Say Hello To The Cadillac Escalade-V: The Most Powerful Full-Size SUV Ever

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It'll get the whole family from 0-60 mph in less than 4.4 seconds.

Are you perennially late on your way to a PTA meeting, drive-by shooting, or drug deal? Well, have we got some good news for you.

Cadillac just unveiled the most powerful full-size SUV available on the American market. The 2023 Escalade V is powered by a hand-built 6.2-liter supercharged and intercooled V8 producing 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque.

The Escalade-V will now serve as the halo model of the V Series cars, including the CT4-V Blackwing and the CT5-V Blackwing. The 'Sclade-V is available in both the standard and extended ESV wheelbase. Though it shares an engine with the CT5 Blackwing, the powertrain has undergone minor tweaks to make it more suitable for this application.

According to GM's testing, the Escalade-V is capable of 0-60mph in less than 4.4 seconds, and it will complete the quarter-mile in 12.74 seconds at 110 mph. There are more powerful and faster SUVs, but the most important word here is full-size.

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Cadillac
Cadillac

The hand-built V8 produces 682 angry horses at 6,000 rpm, while the 653 lb-ft of torque is available from 4,400 rpm. The V8 in the CT5-V Blackwing can rev higher and produces its torque lower down, so what gives?

The V8 in the Escalade V8 has a larger 2.65-liter R2650 TVS supercharger that helps overcome the higher inlet and exhaust restrictions of the Escalade. It produces 10 pounds of boost and has an electronically controlled bypass valve. The supercharger also has unique four-lobe rotors to broaden the power band and provide loads of torque low-down and more power higher up in the rev range.

The engine is mated to a ten-speed automatic transmission, specifically calibrated to work in harmony with the above-mentioned broad powerband.

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Cadillac
Cadillac
Cadillac
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The transmission sends the power to a full-time active all-wheel-drive system to split the torque between the front and rear axles as needed. Cadillac does state that some torque is always sent to the front wheels.

As you'd expect, the Escalade-V has several other mechanical enhancements to cope with the power.

Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 is standard, as is the Air Ride Adaptive Suspension. The V also gets the model-specific Escalade-V suspension hardware and a limited-slip rear differential. All of the electronically controlled systems were explicitly calibrated for this blistering SUV.

The highlight is the all-new V-Mode, which drivers can access via a button near the shifter. This driving mode lowers the ride height by 0.8 inches and allows one to tailor a specific driving mode setup.

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Cadillac
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Cadillac

With V-Mode, you can set the suspension, steering, and brake pedal feel in Tour or Sport, depending on which mode you prefer. The engine performance and AWD system let you choose between Tour, Sport, or Snow/Ice. Engine sound modes include Tour, Sport, or Stealth if you don't want to upset the neighbors early in the morning.

Launch control is also accessible via the V-Mode, and it couldn't be easier to use. The car just needs to be in V-Mode, and then you simply hold down the brake pedal, give it full throttle and wait for the Traction Control Lamp to flash. Then off you go.

Naturally, a car carrying the most-powerful full-size SUV badge needs a remarkable exterior. The V gets unique front and rear fascias and a sporty mesh grille. At the rear, you'll note the quad exhaust outlet.

It rides on a set of model-specific 22-inch wheels, which help showcase the large Edge Red Brembo brake calipers at the front.

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Cadillac
Cadillac

The Escalade-V comes standard with all the goodies you'll find in the traditional Platinum interior. Standardssemi-aniline leather trim for all three rows is available in Black or Dark Auburn with Zebra Wood trim.

Other highlights include a 14.2-inch display for the driver, a 16.9-inch touchscreen display with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, and voice control. Your chosen soundtrack is played via a 36-speaker AGK Studio Reference sound system.

GM's Super Cruise hands-free driving is expected to retail for an additional $2,500 and this feature will only be added to the car at a later stage.

The Cadillac Escalade-V goes on sale late this summer with an MSRP of $149,990, including the destination charge. We expected a base price of $120,000, but it seems Cadillac is aiming higher than expected with the Escalade-V.

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