Regardless of its all-electric future, General Motors Co. is still churning out a suite of gasoline-powered performance vehicles that will soon include a new addition to Cadillac’s V-series: the Escalade-V.
This exclusive luxury SUV arriving this summer will be the most powerful in the industry, according to GM, with its supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine. It delivers an estimated 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque at a starting price of nearly $150,000 per unit.
Meanwhile, Cadillac is continuing its mission to be fully electric by 2030 and will begin taking orders for its first electric offering, the Cadillac Lyriq electric crossover, the May 19. Manufacture of the Lyriq started in March.
“We’re committed to an all-electric future, but that’s not happening today, so we have these ICEs [internal combustion engine] variants that will work with the electric vehicles that we are going to offer in the very near future,” said David Schiavone, Escalade Product Manager.
“But the Escalade is so essential to Cadillac. It’s kind of a brand unto itself, so we have a huge fan base and a lot of loyal customers who demand, want the power, want the excitement of this vehicle, and so we’ll deliver it.”
The addition makes sense given consumer interest in specialized versions of SUVs, which are generally all about the power they deliver. The Escalade-V’s price compares to a starting price of $135,000 for the 2022 Mercedes-AMG GLS63, according to Car and driverand $99,800 on the BMW X7 M50i.
“It’s the bottom end of their volume, but they have credibility with performance they can draw on and people want it and that should get them a decent margin,” said Stephanie Brinley, principal automotive analyst for S&P Global. .
“With the EV transition taking time…it’s not so inconsistent for GM to express power in a variety of propulsion systems as the transition occurs.”
Specifically, Cadillac delivers an Escalade that it expects to be able to do from 0 to 60 mph in under 4.4 seconds and which gets a quarter-mile time of 12.74 seconds at 110 mph.
The Escalade-V comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission and a full-time active all-wheel-drive system for better traction.
It’s the first Cadillac SUV to enter the V-Series, which is “the ultimate expression of Cadillac design, performance and technology,” Schiavone said. The Escalade-V expands the V-Series sedan lineup launched in 2004 and is now in its fourth generation.
GM has pledged to limit production of the Escalade-V, making it “the most exclusive and expensive Escalade ever,” Schiavone added. GM does not break down the production capacity of its vehicles. The V-Series option will also be available on the Escalade ESV, which has a longer wheelbase.
To adapt it to the V-Series line, Cadillac has included a “V-Mode” on the new Escalade that allows drivers to customize their experience. With the push of a button on the center console, the driver can switch to an optimal performance mode and can then tailor the preferred driving performance in six different areas.
For example, “engine sound can be adjusted from the aggressive, throaty performance mode to the quietest stealth mode,” said Mike Symons, Escalade-V’s chief engineer.
Charles Allen, design systems engineer on the Escalade-V, noted that the vehicle’s engine will be built alongside the CT5-V Blackwing at GM’s Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The Escalade-V engine has a similar architecture to the supercharged V-8 of the CT5-5 Blackwing, but it has a larger 2.65-liter R2650 TVS supercharger that helps overcome higher intake and exhaust restrictions on the full-size SUV app,” Allen mentioned.
The Escalade-V design team had to balance creating an exterior that lived up to the V-Series name, but also stayed true to the already powerful Escalade name.
“We were very careful to match the exterior styling to that. That’s why you’ll notice it’s a lot more aggressive than today’s Escalade, but not as aggressive as some of the more track-oriented Blackwing competitors.” , said Robert Hunwick, design manager on the Escalade-V.
The Escalade V’s 22-inch aluminum wheels feature the Escalade V’s Edge Red brake calibers and exclusive Brembo front brakes. It offers trim interiors in black or dark auburn, with zebrawood accents. Standard features include semi-aniline leather in all three rows, electric massagers in the front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Escalade-V’s technology includes a standard curved OLED screen with a total display diagonal of 38 inches, a premium infotainment system with navigation including a 16.9-inch-diagonal color information display and natural voice recognition, an augmented reality option that projects a live image of what’s in front of the vehicle onto the 14.2-inch-diagonal center cluster screen, and a 36-speaker AKG Studio Reference audio system .
Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free technology that includes towing and automatic lane-changing capabilities, will be an option with late availability on the Escalade-V for $2,500, GM said. It is not included in the starting price of $149,990. A worldwide shortage of semiconductor chip supplies has hampered the automaker’s ability to offer Super Cruise on some of its Cadillac models.
Last year, GM canceled Super Cruise for a few months on the regular Escalade. The feature returned to the full-size SUV but was dropped this year from the CT4 and CT5.
“Our supply chain team is working on the various chip issues we’re facing, so I don’t want to comment with certainty at this time on what vehicles will or won’t be delivered,” said Lizzy Dinnella, Cadillac assistant. SUV marketing manager. “The vehicle is destined to have Super Cruise and we’re going to do everything we can to market it with Super Cruise, but if we can’t, we can’t. It’s an incredibly crazy time there.”
Schiavone said “with great certainty” that Super Cruise is not technology that will be added later.
“The vehicle is a fully loaded vehicle with all the features we have in the Escalade portfolio, which is pretty much the most in the whole company, but due to a lot of safety issues, we would never do that,” a- he declared.
Cadillac is not taking orders for the new Escalade-V. Instead, the automaker will let dealers handle communication about the new product. Dealers can order the Escalade-V however they want or how a customer wants, and can begin placing orders for the Escalade-V on May 19.