monstertruck.jpg
Seth and Xeni write about this new American monster pickup truck, the CXT. According to Xeni it is "about 2 feet taller x 4 feet longer than the honkin' Hummer H2. Which, btw, it could tow along with that yacht, if need be." (MSNBC article and debut site)

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I just bought a 10 year old Daihatsu HiJet pickup truck. I got it because it's small enough to drive on the narrow paths between the rice fields. It can carry as much gravel or dirt as I would be willing to move on any given day. Just about every single neighbor has one of these little pickup trucks. And no, I didn't buy it just to fit in... although I think it helps. I think my HiJet is about 130" long and about 45 horsepower. (approximately 1/2 the length and 1/5 the horsepower of the CXT)

That CXT would be completely useless in my village. So you can keep your gas guzzling monstrosity and whatever weird culture that created it. I'm happy with the spartan aesthetics of my little HiJet. (Web page about Kei class Japanese trucks)

34 Comments

Reminds me of a MTV show, where they "pimped" a Hijet:

;-) That reminds me of That Peugeot ad.

Hey, a truck is a truck. There are larger vehicles than that on the road, even in Japan.
One of these days some DMV is going to wake up and require a commercial license to drive one of those things though.

Every time I see a white K truck, I always think of the scene in Beat Takeshi's "Hanabi" where the asshole K truck driver beats up an innocent driver he sideswiped on a narrow country road. The truck driver says it was the other guy's fault. So it doesn't matter how big your truck is, you can be an asshole road hog even with a tiny K truck.

"weird culture that created it" not very introspective today are you. Sell your little farmer wannabe truck before the locals start making fun of you.


Joi's truck seems to be similar like this Elkat electric car I bought year ago used from the Finnish railroad company. It's based on Subaru and made electric by Finnish company Elkat. You can ride max. 80 km/h and range is about 120 km on one charge. It doesn't make any sound at all and looks really hilarious especially when driving next to some 18 -wheeler truck. With it's tiny tires it's practically useless driving in snow, so during winter time it serves as a modern lamp in my studio :)

OMG, you're going for the oyaji-look...

God you people just kiss joi's ass.

Ha. Weird culture indeed.

Guess which weird culture created these monstrosities?

The funny thing is, in western media and public opinion "Japanese" and "weird culture" seems to be a inseparable pair. "American" and "weird culture" however seems to be an insult.

Trevor. I remember that site. ;-)

flynn. Interesting. The "weird culture" I was referring to was the American Supersize culture. Or the super-duper culture... It's weird for me because I don't really understand it.

I would argue that most time in western media when I read about Japanese culture "being weird," it's with a tongue-in-check, friendly sort of vibe instead of a "your culture is different, I don't understand it or want to understand it" vibe. Which is the exact opposite sense I get when I read about American culture being "weird." Could just be my weird perspective though :)

I guess it also depends on the part of the culture you're talking about. I think the Supersize culture is pretty bad for America and manufactured by companies trying to sell you things like Hummers and big sodas. Also, big trucks and SUVs already have a pretty negative image from the environmental and energy aspect.

I think that the Rocky Horror Picture Show weirdness of American culture is healthy and fun.

I think the Japanese kiddie porn "culture" is often cited with obviously negative connotations. On the other hand, the anime/cosplay culture is probably portrayed with the same I-think-it's-weird-but-sort-of-cool way Japanese think of Rocky Horror.

I wasn't trying to be generally anti-American or even anti-pickup truck. I was being anti-"see how huge we can make it" marketing.

Isn't that white object under the front wheel of the CXT a truck like yours?

Thanks for once again insulting my country and culture Joi, but hey I'm getting used to it, since it happens fairly often. If I was to insult all of things about Japanese culture that I don't understand I would probably be lynched or deported at best.

