By Jason K. Ang and Michelle C. Ang
Was it a premiere episode of a Korean TV drama or a scene out of “Godfather: The Snyder Cut”? Viewers were no doubt hooked by the opening scene of “Vincenzo.” Mafia consiglieri Vincenzo Cassano (Song Joong-Ki) drives up to the Italian villa of a mob boss to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse. When, of course, he refuses, fireworks ensue.
So begins the saga of “Vincenzo,” which was for weeks the number one show on Netflix Philippines and the sixth highest-rated drama in Korean TV history. From the hills of “Italy,” (actually shot in South Korea with CGI assist), and a James Bond-style animation title sequence, the series makes a detour to Seoul. Vincenzo is on a mission to retrieve 1.5 tons of gold in a vault under a building. Against him are a plethora of murderous businessmen, unscrupulous lawyers, and corrupt officials.
Adopted by the Italian mafia family when he was a boy, Vincenzo became the consiglieri of the Cassano family. He makes quite an impact when he arrives at Seoul’s Geumga Plaza, under which is buried a fortune in gold. Throughout the series, Vincenzo shows his penchant for espressos, Italian bespoke suits, sport watches, and, of course, luxury cars.
Vincenzo’s ride of choice is the Cadillac Escalade. Cadillac’s full-size SUV would definitely stand out on the streets of Seoul, as nearly all cars you would see are Korean brands. The exceptions are usually luxury cars. The generation of Escalade seen on screen is powered by a massive 6.2-liter V8 engine, befitting its 5140mm length.
Matching him move for move, even in his choice of cars, is Vincenzo’s rival, Jang Han-seok (Ok Taecyeon). Jang is a murderous don who is intent on taking over the district himself. Jang and his henchmen drive Cadillac CTS-V sedans. The top CTS-V is powered by a 424ps, 583Nm twin-turbo V6, the most power-dense six-cylinder in its segment.
Vincenzo isn’t all Caddys, though. As befits an Italian-inspired K-drama, it includes its fair share of Italian thoroughbreds. The first scene has Vincenzo ride in a Maserati Quattroporte. He also makes a grand extrance to a courthouse in a baby blue Lamborghini Aventador.
If you like the sharp, angular styling of today’s Cadillacs, you won’t have to wait long before you see them on Manila’s roads. The iconic American luxury brand will debut later this year, under the stewardship of The Covenant Car Company Inc. TCCCI already markets fellow-GM brand Chevrolet. The all-new 2021 Escalade gets refined exterior styling and an updated 6.2-liter V8. There’s also an available 3.0-liter turbodiesel with 280ps and 623Nm—we’re crossing our fingers that the Philippines gets this model. On board the Escalade is a high-tech cabin that includes a custom AKG Studio Reference audio system with 36 speakers and three amplifiers.