Every year, the SEMA show sends a wave of excitement crashing over the detailing community. Rumors of new products are passed around, and hopes of revolutionary new products and machines are in everyone’s head. Well, this year came with announcements for what looks to be some amazing new machines, and some really promising new products. CarPro Essence is one product that really caught my attention. I was excited to get my hands on it and do some testing.
So, what is Essence? Is it a polish? Or maybe a coating? Perhaps a glaze? In short, you can think of it as all 3. CarPro describes Essence as a unique blend of nano-tech Quartz, high gloss durable resins, and fine abrasives that are blended together at a microscopic level to form something truly ground breaking.
This product is capable of removing and masking defects, while leaving a semi-permanent layer of protection behind. While it can be left as a standalone protection, the product is best utilized when it is topped with a paint coating like CQuartz or CQuartz UK. Best of all, this product was created specifically to work with these coatings, so there is no need to use Eraser or IPA to wipe down the surface after polishing. Essence acts as a primer that will promote the bonding of the coating to the surface.
Let me repeat that… NO need for Eraser or IPA wipe down! This is a big step in simplifying coating installation and ensuring even better results as the chances of marring paint during the solvent wipe down process can be quite high, especially when you’re dealing with jet black paint. There is no worse feeling than being close to the finish line only to have to re-polish a panel or vehicle due to marring introduced while cleaning the paint with a solvent, and with Essence, that is no longer an issue.
During my initial testing, Essence proved to be surprisingly versatile. I tested the product both as a final finishing polish to refine the surface after compounding and as more of a medium polish to remove some swirls and imperfections.
The product contains the same type of abrasives that are used in CarPro’s already excellent finishing polish, Reflect, so it is no surprise that Essence has proven to be an exceptional polish. When paired with a foam pad, Essence can easily clean up light marring or haze left from the cutting process.
When using Essence as a final polish, very little product is needed. Simply apply 2-3 small dots of product to your pad (no need to prime), then spread the polish onto your working area. Make a couple of passes with a moderate machine speed and moderate pressure, and finish with a slower speed and very light pressure. Use slow arm movement throughout the process, and as always, make sure to keep your pads clean. Some of my favorite finishing pads to use with Essence are the Rupes Yellow Polishing Pad and Rupes White Finishing Pad.
In my article Pairing Products with Pads, I discuss how you can alter the cutting abilities of any liquid by simply using a more or less aggressive pad. This idea can also be applied to Essence.
Essence paired with a microfiber cutting pad really impressed me. I was able to produce a significantly glossier finish with much less defects. In order to maximize cut, prime your microfiber pad first.
Essence leaves a very slick, smooth surface behind that is ready to be topped with CQuartz. In every instance, the residue wiped away effortlessly with just a few passes, which is a great characteristic of any polishing product. Since Essence contains durable resins and Quartz, it is important to note that all pads and towels should be washed shortly after use to avoid any issues.
My initial impression is that this product will be a very welcome addition to the detailing world. Given the excellent performance of Essence as a finishing polish, it seems like an easy decision to use this product if you plan to do a multi-step correction prior to coating as the product will create a gorgeous finish while also prepping the surface for the protective coating. If you are working on a car that has already been coated, but has an area that needs some enhancement either due to light swirls, water spots, or whatever, simply polish the area with Essence and reapply a coating on top. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with this product, and hope it continues to impress me.
I have been told that this product should work with some other coatings as well, but I will plan on doing some durability testing with various non-CarPro coatings, and will be sure to share my findings in future articles.