I'm talking about Volvo's new custom pickup-truck version of the Volvo VHD at the Volvo Trucks New River Valley manufacturing plant.
The bright orange, one-of-a-kind Volvo VHD chassis has a full-size crew cab and a pickup truck bed. The four-door, five-seat truck is powered by an EPA 2010-certified 500-horsepower Volvo D13 engine and features an I-Shift transmission.
The truck was designed and built by a team of engineers and production operators at the New River Valley plant. The VHD pickup makes getting around the large New River Valley site, or to and from local hotels and airports, unforgettable for customers and other visitors.
"We spend a lot of time educating customers about our technology - how it works and the value it brings," said Ron Huibers, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Volvo Trucks North America. "But explaining how impressive the I-Shift technology is, for example, doesn't replace the driving experience. The new VHD with I-Shift pickup allows people who are not professional drivers to experience the technology for themselves."
But you won't have to visit the New River Valley plant to see the pickup. It's also going to be an attraction at trade shows, parades and other special events.
With a cab height of 11 feet, the VHD truck dwarfs a conventional pickup. The roof of a Ford F-150, for example, reaches just under the side mirror of the VHD pickup.
"This truck is like a pickup that's been seriously pumping iron," said Patrick Collignon, vice president and general manager at the New River Valley facility. "Everyone who sees it wants a photo. It will be a great addition to Volvo events."
More Pumped-Up Pickups
The New River Valley folks aren't the first to turn a heavy-duty truck into a super-duper pickup truck.
South Central Sports Chassis in Oklahoma City turns Freightliners into pickups. They've been purchased by the likes of Shaquille O'Neal (Shaq for short) and Richard Petty.
Then there's a Kenworth pickup truck from the '70s, featured in this recent article on Jalopnik.
Back in 2004, Navistar actually introduced a truck-based pickup for production. As we reported on Truckinginfo.com, the International CXT was billed as the world's biggest production pickup truck, aimed at commercial business owners. International discontinued the CXT and its cousins, the RXT and MXT, a couple of years ago.
And then there are the creative and dedicated individuals who have turned rigs into pickups, as seen in this video of a classic custom Pete 4x4.
Don't think it'll fit under my Christmas tree...