For the first time ever, and long overdue, Cadillac has released a high-performance version of its Escalade SUV flagship: the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V. And all of the information that we’ve told you would happen three years ago, is confirmed true, with a few surprises as well.
2023 Cadillac Escalade-V: Engineering Details
The most important part of any performance vehicle is its powerplant, of which, the Escalade-V utilizes much of the the same LT4 V8 engine as the latest Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, but with a few updates that make it the most powerful iteration yet of any GM vehicle. The 6.2-liter LT4 V8 has been topped with a larger 2.65-liter positive displacement R2650 TVS supercharger (compared to 1.7L on the CT5-V Blackwing) which spins at 13,500 RPM to provide 10 psi (0.7 bar) of boost, and now produces an incredible 682 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 653 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. No other three-row SUV in production can say as much. In order to handle the extra power, the all-aluminum engine was upgraded with a forged steel crankshaft, forged connecting rods, and forged pistons. Lightweight Titanium valves are also part of the package.
A 10-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels, with a final drive ratio of 3.23 and an electronic limited-slip differential. The all-wheel-drive system can split the torque between the front and rear axle depending on the conditions, although it’s never 100% rear-biased as some torque always goes to the front wheels for grip.
The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V rides upon the brand’s latest version of Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, which features air springs on all four corners which were made stiffer for better performance. Unique damper settings also make the best use of the independent four-wheel suspension geometry.
A new model-specific ride control system called V-Mode allows the driver to tailor the driving experience based on conditions, or just on their mood. Just push the button located above the shifter and V-mode automatically lowers the ride height by 0.8-inches (20mm). A number of other adjustments can be made; the suspension, brakes, engine sound, and pedal feel can individually switch between Tour and Sport modes, while the all-wheel-drive and engine performance can additionally select Snow/Ice mode. Super Cruise will also be a late model year option.
Launch control is also part of V-Mode and helps the 6217lb (2820kg) SUV reach 60 miles an hour in under 4.4 seconds. Cadillac says that the Escalade-V can do the quarter-mile sprint in 12.74 seconds at 110 mph. That number is likely not similar with a trailer behind, but the Escalade-V can pull 7,000 lb (3,175kg) and take a payload of 1,330 lb (603kg). Yes, this 680+ hp SUV comes with a trailer hitch.
Finally, six-piston Brembo brakes are fitted to the front wheels, and the 22-inch rims are wrapped in 275/50R22 Bridgestone Aleza all-season tires. They’re the same tires as the standard Escalade, so for those looking to equip their super SUV with a bit more grip, you’ll have to check the aftermarket.
The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V will go on sale this summer, starting at $149,990, and will also be available in extended-wheelbase Escalade-V ESV.