The entrance into our lives of Ford's gargantuan Raptor
has had a lasting impact on almost every resident of PH Towers. Not only has it redefined our concepts of big, brash, and bank-balance bleedingly thirsty, but it has also brought to our attention the benefits of driving gaudy, over-sized pickups - even here in the UK, far from their natural habitat.
They remove a lot of the stress from urban rush hour commuting, for one: simply pick where you want to go and go there, as everyone else is forced to yield to your might. Lane discipline might be a concern initially, but a left-hand drive design makes it a doddle: just keep two wheels on the cycle path at all times and you'll be fine. Finally, the humongous wheels mean there is no curb too tall to prevent easy parking, however much of the pavement you need to take up.
I am, of course, joking - mostly - but there have been a few genuine upsides to the sheer scale of the thing. Potholes are ironed out seamlessly, making for an implausibly comfortable ride; the elevated vantage point and gigantic mirrors make keeping track of traffic-dodging cyclists and mopeds a breeze; and the amount of space to stretch out in is roughly equal to the square footage of the average studio flat, which is nice.
Unfortunately, the Raptor is not headed to these shores, meaning we have to make do with lusting over similar propositions that have already arrived - which brings us to today's Spotted.
The Cadillac Escalade is the epitome of SUV bling, from rappers to CEOs, athletes to oil tycoons, it's the definitive stateside status symbol. What we have here, is the EXT version, a pick-up variant heavily based on the Chevy Avalanche - but try not to let that put you off. Its 6.2-litre V8 puts out 403hp and 417lb ft, getting you from 0-60 in a good amount of time and going on to a top speed of more than you'd probably feel comfortable doing. It's surprisingly practical too, with a "Convert-a-Cab" composite bed that can be expanded into the cabin through a bottom-hinged door, seating for five, and a six-speed automatic gearbox.
Of course, the Escalade EXT's greatest claim to fame came as the car of choice for villainous henchmen The Twins in The Matrix Reloaded - a decision based absolutely on the practicality and cache of the design, and not a marketing deal between Cadillac and Warner Bros. So, follow the white rabbit, take the red pill, and check out the full ad here.
SPECIFICATION - CADILLAC ESCALADE EXT
Engine: 6,161cc V8
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 403@5,700rpm
Torque (lb ft): 417@4,300rpm
First registered: 2013
Recorded mileage: 27,000 miles
Price new: $64,055
Price now: £25,000
See the full advert here