Hennessey Performance has made another car go improbably fast.
The Cadillac Escalade isn’t exactly slow, with a 0-60 miles per hour (0-96 kilometres per hour) time of about six seconds. But Texan tuner Hennessey Performance thought it a good idea to make the hulking, near-6,000 pound (2,700 kilograms) SUV go faster - a lot faster - by giving it more than 800 horsepower.
The HPE800 package isn’t so much an upgrade, as an entirely new engine. The Escalade’s standard, 6.2-litre V8 Vortex engine is swapped out for a 6.8-litre stroker motor to which is added a hydraulic roller camshaft, forged aluminium pistons, billet steel connecting rods, ported cylinder head, high-flow air intake, HPE engine management system, and an awful lot more besides. Then the whole lot is topped off with an enormous 2.9-litre Whipple supercharger running 10 pounds-per-square-inch of boost.
The result is an immense 842 hp and 855 pound-feet of torque at the flywheel, 637 hp nd 644 lb/ft of torque at the wheels. A standard Escalade makes do with just 420 hp and 460 lb/ft of torque.
The effect on acceleration is, erm, profound. Hennessey quotes a 0 to 60 mph time of just 3.9 seconds - two seconds faster than the standard car and about as quick as a Porsche 718 Cayman S. The quarter-mile sprint is dispatched in 12.3 seconds at 112 mph (180 km/h).
As you can see in the video above, an Escalade launching off the line that quickly is an awesome sight. There's a slight pause as it gathers its skirts, but then it just jumps off into the distance, and it makes a deliciously hard-edged, angry growl through the bazooka-sized exhaust.
Hennessey also does a range of suspension and brake upgrades for the Escalade, which are probably advisable when adding this much power to a car the size and weight of a small moon. But even then, this is a car that will probably be at its best going in a perfectly straight line.
The HPE800 package can also be applied to the GMC Yukon Denali.