Hooniverse Weekend Edition – A Site dedicated to the Vixen Motorhome

Welcome to the Sunday Edition of Hooniverse Weekend. During our e-mail banter between editors and the commentariant about the Lincoln Diesel, one of our intrepid editors (Alex Kierstein) found this web site about the Vixen Motorhome. How is that related to the Diesel Lincoln? They both used the BMW 2.4 liter, 6-cylinder turbo diesel. More after the jump….

There is a Vixen Owners Association website which is a great place to learn all about the Vixen Motorhome. Their site explains all about the Vixen:

The Vixen motor home was produced by the Vixen Motor Company, Inc., in Detroit, Michigan, from 1986 to 1989. There are three models; a BMW turbo-diesel powered lift top (the TD), a turbo-diesel eight-passenger limousine (the XC), and a General Motors gasoline-engined fixed-top (the SE). All are 21 feet long.

While the diesel engine may come from Bavaria and the transmission from France, much of the rest of the Vixens come from American car manufacturers. There are few unique parts on a Vixen which means that most parts are still available today.

The design was wind-tunnel tested until it reached a coefficient of drag of .29, better than most production sedans and even sports cars on the road at the time. That low cD coupled with light weight (5,100 pounds) and a fuel-efficient engine allows the TD model to reach 30 miles per gallon while the gasoline-engined SE hits 20 mpg.

The vehicle has an extremely loyal following, many of whom are members of the Vixen Owners’ Association which provides technical support as well as social gatherings, called Prides, for its members.

Why not go over the the Vixen Owners Association website, and discover the Vixen for yourself. And tell me if you would ever consider owning one of these.

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  1. skitter Avatar

    30+mpg is unbelievable. And model bloat and changing standards are hard to blame for something like this. At highway speed, weight has little to do with it. It's all aero. I used to be impressed that my van will theoretically get 20 on the highway, but this probably has roughly equal frontal area, and it weighs about the same. Shame about the early production kinks, and cheap bigness of other RVs.
    /shakes fist at slushbox only drivers

  2. CJinSD Avatar

    Total drag is still coefficient times frontal area, and the Vixen has plenty of frontal area. While it has a better drag coefficient than an E28 524td, it has greater total drag. Throw in the extra 1,800 lbs, and it seems unlikely that too many of these came within 3 mpg of the 524td's highway fuel economy. That being said, compared to an Econoline chassised mini-winnie or the like, it probably used no more than a third as much fuel. These were a neat project. Recently, a number of them showed up on La Jolla Independent BMW's back lot. I hope they didn't just pull the engine pieces and scap all the rest.

    1. Dirty Doug Avatar
      Dirty Doug

      As I own one of the Vixen Motorhomes at La Jolla Independent BMW in La Jolla California to which you are referring to, I can assure you that both are the lowest milage Vixens out there and neither have been canabalized for parts. Both are fully complete, low milage Vixen motorhomes with the BMW turbo diesel motor and will be improved/restored slowly over time to perform better than their former glory.

      1. Tom Avatar

        How many miles on those two? And, do you still own them? Tom with 58,xxx and climbing !!

  3. citroen67 Avatar

    I would SO have one of these!

  4. mdharrell Avatar

    I saw this Vixen TD
    <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4122/4920176884_f705d139fb_m.jpg"&gt;
    in the parking lot of the World Micro/Mini Car Meet last August. I agree with skitter's comment on the nearly ubiquitous "cheap bigness of other RVs" in comparison with one of these. It immediately struck me as what a motorhome should be. Still, if I ever go looking for something along these lines I'll probably hold out for an UltraVan.

    1. Roman Hintz Avatar
      Roman Hintz

      I wanted to submit a picture of my Vixen with some comments. I can see how to post the comments but how were you able to put a picture in with your comment? email me at: hintro@usa.net

  5. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    That is a fantastic looking machine, and new to me. I especially enjoy the air intakes.
    EDIT:- I was trying to remember what the vixen reminded me of… I believe it may have been this toy from my past:
    <img src="http://toyarchive.com/STAForSale/NEW2001+/M.A.S.K./SlingshotComp1a.jpg&quot; width="350">
    The MASK Slingshot.

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      Looks just like it. Down to the mag truck wheels.

  6. Mad_Hungarian Avatar

    Pix of a Vixen by itself with no other vehicles around for comparison do not begin to give you an idea of how remarkable it is for an RV. For that, you have to encounter one in the midst of traffic, as I did about a month ago, and realize thereby that the Vixen has a lower profile than many contemporary SUV's.

