While we have seen a number of different V-Series cars over the years (some of them more memorable than others), an official Cadillac Escalade-V has so far avoided the green light. This initially seems like a no brainer, and in the era of performance SUVs, it’s odd that the most iconic vehicle that Cadillac has made in 30 years never got the high output treatment it deserves.
We here at MC&T were the first to suggest that this will be changing, when we announced that the next-generation Cadillac Escalade will finally offer a performance variant, featuring none other than the 640 horsepower LT4 V8 engine from the third-generation Cadillac CTS-V, sixth-gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and C7 Corvette Z06. As it turns out, however, this isn’t the first time GM will shoehorn a CTS-V engine into the Escalade.
This one-off Escalade concept is being offered at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction was built by The General for the SEMA Show back in 2007. The truly one-of-a-kind SUV is said to have been pulled from the GM Heritage Collection for this auction, and it features several special touches. Under the hood sits a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine known as the LSA. Derived from the C6 Corvette ZR1’s legendary LS9 V8 engine, the LSA V8 made 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque in the second-generation CTS-V, which came in three different body styles. The swapped engine looks right at home under the Escalade’s hood, teasing us all.
Other custom hardware touches include heavy-duty Brembo brakes, Enoch springs, along with all-but-expected 24-inch wheels. The exterior features a few tweaks, such as the billet front grille and taillight covers. Inside the seats have been replaced with the sporty Recaro seats found in the CTS-V of that era.
The only real problem with this Cadillac Escalade-V concept is the fact that it cannot be driven on the road. Somehow, this vehicle is not street legal, despite the fact that it has a legitimate VIN. Regardless, this SUV is a great predating example of the Cadillac Escalade-V that we expect to come after the fifth-generation SUV debuts on February 4.