Test Drive: 2012 Cadillac Escalade SLP Supercharged car test drives reviews luxury cars cadillac
2012 Cadillac Escalade SLP Supercharged Sport Edition. Click image to enlarge

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Review and photos by James Bergeron

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2012 Cadillac Escalade SLP Supercharged Sport Edition

What has four 22-inch wheels, seven seats, 525 horsepower and a rear entertainment system for the kiddies? None other than the SLP tuned Cadillac Escalade SuperCharged Sport Edition, of course!

When explaining to people I was driving the 2012 Cadillac Escalade SuperCharged Sports Edition by SLP, many looked at me with a blank stare, some crooked their neck in a confused sort of way and a few quipped, “That’s gotta be great on gas, eh?” But SLP has created this Escalade to cater to a different crowd. Ottawa is known as the “sleepy” city, with government jobs and low-key automotive tastes. Sure, there are a few modified cars and a few lifted trucks, but the conservative nature of our automotive landscape is obvious.

But that did not stop the stares (disapproving or approving — I can never be sure) as I cruised around in this as-tested $109,778 CAD super machine. The heart of the beast is the SLP TVS 2300 Supercharged 6.2-litre V8 engine, boosting output from a stock Cadillac Escalade’s 6.2-litre V8′s 403 horsepower to 525 and from a measly 365 lb-ft of torque to a push-you-back-in-your-seat 517, all this while maintaining the full powertrain warranty. Consider this the Escalade ‘V’ we’ve been waiting for.

Test Drive: 2012 Cadillac Escalade SLP Supercharged car test drives reviews luxury cars cadillac
Test Drive: 2012 Cadillac Escalade SLP Supercharged car test drives reviews luxury cars cadillac
2012 Cadillac Escalade SLP Supercharged Sport Edition. Click image to enlarge

A true performance version of “pimp my ride,” the SLP packages are focused on performance first and appearance second. Despite this, SLP still offers a great balance between the two, with optional appearance and performance packages on top of its basic upgrade. The 525-horsepower Escalade base package is $18,995 USD — with you supplying the Escalade. This package includes the aforementioned SLP TVS 2300 supercharger, Blackwing cold air induction system, SLP Powerflo axle-back exhaust system with dual/dual stainless tips, SLP custom tune, SLP RTM hood, badges, dash plaque, floor mats and embroidered head rests.

SLP customers can individualize their baby with a slew of other performance and visual packages, including Brembo brakes and more chrome. My tester came packed with extras: an SLP RTM hood with polycarbonate insert and two chrome-finish grilles, Cadillac Platinum Edition upper and lower front grille with fascia assembly, body coloured side skirts, SLP 22-inch wheels with Michelin Latitude Tour 295/20/22 tires and an alignment package with front lowering springs and front and rear sway bars. All of these goodies come in at an additional $12,523 USD — a little dear for me, but I suspect I’m not the target buyer here.

As one would expect, with the combination of shoving more air inside an engine, a heavy foot and a short time frame to enjoy a vehicle — fuel savings were not so high on the priority list. Somehow I still managed to achieve a respectable 16.3L/100km over a week of driving. Considering Natural Resources Canada rates the basic Escalade at 15.3/10.0 L/100 km (city/highway), and that I have achieved worse in lesser vehicles, I’d say well done!

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