Cadillac Engineers Pushed to Give Escalade-V a Mighty Roar

The high-performance luxury SUV needed a bark to match its bite, and Cadillac’s engineers happily obliged.

byLewin Day|
The Escalade V's design amplifies the power within.
The Escalade V’s design amplifies the power within. Cadillac


Cadillac's engineers wanted the new Escalade-V to be mighty in all ways—specifically, a louder exhaust note. The company's development team said as much during a media preview for the SUV in Phoneix, Arizona, this week. (They had to shout so we could hear them.)

The Escalade-V brings 682 horsepower to the party with its supercharged LT4 V8. Unlike the base models, it comes complete with real exhaust tips hanging out of the rear bumper for the auditory benefits. "We wanted tips that stick out of the bumper for more sound," Matthew Perelli, the lead development engineer for the Escalade-V, told CarBuzz. "We showed the execs, and they loved it."

Cadillac was kind enough to drop a clip of the Escalade-V's exhaust note earlier this year. It has a guttural quality to it that wouldn't be out of place in a proper muscle car. It's no surprise, given the engine was lifted from the CT5-V Blackwing.

Achieving this sound wasn't just about the exhaust tips, though. The engineering team focused on building an exhaust that would let the engine make its voice heard. "We deleted the center resonator to basically straight pipe it," Perelli said. However, to retain the brand identity of a Cadillac, the supercharger whine is kept to a comfortable limit, he added.

For that, the Escalade-V has an active exhaust system, allowing it to play both Jekyll and Hyde with its Stealth, Tour, and Sport modes. When in Stealth mode, the Escalade-V should sound as quiet and refined as any other model in the range. Sport mode is all about bark. "I want everyone on Woodward Avenue to hear the car coming and go 'wow.'" Perelli said.

The engineering team pressed advanced tech into service in pursuit of the best possible sound, too.

Our colleagues at The Drive have driven the Escalade-V and have reported: "It's very loud." (Stay tuned for our driving impressions.) Those eager for a luxury SUV that can rip down the road with a thundering roar should be pleased, then. It suggests that the hard work from Cadillac's engineering team paid off.

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