$92,945. That was the starting price of a 2016MY Cadillac Escalade in the range-topping Platinum trim like this one here. One hard-to-please owner was not entirely satisfied with his luxobarge and decided to give Carlex Design a call and ask them to work their magic to make the SUV’s already lavish cabin even more posh.

Carlex describes the Escalade as being a “luxury cheeky gangsta beast” they have managed to tame by giving it a predominately black interior featuring a combination of high-end woven leather and Alcantara. To spice things up, wood inserts have been applied onto the steering wheel, dashboard, center console, as well as on the door panels.

The leather-wrapped steering wheel now features Carlex’s logo at the 12 o’clock position and there are also silver flakes adorning the wood trim. Speaking of which, the rims of the wooden mouldings have been darkenedThe seat design has been slightly modified as well, while some of the areas around the cabin have been covered in dark leather to complete the transformation.

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Carlex Design usually fiddles with interiors, so most likely this particular Cadillac Escalade has not been subjected to any changes on the outside. Underneath its hood resides the same meaty 6.2-liter V8 with 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque, just like in the $96,500 2017MY Escalade Platinum we reviewed yesterday.

There’s no doubt the Escalade’s standard interior is a nice place to be in, but is this transformation worth the premium? At the end of the day, it’s a matter of taste. Some people will always want more than what the automaker can provide, even in this case when we’re dealing with a downright opulent SUV that costs almost $100,000 and has all the luxury Cadillac can offer today.

Source: Carlex Design

Gallery: Cadillac Escalade by Carlex Design

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When the latest Cadillac Escalade crossed the threshold of the Carlex Design workshop, the first impression we had was that we were looking at a bulky gangster with a wry smile hidden under a facade of sophisticated luxury perfection. The car's grilles resemble a sarcastic smiley, and the lights are like Lil Wayne's silver diamond studded teeth. When we first opened the car door, we were afraid Paris Hilton and her girlfriends would pop out of the car after a night spent in one of the Hollywood nightclubs.    

Escalade is a mechanically blunt type of a 426 HP power and a 6,2 l V8 engine with a spacious, finespun, 8-passenger interior softened by wooden decorative mouldings, leather seat covers and smooth chromium-plated elements. The car is a perfect solution for those who want to have all or nothing. Escalade signifies power, functionality, luxury, space and comfort that are perfect for driving your mother, wife, daughter, lover or dog. :D

Let's be frank: even though this SUV has been called luxurious, its original interior is a lot more comfortable than luxurious, in fact. When you look inside, you have the feeling like when you get an enormous, glossy box with a huge ribbon for Christmas, open it and realise it's 95% air...

Working on the Escalade was a real challenge, as the modification of its interior was like taming and civilising an old lag gangsta in a mode that was far from bloated tinsel or kitsch: we tailored a perfect outfit for him of perforated, plain and woven leather and Alcantara, and then we sent him to a jazz concert, where he was seduced by the terrific sound of the Les Paul Classic Gibson guitar reflected in Escalade's wooden dashboard elements and door panels. These motifs have been made using the technique of plating silver flakes on wood; the rims of the wooden mouldings have been darkened, which has added a shade of depth to their overall look. The slightly modified seat design underlines the car's tough style and character, but in a more sophisticated manner.

The tamed and civilised version of the beast has just left our studio and set off on its journey.