February 10, 2006 If playing keep-up with the Jones is your game, and said Mr Jones buys a Hummer, what do you do? You go out and buy an International pick-up, that’s what! The World’s Largest Pickup Truck was created by taking the trailer off a prime hauler, doing a bit of remodelling here and there, and turning it into a humungous don't-mess-with-me three-dimensional personal statement - a pickup so big that the crew cab can seat five sumo wrestlers with ease (providing one of them can drive) and the tray can carry a jet ski or a motorcycle with the tailgate up. Yesterday at the Chicago Auto Show, International unveiled the new International MXT 4x4 pickup truck, which has the same gargantuan proportions and strength as its brethren (it can tow 8 tons), and slots in as the third member of International's XT family, joining the CXT and the RXT.
With its diesel engine roaring and air horn blasting, the powerful red pickup truck thundered through the walls of International Truck and Engine Corporation's booth at its Chicago Auto Show press conference. That's how the company -- which sent shockwaves through the pickup truck world in 2004 by launching the world's largest production pickup truck -- continued to knock down the walls of convention in unveiling its new International MXT 4x4 pickup.
With 16,000 pounds of towing capacity, the new International MXT has the ability to tow three leading model pickups behind it. A cousin to the colossal International CXT introduced two years ago, the MXT is a sleek and dominant truck geared for the "image" truck market, a growing niche of truck owners who want to make a powerful statement about who they are. The highly anticipated truck, a concept vehicle last year, is moving into the pre-production stage with an anticipated launch date of summer 2006.
"The new MXT is a symbol of our company's commitment to breaking through into new markets," said Dee Kapur, president of the truck group at International Truck and Engine. "The MXT went from a concept to pre-production vehicle in a year based on the interest from our customers and the dedication of International's development team. It showcases our ability to bring quality products to market quickly. With 100 years of experience building trucks, we're proud to unveil the latest bold truck in International's extreme truck family."
In addition to the MXT, International is showcasing the International RXT, which was a pre-production model exhibited last year at the Chicago Auto Show. The company announced that this sportier version is ready for the market with a roll-out date of March 2006 and will target commercial customers in the equestrian, boating, RV and motorsports markets.
International is even giving auto show audiences a sneak peak at a 5th wheel version of the RXT that can better accommodate trailers for those industries. The two new trucks join the CXT, the world's largest production pickup truck that has been on the market since September 2004, as part of the International XT Family of trucks.
With the starting estimated MSRP of the MXT ranging from US$69,900 to US$85,000, it becomes the most affordable pickup in the XT Family. The RXT is priced starting at US$76,000 and the CXT, loaded with a customized interior, starts at US$115,000.
"These trucks are built for customers who want to make a statement -- they promote as much as they perform," said Kapur. "CXT owners have successfully used the trucks to promote their business. We anticipate that RXT owners will use the trucks to draw attention to their hobbies, while MXT owners will seek to create an indelible image."
With the XT family, International is enhancing its target for the "image truck market" -- customers who purchase trucks to create an image about themselves and their business. Built on commercial truck platforms, with luxurious interior options like leather seats, they provide the power, performance and prestige that many truck customers want.
The CXT, RXT and MXT are all powered by International diesel engines, reflecting the company's strong history of leadership in mid-range diesel engines. The diesel engines include EPA-compliant emissions standards that keep the exhaust below federal limits. Today's diesel engines are 20 to 40 percent more fuel efficient than gasoline engines and are delivering increasing levels of environmental performance.
The MXT pre-production features include:
-- Towing capacity of 8 tons
-- 300 horsepower with 530 lb.-ft. torque
-- Seating for five
-- Custom interior options
The RXT production model features include:
-- Towing capacity of 11.25 tons (14.75 tons for 5th wheel version)
-- 230-310 horsepower range with 540-950 lb.-ft. torque
-- Seating for five
-- Custom interior options
Orders for the CXT and RXT can be placed now at any International dealer in North America by visiting the company web site.