Last week, Cadillac announced pricing for the new performance-oriented 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V, with of a base MSRP $149,990 including the destination freight charge. The brute of an SUV will be propelled by the 682 horsepower supercharged 6.2L V8 LT4 engine backed by the GM 10-speed automatic transmission and a full-time active all-wheel drive system. The Escalade-V will also be equipped with launch control, which will move the full-size SUV from a dead stop to sixty miles per hour in a mind-bending 4.4 seconds, and through the quarter-mile in just 12.74 tics. That’s damn impressive for something that has the aerodynamic qualities of a Carrier air conditioner.
The performance of the Escalade-V is astonishing to say the least, but $150K? Obviously, the 2023 Escalade-V ESV is even pricier at $152,990. Is this madness, to ask so much for a Cadillac? Maybe not. Throughout history, Cadillac has made some outrageously expensive vehicles. Let’s see how some of these compare to the new Escalade-V.
The 1970 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limousine listed for $11,178 new. According to inflation calculation website www.in2013dollars.com, that would be $83,290 today. Not quite the $150k the new Escalade-V starts at, but nothing to sneeze when you consider the average home price in 1970 was $17,000.
The 1993 Cadillac Allanté was a front-wheel-drive two-seat convertible sports car with a body designed and built by Pininfarina. Debuting in 1987, it was meant to be a direct competitor for the Mercedes SL and Jaguar XJS convertible. By 1993, the Allanté had ditched the original 4.1-liter transverse multi-port injected V8 for the 4.6-liter Northstar DOHC V8. The 1993 Allanté carried a base MSRP of $59,975, or $119,995 today.
The 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was hand built by Pininfarina for the 1959 and 1960 model year. These rare and elegant sedans were the flagship of the Cadillac lineup. The 1960 Eldorado Brougham shared much of its underpinnings with other Cadillacs, but the rest of the car was truly bespoke. The 1960 Eldorado Brougham had a base price of $13,075, or $127,696 in 2022 dollars.
Announced in December 1956 and released a few months later, the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was Cadillac’s ultimate luxury sedan. It was a hand-built pillarless hardtop with rear-hinged back doors, a stainless steel roof, self-leveling air suspension, and polished lower rear quarter panels. The Eldorado Brougham had the first power seats with two-position memory, cruise control, automatic trunk opener, electric antenna, power door locks, power windows, an automatic starter, air conditioning, and forged aluminum wheels.
|Model||Original MSRP||Price Adjusted For Inflation (2022)|
|2023 Cadillac Escalade-V ESV||$152,990||$152,990|
|2023 Cadillac Escalade-V||$149,990||$149,990|
|1940 Cadillac Series 90 Town Car by Fleetwood||$7,175||$148,168|
|2009 Cadillac XLR-V||$104,215||$140,439|
|1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham||$13,074||$134,512|
|1960 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham||$13,075||$127,696|
|2018 Cadillac CTS-V Championship Edition||$105,730||$121,671|
|1993 Cadillac Allanté||$59,975||$119,995|
|2020 Cadillac CT6 Platinum||$98,790||$110,355|
|2020 Cadillac CT6-V||$97,190||$108,567|
|2019 Cadillac CTS-V||$86,995||$98,378|
|2018 Cadillac ATS-V Championship Edition Coupe||$74,390||$85,606|
|2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing||$84,990||$84,990|
|1970 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limousine||$11,178||$83,290|
|2018 Cadillac ATS-V Championship Edition Sedan||$72,190||$83,074|
|2016 Cadillac ELR||$65,995||$79,496|
|2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing||$59,990||$59,990|
Included with the Brougham was a gold mechanical pencil, leather notebook, coin holder, a vanity kit with beveled mirror, comb, ladies’ powder puff with powder, lipstick holder, perfume atomizer filled with Arpege Extrait De Lanvin perfume, six magnetic drink tumblers that would sit on the open glovebox door, and an Evans leather-trimmed cigarette case. The 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham was more than twice the price of a regular Eldorado, and more expensive than any of its competitors including the Continental Mark II, Facel Vega Excellence, and Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. The Brougham would set you back $13,074 new, or $134,512 today.
The 1940 Cadillac Series 90 Town Car by Fleetwood was the final iteration of the 185-horsepower V16 Cadillacs. Only five seven-passenger formal sedans were hand-built by Fleetwood. The seven-seat sedan tipped the scales at over 5,000 pounds. The Town Car was the most expensive Cadillac that year, checking in at $7,175, or $148,168 in today’s dollars – almost as much as the 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V.
A few more Cadillacs with lofty prices: The 2009 Cadillac XLR-V was $104,215 new, or $140,439 today, the 2018 CTS-V Championship Edition would sell for $121,671 today, and the 2020 Cadillac CT6 Platinum with its 500-horsepower, twin-turbo 4.2L V8 LTA engine would sticker for $110,355 in today’s dollars.