Sources speaking to Muscle Cars & Trucks have confirmed that an overproof Cadillac Escalade is indeed currently in the making, and eluded that it would sport a 6.2-liter LT4 supercharged V8 engine under the hood. Sources couldn’t comment in detail about the performance SUV, but the phrase used consistently was it will be a “powerhouse.” It’s expected to be called the Escalade-V.
Update: here it is!
Strangely, as the SUV segment has boiled and turned hotter than ever, Cadillac has shied away from performance versions of its own crossovers and SUVs. This hopped-up Escalade will change that. It’s also important to note that this super Escalade program survived the same GM restructuring earthquake that did in the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.
Additionally, this high-performance Escalade-V program also survived the turbulent regime change within Cadillac itself. This program was originally initiated by former Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen when outlining the brand’s 10-year plan some time ago. Original intel from some outlets stated that this souped-up Cadillac Escalade-V would make it in time for the current-generation model, which is set to be replaced next year. At one point that may have been true, but it’s become clear that plans were pushed onto the all-new Cadillac Escalade. At the same time, Cadillac is officially going to be the tip of the spear for GM’s electrification strategy. So it would appear as if the brand is widening the bookends up a bit, between high-octane SUVs and zero emission vehicles.
An LT4 supercharged V8 found in the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and C7 Corvette Z06 would be sufficient enough to hustle the Escalade around. In each application, the 6.2-liter supercharged V8 makes 650 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the Escalade today, that’s a 230 hp bump—perhaps a bump worthy of the V-Series badge or the forthcoming “Blackwing” moniker.
The next-generation Escalade portfolio is on the General Motors T1 platform. Other powertrains for the luxury SUV are unclear, though plopping the Cadillac-exclusive 4.2L twin-turbo LTA DOHC V8 under the hood at some point seems like a no-brainer. The engine comes in two flavors currently in the CT6-V sedan: a respectable 500 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, or a more formidable 550 hp and 627 lb-ft of torque.
In the world of 707 horsepower Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs that sell immediately, an equal-parts opulent and powerful Cadillac Escalade seems like a shoe-in. It will also come in with more output than the 585 horsepower Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG – the SUV of choice for nearly every wealthy urban villain.
All three of GM’s large body-on-frame SUVs are due for a renewal soon. Expect the next Escalade to debut as a 2021 model with the “powerhouse” brewing in the background for just a tad longer.
Your move, Lincoln.