Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. This week: Cadillac Escalade-V is real and it’s coming soon, VW will resurrect Scout as an EV brand, Hertz partners with Shelby American to let you abuse some powerful Mustangs, the 2023 Honda CR-V leaks and people can’t contain their excitement, plus your news for the week.
Cadillac hinted at a true Escalade-V a while ago and I could hardly believe it. Even now while I stare at the press release and the official images, it doesn’t seem real. But it is. Cadillac has really gone and done did an Escalade-V. Not a V Sport or V appearance package, a real V Series.
The mad engineers in the V division have turned a massive, luxurious land yacht into some kind of monster that people will surely be buying just for the laughs. It has nearly the same hand-built 6.2-liter supercharged V8 from the CT5-V Blackwing but is ever so slightly detuned to 682 horsepower and 653 lb.-ft. of torque. The main differences between this engine and the Blackwing’s is a larger 2.65L R2650 TVS supercharger intended to help overcome the higher inlet and exhaust restrictions in a full-size SUV. But restrictions be damned, this engine sends a gargantuan amount of power to all four wheels through a full-time AWD system. A ten-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment despite the fact that a YouTube commenter said he’d only buy this 6,200-pound SUV if it was a manual. Cadillac’s got a lot of nerve to only offer the automatic.
They estimate a 4.4-second 0-60 time and a quarter mile run of 12.74 seconds at 110 mph. Swap out the all-season tires they equip from the factory and it’ll probably go even quicker. Cadillac’s excellent Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, Air Ride Adaptive Suspension (height adjustable), electronic limited-slip differential, and various other components exclusive to the Escalade-V ensure it has the sort of ride and composure required to tame this insane amount of power in a very unique package. It’ll also have something resembling stopping power with giant Brembo brakes with six-piston calipers (front) painted red for maximum performance. Despite the focus on performance it still offers some utility with a 1,330-pound payload capacity and up to 7,000 pounds of towing.
Visual enhancements include V-Series front and rear fascias, quad exhaust, 22″ aluminum wheels, appropriate V-Series badging, and an interior borrowed from the Platinum model. AKG supplies Studio Reference 36-speaker audio and Cadillac provides their impressive 38″ OLED curved display to control everything.
The Escalade-V goes on sale this summer at a cool $149,990 including destination.
Volkswagen is resurrecting the Scout brand
In case you missed it earlier this week, Volkswagen has announced they are resurrecting the Scout as an EV brand. A tweet from VW with two concept images indicates production will begin in 2026 of what is certainly going to be a competitor to the Wrangler, Bronco, and all electric pickups on sale.
Volkswagen must’ve seen this potential when they acquired the Traton Group last year who owns Navistar (among others) who owns International. VW corporate overlords are continuing their push for electrification, so what better way to gain some US market share than by resurrecting a beloved brand that they now have control over. The sketches show us the Scouts will at least have rugged looks, but we won’t know if they’re just cheap cash grabs banking on nostalgia or serious off roaders worthy of being called Ford Bronco and Rivian R1-T rivals for a few more years.
Hertz will let you abuse a pair of Shelbys
Hertz has announced the continuation of a long tradition of letting random people beat the crap out of some special Mustangs built just for them. Starting with the original “Rent-A-Racer” program that allowed Hertz customers the chance to rent a Shelby GT350-H back in 1966 and continuing throughout the last decade and a half with various cars, Hertz has taken it to a new level this time. Starting this summer, you can rent a Mustang Shelby GT500-H or a Shelby Mustang GT-H fastback or convertible. The “H” indicates these are specially equipped cars just for the Hertz fleet.
Starting with the Shelby Mustang GT-H, these are GT-based models that have been kitted up by Shelby American with their front fascia, upper grille, deep-draw hood, and taillight panel. It rides on 20″ aluminum wheels and sings through a Borla cat-back performance exhaust. They’re available as a fastback and convertible in red, white, gray, and black, each with gold striping.
As for the GT500-H… it’s just insane. The 5.2L supercharged V8 gets some enhancements from Shelby to produce “900+” horsepower. Exactly what a renter on vacation in an unfamiliar city needs. It rides on aluminum forged mono-block wheels with performance spec tires of some sort. Shelby added a vented dry carbon hood to cut 30 pounds as well. This car is spec’d with shadow black with gold stripes for the most part, while just six are in white with gold stripes to honor Shelby American’s 60th anniversary.
The GT500-H will be available at Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, and Tampa. The GT-H will be at Atlanta, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and Tampa.
Needless to say, these cars are going to be destroyed. When I was in the market for my Mustang, the dealer I was working with was big on collectable Fords. They had a 2016 Shelby Mustang GT-H that they had tried to sell me. “It’s a future collectible”, they said. It was a pile of shit. Imagine a black car with gold stripes (couldn’t remember if they were decals or painted on) that had been run through an airport rental agency’s car wash thousands of times. Imagine a Mustang GT that had been in the hands of thousands of renters. Imagine the abuse that powertrain went through. The wheels all had curb rash, no two tires were the same compound, and the interior… well, it was a 3-year-old rental car at the time.
Now imagine that kind of life but on a GT500, the most powerful street car Ford has ever built and with even more power from Shelby American. The GT500-H might actually be a Hertz Mustang that’s worth something some day at an auction because it’ll probably be the last one left.
2023 Honda CR-V leaks, millions die of boredom
Honda has been talking about the 2023 CR-V and its redesign, but thanks to some eagle-eyed editors at Motor1 and Chinese homologation practices, we’ve gotten an early look. And boy is it a stunner.
Per Motor1, the new CR-V has been homologated by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. Part of their process is to publish images of the car to their website where it was picked up by outlets and reported on by whoever managed to not die of boredom in the process. Motor1 notes that even though it’s the Chinese market version we’re looking at here, it’s highly likely that the one we get here and elsewhere in the world will look identical.
That’s good because we wouldn’t want it to change one bit. Who doesn’t want their Honda to look sort like a Mazda and a Volvo. Why bother coming up with a crossover design that is interesting or in any way different from the millions of other crossovers that we’re being subjected to because consumers have collectively decided that boring is the way to go and manufacturers are realizing they can just pump out anything they want and people will still pay over MSRP for it and then come back in a few years and buy the new model because the screen is a little bigger and because the marketing appeals to urbanites who go on adventures and shit even though buyers know that they will never live that life but buying into it gives them a sense that maybe one day they’ll step out of their gentrified city and go see grass in their all-new, reimagined, bold™ 2023 Honda CR-V®.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.