On a less caustic note. Yes, the CXT truck is very large as are Hummers and many other SUVs and full size trucks. Trucks, even more so than cars IMHO, are tools. When you have a job to do you should buy the tool for that job. Granted, most people do not and will never need a truck like the CXT, or the Hummer, or many of the SUVs on the market. That does not mean, however, that there are no people who actually do need those type of vehicles. I'm not talking about soccer moms here by the way. Your little kei truck was created for a specific job, and it does that job well. Many American trucks also do the jobs well for which they were created. Obviously your kei truck is not going to be of much use on a farm or ranch in the US, and neither will the "gas guzzling monstrosities" be of much use in navigating the tiny, narrow roads between the rice fields in Japan. Just remember, just because it's no use to you doesn't mean it's not useful.

Lastly, your right about the marketing. Thanks to it people are buying these vehicles as status symbols instead of because they actually need them.

Brian, I'm sorry if you feel insulted, but I'm insulting this specific weird culture and the company. Do you really think that ANYONE buying this CXT is going to use it as a real pickup truck?

This is what their press release says:

For example, for people who want to make a statement while driving in luxury, try a customized black International CXT with ghosted green flames that has a leather interior with wood grain trim, reclining captain chairs, a fold-down bench that can be used as a bed, an overhead compartment with drop-down DVD, an XM satellite premium radio system and a rear-mounted camera for increased visibility behind the vehicle.

“The International CXT is a truck for businesses that want to promote themselves as much as perform,” said Rob Swim, director, vehicle center marketing strategy, International Truck and Engine Corporation. “While there is nothing tougher or more extreme on the market than the International CXT, it is as much a statement of success as it is performance. If you brought this truck to the playground, you’d be king of the dirt pile.”

You don't think this is weird?

Joi says:

Brian, I'm sorry if you feel insulted, but I'm insulting this specific weird culture and the company. Do you really think that ANYONE buying this CXT is going to use it as a real pickup truck?

Frankly, yes. There's a niche called "HotShot" trucking, which is dominated by the likes of F350 Fords. Generally what they're seen towing is single deck car haulers or gooseneck flatbeds that tow three to five cars. Their vertical market is loads that are too big for a flatbed but not big enough to justify a "real" 18-wheeler. Usually the limiting factor is gross combined weight, and I suspect the CXT is just the ticket for getting another 7,000 lbs of GCW out of the deal.

Moreover, it'd make a splendid tow vehicle for really big Airstream travel trailers, and my friends who have the Allison/Duramax combo duallies for towing their race car trailers would probably find the CXT to be a strong contender despite the steep price.
Nice that it has the creature comforts to make a nice family hauler as well.

Best of all, rather than carrying a spare tire, the prospective CXT owner could just put Joi's Hijet in the bed, to have a "spare vehicle" whenever the need arises.

Seriously, Joi, just because you can't see a use for the vehicle doesn't mean that there aren't perfectly valid uses for it out there. As far as the gratuitous conspicuous consumption angle goes, does the man who spends a sizeable fraction of his life sitting inside jetliners really have any room to talk?

I never understood the midwest racing culture until I drove through the midwest a few times. There is nothing there, man. It's just so insanely flat. After being there for a bit, you start to see that it's not a place where you can have much fun just going out on the town. After a day or so, you've done it all. You have to find something different, and humans are good at that. ;) So those guys came up with racing... It's a very good sport to have in a low-population area with wide flat plains...

Same thing with the culture of SUV's in the city... I never understood that until I drove through L.A. The streets are so huge and wide, you start to want to have something that just stands out so you don't feel like you're in a little boat stranded in a vast sea of cars. I think when people feel a void, they fill it, and these are examples of that. You have to go to the places where these cultures develop to really understand them, but they're based on the same human urges that we all have. :)

There's another reason these things are popular: business taxes.

With qualifying limits for anything over 6000 lbs., business owners can purchase a $110,000 Hummer and deduct $106,000 in the first year, because it's a truck so restrictions related to luxury vehicles don't apply.
On the other hand, if I just bought a normal luxury car for, say, $50k, I'd probably be limited to deducting about $10k, and the balance over five years.

Personally, I think that counts as "weird."

rs, I may not have been imaginative enough. I guess there are uses for things like the CXT if you live in the right place and in the right economic level.

" Obviously your kei truck is not going to be of much use on a farm or ranch in the US..."

