What do you do if you want a big, practical, and luxurious SUV which offers supercar levels of straight-line performance?
There are a few options. For starters, you could pick up a Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and proceed to race supercars off the lights or at a drag strip. Alternatively, you could make a visit to a local Porsche, Mercedes, BMW, or Audi (among others) dealership and buy a fast, albeit expensive, European SUV.
But there is one more option and it involves buying a Cadillac Escalade and sending it to Texas tuning company Hennessey Performance for some comprehensive modifications.
Hennessey is no stranger to building crazed SUVs and its Escalade HPE800 is one of their meanest. As the name implies, the vehicle pumps out 805 hp and 812 lb-ft (1100 Nm) after a series of modifications. This results in an acceleration time of zero to 60 mph (100 km/h) in as little as 3.7 seconds and in the right conditions, actually beat a Ferrari 488 GTB off the line.
The Texas tuner put the Escalade and 488 alongside each other for a pair of races down its drag strip. In both of the races, the Cadillac accelerated off the line quicker than the Italian exotic but by the time the Cadillac hit 60 or 70 mph, the Ferrari was able to catch up and edge ahead.
Of course, a souped-up SUV and a Ferrari appeal to different people and it’s not really fair to compare a modified vehicle with a stock one. Nevertheless, it is pretty cool to see how much of a sleeper the Escalade can be turned into.