For $10,000, Experience the Future of Off-Roading, From the PastS

Joe Isuzu was Isuzu's humorously mendacious spokesman back in the 80s. Sadly, Joe wasn't around when today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Vehicross debuted but had he told you it came from the future, you just might have believed him

Yesterday, we took a balloon ride to the mesosphere of pricing, where the air is so thin, only those with fat wallets and impossibly skinny supermodel lady friends seem to thrive. Despite those harsh circumstances, over 55% of you acquiesced that it would be worthwhile taking that long first step out of the balloon and riding the Ford GTX1 Prototype back to Earth. Oh, and $kaycog had a good morning.

That Ford, mind-bendingly intemperate in both price and performance, was claimed to be the rarest of the rare, and it will prove difficult to top that car's rarité and specifications, so today we're not even going to try. Our candidate, in juxtaposition to yesterday's, looked ahead when it debuted, rather than to the past, and plied its performance bona fides in inclement weather and on the dirt rather than twisty canyons and Proactiv-smooth raceways. Instead of a mid-mounted V8, this vehicle has a V6 in residence under its nose. They both however are supercharged.

This 2000 Isuzu Vehicross in ebony black represents one of the car maker's last attempts to remain relevant in a rapidly crowded marketplace dominated by bigger players with more dealers and bigger ad budgets. Remember that by '99 when the Vehicross entered the U.S. Market, beloved but ineffectual Joe was long gone. The Vehicross looked like nothing else in the sport utility segment with plastic cladding that rose up like an old man's pants and canted headlights surrounding titanium fangs in a gaping grille. Underneath, the Vehicross had every piece of AWD technology Isuzu could throw at it. The Torque On Demand (TOD) system developed by Borg Warner uses 12 sensors that feed into a proprietary computer which manages torque split by affecting the center differential clutch pack. The split is optimized every 20 milliseconds for almost instantaneous changing of the torque split, and is able to send the majority to either axle.

Bolted to that innovative drivetrain is a 4-speed automatic and mated to that is Isuzu's 3.5-litre DOHC V6. That engine put out 215 horsepower stock, but this one's not stock. Like yesterday's Ford, this Isuzu from a possible future is supercharged. What looks like an Alpine Developments blower rests atop the motor, and the seller makes the claim of 300 ponies from the now forced induction six. Power delivery of the stock motor was said to be adequate back in the day, so this one, if it does rock 300, should be. . . more than adequate.

A few cosmetic flaws are noted regarding the exterior, however no mention is made, nor does the seller provide any pictures, of the interior. If he did, you'd probably notice that it's not as futurama as on the outside. The dash is shared with the decidedly ‘80s Trooper, and the Recaro buckets' two tone color scheme hasn't really stood the test of time.

Another test is the seller's demand for $10,000 for this 54K Isuzu, and whether that makes you want this Vehicross, or just makes you. . . very cross.

You decide!


Bozeman Craigslist or go here if the ad disappears.

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