Does Anyone Want a Hot Rod Cadillac Escalade? GM Sure Thinks So

The Cadillac Escalade might be in a camp all its own. Over the years, Cadillac has been all but replaced as the luxury car brand by European carmakers like Audi, BMW, and Mercedes. If it weren’t for the Cadillac Escalade, the brand might struggle to remain relevant for the crow who prefers to be driven over driving. However, the Escalade isn’t going anywhere; in fact, it is also getting wilder with this newly released model. 

A 3/4 profile view of a red pre-production 2023 Cadillac Escalade V-Series SUV parked with mountains in the background.
The 2023 Cadillac Escalade | Cadillac

Fast SUVs are here, like it or not

Racing-inspired SUVs aren’t the most practical vehicle in the world. Regardless of how we feel about them, the market seems to feel differently, or the OEMs think it feels different. 

If you look at any major SUV nameplates within the last year, you’ll find that most have spawned some super aggressive monster version. Take the Ford Bronco Raptor, the Jeep Wrangler Hemi 392, Durango Hellcat, and now the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V. Hell, even Lexus is jumping on that train with the LX 600 with the F-Sport handling package. 

The hot SUVs are here, and despite the lack of obvious practicality, many people seem to get excited about them. I guess the evidence is there depending on where you look. For a time, the Mercedes G-Class was the fastest-selling car in America. Between the nearly $150,000 starting price and the optional AMG versions, maybe people are into rubber-burning SUVs. 

Either way, the Escalade could be a good litmus test. Luxury SUV buyers have loved the Escalade for a long time. This V version might work. We’ll have a better idea of what Cadillac is offering in a few months.

Is there going to be a 2023 Cadillac Escalade? 

Cadillac announced last Friday that it would be dropping the new Cadillac Escalade-V for the 2023 model year. This new Escalade marries Cadillac’s most important lines, the Escalade, of course, and the hopped-up, sporty V-Series. 

So far, the only things we get to wet our whistles are a few photos and an exhaust sound teaser clip on Cadillac’s site. According to Gear Patrol, the full reveal won’t come until Spring of 2022. 

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade is going to be something a little different 

The new Escalade seems like a real brute from the photos and short video clip. The current model gets power from GM’s 6.2-liter V8 putting out 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Granted, the Escalade is a big, heavy SUV, but that is already a lot of engine. If Cadillac plans to make the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V a hotter version, there’s no telling what monster engine they’ll give it. 

It stands to reason that GM won’t resist the urge to fill the new Escalade with a brutish V8. After all, the brand already used a very hot 600-plus horsepower supercharged LT4 Version of the 6.2-liter V8 like the CT5-V Blackwing or the old Z06. However fun that engine might be, it feels like a touch overboard considering the luxurious nature of the Escalade.

Gear Patrol posits another interesting option. Maybe GM would consider using the 6.2-liter V8 from the Corvette Stingray. Although this would lower the power output to sub 500 hp, it would still be plenty of power and a serious upgrade from the previous model. 

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