Towing Capacities of all Trucks and SUVS on your Android Phone!
Developed for Android smart phones, the Towing Capacities App from OnlineTowingGuide.com lets users search for pickups and SUVs by year, make and model, engine, transmission and axle ratio, and even different trim levels! Covering model years 2005 through 2012, the Towing Capacities App is the most comprehensive searchable app on the market today!
Scan the QR code above or use this link:
Towing Capacity Charts Updated with 2013, 2014 and 2015 Specs
December 2014 — To keep users better informed, OnlineTowingGuide.com has updated its towing capacities charts to include models years 2013 through 2015. Click here to go to the towing capacity charts page. Click the model year and find what you're looking for.
Ford Debuts All-New Super Duty Pickups
September 24, 2015 — New model introductions are occurring more and more in advance of their actual model years. Take the new 2017 Ford Super Duty launch for example. Nevertheless, it's an important milestone in the pickup market.
“While Super Duty is America’s best-selling heavy-duty truck, we never take our leadership for granted,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development and chief technical officer. “Our team is using relentless innovation in materials, technology and Built Ford Tough engineering to deliver customers our best Super Duty yet.”
The backbone is an all-new, fully boxed frame comprised of more than 95 percent high-strength steel that offers up to 24 times stiffer than the previous frame – enabling the most towing and hauling capability ever delivered by Super Duty. The new truck line features heavier-duty four-wheel-drive components, driveline, axles and towing hardware.
For the first time, the Super Duty body uses high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy, which is more dent- and ding-resistant than the outgoing steel body and not subject to red rust corrosion.
Together, high-strength steel and high-strength aluminum alloy help reduce weight by up to 350 pounds while Ford is reinvesting additional weight savings everywhere it counts, to give customers more towing and hauling capability than ever before.
“As we remove weight, we’re making Super Duty more productive by giving our customers better towing and payload capability,” said Craig Schmatz, Super Duty chief engineer. “We’re backing up improved capability with a stronger gasoline and diesel Super Duty engine lineup.”
Towing is core to the Super Duty mission. All-new advanced coaching and camera technology makes conventional and gooseneck/fifth-wheel towing easier and more efficient than ever
For more information, visit:
FCA's Statement on Ram Trucks Wiring Harness Recall
September 9, 2015 — FCA US LLC is recalling an estimated 1,747 trucks in the U.S. and Canada to inspect, reroute and replace – as required – their wire harnesses to prevent a potential short-circuit.
An investigation by FCA US discovered a battery wiring harness may chafe against a bracket if assembly protocols were not followed. This condition is limited to vehicles equipped with diesel engines and 4x2 drivelines.
Such a condition has the potential to cause a short-circuit, which may lead to power loss or fire. The Company is unaware of any related injuries, accidents or fires.
The campaign is limited to certain 2014-15 Ram 1500 pickups. It is estimated there are 1,697 in the U.S. and 50 in Canada.
Affected customers will be advised next month when they may schedule service, which will be performed at no cost.
While the condition may not be present in every vehicle, FCA US urges customers to note the information on their recall notices and respond accordingly.
Illumination of a dashboard warning light is among the indicators that the condition is present. Customers who observe such a warning are encouraged to contact their dealers.
Customers with additional questions may call the FCA US Customer Information Center at 1-800-853-1403.
Toyota Debuts All-New 2016 Tacoma Pickup
August 18, 2015 — Toyota is fighting back wiht an all-new 2016Tacoma, the truck that has owned the midsize pickup market for years. It doesn't look much different from the model it replaces, but its powertrain and towing capacities are much different and the interior has been significantly revised.
The new Tacoma will feature two engines. A 2.7-liter DOHC four-cylinder with VVT-i that will produce 159 horsepower and 180 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm. EPA estimated city/highway/combined mpg for the 4x2 with an automatic transmission is19/23/21. Estimated fuel efficiency for the 4x4 with a manual transmission is 19/21/20 and 19/22/20 for the automatic.
For added performance, Tacoma offers an all-new V6 with a segment-first 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle with VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligent Wider Intake) equipped with Toyota’s D-4S technology, featuring both direct and port fuel injection. The new V6 will generate 278 horsepower, an increase of 42 HP over the previous V6, and 265 lb.-ft. of torque at 4600 rpm. Estimated city/highway/combined mpg for the 4x2 automatic is 19/24/21. The estimated mpg for the 4x4 manual is 17/21/19 and 18/23/20 for the automatic.
Both engines will be paired with a new six-speed automatic transmission with electronic shift delivering quick and easy shifting. The V6 can also be mated to a new six-speed manual transmission and the four-cylinder to a five-speed manual. The new powertrain makes the Tacoma more powerful and fuel efficient than ever before.
When equipped with the V6 Tow Package, the new Tacoma can tow up to 6,800 lbs. (per the SAE J2807 tow standard), an increase of 300 lbs. over the previous V6.
Chevrolet Introduces New Colorado with 2.8-liter Duramax Diesel
July 28, 2015 — We knew it was coming, and now the new Coloroado with the mighty-mite diesel engine is finally here.
With 369 lb-ft of torque (500 Nm) generated by its all-new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel, the Colorado’s maximum trailering capacity rises to 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg) on 2WD models, with estimated fuel economy projected to top the already segment-leading efficiency of the gas models.
It is also the cleanest diesel truck engine ever produced by General Motors.
“Simply put, there’s no other midsize truck that can do what Colorado can with its all-new Duramax diesel,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet Truck Marketing. “Along with greater capability and efficiency, it expands the Colorado lineup to give customers more choices and the capability of exploring more possibilities on and off the road.”
The new Colorado diesel goes on sales this fall, offered in LT and Z71 Crew Cab models, with 2WD or 4WD. It is priced $3,730 more than a comparably equipped 3.6L V-6 model.
Features included with or exclusive to Colorado diesel models:
Smart diesel exhaust brake system that enhances vehicle control and reduces brake wear on steep grades
Standard Hydra-Matic 6L50 six-speed automatic transmission matched with a Centrifugal Pendulum Vibration Absorber (CPVA) in the torque converter, which reduces powertrain noise and vibration
The Z82 trailering package is standard and includes a hitch receiver and seven-pin connector
An all-new integrated trailer brake controller is standard and exclusive on diesel models
The G80 automatic locking rear differential is standard
A 3.42 rear axle ratio is standard
A new, electronically controlled two-speed transfer case is included on 4WD models
Maximum trailering rating of 7,700 pounds (3,492 kg) for 2WD models and 7,600 pounds (3,447 kg) for 4WD
GVWRs of 6,000 pounds (2,721 kg) for 2WD and 6,200 pounds (2,812 kg) for 4WD.
“A diesel engine was part of the Colorado’s portfolio plan from the very beginning, meaning the chassis, suspension and other elements of its architecture were engineered to support its capability,” said Scott Yackley, assistant chief engineer. “That means there are no compromises with the Colorado diesel. It offers exceptional capability delivered with a confident feeling of control.”
Colorado’s innovative solutions for hauling and accessing cargo include a standard CornerStep rear bumper, EZ Lift-and-Lower tailgate (standard on Z71 and available on LT), two-tier loading in the cargo bed, 13 standard moveable tie-down locations throughout the bed, an available, factory-installed spray-in bed liner and a line of available GearOn accessories.
Inside the new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel
Colorado’s new 2.8L Duramax turbo-diesel is part of GM’s global family of turbo-diesel four-cylinder engines designed to deliver value, capability and efficiency. It features a variable-geometry turbocharger for optimal power and efficiency across the rpm band and a balance shaft for greater smoothness.
Power is SAE-certified at 181 horsepower (135 kW) at 3,400 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque (500 Nm) at 2,000 rpm. A broad torque band makes it very powerful at low rpm, while the turbocharged performance provides a confident feeling of immediate and smooth horsepower on demand.
“It is a no-compromise turbocharged engine that is also really fun to drive, with excellent responsiveness,” said Yackley. “It was also designed specifically for trucks and has undergone many of the same validation tests as the 6.6L Duramax, contributing to legendary Duramax durability and reliability.”
Additional engine features:
Iron cylinder block and aluminum DOHC cylinder head
Forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods
Oiling circuit that includes a dedicated feed for the turbocharger to provide increased pressure at the turbo and faster oil delivery
Piston-cooling oil jets
16.5:1 compression ratio
Common rail direct injection fuel system
Ceramic glow plugs for shorter heat-up times and higher glow temperatures
Balance shaft that contributes to smoothness and drives the oil pump
Laminated steel oil pan with upper aluminum section that contributes to engine rigidity and quietness
B20 bio-diesel capability.
First Look at the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado
July 13, 2015 — Chevrolet pickup sales up 32 percent so far this year. Chevrolet intends to strengthen this momentum with significant updates for the 2016 Silverado 1500 full-size pickup.
“The redesigned 2016 Silverado will build on Chevy Trucks’ legacy of dependability. It will feature a more muscular appearance and offer new customer-focused technologies,” said Sandor Piszar, marketing director for Chevy Trucks.
“New front end designs with bold horizontal elements, sculpted hoods and dramatic lighting reflect the strength and refinement that have helped make Silverado the fastest growing full-size pickup brand this year.”
Other changes for 2016 will include expanded use of 8-speed automatic transmissions, updated Chevy MyLink with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and additional safety technologies.
The redesign of the 2016 Silverado 1500 is part of an aggressive strategy to build on Chevy Trucks’ momentum.
Since the introduction of the all-new Silverado 1500 in the spring of 2013, Silverado sales have grown by double digits, on a percentage basis, each year. Through June of this year, Silverado sales are up 14.6 percent. Chevrolet also sold 41,575 midsize Colorados during the same period.
More product details will be available this fall, closer to the public debut of the redesigned 2016 Silverado 1500.
For towing capacities of all trucks and SUVs, visit: http://www.onlinetowingguide.com/guidelines/towing_capacities.html
First Ram Rebels Rolling Off the Assembly Line
June 18, 2015 — One of Ram Trucks' most unique offerings is now rolling off the assembly line in Warren, Mich.
FCA US LLC began production this week of the all-new 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant (Mich.). The one-of-a-kind, full-size truck is assembled by more than 4,000 employees across 3.3 million square feet of the Company’s 75-year-old truck plant.
The Ram 1500 Rebel makes a statement with an all-new, blacked-out grille and distinctive billet silver “RAM” letter badge. Rebel is designed with increased ride height, standard 33-inch tires, skid plates, tow hooks, and a unique brawny interior starting at $42,790.
Operating on three crews, the Warren Truck Assembly Plant is home of the only consecutive winners of the prestigious Motor Trend Truck of the Year: the 2013 Ram 1500 and 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.
Building more than 286,000 available combinations of the Ram 1500, the plant has produced more than 12.5 million trucks since its operations began in 1938.
Ram Trucks Break Guiness World Record for Largest Truck Parade
April 23, 2015 — They say everything is bigger in Texas. Now it appears at least one thing is the biggest.
Ram truck owners from seven U.S states and Canada helped the Ram Truck brand set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for the largest parade of pickup trucks, Saturday, April 18, in Arlington, Texas. 451 Ram trucks participated in the “Ram Truck Round-up,” breaking the previous world record of 438 trucks. No trailers, though.
Ram, the “Official Truck” of the Academy of Country Music Awards, invited its customers to help break the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS in honor the 50th anniversary of the ACM Awards, which was broadcast live for the first time ever from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, April 19, at 8 p.m. live Eastern time/8 p.m. delayed Pacific time on CBS Television Network.
“Our hard-working Ram truck owners are passionate and loyal, and today they proved once again that everything is always bigger in Texas,” said Robert Hegbloom, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ram Truck Brand, FCA – North America. “Ram is the fastest growing truck brand in Texas, where trucks are king, and it was great to see 451Ram owners travel far and wide for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be a part of a special record-breaking rally and pickup parade.”
The Ram Truck Round-up parade route started on the east side of AT&T Stadium in Arlington and traveled approximately 3.2 miles around the stadium and neighboring Globe Life Park grounds.
Chevrolet HD Models Get Mononcromatic Custom Sport Option
April 16, 2015 — Chevrolet has added the monochromatic look to the Silverado 2500 HD and 3500 HD with new Custom Sport editions, which debuted at the Denver Auto Show.
Silverado Custom Sport HDs feature body-colored front and rear bumpers, a body-colored grille with chrome-accent bars, chrome door handles and body-side moldings, and chrome-accented trailering mirrors.
Silverado 2500 Custom Sports feature 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, while 3500 Custom Sports feature 18-inch polished aluminum wheels on single-rear-wheel models, and 17-inch polished aluminum wheels on duallys.
Silverado Custom Sport HDs are available in LT or LTZ models in either Summit White or Black.
Suggested retail package prices vary from $700 to $1,695, depending on the model.
The Silverado Custom Sport HDs join a family of Silverado 1500s targeted at the needs and tastes of specific groups of truck customers:
- The Silverado Black Out takes advantage of the black grille and bumpers of the Silverado 1500 WT to let customers to create a dramatic look at an affordable price. Available for regular and double cab WT models, the Black Out special edition includes 20” black painted aluminum wheels, P275/55R20 all-season blackwall tires, deep tinted glass and black bowties. Blackout also offers a dealer-installed carbon fiber decal kit and black assist steps.
- Silverado Rally is based on the LT trim level and features a body-colored grille with a black bowtie, black Rally stripes on the hood and tailgate, and black mirror caps and door handles. The Rally 2 takes the race inspired look further by adding 22-inch black alloy wheels and black tubular side steps.
- The Silverado Custom offers Chevy Truck capability and dependability in a stylish package, priced within reach of many truck customers. Based on the popular double-cab Silverado 1500 LS, the Custom package adds 20-inch aluminum wheels, chrome bumpers, a body-colored top cap above the front bumper, and chrome mirror caps and door handles.
- The new Silverado Custom Sport includes projector beam headlamps, and heated power-adjusted mirrors.
- Beginning with a black Silverado 1500 Z71, the Silverado Midnight adds an all-black front end with body-colored grille, bumper, headlamp bezels, tow hooks and fog lamps; 18-inch black painted alloy wheels with Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac all-terrain tires; special Z71 badges on the doors; a spray-in bed liner (black, of course); and the finishing touches – black Chevrolet bowties front and rear
2016 Toyota Tacoma Stronger, More Powerful and Efficient
March 31, 2015 — For 2016 Toyota has redesigned its iconic Tacoma, America’s best-selling mid-size pickup for 10 consecutive years. The Tacoma has been rebuilt inside and out with improvement in every aspect over the current Tacoma including design, ruggedness and performance improvements in horsepower and fuel efficiency. It features an all new powertrain and enhanced suspension tuning.
