The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V has just debuted as a beast of an SUV with a supercharged V8 and all the luxury expected from the iconic American brand.

The Escalade is the first ever SUV from Cadillac to get the V treatment, which represents the peak of performance that the brand has to offer. While other cars in the V lineup were built for track performance, the Escalade-V was made for straight-line speed.

This performance begins with a hand-built supercharged 6.2L V8 that outputs a generous 682 horsepower and 653 lb-ft of torque, which gets power to all four wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. Using launch control, the full-size SUV can sprint from zero to 96 km/h in 4.4 seconds, which is wild if you consider that this SUV weighs about 2,820 kg and can still tow 3,175 kg.

The supercharger itself has more displacement than many engines at 2.65L. Red Brembo brake calipers peek out from huge 22-inch aluminum wheels, and the roar of the V8 exhaust will be heard through quadruple tailpipes. Luckily, there’s also a stealth mode that tones down the noise so you won’t wake up the neighbours.

Every Escalade-V will come standard with the brand’s excellent Magnetic Ride Control system and Air Ride active suspension. With its four-wheel independent suspension, Cadillac promises the extra level of performance won’t affect the comfort the brand is known for. The full-time all-wheel drive system also has an electronic limited slip differential so it can send power to whatever wheel needs it most to enhance performance and traction.

In terms of style, Cadillac didn’t go too aggressive because the Escalade is already so imposing, but tweaks have been made throughout to help differentiate it from non-V models. A red, V-branded keyfob is another special touch.

Inside, there’s a huge 38-inch curved OLED display screen, augmented reality navigation, and an AKG audio system with 36 speakers. Super Cruise, the brand’s hand-free highway driving assistant, will be included as standard. It works with trailers and is capable of automatic lane changes with no driver intervention.

Production of the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V will be limited, but no hard number was confirmed. Fuel economy also wasn’t revealed, but expect to become a favourite customer at your closest gas station. The long-wheelbase ESV model will also be available with the V treatment. Canadian pricing for the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V starts at $179,998 (including destination fees) and will be available to buy at dealerships this summer.