If you’re looking for a large SUV from a premier brand that’s not only large in size but also sound, look no further than the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V. The supercharged V8 packed under the hood of this vehicle will give you whiplash and make it impossible for your passengers to complain, as 85 decibels of a throaty growly crackle comes from the quad exhaust.
Though the Cadillac Escalade has been around for many years, the Escalade-V is new for 2023. This premium SUV packs a hand-built 6.2L V8 under the hood, enhanced with a 2.65L supercharger with an electronic bypass valve. Spinning at 13,500 rpm, it generates 10lbs of force which meant other engine components needed an upgrade, so there are aluminum cylinder heads and titanium intake valves. This combination, tied to a 10-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive, produces 682 hp with 653 lb-ft of torque to drive this 2,800kg behemoth to 100km/h in less than 4.4 seconds.
Magnetic Ride Control is standard on the 2023 Escalade-V, alongside launch control, stiffened rear air springs, and upgraded damper hardware to manage the Escalade’s size and weight.
V-Mode is also available so the driver can lower the suspension by 20mm. They can also select from the pre-programmed performance settings of Ice, Snow, Sport, or Tour. These settings adjust suspension, steering, brake pedal feel, engine performance, and sound and all-wheel drive.
The performance and weight of this vehicle mean it needs upgraded brakes, so six-piston Brembos with red callipers are fitted to the front wheels. The Escalade-V interior is tastefully trimmed at Platinum trim levels. Customers can choose between Dark Auburn or Black for the massaging, ventilated, and heated front seats. The steering wheel is heated, and all the seats are trimmed in semi-aniline leather.
The doors and center console incorporate a beautiful and unique Zebra-wood detail. The dash looks the same as the current Escalade models, with a 96.52cm curved screen and the 36cm digital cluster in front of the driver. As expected of a premium vehicle, the sound system is exceptional, with 36 speakers from AKG spread around the car.
It’s unclear if Cadillac’s hands-free Super Cruise system will come preinstalled in the vehicle. The computer chip fiasco is still plaguing the industry, and customers may have to have this system retrofitted depending on chip availability.
The 2023 Escalade-V will start at $179,998 for the short-wheelbase model. If you prefer the extended-wheelbase (ESV) version, then expect to add another $3,500 to the short-wheelbase price, making the total starting price $183,498.
The Escalade-V is a great ambassador in Cadillac’s 120th Anniversary year. You won’t endear yourself to the green set, but there’s no denying this vehicle has a presence with a capital ‘P.’ The technology and comfort are superb, and the throaty roar from those four pipes will raise goosebumps on any arm.