  7. MattC Avatar

    The VOA website is very informative. To me, this seems like such a simple solution for motorhomes. I love the idea of a low ride height, rear engine diesel and its drivability. It is a shame that the company did not survive more than a couple of years.

  8. Froggmann_ Avatar

    Well thank you for solving another mini-mystery for me. There's one of these on my way to work that I have always wondered about, and secretly wanted. They are kind of small compared to a normal class C but looks like a fun little RV to go explore with.

  9. Roman Hintz Avatar
    Roman Hintz

    I am a proud owner of a Vixen TD. I love it and rarely do I get below 30 mpg. To see and hear the Vixen story as told by Bill Collins, the man behind the Vixen idea and production, go the the following link in YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZy_vH-I-2w&pl

  10. Roman Hintz Avatar
    Roman Hintz

    I am a proud owner of a Vixen TD. I love it and rarely do I get below 30 mpg. To see and hear the Vixen story as told by Bill Collins[youtube bZy_vH-I-2w&playnext=1&list=PL81C0E40791E1C54A&feature=results_main http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZy_vH-I-2w&playnext=1&list=PL81C0E40791E1C54A&feature=results_main youtube]

    1. Roman Hintz Avatar
      Roman Hintz

      [youtube n1vpUAYFbtU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1vpUAYFbtU youtube]
      [youtube RAdNs97_dVk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAdNs97_dVk youtube]
      [youtube om-Fmzr7xkw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om-Fmzr7xkw youtube]

  11. Roman Hintz Avatar
    Roman Hintz

    Here are some YouTube video clips about the Vixen:
    [youtube 5ZlnXquWv3c&playnext=1&list=PL26639AA611F6DDB3&feature=results_main http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZlnXquWv3c&playnext=1&list=PL26639AA611F6DDB3&feature=results_main youtube]

  12. Roman Hintz Avatar
    Roman Hintz

    Another Vixen Video clip:
    [youtube jwWvxTYyDwI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwWvxTYyDwI youtube]
    [youtube j3jb7LA2LrQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3jb7LA2LrQ youtube]

  13. Roman Hintz Avatar
    Roman Hintz

    One more Vixen video clip. To see more, go to YouTube and type in Vixen RV and you'll see more of the ones I posted there.
    [youtube j3jb7LA2LrQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3jb7LA2LrQ youtube]

  14. James Richardson Avatar
    James Richardson

    Hello About seeing a Vixen RV.
    We live in southern Maine and are interested in purchasing a Vixen RV, but I have never been in one.
    Is there anyone in the north east that has a Vixen that I could visit and see it before I find one for sale and have to fly wherever to buy it.
    Thank you in advance. Jim Richardson 136 Goodwin Rd. Eliot ME 03903 207 439 6546 jamesranda@comcast.net

  15. Jason Avatar

    I've only heard about the Vixen Motorhome for a short time, and I've never seen one in person. It's unforgivable that such a cool RV could be discontinued after only a couple of years. I think the reason it didn't sell very well was that it was marketed wrong. Perhaps what Vixen should've done was advertise the Motorhome as a vehicle for anyone who likes to travel, but don't need or want a behemoth motorhome, or a small VW Camper. With the option of a diesel engine, you'd have an RV that gets better than 20 mpgs*.

  16. Car Nut Seattle Avatar
    Car Nut Seattle

    I love the shape of the Vixen 21 RV. It’s an unforgivable shame that it didn’t last on the market any longer than it did. I think 30mpgs would’ve been rather optimistic, even with a turbo diesel engine, its aerodynamic shape, and 5spd overdrive. I would think somewhere between 15 and 25 mpgs would’ve been more realistic. Either way, I do like the unusual shape of the Vixen 21 motorhome. I find it more attractive than anything that’s being produced today.

  17. Jason Carpp Avatar
    Jason Carpp

    Lovely looking Vixen. I consider it damn unforgivable that it was discontinued after only a couple of years of production. It’s small enough in size that most people, who have never driven anything larger than a Hummer H1 could drive it without problem. Anyone with a standard (car, light truck, SUV) driver’s license, could drive it and enjoy it. While I like the idea of a diesel pusher, what’s wrong with offering something in a smaller, more driveable, and (IMHO) more attractive package?