Toyota hasn’t released specifications yet, but here’s what the company has divulged:
- The frame features high-strength steel to increase rigidity.
- The truck will be available with a 4-cylinder or an all-new Atkinson cycle V6.
- The 3.5-liter V6 is equipped with Toyota’s D-4S direct and port fuel injection technology.
- The V6 can be paired with a new 6-speed manual or a new 6-speed automatic transmission
- Four new aggressive wheel designs, ranging from 16 to 18-inch.
- Premium features like Qi wireless charging, smart key with push-button start and a power moonroof and blind-spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert.
- Trim levels include, SR, SR5, Limited, TRD Sport and TRD Off Road
Towing capacities haven’t been released yet, but we expect the new Tacoma to meet or slightly exceed the outgoing model’s max capacity of 6,500 pounds.
Ram Trucks Showcase Torture Tests on YouTube
March 25, 2015 — We stumbled across this site thanks to our friends over at Turbo Diesel Register. In this video, Ram Trucks engineers highlight the types of cold-weather testing they put their products through before they make it into dealer showrooms.
This one is dedicated to cold-weather testing, but there are other types of testing outlined on the Ram Trucks YouTube page.
2015 Ford F-150s Enter Production at Second Manufacturing Plant
March 13, 2015 — The official start of production of the all-new 2015 F-150 began today at Kansas City Assembly Plant, which joins Dearborn Truck Plant in building the all-new F-150.
This means Ford has expanded production of the first mass-produced light-duty pickup truck with a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body. In addition to producing all F-150 models and cab configurations, production at Kansas City Assembly Plant now includes F-150s with an 8-foot cargo box and heavy payload package to meet the needs of commercial fleet customers.
“The all-new F-150 has surpassed our expectations – setting new standards for full-size truck capability, technology and efficiency,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford president, The Americas. “With production starting at Kansas City Assembly, we are better poised to start meeting growing customer demand for our pickup.”
The all-new F-150 is off to a strong start. In January, F-Series had its strongest sales month since 2004 – Ford’s best sales year ever for F-150. Retail sales increased 7 percent in February. These numbers make F-Series one of Ford’s fastest-selling vehicles, at just 18 days to turn on dealer lots – well below the light-duty full-size pickup truck average of 105 days.
F-150 is part of the Ford F-Series lineup. Now in its 67th year, F-Series has been the best-selling vehicle in America for 33 consecutive years and America’s favorite truck for 38 years.
“The rollout of the all-new Missouri-made F-150 cements our position as America’s truck manufacturing headquarters and marks a historic moment that has been years in the making,” said Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. “Six years ago, we made a commitment that the vehicles of the future would be built right here in the Show-Me State, and with today’s launch of the 2015 Ford F-150, we are delivering on that promise.”
Nissan Debuts All-New 2016 Titan Full-Size Pickup
Jan. 21, 2015 — At the North American International Auto Show, Nissan debuted the all-new version of its full-size Titan pickup, complete with its new Cummins 5.0-liter diesel V8 engine. Aimed squarely at rival products from Toyota, Ford, General Motors and Ram, the new Titan represents a big step up from the model it replaces.
The new TITAN XD, the first of the new generation of Nissan TITAN models, creates a new segment of the American market. It offers the effortless towing and hauling of the larger, more expensive heavy-duty trucks – yet has the fuel-efficiency and affordability of half-ton pickups. It is projected to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in late 2015.
Powered by a new Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel rated at 310 horsepower and hefty 555 lb-ft of torque, the 2016 TITAN XD will offer an available maximum towing capacity of more than 12,000 pounds (when properly equipped), along with available cutting-edge towing features such as an integrated gooseneck hitch engineered into the frame.
Additional available TITAN XD utility features and convenience aids include RearView Monitor with Trailer Guides, Around View® Monitor (AVM) with Moving Object Detection (MOD) and a Trailer Light Check system that allows one-person hook-up operation – including checking turn signals, brake lights and running/clearance lights from outside the vehicle. Also available are Blind Spot Warning (BSW) and a Front and Rear Sonar System.
The wide range of available interior features includes front and rear NASA-inspired Zero Gravity seats and a large center console designed to serve as a mobile workstation. More details on the full Nissan TITAN lineup will be announced at a later date.
The new TITAN XD Crew Cab is the first of three cab configurations, two frame sizes, three powertrain offerings and five grade levels to be available later in the Nissan TITAN lineup. More information on the full lineup will be available at a later date.
For more information, visit: http://www.nissanusa.com/trucks/2016-titan/
Toyota Unveils New 2016 Tacoma
Jan. 8, 2015 — All we have so far are photos and a video, but Toyota has released early details on its much awaited 2016 Tacoma. Since General Motors introduced its new Chevrolet Colroado and GMC Canyon pickups, interest in the midsize pickup market has been reinvigorated.
The new offering from Toyota is sure to create even more of a stir in the months to come.
2016 Toyota Tacoma
Nissan to Air "Truckmentary" in Concert with New Titan Debut
Dec. 22, 2014 — To commemorate theredesign of its full-size pickup, Nissan is publishing a multi-chapter TITAN "Truckumentary" to highlight the design, planning and engineering of the next-generation Nissan TITAN pickup.
The series is being officially kicked off by Nissan's Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Parts and Service, Fred Diaz. The first episode features a stroll through Nissan's truck past hosted by Brent Hagan of Nissan product planning.
The new TITAN, which will be unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 12th, was designed in California, engineered in Michigan, tested in Arizona and will be assembled in Mississippi and powered by engines from Indiana and Tennessee.
Stay tuned to www.nissan-usa.com, Nissan's Facebook and Twitter pages for more details on the TITAN "Truckumentary."
Chevrolet Colorado Named Motor Trend Truck of the Year
Dec. 3, 2014 — Well, the votes are in and the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado is Motor Trend's Truck of the Year.
To determine which truck deserved top honors, the MOTOR TREND test team subjected all of the contenders to numerous instrumented and real-world road tests. First up was standard MOTOR TREND testing, which included: 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip - all without payload or trailered loads.
A specific payload was then added to each truck and van, and the vehicles were then driven more than 250 miles to the Arizona/Nevada border to evaluate ride quality and loaded fuel economy. The vehicles were driven up and down the famed Davis Dam in Bullhead City, Ariz., for further assessment, including an instrumented test designed to simulate a passing situation while carrying a load.
The team then moved to a world-class automotive proving grounds for instrumented acceleration tests with nominal weight trailers. Truck and trailer were also driven through a short handling course to evaluate acceleration, braking, maneuverability and outward visibility. The final phase of evaluation involved a 21-mile road loop through hills of Arizona’s Hualapai Mountains.
Following the team’s intensive evaluation, the trucks were shipped to MOTOR TREND headquarters in El Segundo to undergo proprietary “Real MPG” fuel-economy testing. Using advanced exhaust gas and flow-rate analyzers, Real MPG measures tailpipe emissions every second during a three-hour, 88-mile drive around the Los Angeles area to record accurate real-world fuel economy.
For 2015, seven contenders were invited to compete; three competitors were asked to bring a powertrain and/or body style variant for a total of 10 vehicles overall:
Chevrolet Colorado WT and Colorado Z71
Chevrolet Silverado 3500 HD
Ford F150 2.7L EcoBoost and 3.5L EcoBoost
Ford Transit 350 HR and Transit 150 MR
GMC Canyon SLT
GMC Sierra Denali 2500 HD
2015 Chevrolet Colorado
New GM Truck Engines Integrate Advanced Technology
Nov. 18, 2014 — As Ford and Dodge move toward small displacement gas and diesel engine technology, General Motors continues to push the boundaries of its LS architecture V8 engines, with respectable results.
The 2015 Silverado offers a trio EcoTec3 engines with advanced fuel-saving technologies enabling customers to choose the performance and fuel efficiency that best meets their needs:
4.3L V-6; 285 horsepower; 305 lb-ft of torque; up to 24 mpg EPA highway
5.3L V-8; 355 horsepower; 383 lb-ft of torque; up to 23 mpg EPA highway
6.2L V-8; 420 horsepower; 460 lb-ft of torque; up to 21 mpg EPA highway
Every EcoTec3 engine features advanced technologies such as direct fuel injection, continuously variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation) to provide power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions.
“We give customers the power and torque of a full-size truck engine when they need it, then use Active Fuel Management and other advanced technologies to seamlessly shift to four-cylinder operation when the truck is under light loads, making the most of fuel efficiency,” said Jordan Lee, global chief engineer and program manager for Small Block engines.
Silverado’s EcoTec3 engines are direct descendants of the original Small Block Chevy V-8, and benefit from more than 60 years – and more than 100 million engines’ worth – of continuous improvement.
The latest Gen 5 Small Block engine has endured tough testing, including a grueling performance durability procedure, where it was subjected to a high-speed/high-load torture session that simulated full-throttle blasts from the equivalent of 0 to 120 mph. With simulated transmission shift points inserted during the high-load test, the engine cycles non-stop between peak torque and peak horsepower for hundreds of hours – the equivalent of thousands of miles.
Testing on the Gen 5 Small Block that contributes to the legendary durability of the modern Small Block engines include:
Severe thermal cycle testing, which quickly cycles the engine between extreme cold and hot coolant temperatures to validate the durability of engine components such as the head gaskets, exhaust manifolds and more.
The “hot scuff” test, in which a brand-new engine – or “green” engine to the engineers – is run at wide-open throttle with no break-in period, helping test critical engine parts such as bearings, piston ring sealing and bore scuffing.
Active Fuel Management validation, which cycled the engine in and out of the cylinder-deactivating feature hundreds of thousands of times at a variety of engine speeds to ensure the performance and durability of its unique valve lifters.
B&W Debuts New Patriot 16K Rail-Mounted Fifth Wheel Slider Hitch
Oct. 28, 2014 — Building on the success of its full line of fifth-wheel hitches, B&W will debut its new Patriot 16K at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
B&W’s new Patriot 16K slider hitch accommodates 12 inches of slide and is perfect for popular short-bed pickup trucks that allow less travel distance to the cab. Vertical adjustments can be made from 17 inches to 19 inches, allowing ample clearance for taller truck-bed walls. The Patriot 16K slider will fit on all industry standard mounting rails.
The Patriot 16K slider makes it easy to engage and disengage a trailer, as well. Thanks to its cam-lock design and three-quarter-inch-thick wrap-around jaws, an operator can couple or uncouple any trailer, regardless of the lay of the land. Pivot arms feature tough polyurethane bushings that allow the engaged coupler head to pivot smoothly, and the fully articulating head is cushioned by an integrated leaf spring.
“The Patriot 16K rail-mounted fifth wheel slider hitch is an American-made alternative to the offshore-manufactured slider hitches that have proliferated in recent years,” Travis McCall, product engineer for B&W Trailer Hitches, said. “Our hitch is engineered to operate as a finely tuned system, and we think users will be very impressed with the fit, finish, operation and overall ergonomics of our newest hitch design.”
B&W’s new Patriot rail-mounted slider is made of top-quality, American AISI 1018 steel and is powder coated for a tough, durable finish.
The 16K Patriot RVK3270 rail-mounted fifth wheel slider hitch has been tested and meets or exceeds the J2638 standard for a 16,000-pound vehicle tow rating (VTR). As in any towing scenario, B&W strongly recommends that users never exceed the Patriot 16K slider’s VTR.
For more information, visit: http://www.Turnoverball.com/find-a-dealer
2015 Ford F-450 Pulls Rated to Tow 31,200 Pounds
Sept. 4, 2014 —The towing wars are on and Ford has fired a huge salvo across the bow of its competitors, announcing that its F-450 is rated for up to 31,200 pounds of towing capacity. Wow.
“We leave no doubt with customers that the F-450 pickup truck has best-in-class towing of 31,200 pounds – whether tested using our own internal towing standards or SAE J2807,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.
Ford improved the 2015 F-450 pickup by giving it a more capable version of the F-350 frame, plus a more capable suspension and 19.5-inch wheels and tires to enable its best-in-class towing.
The F-450 pickup is available exclusively as a crew cab 4x4. The truck’s J2807-certified maximum tow rating is 2,200 pounds greater than its closest competitor’s crew cab 4x4 pickup.
Best-in-class towing performance is achieved with Ford’s second-generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 turbo diesel engine that has been developed to provide the segment’s top combination of power, torque and efficiency. The Power Stroke boasts best-in-class 440 horsepower across all Super Duty pickup models – from F-250 to F-450. Super Duty also offers 860 lb.-ft. of torque for the same models.
Ford is the only heavy-duty pickup truck manufacturer that designs and builds its own diesel engine and transmission combination – from concept to execution – ensuring the powertrain will work seamlessly with all chassis components and vehicle calibrations. This approach enables Ford engineers to optimize the vehicle’s performance across the entire lineup.
Ford previously determined F-450 pickup towing capacity using rigorous internal testing standards exclusively. Now it has added SAE J2807 test procedures, reaffirming the F-450 pickup rating. F-450 passed the additional tests with 31,200 pounds in tow, just as it passed Ford internal tests.
SAE J2807 requires the vehicle to be loaded with about 400 pounds more weight than Ford’s internal test (two passengers instead of one, and base curb weight instead of minimum curb weight), but the weight addition has no effect on F-450 towing capacity. Using either standard, F-450 has best-in-class towing capacity of 31,200 pounds.
As a result of the J2807 test results, Ford is also increasing the F-450 pickup’s already best-in-class gross combined weight rating from 40,000 pounds to 40,400 pounds – topping the nearest competitor by 2,500 pounds
Payload rating changes
Ford is migrating to the J2807 standard when it introduces all-new vehicles and will use base curb weight, rather than minimum curb weight, to determine payload ratings for all of its pickup trucks. The change will align Ford’s payload rating practices with other manufacturers to make it easier for customers to compare vehicles.
Using base curb weight, maximum payload for the 2015 F-450 pickup goes from 5,450 pounds to 5,300 pounds.
