Domino’s Orders The DXP, A Custom Pizza-Delivery Machine

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When you deliver 400 million pizzas a year, you should do it with some style.

On Tuesday, Domino’s delivered the ultimate pizza mobile. And it’s a supreme, with all the fixings and extra cheese. It can carry 80 pizzas, has a 140-degree Fahrenheit warmer and more bottle holders than a fleet of minivans. Meet the Domino’s DXP, the first vehicle ever designed by a pizza maker.

“We’re more than a pizza company, we’re a technology company,” said Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA, pointing to its apps and innovations in cooking. And with 100,000 drivers, who collectively cruise a cool 10 million miles a week, the idea for a special vehicle made sense.

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The DXP, unveiled at its Ann Arbor, Michigan, headquarters on Tuesday, took more than three years of development. The company first approached startup Local Motors about the idea, which attempted to crowdsource its design, taking suggestions from 35,000 people around the world. That led them to look for a fuel-efficient hatchback that could feature a number of innovative ideas. Many people suggested a side-opening, like a big window, where a delivery person could quickly grab pizzas. Others suggested removing the passenger’s seats and replacing them with pizzas. Everyone included outrageous advertising on the exterior so it could act like a rolling billboard.

The final version was found in a design competition of more than 300 designers around the world, likely fueled with tomato sauce and cheese and some sort of pork product, with many of the suggested ideas incorporated into it.

The DXP begins its life as the subcompact Chevrolet Spark. Then Roush Enterprises rips out the back row and front passenger seat, replacing them with a flat floor and specially designed holder for those big pizza holders. It then cuts a hole through the sheet metal where the driver’s side second-row door would be and inserts an oven that heats up to four pizzas to 140 degrees, because no one likes cold pizza (except in the morning). There’s even a puddle light at exterior oven door.

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Domino’s will field 95 DXP’s in 25 markets around the country. Franchise owners pay about $25,000 for the modified Sparks, and Domino’s executives said Tuesday that the cars will pay for themselves through market exposure just as rolling billboards. Delivering pizzas will be the bonus.

The vehicles are expected to average more than 30,000 miles a year and will likely be taken out of service once they reach 100,000 miles – the same number of miles as Chevrolet’s powertrain warranty, Domino’s executives said.

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While the vehicle is heavily modified, its weight hasn’t changed much so it should deliver roughly 30 mpg. It’s 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine, which delivers 84 hp, has an EPA highway fuel economy rating of 39 mpg and a 314-mile estimated range. It also comes with a full complement of 10 airbags, and is an IIHS top safety pick. Plus, the interior always smells like pizza.

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