With its rear box, the EXT is technically a pickup truck, one that features an innovative fold-down midgate that effectively creates a full-size bed. But, aside from that design element, the EXT is much like the rest of the 2007 Cadillac Escalade lineup, with the same fresh face accented by vertically-stacked bright headlight housings and an expansive chrome grille inspired by the Cadillac Sixteen concept car. There are clean new body lines with tighter gaps, front fender vents, and integrated running boards. The new Escalades get an interior distinct from their lesser Chevy and GMC siblings, with an attractive dash layout and generous use of leather. Added luxury comes in the form of an optional heated steering wheel, a touch-screen navigation system, a rear DVD entertainment system, a surround sound system by Bose, and 18- or 22-inch chrome alloy wheels. Safety is addressed by antilock brakes, StabiliTrak stability control, OnStar telematics with one year of complimentary service, and side-curtain airbags for front and rear occupants.
Built in Mexico on a new fully-boxed frame, the 5,800-lb. 2007 Cadillac Escalade EXT is a heavy vehicle that requires a healthy dose of power. Therefore, engineers bolted in an all-aluminum 6.2-liter V8 with variable valve timing that pushes 403 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 417 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. Collectively, this beefy powertrain allows the Escalade EXT to tow up to 7,600 pounds. Of special note, the Two-Mode Hybrid system recently introduced for the 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe will be available on future Escalade models.
Prices have not yet been announced for the 2007 Cadillac Escalade EXT, which will start arriving at dealers during the summer of 2006.
Photos by Ron Perry