As the auto industry continues to favor SUVs and pickup trucks over sedans and coupes, we’ve seen a massive increase in the amount of performance-oriented 4x4s on the market in recent years. Whether it be the Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, or the offerings from Mercedes-AMG and BMW’s M Division, folks are embracing these more-than-family-hauling SUVs. All the way back in July of 2019, MC&T was the first to report that Cadillac was getting in on this trend by way of an upcoming Escalade-V model. Now thanks to our spy photographers, we finally have images of some Cadillac Escalade-V prototypes out testing with a few C8 Corvettes.
The photographers captured two variants of the Cadillac Escalade-V out on the public roads. More specifically, it appears that GM is testing both a standard and long-wheelbase version of the performance truck alongside some widebody C8 Corvette prototypes. While the SUVs may initially not look like anything special, there are quite a few unique touches that hint as to what is going on beneath the thick camouflage. The front fascia of the SUVs appear to be more aggressive than the standard Escalade, with larger lower air-intakes and a deeper chin spoiler. Around back we also see some quad exhaust tips, which are not present on any current Cadillac Escalade model. These tips are not new to the brand however, as they look similar to the units found on both the CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing models. Above the new exhaust tips also sits a redesigned rear bumper.
When looking at the side profile of these Cadillac Escalade-V prototypes, a few more visual hints come into play. The ride height of the two trucks appears to be lower than that of the standard models, and some unique wheels are tucked into the arches. These multi-spoke wheels are wrapped in tires that have had their branding completely removed, likely in an effort to hide their sticky compound from prying eyes.
The spy photographers were unable to discern what sort of powertrain was tucked under the hood of the Cadillac Escalade-V prototypes, but we already have a good idea. Our sources have stated that the truck will be powered by the same 6.2L LT4 V8 as the Camaro ZL1 and Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing models. While power output remains a mystery at this point, we won’t be surprised to see the SUV pack the same 668 horsepower as it’s Blackwing sibling. Adjustments may need to be made to the powertrain for towing capabilities, though this didn’t dramatically impact the output of the Hellcat-powered Durango.
Customer demand for a high-performance Cadillac Escalade-V model is not new. In fact, Cadillac’s Escalade Product Manager Dave Schiavone was quite candid about this when speaking with MC&T back in October of 2020.
“Ever since we came out with the V-Series on the CTS, we’ve had dealers and customers always asking for (an Escalade-V),” said Schiavone in an exclusive interview with MC&T. “We’re always looking at opportunities, and where we can take portfolios.
Recent comments from Cadillac executives also suggest that the brand has plans for more V-Series models moving forwards. There is certainly no better place to start this rollout than with the brand’s most successful (and profitable) offering. We also know that the Escalade will be the last ICE-powered model in the brand’s lineup, as they plan to go EV-only by 2030. It makes sense that this Escalade-V will arrive before the Escalade EV starts production for the 2024 model year, as one last hurrah for the brand’s most iconic vehicle of the 21st century.
We expect more information about the Cadillac Escalade-V to roll out as the year progresses, and as more testing gets underway. What would you like to see from this latest American super-SUV? Let us know in the comments down below!