First introduced just before the turn of the millennium, the Cadillac Escalade is a thoroughly iconic full-size luxury SUV that’s been setting the bar in its class for more than 20 years. And despite the existing fifth-generation model already being a seriously impressive sport utility vehicle, the Wreath and Crest company has now unleashed what’s unequivocally its most high-performance and capable version yet with the first-ever Cadillac Escalade-V.
The latest addition to Cadillac’s performance-focused V Series, this in-house-tuned model retains the regular version’s handbuilt 6.2-liter V8, however, the eight-banger has been bestowed with a 2.65-liter R2650 TVS supercharger that unlocks an extra 262 horsepower and 193 more pound-feet of torque — bringing its total output up to 682hp and 653ft-lbs and allowing for 0-60mph runs in just 4.4 seconds. Touted as “the industry’s most powerful full-size SUV,” the V-spec Escalade also receives six-piston Brembo brakes with red calipers, a ten-speed automatic transmission, model-exclusive 22” aluminum wheels, a quad exhaust outlet setup, and V-Series-specific front and rear fascias — all as standard.
The Escalade V also massively benefits from the use of Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 coupled with Air Ride Adaptive Suspension and exclusive Escalade-V suspension hardware. This active suspension system comes with a myriad of different modes, including a V-Mode that automatically lowers the SUV’s ride height by around an inch. Additionally, driver-customizable performance settings such as the ability to dial in the vehicle’s steering also come standard on the V-spec Escalade. The ultra-plush interior of the Escalade V boasts a Platinum trim, Zebra Wood decor, semi-aniline leather seats throughout, heated, cooled, and massaging front seats, V-Series badging, an audiophile-grade, 36-speaker AKG Studio audio system, a 38” curved OLED display, available SuperCruise hands-free driving assistance, and an augmented reality system that projects a live image of what’s in front of the vehicle on the cockpit’s 14.2” central display cluster.
Scheduled to go on sale later this summer, the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V starts at $149,990.