There is a class of pickup truck called “extreme trucks” which are massive pickups combining a heavy-duty commercial truck chassis with a traditional eight-foot pickup bed. Created by International Trucks, these are some of the largest production pickups ever, manufactured from 2004-2008.
The heavy-duty-meets-pickup-box mashups had been available from aftermarket conversion builders. Actually, they still are today. But this was the first time a manufacturer offered them.
CXT Weighs 14,000 lbs.
International dubbed them “CXT” but it should have just been called “massive.” This stood for “Commercial Extreme Truck.” Each one started as an International 7300 truck chassis with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 25,999 lbs. These large pickups weighed in at 14,500 making them the largest and heaviest production pickups ever produced. There was no question these were heavy-duty haulers in every sense. It could tow up to 20 tons.
The DT 466 turbo diesel engine was a stump puller. Rated at 220 hp it featured G2 electro-hydraulic injectors. For more grunt a 300 hp DT530 8.7-liter turbo diesel was also available starting in 2005. Either engine was mated to a 2500 Series Allison five-speed automatic transmission, that could handle 550 lb-ft of torque.
Airbag rear suspension was standard with shocks up front, and an air-suspension drivers seat was also standard. All of this in an attempt to lull the driver into thinking he’s not riding a commercial truck. Turning radius was over 27-feet to remind him he is not.
The CXT could be ordered with four-wheel-drive if one was still in need of excess. Full leather interiors were standard but you could order ostrich skin upholstery if so inclined. Options include a navigation system with rear-view camera, a DVD entertainment system, and Sirius/XM satellite radio. One could order a CXT in single- and double-cab configurations.
Largest Pickups Biggest Price
Price hovered on either side of $100,000. Naturally, sports figures and actors were drawn to the CXT partially because it rode so high neighboring traffic couldn’t recognize who was driving. With the Ford-sourced dually pickup bed the trucks gained visual continuity between the cab and bed, mismatched as it seemed. But, honestly, there was never any confusion this was an odd union.
International RXT Debuts
In 2005 the RXT was introduced. The “R” stood for “recreational” and was intended for the horse trailer/recreational vehicle set. These started with the less-extreme 4400 medium-duty International truck.
Only available as a four-door, it was 10-inches lower than the CXT. It was also the longest production pickup truck ever produced at 272-inches. Power was from a VT365 turbo diesel V8 rated at 230 hp. This was hooked to an Allison 2200 five-speed automatic transmission. Towing capacity was 24,000 lbs.
The Great Recession of 2008 and environmental consciousness combined to doom the International pickup trucks. Last produced in 2008, International targeted production between 200-300 for the first year. In the end International said production was too low to continue. No figures were ever given.
Could Another International CXT Be Coming?
Interestingly, International helped GM develop the new heavy-duty Chevy trucks. As part of that arrangement International sells its version of these trucks. If there was a good business plan it could conceivably start offering something similar to the CXT today, but with a slightly smaller and excessive pickup. Called the “CV” it’s a Silverado HD with a unique grille and other bits.
We won’t hold our breaths, but why not?