QOTD: You Want A Pumpkin In The Back Of That Turkey?

Zombie McQuestionbot
by Zombie McQuestionbot
qotd you want a pumpkin in the back of that turkey

Recently, while searching through some, ah, Japanese-market literature left in a bathroom stall by a former TTAC E-I-C, we found out something so shocking that it cannot possibly be true. Did you know that the Toyota RAV4 was initially designed from the ground up to “destroy” the Jeep Wrangler?

According to our sources, Toyota became obsessed with world domination of the Tri-Delts-Going-To-Theme-Parties demographic. Correctly identifying that the Jeep Wrangler had easily dispatched potential adversaries as thoroughly capable as the Suzuki Samurai, the company decided to throw its global resources behind “Project Young Truck”. Over $3.4 trillion dollars were spent to create a clean-sheet effort that would dominate the Wrangler in every possible way. Hundreds of young women were kidnapped from southern-state universities and forced to participate in million-mile re-enactments of stopping by the “U Store” on the way to Sigma Chi. (The Sigma Chi house, naturally, was constructed by copying an existing Sigma Chi house to the very last detail, at the cost of one billion dollars. The cost of importing authentic American fraternity vomit alone was in the seven figures.)

With just ninety days left to go before release, the “PYT” had cleared all quality hurdles. But then tragedy struck. To make it easier to understand, we’ve translated everything from a recorded conversation in the document into standard American English, including the names.

Frankie, Chief Engineer Of The PYT: See who’s knocking at the door.

Johnny, Assistant Chief Engineer: Sure. (Opens Door)

Cooter, Chief Engineer Of Pre-Existing Off-Road Vehicle Projects About Which Everyone’s Forgotten: (Rushes In) Thank god I found you in time! Why did you locate your primary engineering facility on the dark side of the Moon?

Frankie: Ummm, it…

Johnny: Well…

Frankie: I seem to remember it costing more and therefore being better. So what’s up?

Cooter: I heard you just spent three trillion dollars to make a Jeep Wrangler competitor!

Frankie: A Jeep Wrangler destroyer, you mean. Our car has a titanium V-11. The Jeep Wrangler is powered by engines found in junkyards around Greater Toledo.

Cooter: (Whistles Appreciatively) That sounds very sustainable, though!

Johnny: Shit, you’re right. Frankie, let’s arrange to have half a million titanium V-11s buried in the Marianas Trench so we can recover them and use them responsibly.

Frankie: Like I’m not already dialing the phone on that! (Shows phone)

Cooter: Never mind all that now! What’s important is that we have already built such a vehicle! It’s been on sale for years!

Johnny: Say what?

Cooter: Yes! It’s called “Land Cruiser” and it’s the best!

Frankie: I don’t ever recall seeing one.

Cooter: That is because, prior to taking this job, you were a sanitation assistant!

Johnny But, when you think about it, isn’t that exactly the kind of job in which you’d see something like that?

Frankie. Yeah. Johnny’s right. Sure you’re not thinking about the Nissan Patrol?

Cooter: You idiots! Here’s our current brochure!

Frankie: (to Johnny) Holy crap, you see this? We have a four-speed auto in the Corolla now.

Johnny: Suddenly, it’s 1993! Haven’t been future-shocked like this since seeing Blade Runner!

Frankie: You know, he’s right. We do make a Land Cruiser thing. In fact, we make twelve of them, all slightly different. I can’t tell the difference. Why is this one called “Amazon” and this one called “Prado”? Do you have time to go over this with us?

Cooter: You see! The “PYT” must be stopped!

Johnny: He’s right. Otherwise, we’ll have one of those situations like we had when we were trying to sell the Cressida and the ES250 at the same time in the United States.

Frankie: Cooter-san, we most humbly ask your help. We have a product to deliver in ninety days that can’t be anything like a Jeep Wrangler, and we spent all but about $400 Million of our original budget. What do we do?

Cooter: (Thinks quietly) I’ve got it. Corolla with long suspension arms and short wheelbase. Tall body. Easy as pie to do.

Frankie: Yeah… YEAH! That’s the ticket! And we’ll whip up some kind of open-diff one-wheel-drive system to make it relevant to Californians who like to be seen owning 4WD trucks!

Johnny: But how about, for the price leader, we just leave the back diff carrier empty?

All together: Whoa.


That story doesn’t seem very plausible at all, does it? I mean, who could confuse an Amazon and a Prado? But regardless, since that day on the dark side of the moon, the front-wheel-drive CUV has been with us.

I’ll tell you a secret: When I see an open diff carrier in the back of an Escape or similar, I feel a smattering of additional respect. Why bother with a bunch of expensive, delicate hardware that you might never use? And with fuel economy increasingly leading the discussion in this segment, the pumpkins are disappearing as the market mixes change.

What say you, B&B? Does a CUV need AWD? Is it a nice-to-have? Does it brand the owner as a dummy? Did we lean on the “PYT” joke too hard?

Join the conversation
4 of 98 comments
  • HerrKaLeun HerrKaLeun on Jan 11, 2014

    "Over $3.4 trillion dollars were spent " Where are editors and fact-checking? Does the author have an idea of what money is? Toyota probably hasn't generated that much money ini its entire existence. This is twice the federal budget... I hope this was meant to be satire. Or are you just pulling numbers and "facts" out of Google? Reminds me of austin Powers when Dr. Evil travels in time and asks in 2000 for a really small amount of money, as he assumes in 19060 it was a lot. and in 1960 he asks for so much, as hadn't even existed back then.

    • See 1 previous
    • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Jan 12, 2014

      A trillion here, a trillion there, next thing you know, you're talking real money. I assure you this is not Satire, this really happened. James Cameron already found the V11's in the Marianas, and is bringing them to the surface as we speak. I can't wait for the docu-drama to be released in 3-D.

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Jan 12, 2014

    "I seem to remember it costing more and therefore being better." Isn't that the mission statement of the Toyota Formula 1 team? Except in that case they were building a Ferrari destroyer in a shop that may as well been on the moon as far as most teams were concerned.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