The Cadillac Escalade is an American icon, and stands as the most recognizable nameplate in the brand’s portfolio. A vehicle that needs no introduction, the Escalade embodies key traits that Cadillac continues to be measured by since its golden age of the 1950s and 1960s. These characteristics include being big, bold, opulent, and powerful. The Escalade also tends to find itself in the garages of famous athletes, musicians, and moguls. That said, the formula has gone unchanged over the years, and while that’s for good reason, it could use a little variety. V-Series. Or Blackwing. Whatever they wanna call it. But don’t just take our word for it: a Cadillac Escalade-V has been on the minds of customers for over 15 years now.
“Ever since we came out with the V-Series on the CTS, we’ve had dealers and customers always asking for (an Escalade-V),” said 2021 Cadillac Escalade Product Manager, Dave Schiavone in an exclusive interview with MC&T. “We’re always looking at opportunities, and where we can take portfolios.”
Schiavone wouldn’t officially confirm nor deny any plans to bring a future Cadillac Escalade-V to fruition, as right now all focus is on delivering the all-new 2021 Escalade to market. Which is no slow poke in its own right. With its 6.2L L87 V8 paired to GM’s 10R90 10-speed automatic transmission, the 2021 Cadillac Escalade can jump from 0-60 in around 5.5 seconds with the standard wheelbase model, and 0-60 in 5.8 seconds with the long-wheelbase Escalade Stretch Vehicle (ESV). For more than standard attitude, the 2021 Escalade offers a Performance Upgrade Package for $2,795. This package adds a cold air intake kit as well as a cat-back exhaust kit for improved airflow and exhaust sound, but doesn’t immediately advertise any gains in power.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade starts at $76,195, a jump of just $1,000 from the last-generation model. But with dozens of new luxury options and cutting edge technology, highlighted by a 38-inch OLED dashboard display, the T1 platform Escalade jumps to new heights in terms of price for the nameplate. If the customer so chooses, a 2021 Cadillac Escalade ESV Luxury Platinum trim level can amount to over $121,000 with a pile of options, but before even accounting for accessories.
Through our own sources, MC&T was first to report last year that a Cadillac Escalade-V (which could be called Escalade-V Blackwing) is currently in development, while a Cadillac Escalade EV was confirmed by General Motors executives. The high-octane Escalade is expected to feature the LT4 supercharged V8 engine shared with the upcoming Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing. Output is expected to be around 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. The Cadillac Escalade EV will share the same GM Ultium battery technology that’s debuting in the 2022 GMC Hummer EV.
The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is reaching dealerships now. We recently spent a day with one, and we hope to tell you more about our experience soon.