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.
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Loss of traction is cool, old man.
These will be very popular amongst the less-endowed Uber XL crowd at LAX.