This year, Cadillac is launching the most powerful version of its Escalade SUV with a first V variant. To mark the occasion, the first vehicle produced was offered at a Barrett-Jackson auction last weekend.
The winning bid was an eye-watering $500,000. The vehicle on hand for the auction was actually a pre-production model, but the buyer will receive the production model given serial number VIN 001. And lest you think it's ridiculous to pay a little more than three times the retail price of a vehicle, the uniqueness of this first unit ensures it will become a collector's item. Even more importantly, auctions of this type are invariably set up for the proceeds to go to a worthy cause.
All of which means that the benefits for those wealthy folks who acquire a vehicle of this kind are three-fold: making an investment in a future collector’s item, helping a good cause, and getting the tax credits that go with that.
In the spirit of the thing, Cadillac won’t see a penny from the proceeds of the auction sale. In this instance, all of those proceeds will go to the Pensole Lewis College of Business & Design (PLC) in Detroit. It happens to be the only historically African-American college/university in the state of Michigan. In addition to the $500,000 generated from the sale, an additional $25,000 was donated to the cause by a patron, for a total of $525,000.
For the automaker, this is a tremendous showcase to mark the debut of a new vehicle. Over the years, many manufacturers have followed a similar path, by offering the first production unit of a new model to the highest bidder.
“Cadillac champions big dreams and bold ambitions, and we are thrilled with this auction result. 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.”
- Cadillac Vice President Rory Harvey
The 2023 Cadillac Escalade-V is powered by a 6.2L supercharged V8, which develops 682 hp and allows the big luxury SUV to charge from 0-97 km/h in 4.4 seconds.
We can also see this is a final hurrah for a model of this type given that electrification is increasingly at the heart of all new products.