2023 Cadillac Escalade-V - What You Need to Know - story fullscreen Fullscreen

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V - What You Need to Know

The full-blown V-treatment sees Caddy’s full-size family hauler get some serious performance upgrades

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What you’re looking at is not just the most powerful Escalade, but the most powerful Cadillac and the most powerful Full-Size SUV ever. Yes, the 6.2 small block under the hood has been worked on to offer some serious power upgrades. While it won’t be no track weapon, the added performance hardware has certainly transformed this Escalade. But crucially, is it worthy of the revered V badge? Well, read on to find out.

Overview

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V - What You Need to Know
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It was earlier this year in January that Cadillac released just five images of a full-blown V-Spec Escalade. We had no idea about the interior or engine specs of the vehicle. Well, that wait is finally over, and just as Cadillac had promised that the Escalade-V would be here by spring, the performance SUV is finally here.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V - What You Need to Know
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The V Moniker has always been reserved for the more performance-oriented Cadillac’s in the past and it now makes it way for the first time onto the Escalade

Now the V moniker is only reserved for the most high-performance models in Cadillac’s line up and sure enough, the folks at GM have worked hard to give it the full-blown V-treatment. The upgrades and enhancements aren’t just visual, but run skin deep.

“Customers and enthusiasts have asked for an Escalade-V, and we’re thrilled to bring this high-performance SUV to market in the year of Cadillac’s 120th anniversary,” said Global Cadillac Vice President Rory Harvey.

Exterior

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V - What You Need to Know
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Back in January, Cadillac released a bunch of images of the Escalade-V

We already knew what the exterior looked like. In order to convey sportiness, this Caddy has ditched all the chrome for blacked-out trim and I have to say, it sure does help cut back on the bling that the Escalade is so synonymous with. Don’t get me wrong, the grille is still big and brash, but not as in your face, thanks to the black treatment.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V - What You Need to Know
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At the rear you’ll find an aggressive diffuser with proper exhaust pipes

You’ll also find more black trim around the window surrounds, and the trim around the aggressive rear diffuser. There are enough V badges on the bodywork and proper exhaust units to let people know exactly what they’re looking at and if that wasn’t enough, the 22” gunmetal gray wheels with sporty red Brembo brake calipers should be able to give it off.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V exterior dimensions
ESCALADE-V ESCALADE-V ESV
Wheelbase (in. / mm): 120.9 / 3071 134.1 / 3406
Overall Length (in. / mm): 211.9 / 5382 226.9 / 5766
Overall Width (in. / mm): 81.1 / 2059 81.1 / 2060
Overall Height (in. / mm): 76.7 / 1948 76.4 / 1941
Track (in. / mm): 68.5 /1737 (front) 68.3 / 1730 (rear) 68.5 / 1737 (front) 68.3 / 1730 (rear)

Interior

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V - What You Need to Know
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The sporty all-black theme continues into the cabin as well with what Cadillac touts as the platinum interior

We didn’t get to see the interior of the Escalade-V back in Jan. But in keeping with the sporty theme, the V builds on the already impressive cabin of the regular Escalade. The all-black theme that Cadillac likes to call the platinum interior. The glossy Zebra wood certainly adds a dash of panache and you’ll find semi-aniline leather seats in all three rows with the heated/cooled and massaging Blackwing front bucket seats.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V - What You Need to Know
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These black-wing buckets wrapped in aniline leather have speakers in the head rests. They’re part of a 36 speaker AKG sound system offered on the V

As for the driver information and infotainment screen, you’ve got the same 38” OLED curved display that features GM’s brilliant super-cruise driver assistance system. It makes use of a bunch of sensors and LiDAR to offer Level 2 autonomy for a more relaxed drive. For a more immersive sound experience, you’ve got a 36-speaker AKG audio system. You’ve also got speakers in the headrests of the front seats.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V interior dimensions
ESCALADE-V ESCALADE-V ESV
Headroom (in. / mm): 42.3 / 1074 (first row) 38.9 / 988 (second row) 38.2 / 970 (third row) 42.3 / 1074 (first row) 38.9 / 988 (second row) 38.2 / 970 (third row)
Legroom (in. / mm): 44.5 / 1130 (first row) 41.7 / 1059 (second row) 34.9 / 886 (third row) 44.5 / 1130 (first row) 41.7 / 1059 (second row) 36.6 / 930 (third row)
Shoulder Room (in. / mm): 65.5 / 1664 (first row) 64.6 / 1641 (second row) 62.7 / 1593 (third row) 65.5 / 1664 (first row) 64.6 / 1641 (second row) 62.8 / 1595(third row)
Hip Room (in. / mm): 61.7 / 1567 (first row) 61.2 / 1554 (second row) 49.4 / 1255 (third row) 61.7 / 1567 (first row) 61.2 / 1554 (second row) 49.4 / 1255 (third row)
EPA Passenger Volume (cu ft / L): 168.4 / 4733 170.4 / 4802