You have obviously never been around farms or ranches. There is one local farm supplier near me, he is famous for his little Volkswagen truck which is almost exactly the same class as the K trucks in Japan. He delivers seed corn to farms across Iowa, and has documented 2 MILLION miles on his VW truck.

rs wrote @19:
Moreover, it'd make a splendid tow vehicle for really big Airstream travel trailers [..] Seriously, Joi, just because you can't see a use for the vehicle doesn't mean that there aren't perfectly valid uses for it out there

Seriously, rs, just because you might be able to contrive an (industrial or commercial?) application where using a CXT might make sense doesn't mean that all private buyers of such behemoths will use it in a responsible or environmentally-coonscious manner, e.g. in contexts where such hauling power is actually required... Dooes experience show that all these SUVs like the Hummer are overwhelmingly used to move around loads that wouldn't fit in a normal car ?

Anyway, reasonable persons bemoan the emergence of a supersize 14500-lbs truck like the CXT because it might "normalize" the 6000-lbs Lincoln Navigator et al. SUV class, which are more often than not used e.g. for commutes, shopping errands and school runs where a 3000-lbs car would suffice.

By the way, a ~6500lbs "normal-sized" truck like the Ford F-350 with a 6.8L engine can handle a maximum conventional towed trailer weight of ~14000lbs, i.e. plenty enough for the largest (34-foot) Airstream Classic which weighs around 9000 to 10000 lbs.

Judging by their product brochures, Navistar/International's branding motto seems to be "The Brilliance of Common Sense". Somehow this sounds a bit awkward for a product like the CXT.

MostlyVowels writes:

Seriously, rs, just because you might be able to contrive an (industrial or commercial?) application where using a CXT might make sense doesn't mean that all private buyers of such behemoths will use it in a responsible or environmentally-coonscious manner, e.g. in contexts where such hauling power is actually required... Dooes experience show that all these SUVs like the Hummer are overwhelmingly used to move around loads that wouldn't fit in a normal car ?

I'll grant you the luxury of your reductum ad absurdum argument here and simply point out that people buy sports cars because of midlife crises (not because they want to go fast), cars that make stylistic statements that have little basis in form-follows-function design (the New Beetle, the PT Cruiser, and the (new) Mini Cooper come immediately to mind). People drive drunk too. The existance of a particular class of vehicles is an orthogonal problem to people using those vehicles for purposes that are offensive to you or illegal.

Anyway, reasonable persons bemoan the emergence of a supersize 14500-lbs truck like the CXT because it might "normalize" the 6000-lbs Lincoln Navigator et al. SUV class, which are more often than not used e.g. for commutes, shopping errands and school runs where a 3000-lbs car would suffice.
Every time I hear people cite the Lincoln Navigator or the H2 (which is ugly, btw) to the exclusion of more prosaic and equally large and heavy vehicles like the Chevy Suburban and the Ford Excusrion, two words come to mind: class-envy. Now, I'll point out here that I own two vehicles, one of which is a large SUV (of a flavor you haven't mentioned, but much closer to the Lincoln or the H2 than the Suburban in price) and one of which is a 1990 Toyota 2wd pickup truck with almost 200k miles on it, that gets almost twice the fuel mileage (and meets your arbitrary 3000-lb car metric). Which one do you suppose I use for grocery runs (assuming it's not raining) and for commuting to work? Of course, one guy, single, owning two vehicles may trigger other people's conspicuous consumption rants, so I'll point back at the people who only have one vehicle and have chosen that it be an SUV.

By the way, a ~6500lbs "normal-sized" truck like the Ford F-350 with a 6.8L engine can handle a maximum conventional towed trailer weight of ~14000lbs, i.e. plenty enough for the largest (34-foot) Airstream Classic which weighs around 9000 to 10000 lbs.

Closer to 10000 pounds than 9000 and that's without any options. It's worth noting that you don't lose on GCW or towed weight with an Airstream, but you do lose on controllability because it feels like a big mahonkin sail behind you (relatively light compared to wind surface area). I used the Airstream for illustrative reasons because an Airstream is something with which most people will be familiar. Monster-sized gooseneck horse trailers and fifth wheel travel trailers with slide-outs are not.

