Cadillac’s Escalade Sport is super-sized luxury

Until a few weeks ago, if you were driving the latest blacked-out Cadillac Escalade Sport, you were driving the most athletic Caddy sports car out there.

Thanks to its honking 420-horse 6.2-liter V8, its fast-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission and magnetic-drive rolling suspension, it has certainly turned “sport” into sport-utility. Yeah, sort of.

But that all changes with the latest announcement of the ultimate ‘bad boy’ Slade, the 2023 Escalade-V. That’s “V” as in Velocity. Or maybe “Vroom”.

Cadillac Escalade Sport driving, front

Now under that Kansas-sized hood lurks a hand-built 6.2-liter V8, complete with supercharger and enough horses to form a cavalry; 682 horsepower to be exact, along with 653 torque. It’s a beast. And the most powerful production Cadillac engine in history.

According to the folks at Caddy, the V8 has the muscle power to blast this 6,200-pound lump of lard from standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds. Fuel consumption from ten to a liter? Who cares?

If you thought General Motors was committed to a zero-emission, all-electric, more Earth-friendly future, the Escalade-V suggests a little different. The only green thing here is the ridiculous sticker price of $149,900.

Cadillac Escalade Sport dashboard

At about $60,000 cheaper, the stealthily gray Escalade 4WD Sport ($90,595) I just spent the week arguing — and trying to squeeze into parking lots — is a slightly more sensible alternative to 682 horsepower V-power.

That said, with a 14 mpg/city and 16 mpg/thirst combined, it still drinks harder than Gary Busey on a bend. Remember, at Florida’s $5.20-a-gallon average for premium, filling the Sport’s 28-gallon tank will set you back over $145.

But if you like Escalades, the interior space, the luxury, the towering driving position and the ability to Queen Maryyou will love this latest Sport.

Cadillac Escalade Sport Display

For starters, it looks impressive with all that darkened chrome and the really solid gloss black honeycomb grille. The back-to-black treatment also extends to the front spoiler, roof rails, running boards and exhaust tips. There’s more black here than in Ozzie Osbourne’s wardrobe.

The Sport trim also includes huge 22-inch 12-spoke black-and-polished aluminum rims that wouldn’t look out of place on a Peterbilt.

See it in the metal and it all looks cartoonish big. From the driver’s seat, a six-year-old could stand in front of the grille and be completely invisible to the driver.

Cadillac Escalade Sport steering wheel

Fortunately, the Sport is equipped with a range of hi-def cameras that can create a smart digital top view of the truck. It appears on a center screen at low speeds when you select Drive or Reverse.

Haptic sensors in the driver’s seat also vibrate when you pull out of a parking space and a pedestrian is within range. But still, the sheer height of the hood from the ground is ridiculous.

In reality, it’s a bit silly to call this version of the Escalade a “Sport”. It’s the equivalent of sticking a “Sport” decal on an elephant’s hindquarters.

Cadillac Escalade Sport rear seat

Yes, our tester came with a standard electronic differential lock and magnetic suspension, along with optional Air Ride adaptive suspension. But it’s the truck’s sheer size on the road that limits its athleticism.

When you drive it briskly on a winding road, it feels like you’re trying to defy physics. Exiting to pass slower traffic is not for the faint of heart.

Better sit back and enjoy the Sport’s sheer space and luxury, and crank up the optional AKG Studio sound system, with its 3D surround sound and 36 speakers.

Cadillac Escalade Sport driving, rear

And the Escalade’s curved OLED instrument display on the dash is still a sight to behold. With its 38-inch diagonal glass panel with twice the pixel density of a 4K TV, it’s just a piece of technical beauty.

Choose from a standard Sport wheelbase or an insanely long ESV stretched wheelbase. There’s even a high-torque turbo diesel version for when you need to tow big things.

Me? I can’t wait for a smaller, all-electric Escalade. It’s time.