Home » Watch The World’s Most Expensive Subaru Tribeca Get Crushed

Watch The World’s Most Expensive Subaru Tribeca Get Crushed

Crushed B9
ADVERTISEMENT

There’s no easy way to explain this story other than to go into the details… even though the details themselves make almost no sense. This is the story of a car that’s had an insane amount of work put into it and then was crushed, along with a fake skeleton, because, well, what else could be done with it?

AiDesign, the wild and semi-secretive design shop out of Tuckahoe, New York, is known for quietly doing outrageous things. So it’s no surprise that a client came to them around 2005 with the desire to build a futuristic gadget car. It is a bit peculiar, though, that the car this client chose was a Subaru Tribeca.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The project was called “Q-Car” as both a nod to a super-stealthy vehicle and to James Bond’s provider of cool tech. Subaru was pretty much dead-on to build a three-row SUV, but their execution was questionable and the thing looked too strange for the kind of consumers who buy three-row SUVs.
Screenshot 2023 11 29 At 2.23.17 Pm

According to AiDesign’s founder Matt Figliola in the above video, the client wanted to imagine what a car would be like in the future and so asked the shop to install screens everywhere, computers, AppleTV, and put video cameras on all corners of the car. This was back in 2005-2006 when it was a big deal if a car had Bluetooth.

B 9interior

ADVERTISEMENT

In a way they sort of nailed it. This is basically a Mercedes EQS about two decades too early.

The work required to do all of this at the time was intense and some of the photos of the wiring are ridiculous:B9 Wiring Photo

So what happened to this car? According to AiDesign, it went to exactly one Geek Fest in New Jersey and then was sent back two more times to improve the concept and update the technology.

B9 Wiring Overhead

At some point during the third iteration, the Tesla Model S was revealed and basically made the Q-car project obsolete, so Matt and company stopped working on the car.

ADVERTISEMENT

I can’t remember, exactly, the first time I saw the Tribeca hiding under a tarp at AiDesign’s shop in Tuckahoe but it’s always just been there. This strange Subaru that no one talked much about sitting next to Ferraris and Cannonball cars and all sorts of other exotics.

B9 Exterior

It’s clear to me that this is the most expensive Subaru Tribeca ever built, though AiDesign is a black hole and they absolutely refused to tell me what was spent on it. Just adding up the work that seems to have been done (three times!) and the actual equipment in the car brings me to a dizzying, six-figure amount.

For a Tribeca.

Internalcamera
Ultimately, this car lived up to its name by being the ultimate Q-Ship. It’s so secretive and stealthy that almost no one outside of a small number of people who went to Geek Fest or saw it in the shop even knew it existed!

ADVERTISEMENT

As Figliola says in the video, the car was never registered or licensed so it can’t be sold or driven or really have anything done to it. The technology in it, though state-of-the-art at the time, is mostly valueless.

Ai Graveyard

So what did AiDesign do? They Stuffed a skeleton in it, sent it to a crusher, then put it in their Carhenge-like graveyard of dead cars behind their shop.

I have seen firsthand the brilliant work they do, so I guess the cost of brilliance is also a little madness.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Subscribe
Notify of
47 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
4 months ago

It was never registered or licensed so it can’t be put on the road…. So the hell what? If there’s ownership documents, why can’t it be registered and licensed?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
4 months ago

Manniest, Moeist, and Jackist. Slap crap attack. I think this is more inline with other fake 1 off cars that aren’t cars. At least they didn’t scam anyone.

Chartreuse Bison
Chartreuse Bison
4 months ago

Looks like those mac minis, tv box, and switch were all gonna overheat when the carpet and seats went back in

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
4 months ago

Just remembered some magazine (I forget if it was a US or UK one) had a pic side by side of a Tribeca when it was new next to an Alfa Romeo of the time – I forget which, but the idea was to show off how similar the front fascia designs were and the design head of Subaru, Andreas Zapatinas, had come from Fiat. Maybe it was a story around his departure, or just about auto designers in general. I feel like there was a lot more chatter around automotive designers in the 2000s in general, and how they were moving around. Bangle was at BMW, Peter Schreyer had joined Kia, Bryan Nesbitt had designed the PT Cruiser and gone from Chrysler to GM, etc.