As always, actual payload ratings are determined for an individual vehicle in its as-built condition at the factory. Ford F-Series Super Duty customers continue to have the flexibility to add or delete equipment to meet their specific payload needs. Each truck’s unique payload rating can be found on the tire and loading label on the door frame.
All Ram Trucks Now Tested According to SAE J2807
July 21, 2014 — It seems the whole automotive community is beginning to embrace the SAE J2807 recommended practices. Now Ram Trucks has adopted the procedures for all its trucks.
Beginning with the 2015 model year, Ram will become the first automaker to adopt the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2807 standardized tow rating practices across all three fullsize pickup truck segments, including the ½-ton Ram 1500, ¾-ton Ram 2500 Heavy Duty and one-ton “King of the Hill” Ram 3500 Heavy Duty.
“Because our customers asked for it, every single 2015 model year pickup truck Ram sells will come with a trailer-tow rating achieved using SAE’s J2807 testing protocols,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Ram Truck Brand. “No other automaker can make that claim.”
On the heels of finalized SAE towing specifications that now include trucks up to 14,000 GVWR, Ram has validated its full pickup line with the SAE J2807 Towing Standard – the only truck maker to adopt the standard in all three pickup truck weight classes.
“Ram Truck has been preparing for integration of the SAE towing standard over the past few years and adding heavier ¾- and 1-ton trucks to the criteria gives it more teeth,” said Mike Cairns, Director – Ram Truck Engineering, Chrysler Group LLC. “For too long, an uneven playing field existed and towing capacities went unchecked. We’re happy to be the only pickup truck manufacturer to align with the SAE J2807 towing standard across our pickup truck lineup.”
The SAE J2807 towing standard outlines dynamic and performance criteria as it relates to a given vehicle. Examples within the standard include a number of tests while towing: 0-60 MPH time allowance, tackling the notorious Davis Dam Grade while maintaining no less than 40 MPH for single-rear-wheel trucks and 35 MPH for dual-rear-wheel trucks, a constant radius understeer test while increasing speed and a sway maneuver using aggressive steering input. The purpose is to put all trucks through the schedule of tests in which operators will likely see in the real world. SAE standards have existed in a number of other areas including engine torque and horsepower. Ram Truck is the first to adopt the official towing standard for ½-ton, ¾-ton and 1-ton trucks.
For more information, visit: http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/
GM to Adopt SAE J2807 Recommended Practices
July 15, 2014 — Believe it or not, not all automakers adhered to the Society of Automotive Engineers standards for measuring towing capacities. Known as J2807, the testing procedure is designed to provide consistency in determining a vehicle's towing capacity. General Motors and Dodge are the latest to get on board. The sticking point was that J2807 had the effect of lowering advertised tow ratings, which can dampen bragging rights — and sales.
2015 Silverado 1500
GM recently announced that its Chevrolet Silverado 1500 will maintain a 12,000-pound maximum trailer weight rating as it transitions to new ratings based on J2807 recommended practices.
“For 2015, Silverado 1500 will continue to offer trailer weight ratings up to 12,000 pounds,” said Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer. “And, we will offer a number of configurations with trailer weight ratings of 9,000 pounds or more, enabling light-duty pickup customers to choose exactly the right truck for their towing requirements.”
The 2015 Silverado 1500 will be available with a number of features engineered for serious towing:
— The available 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 is the most powerful engine offered in any light-duty pickup, with 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. Like other EcoTec3 engines, it combines proven performance with advanced fuel-saving technologies, seamlessly switching to four cylinders to improve efficiency in light-load driving.
— The available NHT max trailering package includes a 9.76-inch rear axle, heavy-duty rear springs, revised shock tuning for increased control, enhanced cooling, and an integrated trailer brake controller. Also included is an automatic locking rear differential, trailer hitch, and bumper-mounted 4- and 7-pin connectors.
— Combined, the 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 and max trailering package will give the 2015 Silverado 1500 2WD double-cab a 12,000 pound trailer weight rating. The comparable 4x4 version will have a trailer weight rating of 11,900 pounds.
— Silverado’s standard 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 and available 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8 also will offer significant towing capability for 2015, with maximum available trailer weight ratings of 11,200 pounds for the 5.3L V-8 and 7,600 pounds for the V-6. (SAE J2807; see attached Trailering Tables for details.)
GMC Debuts 2015 Sierra All Terrain HD
June 1, 2014 — General Motors' HD line of pickups has long been about towing capacity and hauling ability. Now, with the new 2015 Sierra All Terrain HD, it's adding off-road capability, too.
The new Sierra All Terrain HD is available on 2500HD and 3500HD double cab and crew cab models, and is offered with SLE or SLT trims – all with 4WD, of course, including an electronically controlled transfer case. Also included is the Z71 Off Road package, with Rancho twin-tube shocks, hill descent control and a skid plate.
Sierra HD’s 6.0L gas engine is standard and the Duramax turbo-diesel is available.
The All Terrain’s exclusive design features include a chrome surround on the grille, exterior graphics, aluminum underbody shields and unique 18-inch six-spoke chrome cast-aluminum wheels. Twenty-inch chrome aluminum wheels are available on 2500HD, while 3500HD models also include adjustable outside camper mirrors with a chrome cap.
Additional exterior content includes light-emitting diode signature headlamps, body-color bumpers (chrome bumpers available), chrome mirrors covers and body side moldings and chrome front-lower bumper plate. Inside, a carbon fiber-inspired theme distinguishes the All Terrain from other models and includes the ALL TERRAIN logo on the instrument cluster. A rearview camera system also is standard.
The new All Terrain HD also includes the latest connectivity technology, including IntelliLink and new OnStar with 4G LTE and standard built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. Enhanced features for IntelliLink include Text Messaging Alerts for smartphone users with Bluetooth profile (M.A.P.), which reads incoming texts through the vehicle’s speakers, and Siri Eyes Free for iPhone iOS 6 and iOS 7 users to enhance connectivity and convenience.
New OnStar with 4G LTE connection provides a mobile hub for drivers and passengers to stay connected. The hotspot is on whenever the vehicle is on and comes with a three-month/three-gigabyte data trial.
For more information, visit www.gmc.com or GMC's Facebook page, www.facebook.com/gmc.
Ford Releases F-150 Testing Videos
April 15, 2014 — Everyone likes to know their truck is tough and seeing what they go through before they make it to production is always interesting. Ford recently released it's "Top 10" list, if you will, of the toughest torture tests the F-150 undegroes. Here's the list:
The all-new F-150 has been through hundreds of torture tests. Here are the 10 toughest:
Seven-channel input: Ford built a special torture rack that violently twists and shakes the truck seven ways – simultaneously – for five days, simulating the equivalent of 225,000 miles. This testing isn’t random. After running a fully instrumented truck through durability courses, engineers recorded the forces the road surface put on various vehicle components. Those forces are replicated in seven channels – four up and down, two side to side and one lengthwise down the center. The frame and body are stressed to see how well the truck performs in situations that might bend the frame.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/3sm6ytOZ1dk
Silver Creek: The famous Silver Creek durability course in Romeo, Mich., combines two extremely rough roads. One section of the route has 15 distinct types of chuckholes, while the other is made from broken pieces of concrete. Test drivers beg off this route after one pass because the pounding and speed is so intense. Imagine hitting a crater-sized pothole every five feet for miles – going 20 mph. With this road surface, 500 miles is equal to 20,000 miles on the country’s roughest roads.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/4N7a2NS-gsE
Power Hop Hill: This washboard Ford test track in Romeo was created to replicate a steep, off-road dirt trail in the Hualapai Mountains of northwest Arizona. The severe 11 percent grade – steeper than the final section of most ski jump ramps – stresses engine and transmission components when the wheels lose contact and then return to the surface.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/G-ny7zptCHU
Drum drop: Ford engineers dropped 55-gallon drums into the bed of the truck on an angle, making sure all of the force came down on the sharp rim of the drum. Engineers in Dearborn, Mich., then measure the impact and make adjustments until the cargo box floor is suitably tough.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/ekNwEKVvCOA
Corrosion bath: The 2015 F-150 is the first high-volume vehicle with a high-strength steel frame, and body panels made of high-strength, aluminum alloy – the same material used to make armor-plated tanks and navy warships. An advantage aluminum has over steel is that it doesn’t produce red rust. So Ford had to go beyond the usual tests that include driving vehicles through countless salt baths and soaking them in high-humidity chambers. The company developed a modified corrosion test using an acidified spray to be more aggressive on the high-strength, aluminum alloy. After simulating 10 years of exposure, the aluminum material showed virtually no signs of degradation.
YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSo7Fv9WchA
Davis Dam: Run a half-marathon at Olympic-sprinter speed while carrying a 600-pound duffel bag in 120-degree temperatures, all up a 6 percent grade. Then do it 250 more times. That’s the Davis Dam durability route that stretches from just outside Bullhead City, Ariz., to the top of Union Pass. The F-150 climbed for 13 miles at posted speeds (varying from 35 mph to 65 mph) while pulling maximum trailer loads and running the air conditioning full blast in the heat of an Arizona summer.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/XpK6A6ONp9Q
Stone Peck Alley: There’s a special place in Romeo where paint jobs come to prove their mettle while testers work to protect the metal. To test paint for the all-new F-150, engineers drove the truck 150 miles over gravel roads, then another 150 miles over pellets of extremely jagged scrap iron that is first passed through a blast furnace. Oversized tires spray the stones and scrap iron at every surface of the truck.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/2vkzIyZoCo4
Engine thermal shock: F-150 engines are first placed in a special cell and hooked to equipment, called a dynamometer, which simulates pulling a heavy trailer at full throttle up a steep grade. Next, thermal shock testing takes engines from the coldest polar vortex to extreme heat in just seconds. The engine coolant and oil are quick-cooled to minus 20 degrees in as little as 20 seconds, then the engine runs at maximum power while coolant and oil temperatures stabilize, first at 230 degrees and then at 270 degrees, before being chilled again. This process is run 350 times over more than 400 hours to prove the durability of the engine block, seals, gaskets, cylinder heads and liners.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/PKp8swEPI8Q
Rock and stop: Serious off-roaders navigate difficult terrain using the same drive/reverse/drive technique many drivers use to get unstuck from snow. Ford performs 500 aggressive starts on a stand specially designed to torture rear axles. The stand creates impacts at nearly 2,000 lb.-ft. of torque. This is more torque than the truck is capable of making – 130 percent more and then some – just to be certain the rear axle and all of its parts can withstand the abuse.
YouTube link: http://youtu.be/c6XQSGnlTz4
Twist ditch: F-150 customers need to trust their trucks in off-road terrain. The twist ditch is a set of parallel dirt mounds built to create a situation in which one front wheel hangs in the air while the opposing rear wheel leaves the ground repeatedly. Only two small patches of rubber are left to make contact with a slippery surface and maintain traction. These ditches can put incredible stress on the truck’s body and frame. YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnAiDyc0iv8
GMC Yukon Focused on Quiet Interior
March 31, 2014 — Much of the marketing on GM's 2014 pickups focuses on how quiet they are inside, so it stands to reason that its 2015 SUVs will feature more of the same focus on accoustic isolation.
Media and customer feedback highlights the SUV’s serene interior. Obtaining this result was a pillar from the inception of the new Yukon and the effect of countless hours spent tuning by engineers like Michell Shippy, performance engineer for noise, vibration and wind noise.
“Having two young kids that never sleep through the night, I have a strong desire to enjoy peace and quiet on my commute,” said Shippy. “That also helps give me a sharp ear to hone in on the fine details. We’ve made extensive improvements on the new Yukon and the interior quietness is a feature noticeable enough to grab your attention. The Yukon is truly a pleasure to drive.”
More than two dozen enhancements advance quietness in the all-new 2015 Yukon. There is no quieter SUV in its class.
Beginning at its core, a fully boxed frame comprised of more than 75 percent high-strength steel lays the solid foundation for its quiet ride. Connecting the body – also made with high and ultra-high strength steel – to the frame are new shear-style mounts act like a shock absorber while significantly improving stiffness.
New inlaid doors now fit into the body side openings, rather than over the top of the body, which significantly reduces wind noise and variation. This construction also allows for triple-sealed doors and a tighter fit, minimizing gaps that result in more consistent wind noise performance.
“We paid a lot of attention to the doors,” Shippy said. “It’s an area that is highly sensitive to varying tolerances and so close to the driver and passengers. Sealing them correctly and consistently is a tough yet critical task.”
The triple seals include an acoustic water deflector and a full seal around the latch and outside door handle. Acoustic baffles in the door headers and acoustic laminated front door glass and an acoustic laminated windshield also enhance quietness.
Shaping and sealing of the exterior mirrors improved noise performance and made the most of aerodynamic performance.
Shippy and the noise and vibration team left no detail untouched. The list of improvements includes a special acoustic headliner, acoustic wheel house liners, acoustic hood blanket, dash mats on both sides of the front of dash and fender-to-body baffles. Even the way existing body sealers applied to keep out water and dust were analyzed to further isolate noise.
“The GMC customer is looking for a vehicle that’s a notch above the rest in all aspects, but especially in refinement,” said Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of Buick and GMC. “Interior quietness is an essential element to refinement and we keep hearing how impressively silent our new Yukons are. It’s really something to experience.”
For more information, visit: http://www.gmc.com/yukon-full-size-suv.html
GM V6 Accounts for 20 Percent of Truck Sales
March 18, 2014 — It wasn't all that long ago that 285 horsepower was a respectable horsepower V8 found in half-ton pickups. Now, General Motors' V6 engines in its Chevrolet Silverado pickups creates the same amount of horsepower and more torque than small V8 engines from the Big Three of just 10 years ago.
Consider these five points.
1) Purpose built for pickup use, with class-leading standard torque and towing
The Silverado standard 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 has one purpose – providing budget-conscious pickup customers a great standard engine. Its large 4.3-liter displacement provides class-leading torque (305 lb-ft) and available towing (7,600 lbs.) for a standard V-6, while its aluminum cylinder heads and block saves weight. Its ability to operate on four cylinders under lighter loads helps improve fuel efficiency.
2) For many returning customers, comparable performance with much better economy
The average age of a full-size pickup on the road is about 10.4 years. Owners of these trucks coming back into the market will find Silverado’s new EcoTec3 V-6 performs comparably to the V-8 engines powering many of their trucks, and with significantly improved fuel economy.
