Cadillac finally unveiled the 2022 Escalade-V earlier this week, a monster-sized, monster-powered SUV that comes with some pretty jaw-dropping numbers. First among them is the 6,217 lb (2,820 kg) curb weight (stretched ESV is 6,407 lb / 2,906 kg), making it almost as heavy as three Mazda MX-5 Miatas , or the same as a Volkswagen Golf R towing a car trailer with an original Lotus Elise in the back.
Another staggering stat is the 16.1-inch (409mm) diameter of the brake rotors, which are larger than the whole wheels fitted to this S1 Elise we just mentioned, while some raised eyebrows at the price of $149,990 which guarantees the V is the most expensive Cadillac ever.
But we’re interested in the 4.4 seconds it takes the Escalade-V to hit 60 mph (96 km/h). The gargantuan seven-seat body-on-frame SUV sheds its colossal curb weight to hit that 60-fold thanks to the supercharged V8 based on the one found in the CT5-V Blackwing. The 6.2-liter engine endows the hottest Escalade with 682 hp (692 hp) and 653 lb-ft (885 Nm) of torque.
Related: The 2023 Escalade-V Is The Most Powerful And Expensive Production Cadillac Ever
Technically, the Dodge Durango Hellcat is even more outrageous, thanks to its 710 hp (720 hp) Hellcat V8, 3.5-second zero-62 mph performance and 8,700 lb (3,950 kg) towing capacity. (Escalade-V is limited to carrying 7,000 lbs./3,175 kg).
But the Hellcat is no longer for sale, and anyway, let’s not take away from the Caddy’s ability to bend the laws of physics. Getting a 6,200 pound combustion engine based on a truck chassis and having all the aerodynamic properties of a shipping container to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds is quite an achievement.
And that’s something these 10 supposedly fast performance cars can’t beat. Just a note on the numbers: you may find performance numbers quoted that are different than those shown here, but we’ve kept the numbers provided by the car manufacturers where possible in the interests of fairness.
Porsche 718 Cayman S – 4.4 seconds
The days of Porsche artificially restricting the Boxster and Cayman to protect the blushes of the 911 are largely over. Last year it launched a true GT3-powered car, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS, and in 2022 every car from the base 2.5-litre Boxster and Cayman can dip below 5 seconds to 60 mph.
But not by much. Entry-level 296 hp (300 hp) cars need 4.9 seconds, the 345 hp (350 hp) S can only match the Escalade’s 4.4 seconds, and even the GTS of 4.0 liter 394 hp (400 hp) requires 4.3 seconds when equipped. with the six-speed manual, making it barely faster than the Cadillac. Drop an extra $3,730 for the seven-speed automatic PDK, however, and you cut the sprint time to 3.8 seconds.
Jaguar F-Type P450 – 4.4 seconds
Jaguar has dropped four- and six-cylinder variants of its F-Type sports car from its US lineup for 2023, leaving two supercharged V8s as the only engines available. Whichever one you pick, the two-seat Jag has the looks and the growling soundtrack to suggest it’ll rev up the Escalade into direct combat at 60 mph. But only one version of the Jag can actually achieve this.
The F-Type R certainly can, its 567bhp (575bhp) output and standard all-wheel drive taking it to 60mph in 3.5 seconds, and possibly 186mph (300kph). But whether you pair the little brother F-Type P450’s 444bhp (450bhp) with a simple rear-wheel-drive chassis or a heavier, but theoretically tackier all-wheel-drive alternative, you won’t hit 60mph faster than the 4.4 seconds required for Escalation.
Subaru WRX – 6.0 seconds
Go back 20 years and a WRX badged Subaru was pretty much the fastest thing on the road this side of the full-fledged supercar, and even some of them struggled to get ahead at 60 mph if the pavement was wet.
Unfortunately for Subaru fans, power and performance have stagnated in recent years. There’s no longer an STI halo model, and despite a half-liter gain in swept volume over last year’s model, the 2022 WRX bumps power by just 3bhp (3hp) to 271 hp (275 hp). When Edmunds strapped its timing gear to a manually shifted car, its testers clocked a miserable 6.0 seconds to 60 mph, 0.3 seconds faster than Coach necessary to achieve the same criterion in October 2000 in a WRX blob-eye.
VW Golf R – 4.5 seconds
The 2022 Golf R is one of the great sleepers of our time. With the exception of the quad tailpipe setup (and even that’s pretty low-key), there’s little visual cue to alert non-automotive types to the fact that you’re packing 315 bhp (319 PS) under the hood. well in a hurry, or that you got all-wheel drive to make sure the 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of the turbocharged inline-four hit the pavement cleanly.