The upshot is, despite being well under maximum towed vehicle weight, you'll feel a lot better towing the largest travel trailers behind one of these than you will behind an F350. And my comments about towing race trailers and hotshots, which you so conveniently elided, still stand.

rs wrote @25:
The existance of a particular class of vehicles is an orthogonal problem to people using those vehicles for purposes that are offensive to you or illegal.

At the risk of repeating myself: reasonable persons bemoan the emergence of a supersize 14500-lbs truck like the CXT because it might "normalize" (and possibly lead to increased sales of) the [gas-guzzling/environmentally questionable/dangerous to other road users] 6000-lbs Lincoln Navigator et al. SUV class, which are more often than not used e.g. for commutes, shopping errands and school runs where a 3000-lbs car would suffice.

Every time I hear people cite the Lincoln Navigator or the H2 (which is ugly, btw) to the exclusion of more prosaic and equally large and heavy vehicles like the Chevy Suburban and the Ford Excusrion, two words come to mind: class-envy.

What a bizarre reaction. Do SUVs reflect social strata, rather than the owners' awareness — or rather, lack thereof — of the environmental and societal consequences of their vehicular choices ? Or are you so class-obsessed that, from your point of view, the SUV types one is familiar with might be indicative of one's socioeconomic status ? I'm afraid such a blinkered view doesn't reflect very well on your own background and upbringing...

The upshot is, despite being well under maximum towed vehicle weight, you'll feel a lot better towing the largest travel trailers behind one of these than you will behind an F350. And my comments about towing race trailers and hotshots, which you so conveniently elided, still stand.

Reading comprehension is not your forte, it seems. At the risk of repeating myself: "just because you might be able to contrive an (industrial or commercial?) application where using a CXT might make sense doesn't mean that all private buyers of such behemoths will use it in a responsible or environmentally-conscious manner".

I'm glad someone mentioned those weird looking trucks.


Does anyone know of any links that examine or explain that stuff? I mean, all the chrome and lights and artwork is easy to understand, but there's a very specific fad/style going on there.

Why the big ass mirror mounts? Why the crazy bumpers and laser beam pod looking things? Why all the angular shapes and specific styles of lights and stuff. It's like Gothic Lolita for trucks or something.

I dig the K class trucks. They're probably quite reliable. My girlfriend just got an 87 Toyota Tercel wagon with 150k+ miles on it, and we're fixing it up and it's absolutely amazing how well it runs and how reliable it is. We just did 1100+ miles in the insane heat from Los Angeles to Pheonix, with detours all over Arizona with no problems at all. Previously it was running on the the cruddiest (and not to mention wrong part number) distributor cap and rotor I've ever seen with a seriously leaky fuel pump and it just kept going.


Uhh, before we bash soccer moms, let's look at the facts. Kids can not travel in the front seat due to airbags. Kids must have car seats that are fairly wide usually making 3 across not work. Want to take more than your two kids somewhere? Gotta have a car with two rows of back seats. That pretty much is a Van or an SUV. Given the fact that insurance rates do not go down if you have two cars but only use one at a time, you gotta buy one car. Unless you want to make two trips (mpg / 2) its going to be an SUV or van because our safety society has regulated it to be so.

Anyone have any ideas about how you can get a kei-class truck licenced in the U.S.? I have a 40-mile drive to work and one of these would really help my gas mileage. I really dig these little trucks, can't wait to get one on the road.

any idea or info on how i could obtain some of these litle hi jets or 4 x 4 trucks.
pricing??

very very interested!!

cmj, I will be getting 7 k-class trucks on 9-20-2005 if you want on let me know. You can e-mail at Lexingtoncop@yahoo.com. They are great little rides. My zip code is 27127.

I think you should not just post vans. I think you should really post trucks.

Where can i get one of these?

Hi there, I live in Idaho USA and I feel that big trucks are over rated as well. I sell these little Kei class trucks myself and always have between 5 and 10 on hand at any given time. I am asking $5,000 each and you can take your pick of the trucks. Email me at mini4x4@cableone.net and I will send you pictures and info about my trucks that are for sale. Or you can call me at 208-703-4266 Thanks for your time

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