You don't have to squint to see the Blackwood's commonality with the Ford F-150 SuperCrew. It employs a full-size cab with four front-hinged doors, though its separate 56.3-in.-long bed is different from that of the Ford. The cabin's rear bulkhead is fixed, as is its rear window, and there's no access to the bed area from inside. Its claim-to-parking-lot fame is the way that bed is decked out: Ya got yer plush carpeting, yer aluminum trim, and ya got yer neon lights, too. The topper, in this case, is the topper: the Blackwood's nicely finished hard tonneau cover is power-operated and opens and closes via a key fob remote. Your neighbors and car-club buddies will be blown away, and your golf clubs will never be happier. 0/00
The EXT, on the other hand, evolved from GM's full-size sport/utility platform (Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade). The full-size-cab-with-four-front-hinged-doors part is the same, though the rear bodywork flows into the sides of a non-detached bed structure with a 63.3-in.-long floor. Its trick feature is GM's patented Midgate. This device functions as a hinged rear bulkhead and allows the load floor to be expanded to a full 97 in. Fold the rear seats forward, then remove the rear window via a quick-release latch. The window stows neatly in the Midgate, which then folds down, creating that extended floor. If you wish, you can also leave the rear window in place with the Midgate lowered or remove the window with the Midgate up for more fresh air.
Doesn't this whole setup--virtually the same as on Chevrolet's new Avalanche--sound like a recipe for squeaks, leaks, and wind noise? Yes--but GM has effectively engineered all the above right out of it. This setup is functional, versatile, and cleverly executed. Unlike the Lincoln's street-rod-inspired bed, the EXT's is set up for heavy-duty use, with rubberized floor matting and two lockable side stowage bins. Unlike those on the Blackwood, they are accessible from outside the bed and are also at least twice as large as the Lincoln's. The Cadillac's bed is approximately 20 in. tall--a full 5 in. taller than the Blackwood's, and that means a lot in terms of additional overall volume.