New Cadillac Escalade could pack Camaro ZL1’s 650-hp V8, report says

A Cadillac Escalade that sings the song of its people from three blocks down would be pretty gnarly. Let’s hope the report is accurate.

Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

Cadillac’s supercharged LT4 V8 is a sweetheart, slapping the ever-loving heck out drivers with gobs of horsepower and torque — and, of course, a raucous engine note to go along with it. And, if a new report turns out to be true, it could also appear in something a little bit bigger.

Cadillac is working on a muscled-up variant of the next-generation Escalade, Muscle Cars and Trucks reports, citing sources with knowledge of the project. Cadillac did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but automakers routinely decline to discuss products ahead of schedule, and Cadillac has not talked much about its new Escalade yet.

While the sources didn’t give MC&T explicit confirmation of the powertrain, they apparently hinted at the aforementioned LT4, which puts out 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque in its hottest iteration. The V8 in question has lived in only three cars thus far: the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 (C7) and the Cadillac CTS-V.

According to the report, the idea of a souped-up Escalade has been a long time coming. Sources told MC&T that the idea originally came from former CEO Johan de Nysschen, surviving the subsequent regime change. The sources also claimed that the project was supposed to happen on the current Escalade, but it was since pushed back to the next generation, which is believed to debut next year, although the “powerhouse” variant will likely debut well after the initial trims do.

Cadillac has shied away from giving its SUVs powerful trims, but the market is more than ready for it. Look to BMW’s M vehicles or Mercedes-Benz’s AMG line for a multitude of examples on how to build a fast SUV correctly. If Cadillac were to follow through with this idea, it would give the automaker an advantage over its closest competitor, the Lincoln Navigator, which also lacks a crazy-powerful version. Cadillac remains positioned as GM’s premier marque, and many luxury buyers want a bit more get-up-and-go with their vehicles these days, so a pavement-twisting Escalade would fit that bill quite nicely.

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