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DETROIT - The Cadillac Escalade luxury SUV will muscle into the fast lane with a V-10 or V-12 engine, possibly as early as the 2006 model year.

The move is in keeping with General Motors' plans to create a series of exclusive high-performance cars and SUVs for Cadillac called the V Series. The first of those models, the CTS-V sports sedan, is in showrooms. The CTS-V is powered by a V-8 derived from the engine used in the Chevrolet Corvette.

GM is building a plant in Wixom, Mich., to produce engines for low-volume, high-performance vehicles.

The automaker expects the plant to be building engines by the summer of 2005. That means an engine could become available for the 2006 model year. "Obviously we wouldn't be putting in place a low-volume build center if we didn't choose to have a little fun here," says Tom Stephens, GM vice president in charge of global powertrains. "It's part of our product strategy. We'll need a place to build some of those high-image products."

Those high-image products will carry a higher price tag. The CTS-V sells for $49,300 - about $18,000 more than a base CTS. The Escalade, which is sold with a choice of two V-8s, starts at $52,830, including destination charges.

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Great news. Escalade will remain the bomb through 2006!

My only doubt is about the wisdom of designing a special Escalade V Series in 2006 when the truck is due for redesign in 2007. Maybe they will introduce the engine for 2006 and hold the V series for the new platform.

At any rate, a V-12 can only improve the Cadillac and Escalade brand equity. Does any other automaker offer a V-12 SUV? The only one I can think of is the fifteen-year-old LM002.
 

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Maybe Ford will reconsider letting SVT go wild with Lincoln now, the way Caddy is going. I just wish Ford would pump some money into that dying brand before it gets much worse. Whatever you think of Lincoln, it'd sure be nice to have two ultra-luxury domestic brands competing with names like Rolls Royce, Maybach, etc. Lexus who? Acura what? *snicker*
 
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