The Tribeca is a car that seemed like it should have done well but it was too early even for Subaru’s mainstream push. Subarus over $30k were still a bit of a hard sell, and aside from some exceptions, boxier/more upright styling was still preferred at the time. It wasn’t until the 2010s really that Subaru took off, and the embiggened Outback by then did most of what a Tribeca did for less money, minus the tight third row.

Roger Garbow
Roger Garbow
4 months ago

This one is wild, even by Ai Design standards.
But now I want to watch videos of cars getting crushed…with a view from the driver’s seat.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
4 months ago

The weirdest thing to me is the idea there are people and businesses in Tuckahoe. As a child of the Harlem Division to me Tuckahoe and Crestwood were just stations in the undifferentiated mass of Eastchester between Scarsdale and Mt. Vernon.
OK, in fairness I knew Crestwood was a place because my first bicycle came from the bike shop there, but apart from Bronxville everything between Zone C and Grand Central was flyover country where I never got off the train.

AlterId
AlterId
4 months ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

The weirdest thing to me is the idea there are people and businesses in Tuckahoe.

Well, there’s Findlay’s Friendly Appliances on Elm Street, for starters.

Last edited 4 months ago by AlterId
Lockleaf
Lockleaf
4 months ago
Reply to  Slow Joe Crow

The extent of my knowledge about Tuckahoe is that in How I Met Your Mother, Marshall gets to be the lawyer for Tuckahoe Funland, and John Cho gets arrested because they have been covering for evil people running Tuckahoe Funland for years. That is all.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
4 months ago
Reply to  Lockleaf

Tuckahoe would have been more interesting if that was real. Then again I left New York in 1993 so who knows what happened in the last 30 years.

Clark B
Clark B
4 months ago

Anybody else have “Dust in the Wind” (remember the ad?) going through your head as you read this?

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
4 months ago
Reply to  Clark B

Well NOW I remember…

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
4 months ago

One down…

Citrus
Citrus
4 months ago

The Tribeca was actually ahead of its time. Years later the Kia Sportage basically did most of the same weird styling choices and everyone was cool with it.

Geekycop .
Geekycop .
4 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

This one and the Isuzu vehicross. I saw one of those on the freeway the other day and it just blends in now, remember when they looed so strange that nobody bought them?

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
4 months ago
Reply to  Geekycop .

The few remaining do get mistaken for new model year but no longer out there. I still get a few comments remembering them or asking if mine isnew.

Lardo
Lardo
4 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

I liked and like it. But as I remember it got awful mileage even for a Subi

Adam EmmKay8 GTI
Adam EmmKay8 GTI
4 months ago
Reply to  Lardo

Thirsty Flat 6 and needed 91 octane IIRC. My Aunt had one

Lardo
Lardo
4 months ago

did she and roommate live in VT or Portland? Sorry, the obvious stereotype… poor mileage and premo. double wammy

Alec Weinstein
Alec Weinstein
4 months ago

Damn, I would have yote the tech at least. The free 05 Mac Mini I found is one of my best computers

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
4 months ago
Reply to  Alec Weinstein

I still actively use a free 09 Macbook Pro as a work laptop – soon to be retired in favor of a company-issued 2021 MBP. The 14-year old MBP only recently became impractical for work, with Slack no longer supporting the most recent version of Chrome that the computer can run. But yeah, free old Macs good.

Idiotking
Idiotking
4 months ago

Agreed. I finally had to break down and buy a M2 MBAir for many of the same reasons—12 year old MBP wouldn’t support the stuff I needed.

Eggsalad
Eggsalad
4 months ago
Reply to  Idiotking

There’s a workaround for this, called Open Core Legacy Patcher. I just used it to install OSX Sonoma on a 2012 MacBook Pro 13″. It’s still slow, but at least I can now run current software.

