The Cadillac Escalade serves many purposes for the brand. For starters, it is their largest offering in the SUV segment and has become a best seller. Ever since it was first introduced as a meagerly disguised GMC Yukon the car has been a hit. It effectively saved the Cadillac brand in association with their razor edge styling that is now seen on all the models in the lineup. A favorite choice of celebrities, musicians, and athletes alike, the Escalade has become a status symbol and was immediately accepted by the “in crowd.”
As time has gone on the Escalade lineup has come to include three models with a pickup and extended wheelbase version being added. As the SUV market has been hit hard by the recession, the Escalade too suffered, but has remained alive. Its closest competition in nearly every aspect, the Lincoln Navigator , has struggled much more than the Cadillac and will cease production sooner rather than later.
Cadillac has been able to keep this vehicle moving forward, but some VIP clients still expect more. When a Range Rover is too small and a large scale van is not classy enough, Becker Automotive Design is there to take your Escalade to the next level. After this company gets done with their conversion, the Escalade has been transformed into a Gulfstream 5 for the road.
Hit the jump for more details on the Becker Escalade Conversion.
The starting point of these Limo Escalade conversions is the ESV version of the vehicle. The long wheelbase provides the most interior space for which to add all the new equipment. Becker utilizes a 33,000 SF facility outside of Los Angeles at which the design and construction of these custom cars takes place. The idea behind the vehicle is to provide the most comfortable, secure, and useful means of transportation for VIP clientele.
In order to keep the Escalade conversion exclusively enjoyed from the passengers inside rather than gawking onlookers, Becker has left the exterior unmodified. These vehicles can roll down any street alongside a million or so other Escalades and remain discrete. This is a priority for many VIP clients and with the ¾ ton chassis that the Escalade ESV rides on, the company can fit all the necessary accoutrements.
As a client walks into the Becker studio, they are greeted by a member of the company and initial plans for what they want inside their custom SUV is laid out. Becker is capable of putting any number of modifications in the vehicle, but the main idea is to create a comfortable space for the two most important occupants. In place of the second row bench and third row seats are two fully electric reclining bucket seats. The removal of the bench seats provides more than ample leg room for any occupant. The seats can also be fitted with leg extensions and massage features. Two more seats are placed facing the buckets, but they fold up much like the seats at a baseball stadium. This allows easy access from the rear doors.
Other than these changes just about anything one can dream up is possible. The biggest choice is to have a partition placed between the rear cabin and the front seats. In the section that moves up and down a large television monitor is fitted to face the rear seats. More screens and a myriad of electronics are able to be placed in the vehicle as well. Most of the controls are placed on either side of the bucket seats along with fold out wood tables. Many clients use these vehicles as a type of mobile office and need advanced communication networks that Becker has the experience to handle.
For safety and convenience, the Escalade is fitted with revised cooling and ventilation systems that can come complete with Hepa filters. The electronic system has been heavily changed and features extra batteries in order to handle the load. Becker is certified to add armor plating to the vehicle as well and many of the clients in this market opt for that. Exterior cameras and an intercom system help the occupant remain in control of the environment outside of the vehicle while remaining inside.
The Cadillac Escalade is available from the factory with only one engine, but thankfully it’s a powerful unit. The 6.2-liter V8 pumps out 403hp at 5,700rpm and 417 lb-ft of toque at 4,300rpm. This is enough to get the over 7,000lb vehicle moving rather quickly and much faster than the Chevrolet /GMC competition with the smaller Vortec engine. Undoubtedly, the new interior and armor added by Becker weigh quite a bit and will slow the vehicle down. This is why they insisted on using the bigger 3/4 ton vehicle frames, because they are already designed for heavy duty applications. Being born from heavy duty pickup trucks really helps the Escalade in this respect.
Becker Automotive Design does not have a set price for this vehicle simply due to all the bespoke options available. You do have to provide your own Escalade, which will set you back around $60,000-$70,000. With all the advanced electronics, luxury leather and wood, armoring and professional service these conversions can easily exceed $250,000. Once you have decided on all the options to be included, it will take Becker around five months to complete the project and then they will ship it anywhere in the world.
Completely custom limousine SUVs have little competition in today’s market and Becker has been on the forefront of this conversion since the beginning. There are several options in terms of armor plating for vehicles of all types and several different grades of armoring are available. Becker handles up to a certain point, but you will have to go to someone like Texas Armoring to receive T7 & T8 armor piercing protection. One vehicle that is built from the ground up to be protective and luxurious is the Knight XV by Conquest Vehicles. It features a V10 engine that can run on bio-fuel and it literally dwarfs a Hummer H2 in size.
- Top of the line interior
- Discrete Exterior
- Most comfortable Escalade in the world
- High Price