Cadillac Society has been keeping an eye on the Cadillac Escalade-V for a while. We were the first to report on the high-performance Escalade in 2019, followed by capturing several prototypes undergoing testing in the following months. Now that the Escalade-V has arrived in all its epic glory, we wondered why Cadillac needed five generations of the Escalade to bring its high-performance model to market, so we set out to find the answer.
Cadillac Society Executive editor, Alex Luft, recently interviewed David Shiavonne, who served as Escalade Project Manager for Escalade and Escalade-V before his recent retirement.
“Things always come and go,” Shiavonne explained. “There is no doubt that the V-Series has been a big story for Cadillac and our sedans have the ability to slide. That’s the main story and the main impetus.”
Shiavonne added that for a while, the luxury marque didn’t see the need to introduce a full-size SUV to its V-Series family. “We made it clear that we are not calling the Escalade a tracking capable vehicle,” Shiavonne said. “Are people going to get him on the right track? You know they will, but it’s all in line with Cadillac’s strategy and how Blackwing and others are [V-Series] the vehicle has settled.”
As the first full-size SUV to wear the V-Series emblem, the Cadillac Escalade-V certainly deserves this emblem. It features the same engine as the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing: a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine (production code LT4). Under the hood of the Escalade-V, that eight-cylinder is capable of producing 682 horsepower and 653 pound-feet of torque. The supercharged engine is connected to Cadillac’s 10-speed automatic transmission, dumping power to all four wheels with a zero-to-60 time of just 4.4 seconds.
Since the Cadillac Escalade-V took so long to become a reality, Luft asked whether the luxury manufacturer had ever considered introducing it for the fourth generation of the iconic SUV instead of the fifth.
“I’d be lying if I said we never discussed or thought about it at the time,” Shiavonne replied.
Subscribe Cadillac Society for the latest Cadillac Escalade news and around the clock Cadillac news coverage. We also invite you to join the latest discussions on our Cadillac forums and Cadillac Escalade-V forums.
Cadillac Escalade-V’s photo