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2023 Cadillac Escalade-V: When Too Much Isn't Enough

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V: When Too Much Isn't Enough

Just in time for $5/gallon gas!

  • New high-performance version of the Escalade (boy, that feels weird to type)
  • When 420 horsepower isn't enough
  • Part of the fifth Escalade generation introduced for 2021

What is the Cadillac Escalade-V?

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade is the biggest, baddest and most expensive SUV in General Motors' arsenal. Despite its hefty weight, both of its available engines — a 6.2-liter V8 and a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel — are perfectly adequate hustling around its considerable mass. But who wants "perfectly adequate" from their six-figure super sled, especially when alternatives like the Mercedes-Benz AMG GLS 63, high-output Land Rover Range Rover and upcoming BMW XM are all available? Enter the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V — Caddy's first application of the V performance moniker to an SUV.

Cadillac hasn't exactly spelled out which engine will drive the Escalade-V, but there aren't a lot of powertrains in GM's parts bin more potent than the Escalade's current motor. The most likely candidate is the supercharged 6.2-liter found in the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing and Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. This motor produces a stout 668 horsepower and 659 lb-ft of torque in the CT5-V Blackwing; transplanting this into the Escalade-V would give this flying brick a nearly 250-hp advantage over the standard Escalade. It would also likely return fuel economy results of the EPA's city test in single-digit territory.

We'll know more about the Escalade-V this spring, when Cadillac is expected to divulge details about the V's powertrain and other upgrades that make it stand out from the standard Escalade. These are the last days of monstrous gas-guzzling SUVs, folks. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Edmunds says

Does anybody really need an Escalade with nearly 700 horsepower? No, but something has to occupy the valet stand at Nobu, right?