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When Cadillac officially revealed full details on the new Escalade-V earlier this year, it simultaneously became the most powerful and most expensive Escalade ever. The first Escalade-V earmarked for production far exceeded the MSRP, however, bringing a full $500,000 at auction.

That's over three times the Escalade-V's $149,990 starting price, but Cadillac won't see a dime of it. The full amount will be donated to the Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design (PLC), a Detroit-based college and the only historically Black college and university in the state. In addition to the half-million generated by the auction, an additional $25,000 was donated to the cause for a total of $525,000.

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The auction took place at Barrett-Jackson's Las Vegas event on July 1, though the SUV that crossed the block was a pre-production model. The winning bidder will receive the first production Escalade-V with VIN 001 later in the summer. In addition to the Cadillac, the bidder also can design a pair of custom sneakers with Dr. D’Wayne Edwards, PLC founder and a well-known designer in the footwear industry.

Gallery: 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V Full Debut

"Cadillac champions big dreams and bold ambitions, and we are thrilled with this auction result," said Cadillac Vice President Rory Harvey. "We are grateful to Barrett-Jackson for providing a platform that will help make a difference for the next generation of creatives in Cadillac's hometown of Detroit."

"We are both grateful to Cadillac for its contribution toward diversifying the design industry and for providing support to the next generation of creative talent," said Dr. Edwards. "In a city well known for both design and automotive manufacturing, we are proud to have Cadillac as a supporter in this incredibly important effort that will literally change the face of the entire design industry."

The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V is the first SUV from GM's luxury brand to wear the performance badge. That's because a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 is installed under the hood, generating no less than 682 horsepower (509 kilowatts). It's enough to send the fullsize SUV to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, be it the standard model or the longer Escalade-V ESV. It stops short of gaining full Blackwing status because its focus is on high-performance motoring for the street. Blackwing models are designed with power, suspension, and braking systems that are capable on the street and at race tracks.

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