Related: Epic Drag Race Shows Every Generation Of The Porsche 911 Turbo From Head To Toe
Next to the Escalade-V, it’s the Golf R’s performance, not just its styling, that looks sleepy. The US Volkswagen retail website quotes 4.7 seconds at 60 mph, but that seems to be lifted directly from the 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time quoted in Europe, putting the time sixty at around 4, 5 seconds. Either way, we’d support the Escalade in a drag race.
Tesla Model Y long range – 4.8 seconds
No one, including Tesla, is claiming the Model Y Long Range is a track enthusiast’s car. But all Teslas are rockets, right? They certainly feel it thanks to their instant start, and with its dual motors and all-wheel drive, the base Model Y has the drag racing chops to scalp some hot hatches and sports cars.
But it doesn’t measure up to the Escalade according to the two companies’ official test figures, with Tesla’s figures putting the Model Y 0.4 seconds behind the General’s flagship SUV.
Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack Widebody Manual – 4.9 seconds
A real muscle car can surely beat the Escalade-V? Okay, so the Challenger R/T Scat Pack doesn’t have a Hellcat engine under that hollowed-out hood, but the 6.2-liter V8’s 485 hp (492 hp) has almost 1,900 lb (861 kg) of less metal to drag stripe drag, and the widebody kit reinforces the visual impression that this chunky R/T means business.
Unfortunately, it’s easier to buy a 2023 Corvette Z06 at MSRP than it is to find official zero to 60 mph numbers on most car retail websites in the United States, so we don’t know for sure. how fast Dodge thinks the Widebody accelerates. Some indy tests suggest the automatic can hit 60 in the low 4-second range, but Edmunds’ manual-transmission car needed 4.9 seconds. So unless your launch-and-shift game is on point, don’t bet on spacing the Escalade into your stick-shift, sub-Hellcat Challenger.
Mercedes-AMG GT 53 4-door – 4.4 seconds
Driving an AMG car (as opposed to an AMG-Line model) brings with it a certain sense of performance security. You can be pretty sure that no matter what AMG you drive, you’ll be able to beat most of the competition, including upgraded Cadillac SUVs with umbrella-sized wheels and a V-badge. on the door.
Except you can’t. Granted, true hardcore AMGs like the two-door GT coupe can waste the Escalade in a straight line with their sub-4-second zero-to-60 mph performance; the CLA 43 gets the job done in 4.0 seconds and the E 53 coupe slips right in front with a throw of 4.3 seconds. But the GT 53 4-door pictured above can only match the Caddy’s 4.4 second figure, and just about every other AMG currently available in the US is slower, from the GLC 43 (4.5 seconds) to the mighty G 63 (4.8 seconds).
Caterham Seven 360 – 4.8 seconds
A Caterham Seven is so far removed from an Escalade-V that if the two met, they probably wouldn’t even realize they belonged to the same genus. The 360 sits in the middle of Caterham’s range between the entry level 170 and the crazy certified 620R (or is that just its riders?) and is powered by a naturally aspirated 2.0 liter Ford Duratec .
That sends 178 hp (180 hp) and 143 lb-ft (194 Nm) to the rear wheels, which might not sound like much, but neither does the comical curb weight of 1,235 lb (560 kg). Throw one of these babies and send it through the gears, and you’ll swear you did 60 mph in 3.0 seconds, although in fact the GPS-verified time of 4.8 seconds puts it almost a half a second behind the Caddy.
Porsche Cayenne GTS – 4.5 seconds
The GTS isn’t the most extreme Cayenne you can buy, but those GTS letters on the trunk tell you that this is the most driver-focused Porsche SUV this side of the five-piece Turbo range. .
Related: Zero to 60 MPH in 11 seconds? Check out the slowest corvettes of all time
But the best the 453-hp (460-hp) twin-turbo V6 engine under the Cayenne GTS’s hood can do is 4.5 seconds to 60 mph. Curiously, Porsche claims the Coupe version of the GTS can get the job done in 4.2 seconds despite the same transmission, same top speed of 167mph (279kph) and weighing just 22lbs (10kg) less.
Ram 1500 TRX – 4.5 seconds
So you want to compare apples to apples, or at least something else with enough torque to uproot an entire orchard? You might think the Ram 1500 TRX would be in with a shout-out to the Escalade-V. Although it’s a pickup and the Caddy is an SUV, they’re both old-school on frame trucks, and both feature supercharged 6.2-liter V8s driving the four wheels. But the Ram’s Hellcat engine produces 702 hp (712 hp) to the Escalade’s 682 hp (692 hp) while remaining within 3 lb-ft (4 Nm) of the 653 lb-ft (885 Nm) of the Cadillac.
According to Ram, however, the TRX takes 4.5 seconds to hit 60 mph, which puts it a tenth behind the Escalade-V, and while independent testing has shown the Ram can drop in all three, it seems fair to assume that Cadillac is also sandbag, and that the Escalade is even faster than it claims. How quickly do you think independent testers of titles like Driver will get the Escalade-V to go?