- The Washington Times - Friday, October 27, 2000

SAN ANTONIO Just when we had begun to think we would never see an automaker build a sport utility truck any larger than the behemoth Ford Excursion especially in light of Ford's recent announcement that it would raise the average fuel-economy of its sport utility vehicle products guess what's coming to market next month?

From Ford.

It's the F-650 Super CrewZer, the mother no, the Big Daddy of all sport utility trucks.

With a Caterpillar diesel engine producing 300 horsepower and 860 foot-pounds of torque, the Super CrewZer is a giant-size version of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac and F-150 SuperCrew.

Both of those are new breeds of vehicle called sport utility/truck hybrids, which combine the passenger compartments of SUVs with the beds of pickup trucks.

Even though the Super CrewZer isn't a combination of an existing SUV and truck product, such as the Sport Trac (an Explorer turned into a four-door truck) and SuperCrew (an Expedition turned into a four-door pickup), it follows the same formula, taking the F-650 Super Duty truck and turning it into a four-door passenger truck that seats five persons and has a pickup bed.

Besides being huge, huge, huge (forget putting it in the garage at home; you'd need a blimp hangar for this one), the big differences are in the payload.

The Super CrewZer can carry 23,000 pounds of cargo in its bed (that's 11 1/2 tons), or pull a trailer that weighs up to 30,000 pounds.

Oh, yeah there's another big difference from the smaller sport utility trucks: the price.

It is $89,950, about the same that many middle-class Americans pay for their homes.

Of course, you probably could live in the Super CrewZer if you had to, especially with that horse trailer (with human living quarters) hooked to the back.

As for the fuel economy, or lack thereof, Ford officials said they would have to get back to us on that. The ratings probably are computed in gallons per mile rather than miles per gallon.

The company said only about 1,000 of the Super CrewZer would be built, and that the bulk of sales probably would be in Texas and the rest of the Southwest, where such large vehicles are truly understood and appreciated.

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