The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V will be the brand's fastest SUV yet, but why is it here when Cadillac last year claimed that its CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwings would be its last gasoline-powered V cars? Well, the devil is in the details, and Cadillac is building an SUV here, not a regular car. So what can we expect? Thanks to a recent teaser of the engine note, not to mention numerous spy videos, we know that this SUV is getting a V8 of some sort, and we know Cadillac has gone big on luxury for the Escalade as a whole. Cadillac has kept most details secret, so let's see what is likely to be offered as the Escalade-V gears up to take on rivals like the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63, Audi RS Q8, and BMW Alpina XB7.
General Motors has declined to reveal the exact release date of the Cadillac Escalade-V, disclosing only that it arrives in spring 2022. It will launch as a 2023 model when it gets here later this year, but that's about all we know so far.
Again, GM has not disclosed this yet. But we can make some calculated assumptions. The regular Cadillac Escalade has a base price of $103,595, and the V variant will certainly add a chunk of change to that six-figure MSRP. We, therefore, expect that the Escalade-V will be priced in line with its aforementioned German rivals, possibly a little lower. For reference, the Merc-AMG GLS 63 starts at $132,100 while the BMW Alpina XB7 will set you back at least $141,300. The Audi RS Q8 is the cheapest of the bunch at $114,500, so we'd bet on a base price of around $120,000 for the new Caddy in the USA.
We've been shown pre-production images of the Cadillac Escalade-V's exterior, but Caddy says that the final version that will be seen on dealer floors will be different. It'll probably only get slight changes as development progresses, but for now, we can count on a massive mesh grille, vertical LED accents inside additional front bumper garnishings, and a smattering of V badges throughout. A quad-exit exhaust finisher will be complemented by a faux diffuser, and with the standard Escalade giving every model 22-inch wheels, we expect the same for the V, likely with the option of 23s too. The wheels will be unique in design and boast more logos to denote high performance. In terms of the Cadillac Escalade-V's color palette, it's anyone's guess what will join the red and gray options already revealed, but we hope to see some of the options offered with other fast Caddys. Electric Blue and Blaze Orange would look utterly wild on an SUV.
The regular full-size SUV has a length of 211.9 inches, which we don't expect to change much. Width is 81.1 inches excluding mirrors, but it wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that the hot version will be a little more stout. Height on the Escalade is rated at 76.7 inches, but this may change with sport suspension. Any losses in height may be mitigated by larger wheels, however. The wheelbase surely won't change though, so count on 120.9 inches. An increase over the curb weight of the regular model (5,635 pounds) may be on the cards, but depending on the selling price, GM may yet engineer some lightweight components for the V. Otherwise, expect the dimensions of the Cadillac Escalade-V to remain in line with the standard model.
Cadillac is playing its cards close to its chest, revealing little at this early stage. From the teasers, it is a given that the Cadillac Escalade-V will use a V8 engine, and a throaty-sounding one at that. Logically, it would make sense for Cadillac to use the CT5-V's spectacular LT4 supercharged V8. With 6.2 liters of capacity, this monster generates 668 horsepower with 659 lb-ft of torque. Could this output be supplemented with electric assistance? We doubt it - spy shots have not revealed any telling signs and the images provided by GM also show only one sort of fuel filler cap. If the engine gets any more powerful, traditional mechanical methods will be employed. In all likelihood, the engine will carry over as is, or possibly with a slight detune as this is not a Blackwing model. As for the rest of the drivetrain, we'd bank on a 10-speed automatic and AWD, while specially tuned adaptive air suspension with Magnetic Ride Control is almost guaranteed. But thanks to its surely gargantuan weight, 0-60 will likely not be dispatched in less than five seconds.
In the regular Escalade, its 6.2-liter V8 produces 420 hp and achieves 14/19/16 mpg on the EPA's city/highway/combined cycles when paired with a 4WD system. The expected engine for the Escalade-V manages a maximum of 13/22/16 mpg in the CT5-V Blackwing. With the latter's power and the former's weight, expect far less than 15 mpg unless your route is entirely downhill or you have the restraint of a monk.
The regular Cadillac Escalade seats up to eight, but it's quite possible that the 2023 Escalade-V will have seats for only seven, or maybe even only five. The OLED curved display offered in the regular Escalade will be fitted to the interior of the Cadillac Escalade-V, offering up to 38 inches of screen space thanks to a 16.9-inch infotainment display, a 14.2-inch driver cluster, and a 7.2-inch control panel. Leather, sueded materials, and contrast stitching should feature alongside tri-zone climate control and a high-performance sound system from AKG, but we're hoping that Cadillac puts in the extra effort to add variable drive modes, a standard head-up display, and maybe even a data logger. Then again, this is still a massive SUV that you won't be finding your best lap time with. What you will use it for is scaring your kids on road trips, so once you've made them throw up all over themselves, you can make use of the cargo area to get fresh clothing from your luggage. In the regular Escalade, you get around 15.2 cubic feet behind the third row. Folded down, the area behind the second row offers 63 cubes of cargo space, but if you leave only the two front seats in place, you have 109.1 cubic feet to play in. We doubt this will change very much, if at all, for the Escalade-V. Hopefully, all will be revealed soon.