Oddball Car Of The Week: The Isuzu VehiCROSS

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Man this thing was weird.

Kicking off our new weird cars from history series is one of the weirdest looking off-road cars ever made. You may not remember the Isuzu VehiCROSS, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a good car. The VehiCROSS was originally unveiled as a concept at the 1993 Tokyo International Autoshow, and was in production from 1997 to 2001. Only 5958 units were built in total, 4,153 of which made it over to the United States. The car's sales in Japan were poor because it was too wide to meet Japanese regulations at the time.

Back in the '90s, the VehiCROSS had a base price of $28,900, which wasn't exactly cheap. It came with Isuzu's 6VE1 3.5-liter V6. This engine produced 215 horsepower and 230 lb-ft of torque. While this may sound minuscule today, it was not bad for the time. Despite modest power figures, the VehiCROSS was an excellent off-road vehicle. It came with a "Torque On Demand" 4WD system that was built by BorgWarner. This computer controlled system was good for on-road driving, and also featured a locking differential for off-road use. This system was highly advanced at the time because it featured 12 independent sensors for detecting wheel spin. It was capable of redirecting power to the wheels with the most traction.

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This may all sound garden variety, but trust us, the VehiCROSS is a good off-roader, even today. Although this quirky little off-roader has mostly been forgotten, we remember when Isuzu still sold cars in the US, and the VehiCROSS dared to be bold. You can find one of these cars for less than $5,000 and we think it would make the perfect first car for a teenager in a snowy climate. You may not love the VehiCROSS's styling, but you have to admire a car that dares to be unique.

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