Cadillac Escalade ESV

Over the last several years, Cadillac has literally reinvented itself. Once primarily a maker of large luxury sedans, Cadillac has broadened its vision and its lineup, recently debuting the midsize CTS sedan, the Escalade and the Escalade EXT.

The 2003 Cadillac Escalade ESV is the largest and most powerful luxury SUV available. It's 22-inches longer overall than Escalade, which stretches the interior by more than 20 inches, translating into more premium seating and additional cargo-carrying capability. And because it's an Escalade, the new ESV adopts the line's unmistakably Cadillac styling and Escalade's exclusive 345-hp Vortec 6000 high output 6.0L V8 engine.

"The Escalade ESV moves Cadillac into an all-new area of the luxury SUV market," said Susan Docherty, Escalade marketing director. "Its unique blend of size, performance, comfort and sophistication set a high standard for this market."

Sophisticated style and safety rooted in breakthrough design aggressive front end, signature styling cues The Escalade lineup builds on Cadillac's heritage of design leadership, and the 2003 ESV shares the same bold exterior shape and commanding road presence of the Escalade and Escalade EXT.

Like all Escalades, the aggressive front-end is the vehicle's most distinctive exterior feature, distinguished by a large Cadillac wreath and crest and Cadillac's signature egg-crate grille. High intensity discharge (HID) headlamps with chrome bezels deliver a jewel-like appearance, and are integrated with rectangular parking lamps and turn signals. The vehicle's front fascia incorporates recessed tow hooks and rectangular fog lamps. Visibility is assured day and night, thanks to HID headlamps, Daytime Running Lamps and an automatic Twilight Sentinel system. At the rear, the functional step bumper neatly shrouds a standard Class VII trailer hitch.

Inside, a newly designed instrument panel and cluster place more crucial operating data in front of the driver and use new graphics to highlight Cadillac's luxury character, using Italian luxury brand Bvlgari. Bvlgari also designed the face of the analog clock, located in the console extension. An ebony background offsets the white facing of the graphics, as well as all control knobs, for a harmonious, integrated look. The cluster gauges feature a simpler design, with chrome halos now highlighting only the tachometer and speedometer.

A new Driver Information Center monitors and reports on up to 34 system functions - more than any vehicle in its class. The vehicle's instrument panel and cluster - designed to accommodate these new features - provides more crucial operating data than any competitor. An available nine-button steering wheel control allows owners to personalize several functions and safely access new infotainment systems.

A new leather-wrapped, wood-accented steering wheel features redundant nine control buttons, including four for duplicate audio controls, two for trip and fuel calculation, two for programming vehicle functions and one to initiate Voice Recognition for the standard OnStar system.

A new center console flows up into the IP and has a new seamlessly integrated, single-piece design for improved fit and finish. A new covered storage compartment with a "push-push" lid has been added to the left of the clock. The rear of the console has a new LCD temperature display and larger control head for the independent, rear-seat ACC control.

The main console has two large cupholders, two auxiliary power points and an ashtray, all neatly hidden below damped, spring-loaded lids, as well as separate, covered storage for maps, credit cards or a cell phone. The rear of the console facing the second-row seats has a auxiliary power point, rear-seat audio controls, separate right- and left-side controls for second-row heated seat cushions, another set of cupholders and courtesy lights for rear passengers. An overhead mini console provides reading lamps and controls for the rear air conditioning and Homelink, which allows vehicle owners to program up to three different signals for items such as a garage door opener, house lights or an electric gate. It also houses controls for the sunroof. Nearly every convenience feature imaginable - from larger, heated, memory, fold-away rearview mirrors with signal indicators to "Puddle Lamps" that illuminate the area around the vehicle when the door is opened, keyless entry is used, or when an interior light is activated - is included on the Escalade ESV.

Escalade ESV features a redesigned and reconfigured Bose audio system with nine speakers for superb imaging, stage and spectral response. GM and Bose engineers worked closely to optimize speaker locations and tune speakers to realistically and accurately reproduce audio and sound throughout the vehicles. The system generates 250 watts RMS of power, and features an in-dash, single-point loading six-disc CD changer. For superb-quality radio reception, a new Diversity Antenna System is employed. It uses an FM antenna located on the driver's rear-quarter window and an AM/FM antenna on the passenger's-side rear-quarter glass feeding a diversity module located in the rear quarter panel, which then feeds the radio with an optimized signal.

With its class-leading size, the Escalade ESV excels in seating comfort and cargo-carrying capability with room for eight. Its new, more tailored-looking seats are exceptionally soft and supportive, and feature soft, aromatic Nuance leather seating surfaces. The standard front bucket seats are equipped with 10-way power cushion adjusters for the driver and passenger. They also include power adjustable side bolsters and power lumbar, power seatback recliners, independent heated seatbacks and cushions (three settings), a seatback storage pocket, fold-down inboard armrests, manual articulating four-position head restraints, two-position driver's seat memory, and a programmable exit feature. The second-row also offers standard reclining bucket seats, which feature heated cushions. A second row bench seat with heated cushions is optional. To make room for cargo, the second row bucket seats can be flipped and folded. The third row bench seat can be folded or removed for maximum cargo flexibility, yet still offers spacious seating even for adults. In addition, the second and third row seatbacks can be folded to provide a flat load surface. In this configuration the Escalade ESV actually has enough load floor space to carry 4x8 sheets of building materials with the rear liftgate fully closed and secure.

The best-in-class Vortec 6000 gives the AWD Escalade more horsepower and torque per liter than any SUV, at 345 hp at 5200 rpm and 380 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. The high-compression engine delivers strong acceleration with impressive low-end power and a strong, flat torque curve for excellent pull throughout the rev range. It links to the Hydra-Matic 4L60-E HD (heavy-duty) electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive.

The key to the 6.0L's increased output is a set of special cast-aluminum cylinder heads that reduce weight, aid in engine cooling, produce a 10:1 compression ratio and provide better airflow in and out of the combustion chambers via bigger intake and exhaust ports. A larger, 75mm throttle-body and a revised camshaft profile allow the engine to take full advantage of the increased airflow. The Vortec 6000 also incorporates an advanced Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) system, which precisely tailors throttle progression to improve driveability, fuel economy and emissions. A specially tuned, less-restrictive exhaust with a redesigned catalytic converter system not only increases performance, but also eliminates the need for an Air Injection Reaction system and helps Escalade ESV meet ultra low emissions vehicle (ULEV) certification requirements in California and other states with similar laws.

The high level of luxury and advanced features in the new Escalade ESV are things you'd expect only from Cadillac - and its size, power and functionality are things no other manufacturer offers. Together with the Escalade and Escalade EXT, the Escalade ESV helps Cadillac set a new standard for the luxury SUV market, where a unique combination of standout styling and ingenious technology - puts all Escalades in a class all their own. And with unsurpassed cargo and passenger capacity, the 2003 Cadillac Escalade ESV is the one luxury SUV that can do just about anything.

Source: Cadillac press

Gallery: Cadillac Escalade ESV