High-performance heavyweight in the works

The latest Cadillac Escalade has been on sale for a year, winning over buyers with its unmatched presence, sharp styling, and an interior that’s taken great leaps forward over the previous generation when it comes to refinement but more so technology.

Unfortunately the big SUV is limited when it comes to powertrains. Buyers have just two options to choose from: a carryover 420-hp 6.2-liter V-8 or a 277-hp 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-6. Both powertrains offer adequate performance, though neither is what you’d call exciting.

Cadillac may be about to alleviate the issue as new prototypes spotted in the wild suggest that an oft-rumored Escalade-V is coming. There are prototypes for both the Escalade’s regular body and stretched ESV option, and curiously they were spotted testing alongside a fleet of Chevrolet Corvette prototypes, including testers for the upcoming Z06.

2022 Cadillac Escalade-V spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

You’ll immediately notice the quartet of square-shaped exhaust tips, the same design found on the Corvette. The exhaust tips on Cadillac’s CT4-V and CT5-V sport sedans also feature a square shape.

The fascias front and rear are also unique to these prototypes, with the front fascia sporting a lower lip and some mesh over the lower intake with the same pattern found on the CT4-V and CT5-V. The wheels are also a new design for the Escalade.

Cadillac is quiet on plans for an Escalade-V but rumors point to the vehicle coming with a 6.2-liter supercharged V-8. Should this be the case, count on power being dialed down from the 668 hp the same engine delivers in the track-focused CT5-V Blackwing.

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing

We should have more details soon as the Escalade-V is expected to debut later this year as a 2022 model.

There aren’t many high-performance options in the full-size SUV space. Mercedes-Benz AMG has the GLS63, which seems like the most direct rival. There’s also the BMW Alpina XB7, as well as the mid-size Bentley Bentayga Speed.

Note, Cadillac’s plans for the Escalade won’t end with the V. There will also be a battery-electric version built on General Motors’ new Ultium platform. The platform, which debuted in the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, should deliver a range as high as 400 miles in the electric Escalade.

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