3) Saves money at the pump
Silverado V-6 is unsurpassed among standard pickups when it comes to saving money at the pump, based on EPA estimates for annual fuel cost. Because it runs on less-expensive regular gasoline, it even matches the EPA estimated fuel cost for the new Ram diesel.
EPA estimate annual fuel costs (standard 2WD models):
EPA estimated MPG, combined EPA estimated annual fuel cost
Silverado 1500 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 20 $2,500
Ford F-150, 3.7L V-6 19 $2,600
Ram 1500, 3.6L Pentastar V-6 (non HFE) 20 $2,500
Ref: Ram 1500, 3.0L Ecodiesel V-6 23 $2,500
4) Innovative technology for every customer
Silverado’s 4.3L EcoTec3 V-6 offers the same advanced engineering as Silverado’s optional 5.3L and 6.2L V-8 engines:
Direct fuel injection, which precisely measures fuel directly into each cylinder, making the most of combustion for improved power, torque and efficiency.
Continuously variable valve timing, which adjusts the opening and closing of the valves to help improve low-end torque.
Active Fuel Management, which seamlessly switches to four-cylinder operation at lighter loads to help save fuel.
5) An all-new engine with deep, strong roots
Silverado’s EcoTec3 V-6 was all-new for 2014, but it builds on nearly 60 years of experience with small-block Chevy truck engines. Chevy small-block engines are proven, year-in and year-out, under the toughest conditions, on job sites and race tracks around the world.
For more on GM V6 engines, click here.
Nissan Tests Public Appetite for Diesel Frontier Pickup
February 6, 2014 — Nissan just debuted the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins. This project truck, based on a Frontier Desert Runner 4x2 model, serves to gauge the market reaction to a Nissan mid-size pickup with a diesel engine and plot a potential future direction for the Frontier.
The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins arrives a mere six months after the announcement of a partnership with Cummins Inc. to provide a 5.0-liter turbo diesel V8 in the next-generation Titan full-size pickup, which will arrive in calendar-year 2015.
“Frontier continues to be a huge success story for us, with more than 60,000 units sold in 2013,” said Fred Diaz, senior vice president, Sales & Marketing, Parts & Service, U.S.A, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA).“Nissan has always valued the mid-size pickup segment, and with this technical study project, we are looking to explore what is possible for the next-generation Frontier. We are always looking for ways to engage our customers, innovate and take the segment in an evolutionary direction.”
At the heart of the Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cummins is a 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine designed to meet or exceed future emissions standards. As adapted for use in this truck, the engine produces nearly 200 horsepower and more than 350 lb-ft. of torque, while increasing fuel economy 35 percent over a V6-powered two-wheel drive 2014 Frontier.
Backed by a ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic transmission, the two-wheel drive diesel Frontier maintains, and even increases, the usability of a Frontier truck. Along with the mileage increase, payload and towing capacity are expected to be in range of that offered by the V6-powered Frontier.
The Frontier Diesel Runner Powered by Cumminswas designed by Nissan Design America in San Diego, CA in conjunction withNissan Global Design Center in Atsugi, Japan. Exterior modifications include a custom paint treatment that mixes three elements: a bright high-gloss “Arrest Me Red” color inspired by Cummins’ engine red; a raw “Matte Silver” color created to express the steel body-on-frame Frontier chassis foundation; and carbon fiber and carbon fiber film accents to signify the truck’s outstanding performance and efficiency.
Engine: Cummins 2.8-liter turbo diesel
Horsepower: Approximately 200
Torque: More than 350 lb-ft
Transmission: ZF 8HP70 8-speed automatic
Axle ratio: 3.13:1
Ram 1500 EcoDiesel Notches 28 MPG Fuel Economy
February 4, 2014 — The EcoDiesel-powered 2014 Ram 1500 has earned a 28-mpg rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the best highway-cycle test result ever achieved by a full-size, half-ton pickup. It also exceeds the EPA highway rating for the top-ranked small pickup.
“The new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is truly in a class of it’s own with 28 MPG and the ability to tow 9200 pounds,” says Reid Bigland, President and CEO Ram Truck Brand. “To put the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel in context, it gets 6 mpg better fuel economy than the best F150 Eco-Boost. Overall, the Ram 1500 Eco-Diesel has outstanding pick-up truck capability with compact-car-like fuel economy.”
Towing capacities range from 7,500 pounds to 9,000 pounds, depending on trim and equipment.
The EcoDiesel is the first and only advanced-technology turbo-diesel offering in the half-ton pickup segment. In addition to superior fuel economy, it delivers peak torque of 420 lb.-ft. (569 Nm), which is unsurpassed among full-size trucks equipped with V-6 engines.
The all-new engine’s block and bedplate are made from lightweight Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI). Its performance is enhanced by the innovative MultiJet 2 common-rail fuel-injection system, which is exclusive in North America to Chrysler Group.
MultiJet 2’s high-dispersion nozzles and advanced-technology servovalve can accommodate up to eight fuel-injection events per cylinder cycle. This mitigates noise and improves low-speed throttle response, while also reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
The all-new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel features state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), high-pressure cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), variable swirl intake ports and a variable-geometry turbocharger. All contribute to 50-state compliance with Tier 2-Bin 5/LEV II emissions regulations.
Named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for 2014, the EcoDiesel V-6 was a significant factor in the Ram 1500’s selection as 2014 Motor Trend Truck of the Year. The Ram 1500 is the first vehicle to win this prestigious award in back to back years.
Chrysler Group’s segment-exclusive TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission further improves the Ram 1500’s fuel efficiency. While enabling optimal engine speed in a wide range of driving conditions, the advanced-technology gearbox benefits from a thermal-management system that quickly warms transmission oil to reduce pumping losses associated with cold, low-viscosity fluid.
Ordering for EcoDiesel models begins Feb. 7. For more information, visit: http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/ram_1500/
Ford Announces "You Test" Campaign
January 30, 2014 — Ford is looking for truck buyers to take an all-new F-150 through some of the toughest testing it might ever encounter – their own.
Ford is launching the “You Test” campaign, in which actual Ford F-150 drivers and fans could win the opportunity to sit behind the wheel of the all-new 2015 F-150 before nearly anyone else in the world. By visiting BuiltToughTest.com, customers can tell Ford how they would test the toughness of the new F-150 pickup – maybe through a grueling off-road challenge, or even through the daily routine of a demanding job site.
“We prove every day our trucks are Built Ford Tough – now we’re asking truck customers to help us prove it too,” said Eric Peterson, Ford F-150 marketing manager. “We’re looking for people who know how to punish a truck. Built Ford Tough isn’t just a tagline; it’s the philosophy that drives us every day to make the best trucks out there, and it’s what has made F-Series the No. 1 truck for nearly 40 years.”
Up to five winners will be selected to spend up to a week behind the wheel of a new F-150 while video crews document the truck undergoing the real-world testing. The videos will be posted to YouTube.com/FordTrucks.
Entries must be received by May 31, 2014. Winners will be announced before Sept. 1, 2014. No purchase necessary. Complete terms and conditions are available at BuiltToughTest.com.
The all-new F-150 is the toughest F-150 ever, with a high-strength steel frame and a high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body. The new F-150 will undergo more than 10 million miles of toughness and durability testing before it reaches showrooms later this year.
F-150 is also the preferred light-duty pickup among workers in some of the toughest vocations. According to Polk registration data of light-duty pickups, 53 percent of these truck drivers in the heavy construction industry, 56 percent in the heavy hauling industry and 60 percent in the energy/utility industry drive F-150 pickups.
Mossy Oak Edition Returns to Ram Trucks
January 27, 2014 — After a brief, one-year hiatus, the Ram 1500 Mossy Oak® Edition is returning to the truck brand’s model lineup.
Updated for 2014, the Mossy Oak Edition will now be available for the first time with the RamBox Cargo Management System, in both 6-ft.-4-in. and 5-ft.-7-in. bed lengths.
Originally introduced to the Ram Truck family in 2011, the Mossy Oak Edition is designed for enthusiasts who are passionate about the great outdoors.
The 2014 Ram 1500 Mossy Oak Edition will further extends the multi-tiered relationship between the Ram Truck brand and America’s top camouflage brand.
“Ram Truck is focused on the needs and wants of truck buyers,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO - Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “Our Ram Truck owners are passionate about hunting and fishing. The Ram Mossy Oak Edition gives hunting enthusiasts a way to proudly proclaim their love for the outdoors.“
Ram 1500 owner demographics illustrate a love for the outdoors: 30 percent hunt, 44 percent fish, 27 percent are boaters and 42 percent are campers.
"The Ram Truck brand has been a great partner to Mossy Oak," said Ronnie "Cuz" Strickland, EVP of Mossy Oak. "The people there love trucks, but they’re also into hunting and fishing and understand that their customers are, too. To have Ram take that relationship to the next level by offering a special Mossy Oak Edition speaks volumes about their commitment to hunters and Outdoorsmen and women, and we are extremely proud to partner with them."
The Mossy Oak Edition Ram 1500’s bedcaps and tailgate are covered in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity® camouflage pattern and the Mossy Oak logo is prominently displayed on the rear quarter panels. Break-Up Infinity-patterned lower cladding is also available.
Inside, the center column of the Ram’s instrument panel is finished in Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity, as are the door panel inserts. The Mossy Oak logo is embroidered on the four primary headrests. Buyers also can opt for Espresso Tuscany-colored Katzkin Leather seats with Mossy Oak seatback embroidery.
The Ram Mossy Oak Edition is available exclusively as a Ram 1500 4x4 Crew Cab model, and is based on the popular Ram Outdoorsman. Ram Mossy Oak Edition available colors include Black, Black Gold Pearl and Prairie Pearl monotone exterior, paired with Canyon Brown and Frost Beige interior. Ram Mossy Oak Edition trucks will arrive in dealerships in early 2014. Ram Mossy Oak Edition pricing starts at $39,985, plus $1,195 destination charge.
GMC Debuts All New Canyon Midsize Pickup Line
January 16, 2014 — GMC revealed the 2015 Canyon today, an all-new midsize truck that redefines the segment and raises the bar for everything from horsepower and efficiency to quietness and refinement.
When it goes on sale this year, the all-new Canyon will give GMC one of the only three-truck lineups in the industry. It is expected to deliver class-leading capabilities with the brand’s signature refinement – all in an efficiently sized, maneuverable package for customers who want the cargo-hauling and trailering versatility of a truck without the size of a full-size pickup.
Based on a proven global architecture and engineered for the unique demands and driving conditions of North American drivers, the new Canyon is expected to deliver:
The segment's best maximum trailering rating (when properly equipped) of at least 6,700 pounds (3,039 kg)
The segment's best horsepower - an estimated 193 horsepower (146 kW) from a standard 2.5L I-4 and an estimated 302 horsepower (224 kW) from an available 3.6L V-6
The segment's best payload of at least 1,450 pounds (657 kg)
Even greater capability with a powerful and efficient Duramax 2.8L turbodiesel engine coming in 2016 model year
"Not everyone needs full-size capability, but they still deserve strength and true-truck attributes that come in larger models. The Canyon will offer all the capability with confidence – and GMC's signature refinement that complements active lifestyles," said DiSalle. "It also delivers the technology customers want with more standard features."
Canyon's customer-focused technologies include available OnStar 4G LTE connectivity with a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot and expected segment-first available driver alert features such as forward collision alert, lane departure warning and a standard rear-vision camera.
Additionally, RemoteLink Key Fob Services allow owners to lock and unlock their vehicle, flash the lights and honk the horn, and, on equipped models, even remotely start the engine using the RemoteLink smartphone app. The service is free for five years. Additional OnStar services and data plans will be available with a paid subscription.
GMC's ProGrade protection program for two years/24,000 miles – whichever comes first – of scheduled maintenance, is standard and covers four oil changes, tire rotations and 27-point inspections. It complements the three-year/36,000-mile – whichever comes first – bumper-to-bumper limited vehicle warranty and five-year/100,000-mile – whichever comes first – powertrain limited warranty.
For more information, photos and video, visit www.GMC.com
Ford Debuts New F-150 at North American Intl. Auto Show
January 13, 2014 — Ford introduced the all-new Ford F-150, the reinvention of America’s favorite truck. It is the toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever – setting the standard for the future of trucks.
The all-new F-150 delivers an impressive combination of power, capability and efficiency – from advanced materials that improve durability and inhibit corrosion, to faster processors that enhance driving performance, to breakthrough cargo management and towing solutions.
“F-150 is well-known for being Built Ford Tough. Now, it is both tough and smart,” said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company chief operating officer. “The all-new F-150 redefines the future of trucks, and it is yet another example of our One Ford plan producing vehicles that serve customers with a commitment to the very best quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value.”
In designing the backbone of the F-150, Ford engineers improved the truck’s signature fully boxed ladder frame. It is all-new with more high-strength steel than ever – making it stronger and lighter. High-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys – already used in aerospace, commercial transportation, energy and many other rugged industries – are used throughout the F-150 body for the first time, improving dent and ding resistance and also saving weight.
Overall, up to 700 pounds of weight have been saved, helping the F-150 tow more, haul more, accelerate quicker and stop shorter, and contributing to efficiency.
Several groundbreaking new productivity features debut in the all-new F-150, including many class-exclusives. They include:
360-degree camera view, using exterior cameras to create a bird’s-eye view of the truck to help the driver park, maneuver in tight spots and navigate down narrow roads and trails
Integrated loading ramps, which enable easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles and mowers
BoxLink™, which is a combination of metal brackets and custom cleats used to secure a variety of accessories in the cargo box, from ramps to storage bins to bed dividers
LED headlamps and taillamps, which provide excellent nighttime visibility
Trailer hitch assist, a new rear view camera feature that adds a dynamic line based on steering wheel angle in the display to help customers line up truck and trailer without requiring a spotter or having to get out of the vehicle
Smart trailer tow module, using an all-new smart trailer tow wiring harness that helps identify and inform the driver of potential trailer connectivity issues, burned or unlit trailer marker lamps, and brake light and trailer battery faults
Remote tailgate, allowing for the tailgate to be locked, unlocked and released with the key fob – eliminating manual locking and increasing convenience and security. The tailgate also is damped, dropping down, hands-free, to a flat position when opened
High-wattage power outlets (400 watts, 110 volts) in the cab, allowing drivers to easily charge corded tools, battery chargers or mobile devices on-site or while driving
LED spotlights on sideview mirrors, which provide powerful, durable and bright lighting around the truck exterior
Latest EcoBoost® technology in an all-new, even more efficient 2.7-liter EcoBoost engine that features extremely high output and lightweight design
Next-generation tailgate step, which is now fully integrated inside the tailgate and virtually invisible when not in use
Motor Trend Names Ram 1500 as 2014 Truck of the Year
December 8, 2013 — Motor Trend has selected the Ram 1500 as its 2014 Truck of the Year.
