The Cadillac Escalade is the standard-bearer for a uniquely American brand of opulence: It’s substantial, swift, and silent, with bold good looks and acres of chrome. Becker Automotive is an American company whose over-the-top Mercedes-Benz Sprinter conversion, the JetVan, is one part limousine, one part motor yacht, and one part Air Force One. It seems only natural that the two should complement each other, and in the Becker Escalade ESV Limo, they do.
Becker’s Escalade conversion (designed for the long-wheelbase Escalade ESV but also available for the more conservative GMC Yukon Denali XL and, for clients who require off-road ability, the burly Chevrolet Suburban 3/4-ton 4×4) embodies all the virtues—including aircraft-quality LED ambient lighting, innovative seating solutions and hideaway work surfaces, and the choicest interior materials — that have made the JetVan a perennial Robb Report Best of the Best pick.
At Becker’s 33,000-square-foot facility in Oxnard, California, about 50 miles north of Los Angeles, the company’s SUV conversions are gutted and fitted with exquisite leathers and furniture-quality cabinetry. A pair of power reclining bucket seats are standard, as are revised cooling and electrical systems and an intercom system. From there, the sky’s the limit: Add massaging seats with leg extensions, folding burl wood tables, exterior cameras, a big high-definition display with digital satellite television, even armoring. Becker’s artisans are bent on satisfying customers’ most extraordinary requests.
Of course, beneath all this opulence are the tried-and-true virtues that have put GM’s big SUVs on a good many shopping lists. In the case of the Escalade ESV, that includes a 6.2-liter V-8 engine producing a stout 403 horsepower. It’s matched to a smooth, six-speed automatic transmission and rear- or all-wheel-drive.
The transformation from off-the-rack Cadillac Escalade ESV to one-of-a-kind Becker Escalade ESV Limo is not inexpensive. With every aspect of the vehicle finely tailored to suit the unique needs of the buyer, the bill can quickly crest the $250,000 mark—a figure that doesn’t include the donor Escalade, which starts between $66,000 and $68,000. The conversion process can take between two and five months, and upon completion, Becker will arrange delivery anywhere in the world. Building the globe’s most extraordinary Escalade is no small feat, but when a traditional limo seems too cramped and an executive jet is too tough to park, one of Becker’s sumptuous creations is worth every penny. (805.487.5227, www.beckerautodesign.com)