Rather amazing that a three-ton, all-wheel drive truck can score a 15-second quarter-mile time. The Cadillac's 6.0-liter engine manages to make this beast feel light on its feet with a Kansas-flat torque curve and positive upshifts. The wide gear ratios had the EXT only mid way through third gear at the quarter-mile lights, but above 4,500 rpm (it shifted around 5,400 rpm) the engine did get a little brusque -- though with this vehicle a completely reserved engine note would have likely been a disappointment.
The EXT has a fair amount of pedal movement when engaging ABS, but minimal noise and no kickback through the pedal. Very brief wheel lockup could be heard as the system cycled, and the nose dived a bit, but no more than expected for a truck. The shortest stopping distance came on our third and final run, and 135 feet is commendable for such a heavy vehicle. Less pedal movement and squishiness would be appreciated, but overall an impressive system.
Strong engine power and light steering make the EXT feel smaller than it is, but it's still a large heavy vehicle that doesn't want to change direction quickly. Placing it between the cones was tricky due to its size, and eyewitness reports noted that the Caddy would lift a rear wheel when I got aggressive with my steering input (this explained the somewhat abrupt rear-end swings I experienced). It's hard to fault a 6,000-pound truck for not beign more nimble in the slalom test. For what it is, the EXT handles admirably. Karl Brauer