The announcement was made at the Chrysler Group LLC Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan, the birthplace of Ram Trucks. A full report on Motor Trend’s comprehensive Truck of the Year testing will be featured on MotorTrend.com and in the February 2014 issue of Motor Trend.
2014 Ram EcoDiesel netted 28 mpg and can tow up to 8,700 pounds.
Nine Truck of the Year contenders were put through an extensive battery of testing designed to evaluate virtually every aspect of each vehicle. In addition to the 2014 Ram 1500, the judges examined other all-new or significantly updated trucks the industry produced this year: the Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Ram Heavy Duty, and Toyota Tundra pickups; and the Ford Transit Connect, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Nissan NV200, and Ram ProMaster vans.
To determine which truck deserved top honors, the Motor Trend judges took the nine contenders to the Continental Tire Automotive Proving Grounds in Uvalde, Texas. There, the judges tested each truck’s performance with the following exercises:
1. Standard testing (without load): 0-60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking, and maximum lateral grip.
2. Limit handling (without load): closed-course cornering, braking and acceleration.
3. Tow/payload testing: 0-60 acceleration repeated with trailers attached (pickups) or payload secured (vans), loaded to 75 percent of each truck’s maximum rating (as equipped)
4. Road looping: Highway and real-world replication.
"Half-ton truck customers have been asking for a diesel engine and Ram is the only truck manufacturer to answer the bell and deliver not only best-in-class fuel economy but also 9,200 pounds of towing capability," said Reid Bigland, President and CEO Ram Truck Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. "In a brutally competitive truck industry, the Ram 1500 is the only vehicle to ever win the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award two years in a row, reaffirming the fact that we have the best truck on the road."
Ford Begins Production of CNG-Capable 2014 F-150
December 2, 2013 —Ford began production of the 2014 F-150 with the ability to run on compressed natural gas, making Ford the only manufacturer with an available CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup.
The 2014 Ford F-150 with 3.7-liter V6 engine is available with a factory-installed, gaseous-fuel prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, and pistons and rings so it can operate on either natural gas or gasoline through separate fuel systems.
When equipped with a bi-fuel CNG/LPG engine package, the 3.7-liter V6 F-150 is capable of achieving more than 750 miles on combined tanks of gasoline and CNG, depending on the tank sizes selected. The Ford F-150 with 3.7-liter V6 has an EPA-estimated rating of 23 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg combined
CNG/LPG engine prep from the factory costs $315 before the customer chooses a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier to supply fuel tanks, fuel lines and unique fuel injectors. Upfits run approximately $6,000 to $9,500 depending on fuel tank capacity.
CNG conversions can provide stability against fluctuating fuel prices as well as lower vehicle operating costs for fleet administrators. CNG sells for an average of $2.10 per gallon of gasoline equivalent, and is as low as $1 in some parts of the country, representing a significant savings over unleaded regular fuel. The national average for unleaded regular fuel is $3.29 per gallon.
Customers also can accelerate the payback period by taking advantage of a growing number of state incentives. Nearly 20 states – including Oklahoma, Texas, Pennsylvania and Florida – offer or soon will provide tax incentives or rebates for CNG-converted vehicles. In Florida, fleet customers will be eligible for rebates of up to $25,000 beginning in 2014.
Most CNG options
By next summer, Ford will offer eight commercial vehicles with a gaseous-prep option, a number no other full-line manufacturer can match:
Transit Connect van and wagon
Transit van, wagon, cutaway and chassis cab
E-Series van, wagon, cutaway and stripped chassis
F-Series Super Duty pickup and F-350 chassis cab
F-Series Super Duty chassis cab (F-450, F-550)
F-650 medium-duty truck
F53 and F59 stripped chassis
2014 F-150 light-duty pickup
2015 Chevrolet Colorado Debuts at L.A. Auto Show
November 20, 2013 — Chevrolet today unveiled the all-new 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, which will redefine the midsize truck and offer real truck capability and versatility to customers who don’t require a full-size truck.
The new Colorado is built with the DNA of a true Chevy truck, expected to deliver class-leading power, payload and trailering ratings. Colorado goes on sale in fall 2014 as a 2015 model.
“Our strategy is simple: meet the needs of the broadest possible customer base, and let them choose precisely the right truck to meet their needs,” said Mark Reuss, General Motors executive vice president and president of GM North America. “The all-new Colorado benefits from the solid foundation established by the Silverado, and it reinvents the midsize truck while reinvigorating the segment at the same time.”
The new Colorado was developed for the North American truck customer, with distinctive design, comfort and connectivity features, including segment firsts such as available forward collision alert and lane departure warning.
Chevrolet expects Colorado to be the most powerful truck in the segment, allowing owners to haul and tow more. A 2.5L I-4 is standard, and a 3.6L V-6 is available. Each engine is tuned, tested and validated for truck use, and each features direct injection and variable valve timing to make the most of power and efficiency. Each is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission.
When properly equipped, the Colorado is expected to offer class leading payload capacity and trailering capacity of more than 6,700 pounds (3,039 kg). That is more than enough capability to throw a weekend’s worth of camping gear in the bed and tow a boat to a favorite lake.
Colorado will also offer the segment’s only diesel engine in its second year – a proven Duramax 2.8L I-4 turbodiesel already offered in global markets. The diesel engine will expand Colorado’s powertrain lineup to cover the broadest range of needs.
“We designed the Colorado to be the most versatile and most capable in its segment, bar none,” said Jeff Luke, executive engineer, GM Trucks. “Not everyone needs full-size capability, but they still deserve the strength and true-truck attributes that come in larger models. The Colorado delivers capability with confidence – and a fun-to-drive spirit that complements active lifestyles.”
New GM Trucks' Innovative Features Highlighted
November 18, 2013 —When it comes to pickup trucks, the usability of the back end is just as important as the power under the hood. Customer-focused innovations to the cargo box of the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado were designed to make it easier to see, secure and access what’s back there.
“Silverado owners are the doers of the world,” said Lloyd Biermann, Silverado marketing manager. “Our goal when designing the Silverado’s pickup box was to create something that was stronger, more durable and versatile to help our owners get their toughest jobs done.”
Owners says they most frequently use their trucks for everyday projects. Two out of three use their truck for hauling. Seasoned truck owners want a pickup that makes loading and securing cargo as simple as possible. Making it easier to climb into the truck bed and retrieve items is a bonus.
From design to functionality, the Silverado pickup box is engineered to be the most innovative cargo box in its segment with these features:
LED Box Lights – Located in the cargo box, under the side rails, the available lights turn on with the standard overhead box lamp and make it easier to find cargo in the bed, even under a tonneau cover.
EZ Lift & Lower Tailgate – An internal torsion bar reduces the effort to raise the tailgate while a rotary damper allows for a controlled and more gradual lowering motion when opening it.
CornerStep Bumper – Unique steps incorporated into the corners of the rear bumper are designed to accommodate work boots and can be used with the tailgate up or down.
Hand Grip Pockets – Located within the rails, at the rear of the cargo box, they provide easier access into the cargo box and work in tandem with the CornerStep Bumper.
Removable Upper Tie-Down Hooks – Allow maximum flexibility to secure cargo of varying shapes and sizes and can be placed in several locations around the cargo box.
B&W Boosts Companion Hitch Capacity to 20,000 Pounds
October 25, 2013 — B&W Trailer Hitches,a leading U.S.-based manufacturer of heavy-duty, engineered trailer hitches and aftermarket truck/trailer accessories, introduced its new RVB3500 Companion fifth wheel aftermarket trailer hitch today. The new Companion hitch employs B&W’s unique Turnoverball mounting design that promotes quick, single-point hitch installation. The quiet riding hitch is designed to handle today’s heavier trailers and pickups with varying truck bed configurations.
B&W’s earlier Companion model had an18,000-pound towing capacity and had gained a solid reputation within the RV community for its ease of installation, robust design, smooth ride and, most of all, its low noise characteristics. The original Companion hitch has remained virtually unaltered since its inception in 1998. The new 20,000-pound rated Companion fifth wheel trailer hitch has all the features that RV owners and dealers favored in its predecessor and then some.
“The combination of product quality and reliability, along with B&W’s reputation among customers, have made the B&W Companion fifth wheel hitch our most popular,” Don Collins, president, DC’s RV Centers, said. “With its 20,000-pound towing capacity, enhanced height adjustment and flexible installation design, we anticipate that the new Companion will be even more commercially successful than its forerunner.”
To find a B&W dealer near you, click here:
Chevrolet Introduces All-New 2015 Tahoe and Suburban
September 12, 2013 — Chevrolet today introduced the 2015 Tahoe and Suburban – all-new versions of the industry’s best-selling duo of full-size SUVs. They offer more functionality, greater refinement, new safety features and an increased range of advanced technologies to appeal to two distinct customer groups who want the unique combination of features only Tahoe and Suburban provide.
All-new styling advances the Tahoe and Suburban’s design, which contributes to a quieter ride. A more-efficient, direct-injected EcoTec3 powertrain coupled with improved aerodynamics help offer greater estimated highway fuel economy based on GM testing while preserving overall performance and capability. Official EPA estimates are not yet available.
Suburban is the segment’s founder and the industry’s oldest continuously available nameplate, while Tahoe is the segment’s sales leader.
New functionality and technology features found on both vehicles for 2015 include:
— Fold-flat second- and third-row seats that enhance cargo convenience – including an available power-folding feature
— Approximately two inches greater legroom for second-row passengers, along with easier entry/exit
— Available eight-inch color touch screen radio with next-generation MyLink connectivity
— Up to six USB ports and six power outlets – including a 110-volt three-prong outlet – to support electronic devices of all kinds (up to 12 charging locations)
— Available rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens (Suburban only) and Blu-ray DVD player
— Conversation mirror in the overhead console that provides a panoramic view of the rear seats
— Keyless entry and push-button start.
— A stronger frame and a wider rear track that contributes to a more planted stance
— LTZ models include third-generation magnetic ride control, a real-time damping system that delivers more precise body motion control by “reading” the road every millisecond and changing damping in just five milliseconds.
— Eighteen-inch standard wheels that are a half-inch wider, reducing tire flex for improved cornering performance. Twenty- and 22-inch wheels are available.
— New, electric variable-assist power steering system enhances fuel economy and tailors steering assist to vehicle speed.
— New four-wheel-disc brake system with Duralife™ brake rotors that offer up to double the service life, along with brake pedal revisions that improve pedal feel for stronger-feeling, more-confident braking performance.
Tahoe and Suburban’s standard 5.3L V-8 feature state-of-the-art technologies, including direct injection, cylinder deactivation, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system, designed to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions.
Improved engine mounts, electronic throttle control, adaptive exhaust systems, improved aerodynamics and other technologies help the engines operate in four-cylinder mode more often with Active Fuel Management, further increasing efficiency.
The engine is mated to a Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed automatic transmission, featuring TapShift control, Tow/Haul mode and Auto Grade Braking.
The new Tahoe and Suburban will be built at GM’s Arlington, Texas assembly plant. Both vehicles are scheduled to arrive in dealerships in the first quarter of 2014.
Nissan Titan to Get 5.0-liter Cummins Diesel V8
August 20, 2013 — Nissan announced it will offer a newly-developed Cummins V8 turbo diesel in its next-generation full-size pickup.
Now in the latter stages of development and testing, the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel engine has been optimized for the next generation Titan as a result of the partnership between Cummins and Nissan. Cummins also is developing a version of the engine for its commercial vehicle customers.
"We have done our homework on the next-generation Titan. Truck owners told us there's a demand for the performance and torque of a diesel in a capable truck that doesn't require the jump up to a heavy-duty commercial pickup," said Fred Diaz, divisional vice president, Nissan Sales & Marketing, Service & Parts, Nissan North America. "There is no question that the new Titan will turn heads, and with the available Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel, we expect to win new fans and attract buyers looking for this unique configuration."
Nissan has previously announced the next-generation Titan will add powertrain options and cab-and-box configurations to broaden the appeal of the new truck when it comes to market.
"We are very excited to partner with Nissan on the introduction of the Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel to the North American pickup truck market," said Dave Crompton, vice president, Cummins Engine Business. "This new engine will offer the right balance of power, performance and fuel economy while delivering the dependability that customers expect of a Cummins engine. This will be a great package."
With a torque rating in the mid-500s (lb-ft) and more than 300 horsepower, the Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel will provide light truck customers the combination of towing capacity and mileage that is expected in the highly-competitive North American truck marketplace.
The Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel will be built in America's manufacturing heartland at the Columbus Engine Plant, in Columbus, Ind., Cummins headquarters. This plant has the latest technological innovations to continue the 90-plus year tradition of building the highest quality Cummins engines.
The Titan program is being led by teams in Nissan Americas' headquarters in Franklin, Tenn., while engineering and testing is performed by Nissan Technical Center North America in Farmington Hills, Mich. and Stanfield, Ariz. as well as Nissan's global engineering center. Design is being led by Nissan Design America in La Jolla, Calif.
Like the current model, the next-generation Titan will be built at Nissan's Canton, Miss. vehicle assembly plant and its gasoline engines cast, forged and assembled at Nissan's Decherd, Tenn. powertrain plant.
For competitive reasons, Nissan is not announcing launch dates at this stage in the truck's development, however engineering prototype trucks powered by the Cummins engine are currently undergoing extensive on-public-highway performance and durability testing.
Further information on the upcoming Titan truck and Cummins engine will be released at a later date.
GMC Off to Best Start in Six Years
August 12, 2013 — The all-new 2014 Sierra full-size pickups are leaving dealer lots almost as soon as they arrive. The average “days to turn” is 14 days, compared to the segment’s 76-day average.
