2023 Cadillac Escalade-V: Blackwing All the Things

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
2023 cadillac escalade v blackwing all the things

It appears that Tim “The Toolman” Taylor has a product-planning position at Cadillac.

That’s because, apparently, someone decided that just what the Escalade needed was “more power.”

A lot more power.

Some folks apparently won’t be happy with the 420 horsepower on tap in the 6.2-liter V8 gas engine or the 460 lb-ft of torque in the 3.0-liter diesel inline-six. These horsepower hounds will want to take note: The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V will be pumping out 682 ponies and 653 lb-ft of torque.

That’s all thanks to Cadillac snagging a slightly different version of the engine from its CT5 Blackwing sedan and dropping it into the luxo-barge SUV. Like the CT5 Blackwing’s engine, this one will be handbuilt at the plant in Bowling Green, Kentucky, that also builds the Chevrolet Corvette. Its supercharger will be bigger, though — it’s 2.7 liters, while the sedan’s is 1.7. The power numbers are different, too — there are 14 more horses on tap in the ‘Slade, but six fewer lb-ft of torque.

The transmission has 10 speeds and it’s an automatic, and this Escalade is all-wheel drive. Apparently, there’s no way to route all the power solely to the rear axle, which Car and Driver laments since it will make burnouts a non-starter. There is, however, launch control and an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential. Cadillac is claiming a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds and a quarter-mile run of 12.7 seconds with a trap speed of 110 mph.

Cadillac gives this Escalade adaptive damping and air springs, along with stiffer rear springs. Tour and Sport drive modes are available, and these modes influence the suspension and steering and also the engine sound and brake pedal feel. There’s also a snow/ice mode for those of us who live in places that require such things. When drivers press a V-Mode button, ground clearance will drop by 0.8 inches.

Styling differences are meant to make the Escalade look mean and include a blacked-out grille, blacked-out trim, and black quad exhaust tips. You’ll be rolling on 22s with all-season rubber, and the front brake rotors are over 16 inches, with six-piston Brembos helping haul you to a stop. In the rear, the rotors are 13.5-inches with single-piston calipers.

The curb weight for the three-row Escalade-V is an eye-popping 6,200 pounds. If you like to tow, you can still handle up to 7,000 pounds with this bad boy, though that is 1,000 fewer pounds than the “regular” V8 with AWD.

V buyers will have two shades of interior leather from which to choose.

If you want one, be prepared to drop $149,990 and perhaps three grand more for a long-wheelbase model, which is also available with the V treatment. Since Cadillac will likely keep production limited, we shudder to think about potential dealer markups.

We’d also prefer not to ponder the sure-to-be dismal fuel-economy numbers.

One note: If you want Super Cruise, you’ll have to wait, thanks to the chip shortage.

Should this hopped-up Escalade strike your fancy, you can get it this summer, though Cadillac won’t be taking reservations.

[Images: Cadillac]

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3 of 11 comments
  • Crashdaddy430 Crashdaddy430 on May 12, 2022

    Loss of traction is cool, old man.

    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on May 16, 2022

      Dear TTAC, If the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V with 682 horsepower uses a 10-speed transmission, and a top fuel dragster makes ~11,000 horsepower, how many speeds does the transmission in the top fuel dragster have? Signed, Curious in Tennessee P.S. Radiators are a pain. Does the top fuel dragster use a radiator? Ok then.

  • BEPLA BEPLA on May 14, 2022

    These will be very popular amongst the less-endowed Uber XL crowd at LAX.

  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI coupe....it's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark V.....it was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).