The Special Detail Hidden On The Cadillac Escalade-V

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V has many bespoke elements that set it apart from a standard Escalade SUV. It has a unique front fascia highlighted by a bespoke Sports mesh grille design, a signature feature of the Cadillac V-Series. It rides on custom 22-inch wheels that hide red Brembo six-piston high-performance brake calipers, while the rear has a mini diffuser flanked by four massive exhaust tips. All Cadillac Escalade-V models come with a standard all-wheel drivetrain, and you can have it in a standard or extended wheelbase chassis variant (Escalade-V ESV).

The new Escalade-V also has Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 dampers and air ride adaptive four-corner air springs. It's a mouthful, but the suspension hardware enables a softer ride when cruising or a firmer setting when scampering from one corner to the next. Combined with four-wheel independent suspension and an electronic limited-slip differential, the Escalade-V can scoot and change directions that belie its 6,217-pound curb weight.

It's all about the motor

If the V badge means anything in a Caddy, you can think of it as Popeye after devouring a can of spinach. The Escalade-V has a 6.2-liter supercharged gas-fed V8 engine derived from the hardcore CT5-V Blackwing. However, Cadillac engineers gave the mill a more substantial 2.65-liter R2650 TVS supercharger with four-lobe rotors capable of spinning to a heady 13,500 rpm. Pumping out up to 10 pounds of boost accessible with a heavy right foot, the Escalade-V offers 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque, making it the world's most powerful full-size luxury SUV. In addition, the blown V8 churns out maximum torque from 4,400 rpm, which means you get ultimate shove without burying the go-pedal, a trait that most luxury car or SUV buyers love.

Sure, the Escalade is an opulent (albeit pricey) family SUV, but the V badge and magnificent supercharged V8 have given it a renewed vigor. According to Cadillac, the Escalade-V could sprint from zero to 60 mph in under 4.4 seconds. It could also breach the quarter-mile run in 12.74 seconds at 110 mph. For context, the Escalade-V has more power than a Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 and is faster than a RAM TRX at the dragstrip. Who says you can't have fun in a three-row luxury SUV?

Handbuilt to perfection

The Cadillac Escalade-V's custom-built engine shares a similar trait with the CT5-V Blackwing's blown V8 mill: Each motor is handbuilt by a single mechanic from start to finish at the Performance Build Center in the GM Bowling Green manufacturing plant in Kentucky. Interestingly, General Motors builds the Chevy C8 Corvette in the same facility. In a 2021 interview with GM Authority, Cadillac Blackwing Chief Engineer Mirza Grebovic said: "It's a single builder that builds the whole engine. We machined a little spot on the supercharger lid where they could put a plaque with their name. Every customer will be able to see who built their LT4 engine."

This obsessive attention to detail is nothing new. Mercedes-AMG employs the same discipline in building each AMG engine, calling it the "One Man, One Engine" philosophy. If you pop open and lift the hood of a Cadillac Escalade-V, you'll find a similar plaque with the name and signature of the engine builder. This mildly hidden yet special touch gives the new Escalade-V a touch of exclusivity and performance credibility on both the street and the dragstrip.