Combined with 2013 models, the new Sierra helped drive the pickup’s best July sales since 2007. Year-over-year Sierra retail sales were up 53 percent while total sales were up 49 percent.
“The all-new 2014 Sierras are selling as soon as they come off the transporters, especially those with the SLT trim package,” said Tom Sheehan, owner of Sheehan Buick GMC in Lighthouse Point, Fla. “Our customers have told us they enjoy the luxury features that the Sierra SLT has to offer.”
With all-new advertising hitting the airwaves, and the new double cab Sierras now shipping to dealers, the momentum continues for GMC’s best-selling model.
Earlier this year, the 2013 J.D. Power and Associates U.S. Customer Service Index (CSI) Study, GMC ranked first among mass market automotive brands in customer satisfaction. The study examines satisfaction among vehicle owners who visit a service department for maintenance work during the first three years of new vehicle ownership.
Acadia crossover SUV retail sales were the best ever for the month of July, with a total of 6,615 units delivered to customers. Year-over-year Acadia retail sales were up 1 percent, while total sales were up 2 percent.
Terrain small SUV retail and total sales also were the best ever for July. Year-over-year Terrain retail sales were up 24 percent and total sales were up 3 percent. Both Acadia and Terrain are off to the best-ever start to a year.
Ram Express Trucks go From Red to Black
July 26, 2013 — Black is the new red. At least for Ram trucks. For 2013, Ram has taken one of its most popular models and loaded it with attitude.
The Ram Black Express takes a combination of style, performance, capability and value and transforms into the “baddest-looking” factory-built truck on the market.
The 2013 Ram Black Express is distinguished by its all-black exterior. Starting with 20-inch black aluminum wheels, it also adds a black front fascia with fog lamps, black grille surround with black hex-link inserts, black rear bumper and black Ram’s head badges on the grille and tailgate. All body-side badging has been removed.
“Ram Trucks are known for their bold, in-your-face presence,” said Reid Bigland, President and CEO – Ram Truck Brand. “The new Black Express takes Ram’s aggressive good looks to an all new sinister level by 'blackening out' the entire truck while maintaining a great price.”
The Ram Black Express also features premium bi-functional halogen projector headlamps with black bezels, 15 amber LEDs for park/turn/position lamp and three amber LEDs for the side marker. The taillamps also include black finishes and are comprised of 15 red LEDs with three red LEDs for the side markers.
The 2013 Ram Black Express is available in two- and four-wheel-drive models and a choice of regular cab, quad cab or crew cab body styles.
Ram Black Express pricing starts at $26,955, plus $1,095 destination charge.
The 2013 Ram 1500 Black Express will begin reaching dealerships in July 2013.
B&W Companion RV Hitch Now Compatible With 2013 Ram 3500
June 28, 2013 – For Companion™ 5th Wheel Hitch customers wanting to tow with 2013 Ram 2500 and 3500 pickup trucks, a necessary part is now available from B&W Trailer Hitches that makes this possible. As always, the Companion works in conjunction with the Turnoverball™ under-bed mounting kit. (Turnoverball model GNRK1314 is available for the 2013 Ram 3500.)
Many fifth-wheel owners and dealers have been waiting on a hitch solution for the new Ram trucks. This additional part attaches to the legs of the Companion and fills in the recess in the corrugations of the 2013 Ram 3500 trucks. Some of the 2013 Ram 2500 trucks also have this recess and will require the additional spacers.
“So many 5th wheel owners have been waiting on a hitch so that they can get on the road and enjoy the season,” according to Beth Barlow, Marketing Manager, “We are pleased that we have been able to design a solution in short order.”
The additional spacer is available free of charge by calling B&W Trailer Hitches directly at 800.248.6564. Office hours are 8:00am to 5:00pm CDT.
Ford Debuts Tremor Sport Truck with Ecoboost power
June 27, 2013 — The 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor is the first-ever EcoBoost®-powered sport truck that addresses the needs of street truck enthusiasts looking for high-performance V8 power with V6 fuel economy.
The short-wheelbase, regular-cab Tremor goes on sale this fall delivering distinctive looks and performance. The all-new truck couples the style of the FX Appearance Package with an EcoBoost engine and a launch-optimized 4.10 rear axle – the shortest final drive ratio offered in an EcoBoost F-150 – helping provide customers with fast acceleration.
Tremor signals its sport truck capabilities with a custom-inspired FX Appearance Package featuring stealthy, flat-black accents that include unique 20-inch flat-black wheels, stylized bodyside graphics and black badges with red lettering.
Tremor is the only regular-cab F-150 offering a flow-through center console and bucket seats. Interior touches include black leather seating surfaces with red piping, brushed-metal accents and a red-stitched steering wheel. Alcantara seat inserts add texture and style as well.
“The new Tremor gives F-150 customers yet another option to drive a highly capable, distinctive performance truck with features typically found only in the aftermarket,” said Brian Bell, F-150 product marketing manager. “Plus, the Built Ford Tough EcoBoost engine is available for the first time in a short-wheelbase F-150.”
F-150 Tremor is powered exclusively by Ford’s groundbreaking 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which features:
365 horsepower at 5,000 rpm on regular fuel
420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,500 rpm
Twin independent variable camshaft timing for improved performance and fuel economy
Up to 90 percent peak torque available from 1,700 rpm to 5,000 rpm
An electronic locking rear differential that’s standard for both two- and four-wheel-drive versions helps deliver the power to the pavement by improving traction during takeoff.
GM Busts Aero "Myths" With 2014 Models
May 20, 2013 — GMC’s all-new 2014 Sierra full-size pickup truck spent more development time in a wind tunnel than any GMC pickup before it, resulting in design changes that benefit fuel efficiency and interior quietness.
To study the way air passes over, under and around the Sierra, engineers used General Motors’ state-of-the-art Aerodynamics Lab, a 750-foot-long tunnel through which a 43-foot-diameter fan powered by a DC electric motor with the equivalent of 4,500 horsepower can generate winds of up to 138 mph. Aerodynamic advancement is one reason why the 2014 Sierra will be the most fuel-efficient V-8 pickup on the market.
For example, a new air dam below the 2014 Sierra’s front bumper successfully reduces drag because it directs air toward the ground and away from the truck’s rough underbody. And Sierra’s ducted flow path between the grille and radiator prevents air from swirling inside the truck’s front cavities.
Even the top of the Sierra’s tailgate and the center high-mounted stop light are optimized to guide air cleanly around the truck. And because Bloch’s team detected unwanted airflow between the cab and bed, new sealing has been added.
“We discovered that in the computational analysis we perform,” said aerodynamic engineers Diane Bloch. “The most harmful air between the cab and bed was coming over the cab and down through the gap, so we paid the most attention to that specific area.”
A long-disputed topic among truck owners is whether a tailgate raised or lowered is better for aerodynamics, but Bloch says a tailgate in the up position is more aerodynamically efficient. As air flows over the truck, it falls over the cab and pushes forward on the rear of the truck. With the tailgate down, the benefits of that airflow are diminished.
“Replacing the tailgate with an aftermarket net is worse than having no tailgate at all,” Bloch said. “Imagine dragging a solid object and a fishing net through water. The net is going to require more muscle.”
So what accessories can truck owners add to help aerodynamics? Tonneau covers for the bed help smooth airflow over the truck, and Bloch says soft covers are more beneficial than hard covers because they form to how the air wants to flow. Running boards can also help air flow smoothly down the truck’s sides.
“Round, tube-style running boards can provide a minor improvement to the truck’s drag coefficient,” said Bloch, “Fully integrated, flush-mount running boards are even better.”
B&W Trailer Hitches Debuts Companion Slider Fifth Wheel Hitch
May 7, 2013 — B&W Trailer Hitches, a leading U.S.-based manufacturer of heavy duty trailer hitches and aftermarket truck and trailer accessories announced that its new Companion Slider fifth wheel hitch, a product that took five years to develop, is available for purchase in May 2013.
“We took time to develop it so that it would be worthy of the B&W Trailer Hitches reputation for quality,” said Marketing Manager, Beth Barlow. The new hitch, that is now part of their family of fifth wheel hitches, made its debut at the SEMA Show in early November. “We are proud to offer a family of fifth wheel hitches to RV enthusiasts. Our goal is to equip dealers with a fifth wheel hitch option for any one of their customers.”
In B&W’s unique fashion, the Companion Slider easily converts to a level bed, freeing up your truck bed for other uses. It is engineered with a patent pending automatic latch in both directions and 12 inches of rearward travel. Automatic latches, in both directions, means getting out of the truck only once to move into maneuvering position. It is rated to tow 18,000 pounds of gross trailer weight. It also has three vertical adjustments, 17", 18", 19". This American-made, fifth-wheel hitch comes with a five year limited warranty, too.
“The Companion Slider was in the design stage for a long time and it’s a great American-made RV hitch that will excite those RVer’s who are looking for a short bed towing solution” said McCall, New Product Engineer for B&W Trailer Hitches.
B&W Trailer Hitches specializes in designing and engineering trailer hitches and aftermarket truck and trailer accessories and has a proud reputation as a U.S. based manufacturer and innovator. The company’s workforce makes the Companion Slider entirely in Humboldt, Kansas.
The Companion Slider can be purchased from authorized B&W Dealers and Distributors.
Locate a dealer at http://www.turnoverball.com/find-a-dealer
Toyota Unveils Redesigned 2014 Tundra Pickup
February 27, 2013 — Toyota unveiled the redesigned 2014 Tundra full-size pickup truck at a press conference at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.
Tundra has been a quality leader with Toyota’s DNA of quality, dependability and reliability. The industry has recognized Tundra with a myriad of awards over the last 12 years, including winning the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study for seven years running in the Full-Size Pick Up segment. Not resting on its laurels, the 2014 Tundra will be redesigned, inside and out, representing the first major change since the launch of the current generation for the 2007 model year.
The redesigned Tundra continues to be a truck with true American roots that was once again engineered by Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and its new look designed by Calty Design Research centers in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor. Finally, Tundra continues to be assembled exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, in San Antonio, Texas.
“Toyota prides itself on listening to its customers and the development of the 2014 American-born Tundra is a perfect example,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. “Tundra’s new exterior design and all-new interior were inspired by customer feedback requesting a more chiseled exterior and refined interior with improved driver ergonomics, and easy-to-use technology, giving customers more of what they want instead, in addition to what they need.”
The 2014 Tundra will have a grade strategy consisting of the hard-working SR, volume-leading SR5, the well-appointed Limited, and two premium grades: “Platinum” and the all-new “1794 Edition.” The new 1794 Edition is a tribute to the ranch, founded in the year 1794, on which the Tundra plant is located in San Antonio. Tundra is offered in three cab styles, two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab and four-door CrewMax, all available in 4x2 and 4x4.
4.0 Liter V6
270 H.P. @ 5600 RPM
278 lb-ft Torque @4400 RPM
5-Speed Automatic Transmission
4.6 Liter V8
310 H.P. @ 5600 RPM
327 lb-ft Torque @3400 RPM
6-Speed Automatic Transmission.
5.7 Liter V8
381 H.P.@ 5600 RPM
401 lb-ft Torque @ 3400 RPM
6-Speed Automatic Transmission
Ford Debuts Atlas Pickup at NAIAS in Detroit
December 30, 2012 — Ford today unveiled the Ford Atlas concept truck to showcase the design, capability, fuel efficiencies and smart technologies that will define future pickup trucks.
For towing, Dynamic Hitch Assist helps precisely line up the truck’s hitch with the trailer coupling, eliminating maneuvering guesswork by showing visual cues in the truck’s center display screen.
“The Ford Atlas Concept previews the innovations that will transform what people expect from their pickup,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “With 36 years as America’s best-selling pickup, we are absolutely committed to setting the agenda in the truck market.”
The Ford Atlas Concept is inspired by decades of listening to customers at the places they work and play. The result is a purpose-driven design with prominent wheel arches, a wide stance and chiseled grille – all to reinforce its functional Built Ford Tough® image.
“We wanted the concept to reflect how Ford trucks help customers in both their worlds – professionally and personally,” said J Mays, Ford group vice president and chief creative officer. “Every surface and feature in the vehicle has been crafted for purpose and capability while retaining an unmistakable Built Ford Tough look.”
Designers enhanced truck functionality, while creating new advanced features(see infographic here). For example, multiple tie-down points are integrated within the cargo box walls and load floor, along with 110-volt electrical outlets in the cargo box to charge power tools. An integrated roof carrying system and hidden extendable ramps give the truck unique functionality for a variety of jobs.
Ford posted a video tour of the Atlas concept truck here:
New Silverado and Sierra Debut
December 30, 2012 — Chevrolet and GMC today unveiled the all-new Silverado and Sierra 1500 pickups, designed to be the most refined, best engineered full-size pickups in the market. Among the many updates for 2014 are dramatic new designs inside and out for each brand; a trio of powerful, efficient EcoTec3 engines that seamlessly switch to four-cylinder mode to improve efficiency; and quieter, more comfortable, more functional cabs.
“The new Sierra and Silverado are more differentiated than ever in unique features and materials, in their standard content and in their design and details,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “These are two strong and distinct brands – each one appealing to a different kind of customer.”
Under the hood, the 2014 Silverado 1500 features a family of three all-new EcoTec3 engines, a V-6 and two V-8s, engineered specifically for use in full-size trucks. All three engines incorporate direct fuel injection, cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing, a combination of advanced technologies not found in other competitors’ trucks. All three switch seamlessly to four-cylinder operation to improve efficiency during light load driving and all three are engineered provide more power, more torque and better efficiency than the previous versions.
The engine family includes a new 4.3L V-6 that will have ample torque to power a crew cab pickup and tow a substantial trailer, as well as a new 5.3L V-8 designed for more power, more torque and better efficiency than the current version, which is currently the V-8 fuel economy leader. A new 6.2L V-8 is engineered to be the most capable engine in any light-duty pickup.
SAE certified horsepower and torque ratings and EPA fuel economy estimates for the new Silverado will be final and available beginning early next year.
The all-new interiors of the 2014 Silverado 1500 reflect the same focus on form and function. The upright instrument panel, six-gauge instrument cluster and multiple storage options are tailored specifically to the needs of truck customers. Controls are functional, logically placed and easy to operate with work gloves on. Rear doors on crew cabs are larger, for easier entry and exit, and rear doors on extended cab models are now hinged at the front for easier access, especially in tight spots.