Idiotking
Idiotking
4 months ago
Reply to  Eggsalad

yeah, I considered that, but the battery (the one I’d replaced already) was on its last legs and I didn’t want to buy and install a new one.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
4 months ago
Reply to  Idiotking

I’m typing on a 2010 15″ MBP. Needs to be tethered to an outlet these days, which drove me to buy a new 14″ last year, as I finally got tired of having 30 minutes of battery life.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
4 months ago

I don’t understand why they crushed this. Some of the four other Tribeca owners might have needed to pull some parts.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
4 months ago

Right?

What a waste!

DadBod
DadBod
4 months ago

Its sounds like it was unsellable for bureaucratic reasons

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
4 months ago
Reply to  DadBod

Are you saying every car in a pick and pull is titled?

DadBod
DadBod
4 months ago

Fuck if I know, I was reading between the lines. Sounds like these dudes chose to crush the car rather than deal with whatever legalities it took to not crush the car.

Cerberus
Cerberus
4 months ago

I was curious about this, too, as it didn’t make sense. I didn’t watch the video because ADHD, but the text under it said the client who commissioned it told them to dispose of it. I imagine, they just didn’t want to bother getting a title or anything to sell it, so they told the shop to just junk it.

Lardo
Lardo
4 months ago

 the car was never registered or licensed so it can’t be sold or driven or really have anything done to it.” I don’t know it all, but don’t dealers not reg. cars all the time. They use a demo’s and loaners and the in service date then starts, including warranty. Maybe too much time has passed? Or the owner got some kind of tax write off. kind of doesn’t make sense to destroy it.

Glutton for Piëch
Glutton for Piëch
4 months ago

This car is the equivalent of edible gold. It’s still shit in the end.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
4 months ago

I have always liked the Tribeca (or B9 Tribeca) and I don’t care who knows it.

There, I said it.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
4 months ago

Damn right: fly your freak flag
fly it high & proud

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
4 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Plenty of female Subaru owners fly their flags proudly.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
4 months ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

By freak flag I mean love for niche/unloved vehicles(and sub-genres of gearheadness), not anything gender-specific.
At our first Cars and Coffee in some time here earlier this year, I talked to a much younger XX-type who brought a nicer & newer WRX than mine. She has taken hers much farther than I have mine—and it was really cool that she was there on her own, not with/because of a bf as seemed the case a decade or more back. The scene around here really seems to be more open & welcoming and with fewer aggro bro-types, and I’m glad to be a part of it again

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
4 months ago

Pride of Lafayette, IN!

MikeInTheWoods
MikeInTheWoods
4 months ago

Purdue University makes Subarus? Is there even anything else in Lafayette besides 40K college kids?

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
4 months ago
Reply to  MikeInTheWoods

That’s West Lafayette. Totally different.

Serious answer, there’s the Subaru plant and the Caterpillar plant, but that’s about it.

Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
4 months ago

Huzzah, I’m not alone in this!

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
4 months ago

RIP, fair flying vagina

Citrus
Citrus
4 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I mean, I’m not exactly an expert on vaginas, but it doesn’t look like any of the ones I’ve ever seen.

ProfPlum
ProfPlum
4 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

The founder of another car site called it the “flying vagina” when he reviewed its initial version. IIRC they were banned from getting any more Subarus (and weirdly, BMWs) because of the comment.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
4 months ago
Reply to  ProfPlum

It was Jack Baruth at The Truth About Cars.

FWIW, lots of people said the same thing about Edsels in 1957/58, except without the “flying” part

The Mark
The Mark
4 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I think you mean Robert Farago

ProfPlum
ProfPlum
4 months ago
Reply to  The Mark

Yes, it was Robert. Jack had plenty of spicy comments there, but it wasn’t him.

Lokki
Lokki
4 months ago

Sic transit transit Mundi

47
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x