As a luxury car brand, Tesla wants to bring the pickup back to the luxury line of vehicles in a market where there are none. There is, of course, the arguable exception of the GMC Sierra – if you think of it as a luxury pickup. However, there used to be earlier luxury brand truck models. Let’s talk about the Cadillac Escalade EXT.
What we know about the Tesla Cybertruck
Despite a polarizing design and a not too good introduction to the car world, the hype was initially high for the Tesla Cybertruck. According to the Observer, Tesla had received more than 250,000 Cybertruck reservations a week after the unveiling. Six months later, this had risen to 650,000 reservations, costing buyers a refundable $100.
However, the truck has been delayed several times since then. While production was initially intended to start in late 2021, it is now expected to begin in mid-2023. You would think that the number of reservations has only grown since then.
Elon Musk has seemingly even confirmed this, as Tesla has more Cybertruck orders than it could fulfill in its first three years of production, according to Reuters. However, before the Cybertruck, the Cadillac Escalade EXT made waves in the luxury pickup market.
The Cadillac Escalade EXT luxury pickup
According to Auto Evolution, Cadillac made and sold nearly 50,000 units of the first-generation Escalade EXT between 2001 and 2007. Like the Cybertruck, it was a half-pickup luxury truck. It also shared most of its guts with the Cadillac Escalade full-size SUV. The engine on this model was a 6.0-liter V8 producing 350 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. It also came with a four-speed automatic transmission in addition to an AWD drivetrain.
Some notable design details included corner-mounted turn signals and a truck bed where the third row of seats should have been. This was complemented by a low-hinged tailgate that made cargo loading easier. In addition, owners could remove the rear panel to increase cargo space on the cargo bed. This was a midgate design popularized by the Chevy Avalanche.
Between 2006 and 2013, buyers received the second-generation Escalade EXT, based on the Chevrolet Silverado/Cadillac Escalade platform. The front of the vehicle had a wide grille and thinner headlights. Behind the second row seats was a cargo box that could hold an ATV. Under the hood of this car was a 6.2-liter V8 rated at 409 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, while AWD was still standard, the manufacturer changed from the previous generation’s four-speed automatic to a six-speed.
The second-generation Escalade EXT also had a pretty impressive interior. Some of the highlights included leather upholstery, chrome and wood accents, and a refrigerated storage area in the center console that lived up to the luxury of the car.
The car on which the Escalade EXT was based
The Cadillac Escalade EXT was actually a luxury variant of the Chevrolet Avalanche; another pickup produced over two generations between 2001 and 2013. The Avalanche was also built on the Cadillac Escalade platform, so it was easy to duplicate.
It came with two engine options: a 5.3-liter V8 with 285 horsepower and an 8.1-liter V8 with 340 horsepower. The 5.3-liter variant produced 325 lb-ft of torque, while its counterpart offered 460 lb-ft of the same. These engine options were paired with rear-wheel drive and a four-speed automatic transmission.
The 2006-2013 models had a 4×4 system that could be activated in difficult terrain, although it usually worked with rear-wheel drive and a four-speed automatic transmission. Buyers could choose between a 5.3-liter V8 engine capable of producing 320 horsepower and 335 lb-ft of torque and a 6.0-liter V8 that boosted performance to 370 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque.
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