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4x4 for any 4WD is common everywhere. It's certainly possible to get a 4x4 with a five-speed. I've re-arranged the definitions to show the historical progression:

  • 4x4 is a piece of wood, and a manly timber at that
  • (probably) Truck lovers come to use 4x4 to denote a 4WD, 4-speed vehicle, with due reference to the manly timber
  • Some marketing genius picks up on 4x4 (this should be easily traced, but I can't be bothered).
  • 4x4 comes to denote any rugged, manly 4WD vehicle.

I would like to capture both the original automotive meaning of 4WD/4-speed and the current broader use, and experience shows the best path in these cases is simply to give both definitions, with a note if an older definition is falling from current use. In this case, I believe 4x4 can be used either way -- at least in the states.

All that said, someone should double-check that the second "4" is for 4-speed (and not, say, for 4-stroke engine). I doubt it would be, as almost all automotive engines are 4-stroke. -dmh 15:03, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)