All the way back in July of 2019, MC&T was the first to report that Cadillac was working on a special, high-output Escalade that would feature a LT4 supercharged V8 engine. Nearly two full years later, spy photos confirmed the existence of this mega SUV, which will feature GM’s tried-and-true 6.2L LT4 V8 engine shared with the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing sedan and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 muscle car. Output is expected to be anywhere between 640 to 668 horsepower, while other additions like improved suspension, better tires and bigger brakes are expected to help keep all of those ponies in order. More to the point: the Cadillac Escalade-V (tentatively named) will be the only full-sized American SUV on the market with a supercharged V8. If you recall, the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat has already been discontinued. Stellantis is expected to eventually supercharge the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, but that could be a few more years out.
Have a watch of our spy video just below, and let us know what you think. At the end of the video, you can see the supercharged Cadillac Escalade really launch itself to the point of performing a Carolina Squat, but falls just short of popping a wheelie:
Cadillac Escalade-V: Details
The front fascia of the SUVs appear to be more aggressive than the standard Escalade, with larger lower air-intakes and a deeper chin spoiler. Around back we also see some quad exhaust tips, which are not present on any current Cadillac Escalade model. These tips are not new to the brand however, as they look similar to the units found on both the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing models. Above the new exhaust tips also sits a redesigned rear bumper.
The tires seem to be similar to if not exactly the same size as the standard Cadillac Escalade. The spy photos make it unclear as to what brand and type they are exactly. There’s also little to suggest that this supercharged Escalade will be wider than the base model, but it’s evident that it will come in long wheelbase form, which will allow for three comfortable rows of seats, and abundant cargo space.
So if you’re looking to shoot up and down I-75 with maximum speed, comfort, cargo, and occupancy, this might be the vehicle for you.
When looking at the side profile of these 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V prototypes, a few more visual hints come into play. The ride height of the two trucks appears to be lower than that of the standard models, and some unique wheels are tucked into the arches. These multi-spoke wheels are wrapped in tires that have had their branding completely removed, likely in an effort to hide their sticky compound from prying eyes.
Supercharged LT4 V8 Engine
The spy photographers were unable to discern what sort of powertrain was tucked under the hood of the Cadillac Escalade-V prototypes, but we already have insider info to fill in the blanks. Our sources have stated that the truck will be powered by the same 6.2L LT4 V8 as the Camaro ZL1 and Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing models. While power output remains a mystery at this point, we won’t be surprised to see the SUV pack the same 668 horsepower as its Blackwing sibling. Adjustments may need to be made to the powertrain for towing capabilities, though this didn’t dramatically impact the output of the Hellcat-powered Durango.
Supercharged Escalade A No Brainer For Cadillac
Customer demand for a high-performance Cadillac Escalade-V model is not new. In fact, Cadillac’s Escalade Product Manager Dave Schiavone was quite candid about this when speaking with MC&T back in October of 2020.
“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 Schiavone in an exclusive interview with MC&T. “We’re always looking at opportunities, and where we can take portfolios.
Recent comments from Cadillac executives also suggest that the brand has plans for more V-Series models moving forwards. There is certainly no better place to start this rollout than with the brand’s most successful (and profitable) offering. We also know that the Escalade will be the last ICE-powered model in the brand’s lineup, as they plan to go EV-only by 2030. It makes sense that this Escalade-V will arrive before the Escalade EV (expected to be called the Escalade IQ) starts production for the 2024 model year, as one last hurrah for the brand’s most iconic vehicle of the 21st century.