Performance

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V - What You Need to Know
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The 6.2-Liter has been tinkered with to produce a colossal 682 hp and 653 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful Cadillac and full-size SUV ever

Okay, it’s now time to address the elephant in the room. It is what makes this Caddy a true V, the engine. But it’s not just any engine, it is in fact the same mill that we’ve seen in the proper speed machines like Cadillac’s very own CT5 Blacking and the Camaro ZL1. The 6.2-Liter small-block V-8 has been tinkered with and is now rocking a bigger 2.65-liter R2650 TVS Supercharger as opposed to a 1.7-liter supercharger on the sedan.

It spins to an insane 13,000 rpm and offers 10 pounds of boost. The result? A colossal 682 horsepower and 653 pound-feet of torque. This engine is hand-built at Chevy’s Corvette assembly plant in Bowling green, Kentucky. These numbers puts the Escalade V in the company of some of the fastest SUVs on the market. Power is sent to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission, I can’t imagine a stick shift with the Escalade.

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V specifications
Type: 6.2L V-8 Supercharged DI VVT
Displacement (cu. in. / cc): 376 / 6162
Bore & Stroke (in. / mm): 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Block Material: Cast aluminum
Cylinder Head Material: A356T6 aluminum
Valvetrain: Overhead-valve with two valves per cylinder and continuously variable valve timing
Fuel Delivery: Direct injection with electronic throttle control
Forced Induction: 2.65L positive-displacement supercharger (with four-lobe, 160-degree rotors); water-to-air charge-cooling system
Max Boost (psi / bar): 10 / 0.7
Compression Ratio: 10:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 682 / 508 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft / Nm): 653 / 885 @ 4,400
Fuel: Premium required
Max engine speed (rpm): 6,300
“We do not deploy the V-Series designation lightly. The arrival of the 2023 Escalade-V is the result of a rigorous development program that allows this highly anticipated model to meet the criteria and capability thresholds established by nearly two decades of inspired V-Series performance.”

Ride & Handling

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V - What You Need to Know
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This V comes wrapped in all-season tires on 22" gunmetal gray rims and red Brembo brake calipers

As for the ride, the Escalade V has to do justice to the badge and as a result, comes with Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 along with an air-ride adaptive air suspension system, all in a bid to offer a superior drive. You’ve got four-wheel independent suspension and an electronic limited-slip diff. The added hardware should help contain body roll, allowing you to exploit the 6.2 mill to the fullest.

With the dedicated V-mode on the steering wheel, the driver can alter a bunch of stuff like the engine performance based on the drive mode, the sound of that V-8, the stiffness of the suspension, the steering ferocity, and the brake pedal feel, and finally the AWD system. Launch control is also offered and believe it or not, but the Escalade-V can also tow up to 7000 pounds. Not bad eh, especially since it is unlikely that any V owner will ever use it.

Conclusion

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V - What You Need to Know
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Impressed with what you see? Well first of all, with the ongoing chip crisis, it’ll be a while before you can get your hands on one. When you’re ready for it, be prepared to write out a cheque for a whopping $149,990. Also, not factoring in the dealer markups if any. The long-wheelbase Escalade ESV will also get the V-treatment and will set you back another three grand. Both SUVs will go on sale in late Summer this year.


Khris Bharath
Khris Bharath
Khris is a classic car aficionado and adores his Jags and Alfas, although he keeps tabs on everything from super exotics like an old EB 110 to the latest from Lucid. Formula One is very close to his heart, and he diligently makes time to tune in for the Grand Prix on Sundays. Khris also loves his road trips and he prefers stick shift over an Auto any day.  Read full bio
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