2023 Cadillac Escalade-V Packs a 682-HP Punch

Cadillac released specifications on the highly-anticipated 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V, the first SUV in the luxury carmaker's lineup to don the performance-signifying V badge, today.

The Escalade is the latest Cadillac vehicle to get the V treatment, with the CT4-V, CT4-V Blackwing, CT5-V and CT5-V Blackwing sedans getting the requisite power and styling boosts in the last few years.

The V-series badge has been utilized to mark vehicles with heightened power since 2003.

As was apparent from the images that the company released a few months ago, the Escalade-V gets a number of exterior changes from the traditional Escalade to convey its high-powered performance nature.

The traditional Cadillac grille is supported by a separate grille placed underneath it, with extra vents on opposite sides that run parallel to the fog lights to assist with cooling.

Four exhaust pipes take the place of the usual two at the rear.

1 of 16

V-series badges mark the driver door, front passenger door and liftgate.

Powering the SUV is a supercharged 6.8-liter V8 engine, which combines with a performance-tuned 10-speed automatic transmission to put out 682 horsepower and 653 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque.

An all-wheel drive (AWD) system is standard, splitting power evenly between the front and the rear for most driving situations and favoring the rear by about 67 percent in more aggressive drive modes.

Multiple facets of the driving experience can be set to different driving modes. Suspension settings, steering and brake pedal feel can be set to Tour or Sport modes. The AWD system and engine performance can be set to Tour, Sport and Snow/Ice. The engine sound is interchangeable from Stealth, Tour and Sport.

An additional V-Mode lets drivers tailor these aspects of the driving experience to their taste, while also lowering the ride height by about 0.8 inches.

The company estimates a zero to 60 time of under 4.4 seconds.

In a virtual press briefing, Cadillac told journalists that it's refraining from slapping the Blackwing name on the Escalade-V. In its research, the company found that potential customers would rather buy the vehicle for daily driving than track days.

"They're going to be taking their kids to dance or soccer or whatever," Escalade global product manager Dave Shiavone said during the briefing. "It is an all-season vehicle that mom or dad will be using."

In the cabin, the Escalade-V borrows a lot from the Escalade Platinum trim, with interior styles available in Black or Dark Auburn, both with Zebra Wood accents.

Semi-airline leather in each of the three rows, massage seats in the front row and a heated steering wheel are all standard.

A curved OLED 38-inch display is standard, which the company says has twice the pixel density as a 4K TV.

An AKG Studio Reference 36-speaker sound system is also standard, the highest number of speakers on an Escalade to date.

The infotainment system has built-in capability for voice recognition technology, wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto.

Though not immediately available, Cadillac says that GM's Super Cruise advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) will be an optional add-on.

Under certain conditions, the ADAS is able to perform hands-free driving functions on roads mapped by the company, though the driver needs to be alert and ready to resume manual driving when prompted.

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V is slated to go on sale by summer's end at a starting MSRP of $149,900. The company says that it will be a low-volume vehicle, but wouldn't disclose production numbers.

A base 2022 Escalade currently starts at $76,295, while the Platinum trim begins at $104,240.

In size alone, the Escalade-V doesn't have a lot of competition, though comparable options exist for three-row performance SUVs. A 2022 BMW X7 M50i starts at $99,800. The 2022 Audi SQ7 begins at $88,500.