Go to a car show or collector car auction and if there’s a cab-over truck present, it likely is drawing a crowd.
Consider vehicles such as early-postwar pickups, or the Forward Control Jeep pickups of the 1950 or the Ford Econolines that used the architecture in the ‘60s or, even though its engine wasn’t beneath the cab, the mid-’60s Chevrolet Corvair Rampside. All have become collectible.
COE — short for cab over engine — trucks were practical in many applications, but their brick-like aerodynamics and the driver’s imperiled position at the very front of the vehicle made them less desirable, though they remain prevalent for low-speed, heavy-duty usages such as gathering garbage or for urban package deliveries.
But such architecture remains in use, especially in other countries, and Mahindra has unveiled its new Furio line of “intermediate commercial vehicles” designed by legendary Italian auto designer Pininfarina, now owned by the Indian automaker.
Furio trucks are quite different from the electric supercar project Mahindra and Pininfarina recently announced, though Pininfarina’s news release notes that the Furio line will set “new benchmarks” in design and engineering while providing “one of the safest, most ergonomic and comfortable cabins” available in their class.
The project, Mahindra said, involved 500 engineers, 180 suppliers and some $80 million in investment.
“Together with Mahindra Truck we have created a ground-breaking innovation in the ICV category,” Pininfarina chief executive Silvio Pietro Angori, was quoted in the news release. “The result is a vehicle that integrates style, function and innovation: the fundamentals of Pininfarina.”