We've seen plenty of drag races with big American SUVs, but this could be the first time we've seen the major players duking it out in a single venue. Each one is factory stock, each one has over 400 horsepower (298 kilowatts), and each one is a sinister shade of black. As such, we offer a special hello to all the US Secret Service agents reading this article to see which SUV wins the day.
Actually, the primary special agent vehicle is the Chevrolet Suburban and it's not part of this competition. However, both the GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade are spiffed up twins so you could say it's here in spirit. The crosstown competitor for these GM-sourced people movers is a Lincoln Navigator, itself a spiffed-up version of the Ford Expedition. This isn't just a big body-on-frame American SUV competition, then. It's a showdown of three-row luxury, all dressed in black.
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With its 3.5-liter V6 facing a pair of 6.2-liter V8 engines, one might say the Lincoln is outgunned. Of course, most people know the Navigator's engine also has a pair of turbochargers, generating 450 hp (336 kW). With 420 hp (313 kW) under the hoods of the Yukon and Escalade, the Lincoln is actually the most powerful SUV in the group. And they all need every bit of power, as each SUV uses an old-school 10-speed automatic with a torque converter, and they weigh, well, a lot.
It probably comes as no surprise that all three are evenly matched in terms of acceleration. The Lincoln ekes out a small advantage in two out of three runs, technically giving it the win but all three cross the line at nearly the same time. That is, from a standing start anyway. In a roll race, both the Escalade and Yukon hit electronic speed limiters around 114 mph, while the Lincoln – which was slightly behind at that point – surges on ahead. There's a braking competition as well, but all you really need to know is yes, they stop. Eventually.
With the Jeep Grand Wagoneer now in the mix, perhaps a sequel to this race should take place soon? We suspect the Secret Service brass would be interested in such things.