Cadillac to extend high-performance 'V' strategy to Escalade models The sophisticated Cadillac Northstar XV-12 may find its first home in the Escalade By RICHARD TRUETT | Automotive News (08:30 Jan. 29, 2004) DETROIT - The Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV will muscle into the fast lane with a V-10 or V-12 engine, possibly as early as the 2006 model year. The move is in keeping with General Motors' plans to create a series of exclusive high-performance cars and SUVs for Cadillac called the V Series. The first of those models, the CTS-V sports sedan, is now in showrooms. The CTS-V is powered by a V-8 from the Chevrolet Corvette ZO6. GM is building a plant in Wixom, Mich., to produce engines for low-volume, high-performance vehicles. The automaker expects the plant to be building engines by the summer of 2005. That means an engine could become available for the 2006 model year. "Obviously we wouldn't be putting in place a low-volume build center if we didn't choose to have a little fun here," says Tom Stephens, GM vice president in charge of global powertrains. "It's part of our product strategy. We'll need a place to build some of those high-image products." Those high-image products will carry a higher price tag. The CTS-V sells for $49,300 - about $18,000 more than a base CTS. The Escalade, which is sold with a choice of two V-8s, starts at $52,830, including destination charges. Engineers are testing on Detroit roads at least four high-performance engines in a fleet of Escalades. "You will find Cadillacs running around with higher-output V-8s, running around with V-10s (and) V-12s," Stephens says, "and you will find even one variant with even more cylinders." That other variant is the 16-cylinder engine from the Cadillac Sixteen concept car. GM Powertrain engineers have installed a 16-cylinder engine in a test Escalade. But that engine, producing 1,000 hp, may be too expensive to produce. The most likely big displacement engine for the high-performance Escalade is the Northstar XV-12, which fits in the same space as the vehicle's current 6.0-liter V-8. That means the Escalade could get a V-12 without extensive reworking of the sheet metal. The all-aluminum XV-12 7.5-liter V12 kicks out 750 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, and meets the fuel economy standards of a V8. The engine offers a number of breakthrough features. General Motor's Displacement on Demand technology maximizes fuel efficiency by running on six cylinders or eight cylinders depending on engine load and throttle imput. A combined starter generator allows for faster, more muted starts. And a direct-injection gasoline combustion system amps up power, sharpens fuel efficiency and cuts down emissions. The Escalade is scheduled for a complete redesign in 2007 or 2008. A high-performance engine for 2006 would help keep interest in the current model strong while Cadillac prepares the next version.