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Cadillac has finally done what we’ve waited years to see. It has drastically upgraded its Escalade SUV with a V performance option worth 700 hp. Not only that, but it has enhanced the exterior with an aggressive fascia and more to go along with the muscle. Hey Cadillac, what took so long?

As this is Cadillac’s first reveal of the monster SUV, they’re shy of performance specs. We guess announcing 700 hp is enough for the marketing folks for now. So we’ll delve into how it looks and come back later with how it cooks.

Cadillac made sure you know this is an Escalade V

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V
Two 2023 Cadillac Escalade-Vs | GM

For the fascia, there’s an aggressive second grille below the classic main grille. On pedestrian Escalades, there is a long trim piece that runs between the running lights. Now, these running lights are housed in a unique, vertical vent flanking the corners. There is also a gloss black splitter that visually picks up the black rockers. 

In the rear, there is a diffuser and quad exhaust sprouting below the bumper. “V” badges sprinkled throughout proclaim this to be the flagship of Cadillac. We don’t get a shot of the interior other than the steering wheel with V identification as well. 

Power comes from a supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V8. If specs are similar to the CT5-V Blackwing, then we’re looking at 670 hp and 660 lb-ft of torque. Standard Escalades get 420 hp. A video released today says the engine redlines at 6,200 rpm, 300 rpm fewer than the Blackwing. 

The Escalade V will be the last gas-powered V-series

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V
2023 Cadillac Escalade-V | GM

Car and Driver says that a long-wheelbase Escalade ESV has been spied testing. But the images we have are of the standard wheelbase version. We’ve reported that Cadillac is touting the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwings as the last of the ICE V versions. So it assumes that the Escalade V will be the last gas-powered V-series Cadillac ever made. 

Interestingly, the coming GMC Hummer EV packs just a few horsepower shy of what we expect of the Escalade V. We are thinking that this Ultium EV powertrain will eventually wind up powering Escalades in the near future; like in 2025. So while gas-powered performance is at its end, performance through electrification is more than alive and well. 

The other side of this coin is will Lincoln Navigator and Jeep Grand Wagoneer introduce a rebuttal to the Escalade V? That’s usually how these things escalate. We’ll have to see where Lincoln and Jeep go with this latest luxury performance salvo.

Lots of chutzpah at GM

2023 Cadillac Escalade-V
2023 Cadillac Escalade-V | GM

Another thing is that while GM is harping about electrification being the future, it still has the chutzpah to manufacture vehicles like this Escalade V. Should we even speculate as to what the mileage will be for Cadillac’s flagship? Around 10 or 11 mpg is how we see it. That’s quite a contrast to how GM is now marketing itself as the savior of the environment through EVs. 

But GM is also savvy enough to feed on many troughs. After all, it is a corporation with stockholders and a gigantic workforce to support. And marketing the “biggest and baddest” is ingrained into American consumerism.