2023 Cadillac Escalade-V Has 682 HP, $151,685 Price Tag

It can also tow a 7,000-pound trailer without the driver’s hands on the wheel. Yes, legally and safely.

byMay 11, 2022 2:05 PM
2023 Cadillac Escalade-Vs, one grey one red, facing opposite directions around sunset
Share

For the 2023 model year, Cadillac has finally done what fans of large, fast SUVs have demanded for two decades now: added a V performance model to the Cadillac Escalade. Finally, the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V makes its auspicious debut, with a supercharged V8 like that in the savage 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, adaptive air suspension, and exceptional Super Cruise hands-free driving capability that can even tow a trailer. Naturally, it all comes at a sky-high price, starting at $151,685.

The V badge is first and foremost a signifier of performance, both under the hood and in the chassis. Upfront is a supercharged, 6.2-liter LT4 V8, like that in the aforementioned Blackwing and the Chevy Camaro ZL1, but with enhancements exclusive to the Escalade-V. The hand-built V8 spins an enlarged 2.65-liter supercharger generating 10 pounds of boost, which is crammed through titanium intake valves in aluminum cylinder heads onto forged aluminum pistons, joined to a forged steel crank by equally strong rods. That setup allows the Escalade-V to produce 682 horsepower and 653 pound-feet of torque, sent through a 10-speed automatic to all-wheel drive with an electronic rear limited-slip differential, or E-LSD. And you may feel like you're on that right now, as you read the specs on this beast.

The Escalade-V is good for towing 7,000 pounds, or, with launch control active, blasting the 6,217-pound SUV from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, and completing the quarter-mile in 12.74 seconds at 110 mph. That's nearly as quick as a Ford Mustang GT, and in a huge three-row luxury SUV. It'll stop alright too, with six-piston Brembo front calipers. Cornering should be respectable too for its class, with recalibrated four-wheel independent, adaptive air suspension with magnetic shocks and V-only rear hardware.

It can be adjusted with the V's various driving modes, one of them an exclusive V-Mode, with individual settings for almost every aspect of the vehicle. Brake and steering feel, throttle and AWD calibration, exhaust valve settings, and suspension can all be personalized by the driver, who can lower the suspension 0.8 inches to make its 22-inch aluminum wheels (no steelies here) fully occupy the fenders. They and unique front and rear ends, with a splitter and quad exhaust tips, guarantee there's no mistaking the V for a plebeian, lesser Escalade.

Within is an interior based on that of the Escalade Platinum, with Zebra Wood decor, semi-aniline leather for all three rows, and heat, ventilation, massage, and 16 ways of adjustment for the fronts. Leather's to be found on the heated wheel, too. Naturally, it's chock full of tech, from its 38-inch curved OLED display to its 16.9-inch infotainment touchscreen, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It's linked to a 36-speaker (seriously) AKG Studio Reference sound system with 3D audio, which probably precludes the need for any more live performances.

The back seats get their own entertainment systems, while the driver benefits from a color head-up display, augmented reality navigation, night vision, and an extensive suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which in turn enable GM's pride and joy: Super Cruise. The best in automated driving assists available to the American public, it can operate hands-free on over 200,000 miles of American highways, perform passes without input from the driver, and even manage a trailer without issue. It's not standard equipment though, whereas the rest of the above is.

The whole Escalade-V shebang is also available in ESV form, which adds 14 inches to the wheelbase to enhance rear comfort. Standard-wheelbase models cost a pretty penny on their own, though, as they start at $151,685. That's a truckload of cash, but you can't say you're not getting a lot for your money.

Got a tip or question for the author? You can reach them here: james@thedrive.com