Cadillac Escalade 2008 | Part Three

Cadillac Escalade | Rear Side

Cadillac Escalade | Rear Side

Exclusive V8 Power and DSC automatic

The L92 Vortec 6.2-litre 409 ps V8 Cadillac engine is exclusive to the Escalade.  This all-aluminium engine generates immense torque (565 Nm at 4300 rpm) for a highly responsive performance, even when fully laden and to deliver great towing ability.

The engine’s aluminium cylinder heads are based on the 7-litre Corvette Z06 developed for racing and feature a unique inlet port shape and offset camshaft design, with large diameter 55 mm intake and 40.4 mm exhaust valves.  Introduction of variable valve timing (VVT) through the use of unique, dual-equal cam phasers is the industry’s first application of VVT on a mass-produced V-8 overhead-valve engine.  It optimises camshaft timing to improve low-rev torque and high-rev power.

The Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic is one of the world’s most advanced transmissions.  It has a wide 6.04:1 overall ratio, with a low 4.027:1 first gear for rapid ‘launch’ from standstill and two overdrive gears (0.852:1 fifth and 0.667:1 sixth) that reduce engine speed to approximately 1500 rpm at 60 mph and help deliver an excellent balance between performance and fuel economy.

This transmission features Driver Shift Control (DSC), which offers clutchless sequential manual shifting, electronically controlled engine braking, downgrade detection with brake assist (to help control speed during hill descents), Performance Algorithm Liftfoot (to prevent premature upshifts) and a Transmission Control Module (TCM) that detects a drop in vehicle speed prior to entering a turn, and gives up to two downshifts to provide the driver with maximum engine braking.

Sophisticated Suspension and Running Gear

Cadillac Escalade delivers high levels of performance and surprising ‘drivability’ for a large luxury SUV.  A robust structure, plus all-wheel drive, independent suspension and outstanding chassis control systems – including Road Sensing Suspension – are combined with an outstanding powertrain to produce a genuinely responsive vehicle.

Fully-boxed, the 2008 Escalade’s ladder frame chassis boasts a 49% increase in torsional stiffness and a 35% improvement in flexural rigidity over earlier models.  In addition, the suspension mounting points were significantly stiffened to provide an excellent foundation for the fully independent suspension which features double-wishbones (front) and multi-links (rear) to ensure a controlled and compliant ride together with maximum handling stability that is enhanced by a wider track – up by 76 mm (front) and 25 mm at the rear.

Each Escalade comes with a Road Sensing System as standard.  This is a real-time adaptive damping system that gives independent damping control of each wheel and adjusts ‘instantly’ to changes in road and driving conditions to deliver an extremely refined ride with greatly reduced body motion.  The self-levelling rear suspension adapts automatically to different loads and road conditions.

The SUV’s handling precision is matched by its speed-sensitive Electronic Variable Assist Power Steering and easy manoeuvrability when parking is a benefit of the relatively tight 11.9 metres turning circle.

The Escalade is equipped with four large ventilated disc brakes featuring dual piston (front) and single piston (rear) lightweight aluminium calipers to meet the highest performance demands.  Backed up by ABS, the system also includes Panic Brake Assist (to boost braking power in an emergency) and Dynamic Rear Brake proportioning that regulates braking pressure depending on vehicle load.

Every Escalade model is equipped with high performance tyres optimised for ride, handling and dynamic capability.  Both the Elegance and Sport Luxury models have 18-inch alloy wheels with 265/65 R18 tyres.

Cadillac Escalade | Part Four
Published 28 April 2008 Melanie Carter

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