2021 Cadillac Escalade Sport Platinum
GM's other body-on-frame SUVs could get it, too
Cadillac is preparing to supercharge the Escalade, according to a recent report. The body-on-frame General Motors SUVs that it shares its basic underpinnings with are allegedly in line to receive a big increase in power, too.
Released for the 2021 model year, the fifth-generation Escalade eschewed downsizing and launched with a 6.2-liter V8 as its standard engine. It develops 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque when it's naturally aspirated, and Motor Trend learned from an anonymous source that the optional supercharger will increase the first figure to anywhere between 600 and 625. The eight's torque output will undoubtedly go up, too. The supercharged Escalade won't outgun the sold-out Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, which gets 710 horses, but it will pack a serious punch.
It doesn't sound like the V8 will require significant modifications to handle the extra power because the supercharger kit will likely be installed by dealers, not on the assembly line. This strongly suggests that it's more of a bolt-on job than one that requires taking the engine out and apart to install stronger connecting rods and forged pistons, for example. ECU tweaks will be part of the package, too, and the fuel delivery system may require some upgrades. Interestingly, Motor Trend learned from Texas-based Hennessey that the SUV's ECU is locked to tuners, which adds credibility to the report. Motorists who want more power will need to go through official sales channels, then.
Bigger brakes and a firmer suspension won't be part of the package — at least not yet. The same source outlined a true high-performance evolution of the body-on-frame behemoth that will be quicker and tighter to drive. Oddly, it's not being developed by the engineers in charge of Cadillac's V-branded models, according to the report.
If the report is accurate, we'll learn more about the supercharged Cadillac Escalade in the coming months, and it might go on sale in time for the 2022 model year. Expect the supercharger to come with a four-digit price tag. Chevrolet's Tahoe/Suburban and GMC's Yukon/Yukon XL will reportedly be available with a supercharger, too.