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Country Coach debuts its new motor home

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

For those who want to camp like a rock star...

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Country Coach’s opulent Rhapsody is being marketed to people “who have earned the right to demand a life without compromise.”

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JUNCTION CITY — It’s what you might expect of high-end accommodations: high speed satellite Internet, a washer/dryer, California queen bed, two bathrooms, an office and four flat-screen televisions. It also comes with 625 horsepower. Country Coach debuted its new motor home, the Rhapsody 900, this summer and despite a price tag of $1.3 million already has sold the first two vehicles produced and has a waiting list of 10. Eventually production, split between Junction City and Eugene, will ramp up to 20 vehicles per year.

The creation of Rhapsody took a $2 million investment in research and development but marketing director Matt Howard says the company feels good about the risk. B.R. (that’s before Rhapsody), few RVs had reached this level of decadence and power. Country Coach saw a gap in the market for recreation vehicles between $1 million coaches and $1.6 million converted buses and set out to blend “the ultimate living experience” with a “high-end driving experience.”

In addition to providing amenities such as two home-theater systems, Country Coach partnered with Caterpillar to develop the Rhapsody’s powertrain, torque diesel engine and six-speed automatic transmission. Despite its behemoth 54,000 pounds (Rhapsody gets about seven miles to the gallon) this coach can burn rubber, accelerate uphill and on a test track topped 100 mph. It’s not surprising that NASCAR drivers are among those on the waiting list.

— Brooke Matschek


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