“Our engineers and designers left nothing on the table when developing this latest Sierra pickup,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of GMC Marketing. “These trucks have all the power and capability that’s expected in today’s market, excellent fuel efficiency, plus a lot of unexpected, purposeful features developed with truck owners in mind.”
For the first time on Extended Cab models, the 2014 Sierra has new front-hinged rear doors with outside pull handles at the rear, providing improved access in tight parking spaces. Unlike trucks with rear-hinged doors, Sierra’s layout allows rear passengers to enter and exit the vehicle with the front doors remaining closed.
Crew Cab customers, who represent more than 60 percent of retail Sierra customers, can choose between two bed lengths; in addition to the current 5-foot, 8-inch box, a new 6-foot, 6-inch box is available. Regular cabs continue to be available with the 6-foot, 6-inch or 8-foot box lengths, while the extended cab will come exclusively with a 6-foot, 6-inch box.
Sierra’s rear bumper features standard corner steps that make climbing into the bed easy, regardless of whether the tailgate is up or down. The steps are paired with grips formed into the top of each bed side. Four movable upper tie downs are also standard. They can be placed in nine different locations and can bear a 500-pound (227 kg) load.
Sierra uses aluminum for some suspension components for additional rigidity and weight saving, and new lightweight wheels are paired with low-rolling-resistance tires in most applications. The tires, along with new shear-style and redesigned hydraulic cab mounts, are designed to help reduce noise and vibration in the cabin.
“Pickups aren’t just a tool for GMC owners – they’re part of their everyday lives, and Sierra needs to be as useful on the way to the movies as it is on the way to a job site,” said DiSalle. “The most important thing about the engineering behind this new truck is that it benefits owners in so many different ways.”
Next Generation Silverado to Debut in December
October 24, 2012 — Chevrolet will take the wraps off the all-new Silverado 1500 full-size pickup on Dec. 13 at a special event in the Detroit area. The bold exterior design of the new Silverado reflects the enhanced capabilities of the truck while features such as jewel-like, projector beam headlamps showcase the careful attention given to every detail.
The new Silverado will be on public display for the first time at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in January, and will start production next year. For now, all we get is this "teaser image" from GM.
2014 GM Pickups Undergoing Final Testing
September 30, 2012 — GM engineers are conducting the final validation of the next generation Silverado light-duty pickups. In addition to torture testing, the team is paying attention to delivering a comfortable, well-balanced ride, which is being refined on a variety of track surfaces at GM’s Milford Proving Ground. The new Silverado will start production in 2013.
Ford Takes F-150 Upscale
August 13, 2012 — We’ve seen Ford cater to fleet buyers with its Special Service Vehicle F-150s, which are targeted to police, fire and other specialized services. Now it’s taking the truck decidedly upscale with the F-150 Limited.
As often as the F-150 is used for work, Ford says 30 percent of sales of the popular pickup are high-end trim levels, with sticker prices ranging from $35,000 to nearly $50,000.
“The F-150 Limited signifies the highest levels of design refinement, luxury and technology that we’ve ever offered in a pickup truck,” said Ford group vice president for product development, Raj Nair. “The F-150 Limited reflects a growing trend. More and more customers today have high expectations for luxury and convenience, yet their needs call for a truly capable truck.”
The new limited model comes in three colors, ruby red metallic, tuxedo black metallic and white platinum metallic. The paint colors carry through to the front and rear bumpers, the front bumper valance, sideview mirrors, wheel lip moldings and grille surrounds.
Available exclusively as a four-door Super Crew cab, the Limited also includes HID headlamps, a first for the segment, according to Ford. The lights reportedly offer two and a half times more light than conventional halogen lamps.
Inside, Ford certainly delivered on the luxury promised by the exterior. Leather trimmed seats feature red inserts with cooling and heating and memory function for two drivers. The rear seats also are heated and cooled.
No woodgrain here, the center console is trimmed with aluminum and piano black accents. The Limited also features ambient lighting in five colors, a standard moonroof, a rearview camera and an 8-inch dash display.
In terms of powertrain, the Limited is powered exclusively by Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode. Look for the F-150 Limited when it arrives at dealerships this fall.
For more information on the 2013 F-150s, visit:
2013 Ford Escapes Recalled for Fire Risk
July 25, 2012 — Ford Motor Company recently launched a recall campaign of its 2013 Escape models due to a risk of a fuel line failure, which could result in a fire.
The recall involves Escapes equipped with the 1.6-liter engines, which are marketed under the name EcoBoost. The recall affects some 11,500 vehicles. Escapes with the nonturbocharged 2.0- and 2.5-liter engines are not subject to the recall.
According to Ford, owners are advised not to drive their vehicles and to contact their dealer immediately for repairs. Dealers will deliver a loaner vehicle to customers while the customer’s car is transported to the dealership where it will be repaired under warranty.
2013 Ford Escape
"We have identified an issue and are taking quick actions in the best interest of our customers,” said Ray Nevi, assistant director, Ford Automotive Safety Office. “Our intensive investigation and testing has identified the area of concern and we are moving as quickly as possible to repair vehicles for our customers. In the meantime, it is extremely important that affected customers not ignore this recall and immediately contact their dealer."
Ford says the actual repairs take less than an hour to complete pending parts availability. For more information about the recall, visit, www.fordowner.com or contact Ford's Customer Relationship Center at 866-436-7332.
Featherlite Debuts New Car Hauler
July 17, 2012 — It has been said low mass is its own reward. It certainly applies to race cars and it’s a valid premise for car haulers. Famous for lightweight trailers, Featherlite has introduced a newly redesigned model 1611 car hauler. Available in two widths and six lengths up to 24 feet, the 1611 was designed to haul cars, ATVs and motorcycles and other equipment such as mowers and construction machines. With a three-quarter-inch wood floor and a 6-foot, 6-inch height, the 1611 can be upgraded with optional cabinets, white interior lining, aluminum floors and aluminum wheels. $16,371 for the 20-foot model. www.fthr.com.
Ford to Offer Special Service Vehicle F-150s
June 28, 2012 — No stranger to work trucks, Ford is now offering a special service vehicle package on its 2013 F-150 that will allow the truck to be used for unique tasks, such as outfitting it for police, fire, forestry service and other specialized services.
Ideal for fleet customers who use their trucks strictly for work or as a tow vehicle, the new package includes a 220-amp alternator. The rest of the package, to be honest, could best be described as “decontenting” of the vehicle, which is probably why there is no charge for the package.
For example, front seating in the truck is cloth and split “40/20/40, with the center 20 percent omitted completely to maximize space for in-cab aftermarket equipment such as law enforcement communications and firearms installations. The central console is omitted also, creating even more space.” The rear seat is covered in vinyl, and was designed for maximum durability.
“Our fleet customers have been asking us to create this option for F-Series trucks,” said Ford Government Sales Manager Tony Gratson. “We’re confident the current and updated 2013 F-150 equipped with the SSV Package will be of particular interest to our government customers with rugged jobs such as law enforcement, firefighting, and national and state park patrols.”
Despite its sparse nature, Ford lets government and commercial buyers special order the vehicle, with no limits on optional content, such as heavy duty tires or interior convenience features. What’s more, the package will be available on SuperCrew and SuperCab models, in two- and four-wheel drive and with a choice of the Ford’s 5.0-liter V8 or its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engines and a six-speed automatic transmission.
Maximum towing capacity for trucks equipped with the 5.0-liter V8 is 10,000 pounds. For the EcoBoost model, max capacity is 11,300 pounds.
For more information, visit:
Jeep to Bring Back Wagoneer
June 13, 2012 — Bad news: The Dodge Durango is going away. Good news: It won’t happen till 2016, and it should live on in a Jeep with the resurrected Wagoneer nameplate.
According to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, the Wagoneer will share its platform with a new SUV from Maserati, which Fiat owns. Marchionne also tipped his hat on a new Jeep Liberty due in 2013 and a new Patriot in 2014. The often maligned Jeep Compass is being discontinued.
So, from our perspective, it seems Chrysler is keeping the right stuff alive, preserving what works and sacrificing what doesn’t. And the Durango definitely works.
Click here for our tow vehicle evaluation of the current-generation Durango:
Ford’s F-150 to Get Mild Changes for 2013
June 11, 2012 — Fresh from a ground-up redesign in 2009, Ford’s F-150 will undergo only nominal changes for the 2013 model year.
For example, the changes will include a new grille that mimicks that of the Super Duty pickups, high-itensity discharge headlamps, a redesigned center stack on the console and new “Limited” trim level.
The Limited will bring the total to four luxury trim levels in the F-150, which already includes the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum.
Powertrains will remain unchanged, with two V6 engines and two V8s. However, all F-150s will now benefit from the availability of hill-descent control system lifted from the Raptor series F-150. Look for the new models in Ford showrooms this fall.
What’s Next for the Next Generation of GM Full-Size Pickups?
June 8, 2012 — GM North America vice president is pretty forthcoming when answering questions from the media. Candid, too.
According to a recent report in Automotive News, a leading trade publication, GM doesn’t seem to on track to be offering small displacement, turbocharged engines in its next generation of full size pickups.
Reuss acknowledged Ford has done well with its EcoBoost line of engines in its half-ton pickups, but says it isn’t a “huge priority” to offer something similar. Rather than compromise its full-size pickups’ power and towing capacity, GM reportedly is working to improve greatly the fuel economy of its coming redesigned midsize pickups, the Canyon and Colorado.
More on the story here:
Is Ram Testing a Half-Ton Diesel Pickup?
June 1, 2012 — Spy shots from KGP Photography have emerged of a 2013 Ram 1500 pickup undergoing testing around Detroit. That in itself is not news, but the distinctive black stains on the bumper behind the tailpipe could be.
Such stains are often a sign of diesel particulate. According to a news brief in Automotive News, the leading automotive trade publication, Chrysler has no comment on whether it will offer a diesel engine in its half-ton Ram pickups, but the tabloid paper did report that a Chrysler spokesman acknowledged that the company is “looking at putting a diesel in a light-duty pickup.”
Cummins diesel was reportedly working on small displacement diesel engines with Nissan for half-ton pickups and is committed to them even if Chrysler isn’t.
For more information, including spy shots of the Ram pickup, visit:
New Featherlite Open Car Hauler Geared to Dirt-Track Racers
May 22, 2012 — Featherlite’s new model 3109 open car hauler has been designed with the dirt-track racer in mind.
For example, the 3109 features an open center so that racers can use it for working underneath their cars, a feature made better by the two 5-foot-long “flex foot” ramps that store under the trailer. According to Featherlite literature, the flex foot ramps “easily conform to the ground, even on unlevel surfaces.”
The diamond-plate flooring features four D rings for securing a vehicle. The large tongue box is an optional feature, as are aluminum wheels and a winch. Buyers also can opt for a recessed 24” x 38” x 8” storage box up front between the treadplates.
MSRP for the the all-aluminum model is $7,567, which comes with a 10-year limited structural warranty. For more information, visit www.fthr.com.
Toyota Prices New Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Series Trucks
May 8, 2012 — We knew the Tacoma with the Toyota TRD T/X Baja Series package was coming. Now we know how much it costs.
2012 Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Series Prices
Access Cab V6, m/t with TRD off-road and Baja Series packages $32,990
Access Cab V6, a/t with TRD off-road and Baja Series packages $33,975
Double Cab V6, m/t with TRD off-road and Baja Series packages $34,275
Double Cab V6, a/t with TRD off-road and Baja Series packages $35,255
Interested buyers should note that all prices listed exclude $810 delivery, processing, and handling fee. However, the price of the TRD package that is necessary for equipping the trucks with the Baja package has been reduced on this special model.
The Tacoma TRD T/X Baja seires trucks come with TRD Bilstein racing shocks tuned for off-road conditions and an electronically controlled locking rear differential. Special bead-lock off road wheels with a gunmetal gray finish are shod with LT265/70R16 BF Goodrich T/A KO tires, and ride height has been lifted by two 2 inches.
The truck also comes with electronic aids such as active traction control, hill-start assist and downhill assist control. Topping off the package are a special TRD cat-back exhaust system and proprietary matte black graphics for the sides and tailgate.
For more information, visit:
GM Reveals Bi-Fuel Pickup Prices
April 24, 2012 — Chevrolet and GMC extended cab heavy-duty pickup trucks with a bi-fuel option will sell for $11,000 above the suggested base-vehicle price. Fleet and retail customers can place orders for the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra 2500 HD beginning April 19.
The pickups, which run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline, have a Vortec 6.0L V8 engine that seamlessly transitions between the two fuel systems. A single light-weight Type 3 tank in the bed maximizes available payload and bed space, offering more usable space than competitors. Tow ratings will be 600 pounds less on CNG compared with gasoline.
The Silverado HD and Sierra 2500 HD offer customers fueling flexibility with a combined CNG and gasoline range of more than 650 miles - the longest range available in the bi-fuel truck market.
“The announcement of the bi-fuel Silverado and Sierra has been well-received among customers, which sends a clear message that businesses are looking for alternative fuel options to meet their needs,” said Ed Peper, general manager, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “The addition of the full-size bi-fuel pickups to our product portfolio is part of our commitment to offer great products, innovative business solutions and an exceptional customer experience.”
The pickups, which provide more options than any on the market, will be available in standard and long-box, two-or-four-wheel drive in the extended cab models, offering customization for specific needs.
“Businesses are looking for ways to control their costs while reducing vehicle emissions and becoming less dependent on fluctuating gas prices. The low cost of ownership makes these vehicles a realistic solution,” said Joyce Mattman, director, GM Commercial Product and Specialty Vehicles. “CNG has maintained a significantly lower retail price than either gasoline or diesel. The current average price of CNG is equivalent to $1.89 per gallon of gasoline. Customers could save $5,000 to $10,000 over a three-year period, depending on their driving habits.”
For more information, visit: www.gmc.com
Avalanche Production to end in 2013
April 16, 2012 — Since its introduction in 2001, the Chevrolet Avalanche, has served as something of a go-between SUVs and pickups. Not quite SUV. Not quite full-blown pickup. Chevrolet has sold more than a half million Avalanches. It also helped bring on the advent of light-duty crew cab pickups, which have become popular in their own right.
