The folks at Hennessey Performance are at it again.
We’re going to preface this article by saying that anything can go fast if you toss enough money at it. Mind you, that’s not meant to take anything away from the impressive performance of the Cadillac Escalade featured in this video. Nor does it mean we ever get tired of seeing the most unlikely of machines exhibiting heroic racing smackdowns against vehicles you already know are fast.
That’s exactly what we have here, though the outcome likely wasn’t a surprise to anyone. The Escalade in question comes from Hennessey Performance and is actually called the Hennessey Escalade. As you would expect, the big SUV is far from stock under the hood – in fact it has approximately double the normal power of a typical 2018 Escalade. Not that 420 horsepower (313 kilowatts) isn’t already impressive, but trouncing a stock Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in a 6,000-pound (2,720 kilogram) luxury tank requires something a bit more beefy.
Hennessey’s package for the Escalade produces 800 hp (596 kW), and as you can see it does make a slight difference. We don’t know if the SUV was set to four-wheel drive for the run, or if the massive rearward weight shift simply pinned the rear tires to the pavement. Either way, there’s no denying the Escalade’s biblical grip and outrageous acceleration at launch. If you look close you’ll see the Camaro actually gets the slightest jump, but it’s quickly erased as the Caddy just digs in a freaking goes. Look at its nose pointing skyward from crying out loud – suddenly, we have an overwhelming urge to see an Escalade wheelie.
The video also offers a neat lesson in aerodynamics, because even mountains of horsepower and torque can’t negate the effect of wind against a brick. The Escalade’s lead over the Camaro is established in literally the first few seconds of the run – beyond that the ZL1 starts creeping back. Had the race continued for just a bit longer, the outcome would've been quite different.
It would still be terrific fun to watch though.