The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 June 2003

"Land Cruiser" was taken

As mentioned here earlier, Avanti Motors is reviving the Studebaker name for a humongous sport-utility vehicle dubbed XUV, the X denoting, um, "Xtreme". It's certainly xtremely large, at 216 inches long and 80 inches wide — and 80 inches tall, yet. The new Stude is based on Ford's F-250 SuperDuty chassis and comes with Dearborn's 6.8-liter V10 or 6.0-liter turbodiesel V8. Contrary to a General Motors lawsuit filed earlier this year, the überStude resembles the Hummer H2 not in the least.

Do I want one of these things? Not particularly. Unless, of course, Big Brother decides to tell me that I can't have one.

Posted at 2:14 PM to Driver's Seat

whether so called big brother actually tries to stop you is one thing, but there will most assuredly be an outcry that it is, whether its true or not. Far be it from me to say that marketing people will not tap into whatever reserve of emotion is needed to push their product.

more than likely they are shooting for that lucrative "over 6000 pounds tax rebate" market that is being currently monopolized by the Hummer, Denali and Yukon, plenty of which inhabited the richy terrain of Highland Park dalls when I worked there. At the time I didnt realize why, found out later. Seems as if it wasnt because all those rich people had secret ranches out in Plano, but rather it was yet another scheme to hide their money away from teh greedy hands of the government. Who will not doubt just use it to buy guns from them anyways.

Posted by: bruce at 5:58 PM on 14 June 2003

Well, I don't think I could qualify under Section 179 (the pertinent IRS regulation). For one thing, the vehicle has to be used more than 50 percent for business, and, well, it's a rare business that has a use for something like the Stude. (The Ford F-250 on which it's based would be far more plausible.) And this is the sort of tax item that triggers audits.

Furthermore, for some taxpayers, it might be more advantageous to write off the cost through depreciation rather than to take the one-time deduction. (I am not a CPA, nor do I play one on TV.)

The thing that bugs me, though, is that no one is complaining about the actual trucks upon which these big rigs are based, despite the fact that they suck down just as much Venezuelan joy juice and scowl just as far above the pavement. I can only conclude that buying a big machine for work is somehow acceptable, while buying a big machine for pleasure is somehow immoral.

(Disclosure: In Real Life™, I drive a modest four-cylinder sedan noted most often for its comparative invisibility.)

Posted by: CGHill at 6:13 PM on 14 June 2003

Chaz, I've wondered that same thing myself -- also about fullsize vans, which have likewise been around forever and are even harder to see around or through.

Although the agitators complain about fuel consumption and whatever else they can come up with to demonize SUVs, most actual drivers complain about how effing huge they are, turning the six-lane into a veritable canyon of sheet metal. (Although even in my Bronco I find the interstate to be likewise thanks to the 18-wheelers...)

In fact, people complain about SUVs complain about all SUVs, including those smaller than most minivans.

It's bigotry, pure and simple. I have a dream...

Posted by: McGehee at 8:14 AM on 15 June 2003

Oops. Freudian slip; all references to my Bronco should be in the past tense...

Posted by: McGehee at 8:15 AM on 15 June 2003

And minivans aren't exactly svelte either; with the exception of the 7/8-scale Mazda MPV, they weigh 4000 lb or more. (My aforementioned modest sedan, by contrast, tips the scale at 2960 lb.) Minivans, however, are considered relentlessly uncool these days.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:29 AM on 15 June 2003