These are 5 of the largest production vehicles ever built
|driving.ca 23 May 2020 at 06:25|
You’re not seeing things. Vehicles are indeed getting larger every year — cars have come a long way from the flimsy buggies they were a century-and-a-half ago.
There are a few reasons this em-biggening is happening: we’ve larger families, have more need to carry larger loads, and do more carpooling to save on emissions, not to mention the fact people themselves are getting larger as well.
A larger vehicle offers more space inside for the occupants, which leads to a feeling of luxuriousness and comfort. After all, it’s an opulent thing to be able to relax while commuting, and larger vehicles offer that experience.
There are a few drawbacks to massive personal vehicles however: they’re hard to park, and often have large engines to carry around the extra weight, which adds to poor fuel economy.
It’s not just SUVs that have gotten larger either — almost every segment has seen a significant size increase at some time or another.
Here are five of the largest vehicles ever, split up by segment.
Before SUVs ruled the roads as the ultimate family-haulers, sedans and wagons were king. It might have seemed car companies were competing to build the biggest cars possible in the 1970s — and they were.
Chrysler prided itself on offering the largest car possible, with many ads and promotional material claiming its vehicles were a few inches longer and wider for each new model year. It never got any bigger than the 1973 Imperial LeBaron, though, with a length of 235.3 inches (5.97 metres).
The 1972-model-year car was also huge, but bumper regulations introduced in ’73 prompted Chrysler to push the chrome out a few extra inches, solidifying it as the longest sedan ever produced.
2021 Chevrolet Suburban Z71 Derek McNaughton
The Chevy Suburban boasts the longest-running nameplate in the automotive world; coincidentally, it also boasts one of the longest chassis. The length of the truck has only increased, never decreased, since the truck started production 1935. The latest 12th-generation Chevrolet Suburban measures a stout 225.7 inches (5.73 metres) bumper to bumper.
The size of the Suburban doesn’t just translate to an imposing presence however; the vehicle backs up its girth with incredible capability. Towing capacity is rated at 7,900 lbs, with payload rated at 1,750 lbs. As a three-row SUV, you can also expect it to fit your whole family, or 41.1 cubic feet of other stuff.
The truck segment is probably the one you’d most expect would see to grow as time goes on. Plus super-duty trucks are also used as tow trucks, which means they have to carry around other vehicles which have also increased in size.
The biggest truck right now is Ford’s Super Duty Long Wheelbase Crew Cab. With a length of 266.2 inches (6.76 metres) the Super Duty is also the longest vehicle built that isn’t a limousine.
There’s no point in having a truck without a nice box, and it’s in that department the Super Duty does best. Aluminum construction means the Ford’s bed can take larger loads than others, with a capacity of 6,210 pounds. Towing capacity is rated at 35,750 pounds.
In 1974, Ford decided to downsize the Mustang to fall in line with the fuel crisis and the incoming onslaught of compact Japanese vehicles that were giving domestic vehicles a real run for their money. Competitor Pontiac decided it wasn’t going to do that however, and kept the Firebird relatively unchanged until it entered its third generation, when it made it even bigger. When the fourth-generation Firebird came along, even more length was added, enough to earn it the title of largest sports car, at 197 inches (5 metres).
The wheelbase was just 101.1 inches (2.57 metres), which means almost 50 per cent of the overall length was in the front and rear overhangs. Despite the wild proportions, the vehicle weighed 3,284 lb in LS1 trim — not bad for an American sports car.
What can we say about the Youabian Puma? The truth is, it’s left us quite speechless ever since it debuted at the Los Angeles auto show in 2013. The vehicle reportedly started life as an unsuspecting Volvo C70 convertible before fibreglass and aluminum panels were grafted onto the outside to create the, ahem, unique look.
The massive vehicle – which we’re counting as a production car, since that was its maker’s intent – is 242 inches (6.15 metres) long, 93 inches wide, 72 inches tall, and has a 163.5-inch wheelbase. To move it around, it’s got a 7-litre Corvette V8 that produces 505 horsepower. The tires are also a massive 44 inches, and are made to take the vehicle anywhere you want — may we suggest a long drive off a short pier?
The vehicle looks more like big chungus than something you want your head popping out of, but if that’s what you want, it’ll only cost you $1.1 million.