With 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, the brand-new 2015 Cadillac Escalade leads the full-size luxury SUV segment in terms of power. But if that’s not enough for you, then you’ll be happy to learn that the folks over at Hennessey Performance have taken the V-8’s output even further.
Using its new HPE550 package, the Texas-based specialist upgraded the 6.2-liter mill to deliver 557 horsepower and 542 pound-feet of torque, which translates into 32 percent and 18 percent increases respectively. As with most Hennessey tweaks, the package also includes an air-to-water intercooler system and engine management recalibration.
In a conversation with John Hennessey, the company expects one-second faster 0-to-60 and quarter-mile times, but they won’t have the official numbers until testing is completed in late-May 2014. By our estimates, this would put it at around five seconds flat. We will bring you the official numbers as soon as they become available. Top speed, however, will likely not be affected by the HPE550 kit, due to the electronic limiter on the Escalade.
The SUV’s exterior, however, remains unchanged, save for a set of lightweight Hennessey H10 forged, monoblock wheels that can be ordered separately for a hefty $6,950. The 20-inch rollers are supposed to allow more power to reach the pavement, thanks to their reduced rotating mass, which could mean a slight acceleration improvement.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade HPE550.
The HPE550 package for the 2015 Cadillac Escalade is available as we speak for $15,950, including a 3-year or 36,000-mile warranty, through any authorized Hennessey dealership. With the SUV priced from $71,695, the base Escalade HPE550 starts at $87,640 before the H10 wheels. However, the beefed-up SUV could fetch more than $100,000 when the Escalade is selected with the longer ESV body in Premium trim and with four-wheel drive.
Additionally, Hennessey also revealed that the HPE550 tune is available for other GM vehicles powered by the 6.2-liter V-8, including the 2015 GMC Yukon Denali SUV and the 2014-2015 GMC Sierra and 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks .
Overhauled inside and out, the 2015 Cadillac Escalade embraces the brand’s new signature exterior design with a new, large front grille and vertical LED headlamps. The revamped interior provides a new design and more luxury, as well as Caddy’s latest in terms of technology.
The 2015 Escalade is available in two sizes, the regular model and the slightly longer ESV, each offered in three trim levels - Standard, Luxury and Premium. The optional all-wheel-drive system can be fitted on all versions of the SUV.
Gallery Cadillac Escalade
While Cadillac has reinvented the Escalade, the preferred mount of rock stars, pro athletes and Hollywood’s red carpet elite, Hennessey Performance (HPE) has put in overtime developing a supercharger upgrade for its new 6.2-liter direct-injected V8 engine. It’s all the better for sneaking up on the unsuspecting Mercedes GL63 AMG or Range Rover Sport…that is, until the roar of the exhaust and subtle Hennessey branding give you away.
“Our HPE550 Supercharged Escalade is the perfect balance of attitude, performance and luxury. It’s fast and versatile, and proudly American,” said Hennessey CEO and partner Don Goldman.
The HPE550 package serves up a stout 557 bhp and 542 lb-ft of torque from the belt-driven supercharger producing 6 psi of boost pressure, gains of 32 percent and 18 percent, respectively, over stock. Extra power is nothing without reliability, so an air-to-water intercooler system keeps charge temperatures low, and Hennessey’s recalibrated engine management computer optimizes the air/fuel ratio throughout the rev range. HPE is proud to back its HPE550 upgrade ($15,950 installed) with a 3 year/36,000 mile powertrain warranty.
Further upgrades available include a set of lightweight Hennessey H10 forged monoblock wheels ($6950), whose 20-in. diameter accepts the Escalade’s factory tires. The H10 wheels’ reduced rotating mass allows even more power to reach the tires—less energy spent accelerating the wheel means more energy pushing the vehicle down the road.
While the Escalade might be the most glamorous application for our HPE550 upgrade, it’s also available for other GM vehicles with the 6.2-liter DI V8. The list includes the 2015 GMC Yukon Denali, 2014-2015 GMC Sierra trucks, and 2014-2015 Chevrolet Silverado trucks. Complete turn-key Hennessey HPE550 vehicles can be ordered directly through our authorized dealers, including Sewell and Hendrick.
“The new 2015 Cadillac Escalade is the perfect platform for a Hennessey infusion of horsepower,” said founder and president John Hennessey. “It’s luxurious, spacious and cries out for personalization and more performance. I plan on making this our next family hauler for our five teenagers and four Labrador Retrievers.”