The results speak for themselves.
In the pantheon of crazy excessive SUVs, the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V sits near the top. With a 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V8 throwing down 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque, the V-Series Escalade is now the most powerful full-size SUV ever built. Such a potent beast couldn't sound like a puppy dog; it needed to roar like a lion. That's why Cadillac's engineers fought to give the Escalade-V an extra special exhaust system, as CarBuzz learned during the launch event in Phoenix, Arizona.
The standard Escalade makes a pretty decent growl from its 6.2-liter V8 but hides its exhaust ports under the vehicle with fake tips chiseled into the bumper. This would simply not do for the V. "We had a pass-through exhaust, but we wanted tips that stick out of the bumper for more sound," said Matthew Perelli, Lead Development Engineer for Escalade-V. "We showed it to the execs, and they loved it."
It's refreshing to hear how Cadillac's engineers fought to give the Escalade-V proper exhaust tips. So many automakers today (we're looking at you, Audi) put fake tips on their performance products, and it feels tacky. The V's quad tips look like they belong on a sporty product.
"We deleted the center resonator to basically straight pipe it," Perelli added. "But Cadillac is a refined product, so the supercharger whine won't be in your face." This is in contrast to the Dodge Durango Hellcat, which produces a high-pitch wail from its supercharged V8 and can't shut up when you just want to get home at night. Perelli and his team wanted to build a vehicle that could match the Hellcat on lunacy, but also quiet down and be a proper Cadillac. That's why the Escalade-V has active exhaust valves with Stealth, Tour, and Sport Modes.
"I want everyone on Woodward avenue to hear the car coming and go 'wow.' We even have active noise cancelation inside to get rid of unwanted frequencies from the engine." In Stealth Mode, the V should sound like any other Escalade, however: smooth, luxurious, and inoffensive.
Drive impressions of the Escalade-V are still under embargo, but we can tell you from hearing fellow journalists drive by that this is possibly the best-sounding SUV on the market. You can hear it coming from a mile away, and the V8 note sounds better than even the C8 Corvette. In fact, aside from the Jaguar F-Pace SVR, we can't think of any SUV sold today that can match the V's bark. We promise you won't be disappointed when you hear it in person.