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Tue., Feb. 17, 2009, 2:07 p.m.

RIP International CXT

After a long battle with the ailments of the American economy the world’s largest production pickup, the International CXT is said to be dead. 

“Shame on International for making this thing,” said Daniel Becker, director of the Sierra Club’s global warming and energy program, “this is a monster truck that only a Hummer could love, and it shows that without government leadership, the auto industry will lead us to more irresponsible, gas-guzzling vehicles.”

Despite efforts to play the XT line down as super heavy duty trucks designed to help out with the day to day work of landscapers and the like, it was fairly obvious to most people that an International CXT with a GVWR of 25,999 pounds was little more than the manifestation of a truck lover’s pipe dream, on steroids. 

During its run as a production pickup truck, the CXT was noticeably 21 ft long with a 9ft tall cab. Its capacities were also somewhat conspicuous with a load limit of six tons in the bed and another 20 tons in tow. Unloaded, it weighed in at 14,500 lbs, or about twice the weight of the next heaviest production passenger automobile on the road, the Hummer H1. In fact if it would fit, the CXT could carry the weight of the H1 in its bed with several tons to spare.

The vulgar display of power came in part from International’s 9.3-liter DT 570 engine option, which produced 310 hp and a monstrous 950 ft-lb of torque. The only downside was a 7-10 mpg average fuel economy that would drain the CXT’s 70-gallon fuel tank like a juice box. Helping compensate for the thirstiness, the air-ride cab came with five bucket seats and luxury options including leather, DVD and satellite radio. Total price tags ranged from $93,000 to $115,000, most likely just out of the average landscaper’s truck budget. 

After celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher and NBA star Jalen Rose bought CXTs of their own, sales of the truck never managed to take off for the working class Joe who opted to stick with half and three quarter ton Chevy and Ford pickups for their business use. Jay Leno took a CXT for a test drive at one point, but there were only so many nice things he could say afterwards. It just wasn’t enough, and now the CXT is gone.

Nonetheless, for big truck lovers who did manage to purchase the behemoth while she lasted there couldn’t be a much better bragging right than to have a high-ranking member of the Sierra Club accuse their life size Tonka truck of being impractical. No shit, Becker, thanks for noticing.




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