroke (inch/mm):||4.06 x 3.62/103.25 x 92″|
|Block material:||Cast aluminum|
|Cylinder Head Material:||A356T6 aluminum|
|valve train:||Overhead valve with two valves per cylinder and continuously variable valve timing|
|Fuel Delivery:||Direct injection with electronic throttle|
|Forced Induction:||2.65L positive displacement supercharger (with four-lobed, 160-degree rotors); water-to-air charge-cooling system|
|Maximum boost (psi/bar):||10 / 0.7|
|Horsepower (hp/kW @ rpm):||682 / 508 @ 6,000|
|Torque (lb-ft/Nm):||653 / 885 @ 4,400|
|Maximum engine speed (rpm):||6.300|
2/6 Driving and handling
As for the ride, the Escalade V has to do justice to the decal and so comes with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 along with an adaptive air suspension system, all in an effort to provide a superior ride. You have independent four-wheel suspension and an electronic differential lock. The added hardware should help incorporate body roll so you can take full advantage of the 6.2 mill.
The special V mode on the steering wheel allows the driver to change a lot of things such as the engine performance based on the drive mode, the sound of that V-8, the stiffness of the suspension, steering effort and brake pedal feel, and finally the AWD system. Launch control is also offered and believe it or not, but the Escalade-V can tow up to 7,000 pounds too. Not bad eh, especially since it’s unlikely a V owner will ever use it.
Impressed with what you see? First, with the ongoing chip crisis, it will take you a while to get your hands on one. When you’re ready, be prepared to write a check for a whopping $149,990. Also, don’t take any dealer markings into account. The long-wheelbase Escalade ESV also gets the V treatment and will cost you another three grand. Both SUVs will go on sale in the late summer of this year.