Chicago, IL - The appearance of the prototype of Avanti Motor Corportations Studebaker XUV (Xtreme Utility Vehicle) at the Chicago Auto Show in 2003 created waves of excitement, and this years show will host the completed version of what has become perhaps the most popular and talked-about single model in the companys history.
Joining the latest addition to the Avanti lineup at the Chicago Auto Show, to be held at Chicagos McCormick Place from February 6 to 15, will be the limited-production 2004 Avanti convertible as well as its 2005 counterpart, and the Lister, created as a component vehicle by Avanti SVO (Special Vehicle Operation).
However, the center of attention at Booth 18, according to Avanti spokesperson Jim Wilson, will still be the XUV. "We expect the Studebaker XUV to draw just as much focus as last year, if not more," he said. "Many people will simply want to see the finished product, and others will want to see how it has evolved since the prototype was introduced in 2003."
Wilson noted that the post-show interest in the vehicle was unlike anything seen before in the history of the company, the largest independent carmaker in the country. "I think that interest will be manifest at the Auto Show," he added, "and the combination of the Studebakers luxury components and the variety of owner-selected details, as well as its size and specifications, will bring brand-new fans to its ranks."
The Studebaker XUV marks the first time Avanti has brought the "Studebaker" name to prominence since it acquired the rights to the brand in the 1960s. The first Studebaker produced in 37 years, it boasts an unbeatable blend of tradition and technology. The Studebaker XUV has a starting price of $75,000 and includes many luxury features.
Keeping with the Avanti tradition, new owners can dictate their choice of any exterior color. The Studebaker XUV is 216" long, 84.5" wide, and 85.5" tall with 5-speed automatic transmission, and it comes with a choice of a V8 Turbo Diesel or V10 (unleaded gasoline) engine. Owners can also select every interior detail -- including the trim and color of their custom leather seats, the carpeting and wood trim -- to completely reflect their unique tastes.
Standard safety features include a four-wheel anti-lock braking system, driver and right-front passenger airbags, side intrusion door beams and audible rear backup sensors.
Other standard features include an in-dash CD changer, solar tinted glass, roof cargo tie-downs, step bars, tow hooks and a stainless steel exhaust system.
Among the many available options are a GPS navigation system, a DVD player and TV, moonroof, brush guard, extended roof rack, heated seats and a winch mounted on the front bumper.
"This is not your ordinary SUV; the Studebaker XUV is for people who want to drive something different, and with approximately 300 to 400 being produced this year, it will be," said Wilson.
Now in its 41st year, Avanti celebrates the original 1963 design by Raymond Loewy. The Avanti Motor Corporation is located in Villa Rica, Georgia. For more information please visit the companys Web site at www.avantimotors.com.
Photo by Dora Fang