Cadillac comes with high-performance Escalade-V

This story has been updated with new information.

Cadillac gave the Escalade an update for 2021. Now it gets another tweak: V-Series.

After only offering “something exciting,” with a 12-second teaser video showing menacing roars from the darkness overnight, Cadillac is revealing a little more — just a little bit — about what has previously confirmed: Caddy is coming to market with a high-performance V-series version of its flagship Escalade SUV.

“The 2023 Cadillac Escalade will be the first SUV to bear the high-performance V-Series badge,” GM’s luxury marque said in a statement.

“With nearly two decades of race-inspired prowess, the V-Series designation is reserved for vehicles that encompass the pinnacle of Cadillac performance, bold, distinctive design and innovative technology.”

While encouraging, that was about it, only more information on the 2023 Escalade V Series will be “revealed in Spring 2022”. The upside is that the brand is promising and has all the specs for the performance model so we can see how it stacks up against the competition and if Caddy is really going to let us hear ‘the roar of luxury’.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V nose
The 2023 Cadillac Escalade will be the first SUV to bear the high-performance V-Series badge.

Fill the hole

The arrival of the 2023 Escalade-V is significant as Cadillac lags behind in this small but potentially highly profitable segment. Competitors like BMW and Mercedes-Benz have already made it a point to deliver high-performance versions of their largest SUVs.

In fact, there have been a number of sightings of what are believed to be Escalade-V prototypes in recent months. And if anything, company officials have made it clear that Cadillac plans to only intensify its focus on performance going forward, as evidenced with the debut of the new Blackwing sedans last year.

The all-new BMW X7 received a powerful boost with the debut of the M50i edition in 2019.

Of course, that doesn’t answer all the questions posed by the teaser image. We still wonder what will be hiding under the hood of the Escalade variant. We can be sure it’s a V-8, but we have to guess at the details for now.

No nonsense

The existing Escalade – which received a complete makeover for the 2021 model year – is no slouch. It gets its motivation from a 420 horsepower 6.2-liter V-8. Taking this 3-tonne behemoth to the next level requires some refinement. But Cadillac has plenty to draw from, especially as it taps into its parent company’s resources.

It’s unlikely he’ll opt for the 5.5-liter flat-plane-crank V-8 found in the upcoming Chevrolet Corvette Z06. That would be too much to ask and the wrong application. More than likely, our sources believe, we’ll see Caddy go with a version of the 668-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 found in the CT-5 V-Series Blackwing sedan.

2021 Mercedes-AMG G63 front
With its AMG unit, Mercedes ensures that it always has a high-performance G Wagen, such as the AMG G 63.

Now, when that happens, some people might say GM’s flagship luxury brand is going back on its word. Recall that the automaker announced it would no longer use the new Blackwing powertrain technology after launching versions of the CT4-V and CT5-V. Caddy even said these would be the last “cars” to come. It said nothing about SUVs.

Turn a corner

However, unlike the Blackwing sedans, it seems extremely unlikely that Cadillac would also offer a six-speed manual transmission for the Escalade-V. Instead, expect a 10-speed automatic. Of course, wearing a V badge is about more than straight-line acceleration for Cadillac.

Look for the angry beast to add a number of other performance-enhancing features, including an upgraded magnetic ride control suspension, as well as the rigorous exterior trim and interior updates.

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