Which is kind of odd, if you consider that Chevrolet just announced that 2013 will be the last year of Avalanche production. In short, the trucks it helped popularize are the reason for its demise.
To commemorate the final year of production, Chevrolet has announced the Black Diamond Avalanche, a special edition that will feature body-color bed surrounds, unique badging and additional features on higher-trim-level models.
“Although Avalanche sales have tapered off in recent years, as crew cabs have grown to dominate Silverado sales, we know there are many Avalanche enthusiasts among Chevy customers,” said Clawson. “The Black Diamond Avalanche is our way of saying ‘Thank you’ and making it just a little more attractive to own one more Avalanche.”
For 2013, the Avalanche LS will come standard with a rear camera, rear park assist, power adjustable pedals, fog lamps and remote start.
Towing capacities were not mentioned in the release, but it’s reasonable to expect they will remain the same as the maximum specs of the 2012 models, 8,100 pounds for two-wheel drive; 7,900 pounds for four-wheel drive.
The Avalanche was introduced at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a concept and was described as a no- compromise Chevy Truck with a unique combination of configurable passenger and cargo space. The production Avalanche was positioned as an Ultimate Utility Vehicle (UUV) when it went on sale in 2001 as a 2002 model.
A special Avalanche was equipped to protect and transport the Olympic Flame during the Torch Relay prior to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City; the relay covered more than 13,500 miles and passed through 46 states on its way to the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 8, 2002.
In addition to receiving Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year for 2002, the Avalanche received the Design and Engineering award from Popular Mechanics. Both recognized the vehicle’s revolutionary innovation.
Chevrolet teamed up with outdoor outfitter North Face and offered a special edition Avalanche in 2002 that was used to transport a team of kayakers through the rugged terrain of the Himalayas to the Tsangpo Gorge in Tibet, where they successfully accomplished first descent of the most-feared whitewater on the planet.
In 2006, Chevrolet introduced an all-new Avalanche with a fully boxed frame and redesigned suspension to deliver more refined ride and handling; a new Z71 off-road package was introduced and front featured special off-road tires, unique grille and fascia, an integrated front bumper winch and oversize tow hooks.
A 2007 Avalanche was presented to the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game MVP Michael Young of the Texas Rangers.
For more information, visit:
Ram Trucks Goes Into Fuel-Saving Mode
April 9, 2012 — Fuel prices are up, fuel-efficiency standards as required by the government are looming and Ram Trucks isn’t wasting any time in pushing to meet new demands in its 2013 model line.
Ram Trucks has approached the problem in virtually all areas of vehicle design.
For example, Chrysler’s new Pentastar V6 engine will feature 42 percent more horsepower and 13 percent more torque while improving fuel economy by at least 20 percent, according to Chrysler Group LLC. Smaller in displacement than the model it replaces, the 3.6-liter V6 will produce 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque.
3.6 VVT Pentastar V6 Photo: Chrysler Group LLC
For its Hemi V8s, Ram Trucks will employ fuel-saving technology, with variable valve timing, a stop-start function, thermal management, pulse-width modulation of the alternator, active aerodynamics, low-rolling-resistance tires and fuel shut-off to four of its eight cylinders. The net result is 10 percent better fuel economy than the 2012 models. Power figures for the 2013 Hemi V8 in the Ram are 395 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque.
The company also is boosting fuel economy figures through its new eight-speed TorqueFlite 8 transmission, which the driver engages with a rotary “e-shift” knob rather than the traditional column- or console-mounted lever. Chrysler Group LLC says it’s easy to operate, even with gloves on, and it frees up more stowage space on the console.
The new TorqueFlite 8 transmission reduces vehicle weight by approximately 76 pounds. The V-8 and TorqueFlite 8 together reduce weight by more than 30 pounds.
“The new 2013 Ram 1500 is the most capable, best-looking half-ton pickup in the world and delivers best-in-class fuel efficiency, new technology and new features while upgrading the interior and exterior,” said Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Ram Truck Brand. “With best-in-class towing and payload, best-in-class ride and handling and best-in-class aerodynamics, the 2013 Ram 1500 delivers unmatched content, performance and capability to our customers.”
For example, a Hemi-powered Ram 1500 Tradesman Heavy Duty will tow 11,500 pounds and can carry a payload of 3,125 pounds.
The aforementioned thermal management system warms fluids to operating temperatures quickly, resulting in reduced parasitic losses, and a 1.7 percent increase in fuel efficiency.
Available stop-start technology shuts off the engine when the truck comes to a complete stop. Peripherals such as radio, HVAC and gauges continue to operate for driver information and passenger comfort. The engine restarts automatically when the driver lifts off the brake pedal to reaccelerate. Chrysler group says it improves city fuel economy ratings by 3.3 percent.
The truck’s coefficient of drag also has been improved for greater fuel efficiency. Adjustable ride height, electric power steering, a frame that’s 30 pounds lighter frame also help as does an aluminum hood that saves 26 pounds.
GMC Commemorates 100 Years
April 2, 2012 — General Motors is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the GMC nameplate by introducing “Heritage Editions” of the Sierra pickup and Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs.
Slated to be introduced at the New York Auto Show, the very same event where GMC debuted 100 years ago, the Heritage editions will feature largely cosmetic commemorative details and special paint colors. For example, the Sierra and Yukons will be available in white diamond for $995, onyx black at no extra charge or heritage blue for $195. Interior color choices are light tan and ebony.
Sierra pickups will include unique “Heritage Edition” exterior badges, embroidered front mats and headrests, chrome door handles, mirror caps and door moldings and 20-inch chromed aluminum wheels. They also will come equipped with the convenience package with rear park assist, adjustable pedals, universal home remote, the EZ-Lift locking tailgate and the rear vision camera. The package adds $2,645 to the vehicle’s price.
The Yukons have the same badges, colors, floor mats and headrests, but also include the SLT-2 equipment package, an option group consisting of 10-way leather memory seats, headed second-row seats with power release, power-operated liftgate and heated side mirrors. The 20-inch wheels are optional. The up-charge for the Yukon and Yukon XL is $1,970 or $1,820 for the three-quarter-ton model.
“The GMC brand always looks forward, but this day provides an opportunity to celebrate 100 years of the proud GMC name,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of GMC Marketing. “Sierra and Yukon are two of our longest-running and most-respected nameplates, so it makes sense to use them to represent our heritage.”
April 1, 2012 — If you waited this long to get your trailer serviced, shame on you. Hurry up before you miss out on camping/boating/riding/racing time!
Ram Teases New Truck on Facebook
March 31, 2012 — Beginning March 31, Ram Truck will utilize Facebook and Twitter to create interest for an upcoming product debut. Titled “A Giant Awaits,” each day through April 4th, new, not easily identifiable images will be placed on the Ram Truck Facebook page, allowing viewers to comment and guess what it is. On April 5th, coinciding with the international reveal of a new Ram Truck product, the images will be explained and shown in full view.
If you're on Facebook, just search Ram Trucks and click "like."
Small SUV Towing/Mileage Comparison Chart
March 23, 2012 — As fuel prices climb, they not only force people into smaller cars, but also into smaller tow vehicles. Each time fuel prices spike, it also move the line of what is acceptable to U.S. consumers in terms of the cost to fill the tank.
According to the OEMs, the most common weight at which point people decide to go with a full size pickup or SUV is 5,000 pounds. That’s the point at which a trailer becomes a fairly sizeable load, whether it’s a boat, RV or something more utilitarian. At that point consumers become willing to accept lower fuel mileage in exchange for capacity and safety.
For smaller trailers, there are a lot of options for tow vehicles, and the market for compact SUVs is heating up. There are lot more players in the arena now. All of the current small SUVs on the market are either new or introduced not more than a few years ago. To help you with your search, we’ve compiled the chart below, which highlights the make and model, engine, horsepower, towing capacity and city/highway fuel mileage.
Acura RDX 2.3 I4, 240 hp, 1,500 lbs., FWD 19/24, AWD 17/22
Acura ZDX 3.7 V6, 300 hp, 1,500 lbs., 16/23
Audi Q5 2.0 I4, 211 hp, 4,400 lbs, 20/27
3.2 V6, 270 hp, 4,400 lbs., 18/23
BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0 I6, 240 hp, 3,500 lbs., 19/25
BMW X3 xDrive35i, 3.0 I6, 300 hp, 6,000 lbs., 19/26
Cadillac SRX 3.6 V6, 308 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 17/24, AWD 16/23
Chevrolet Equinox 2.4 I4, 182 hp, 1,500 lbs., FWD 22/32, AWD, 20/29
3.0 V6, 264 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 17/24, AWD
Dodge Journey 2.4 I4, 173 hp, 1,000 lbs., 19/26,
3.6 V6, 283 hp, 2,500 lbs. 17/25,
Ford Edge 3.5 V6, 285 hp, 3,500 lbs, FWD 19/27, AWD 18/25
Ford Escape (2013) 2.0 I4 EcoBoost, 237 hp (projected), 3,500 lbs., mileage NA
1.6 I4 EcoBoost, 173 hp (projected), 2,000 lbs., mileage NA
2.5 I4, 168 hp, (projected), 1,500 lbs., mileage NA
GMC Terrain 2.4 I4, 182 hp, 1,500 lbs., FWD 22/32, AWD, 20/29
3.0 V6, 264 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 17/24, AWD
Honda CR-V 2.4 I4, 185 hp, 1,500 lbs., FWD 23/21, AWD 22/30
Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4 I4, 175 hp, 2,000 lbs., 20/28
3.5 V6, 276 hp, 3,500 lbs., 20/26
Hyundai Tucson 2.0 I4, 165 hp, 1,000 lbs., 23/31
2.4 I4, 176 hp, 2,000 lbs., FWD automatic 22/31, AWD automatic 21/28
Hyundai Veracruz 3.8 V6, 260 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 17/22, AWD 16/21
Jeep Liberty 3.7 V6, 210 hp, 5,000 lbs., 2WD 16/22, 4WD 15/21
Kia Sorrento 2.4 I4, 175 hp, 1,650 lbs., FWD 21/29, AWD, 21/27
2.4 I4 GDI, 191 hp, 1,650 lbs., FWD 22/32, AWD, 21/28
3.5 V6, 276 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 20/26, AWD, 18/24
Kia Sportage 2.4 I4, 176 hp, 2,000 lbs., FWD automatic 22/31, AWD automatic 21/28
2.0 I4 turbo, 260 hp, 2,000 lbs, FWD auto. 22/29, AWD auto. 21/27
Lincoln MKX 3.7 V6, 305 hp, 3,500 lbs, FWD 19/26, AWD 17/23
Mazda CX5 (2013) 2.0 I4, 155 hp, 2,000 lbs., auto. 25/31
Mazda CX7 2.5 I4, 161 hp, 1,500 lbs., 20/26
2.3 I4 turbo, 244 hp, 2,000 lbs., FWD 18/24, AWD 17/21
Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 I4, 168 hp, 2,000 lbs., 2WD 23/28, 4WD 22/27
3.0 V6, 230 hp, 3,500 lbs., 2WD 19/26, 4WD 19/25
Nissan Murano 3.5 V6, 260 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 18/24, AWD 18/23
Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 I4, 166 hp, 3,000 lbs., 2WD automatic 19/25, 4WD automatic 19/23
Toyota RAV4 2.5 I4, 179 hp, 1,500 lbs., FWD 22/28, AWD 21/27
3.5 V6, 269 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 19/27, AWD 19/26
Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 I4, 200 hp, 2,200 lbs., FWD automatic 22/27, AWD automatic 21/27
You can do fuel economy comparisons on the EPA website. It doesn't list towing capacities, but that's what we're here for.
Ram 2500 HD Truck to Run on Natural Gas
March 19, 2012 — The news release from Chrysler touted its new Ram as the only compressed natural gas-powered truck in North America. And that would have been true, but GM announced its bifuel capable pickup truck the week before.
Either way, it’s good to have more options, and the Ram is certainly a viable entry to the market, and a bit different from the GM model. The model will accommodate 1,580 pounds of payload in its 4-foot 8-inch bed. Towing capacity is 7,650 pounds.
Designed for fleet and commercial customers, the new Ram 2500 HD CNG pickup offers reduced fuel costs and emissions benefits. According to the release, America imports 60 percent of the oil it uses. By contrast, 98 percent of the natural gas used in the U.S. comes from sources in North America.
“Commercial customers are extremely important to Ram Truck,” said Fred Diaz, Ram Truck president and CEO Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. ”Adding a hard-working, fully capable CNG-powered truck to the Ram lineup makes a lot of sense—both economically and environmentally.”
Chrysler is already accepting orders for vehicles it expects to begin delivering in July of this year. The Ram 2500 CNG is available exclusively as a Crew Cab 4x4 model with 169-inch wheelbase, in either an ST or SLT trim level.
The Hemi-powered truck features an 8-gallon gasoline fuel tank in addition to the CNG storage tanks. The CNG tanks provide a gasoline-gallon equivalent of 18.2 gallons. Canadian customers also can get an optional 35-gallon gasoline tank. According to the release, range on CNG alone is 355 miles and 367 total miles with the backup supply of gasoline.
The system is automatic, with no need for manual switching. The truck does use a small amount of gasoline for startup, then runs solely on CNG. The transition is seamless to the driver. When the CNG tanks are emptied, the vehicle automatically switches to burning gasoline. Two fuel gauges are included in the instrument cluster.
Base MSRP is $47,500, including $995 destination charge. The engine is covered by a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, including internal components such as upgraded valves, the valve seats, fuel injectors and rail and the specially designed spark plugs. The rest of the truck is covered by the standard three-year/36,000 mile bumper to bumper limited warranty.
The vehicle is so new it does not yet appear on Ram’s commercial vehicle website. When it does, it should appear here:
March 17, 2012 — If you choose a van for towing, understand that an extended van with a longer wheelbase will be more stable than a van with the cabin extended behind the rear axle.
GM Debuts Bi-Fuel 2500 HD Pickup Trucks
March 8, 2012 — General Motors has announced that it will offer in 2013 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD extended cab pickups that will be capable of running on gasoline and compressed natural gas. The Silverado and Sierra will be available in standard and long box in two- and four-wheel drive. Interested fleet and retail buyers can order the new trucks as early as April 2012.
The fuel tank for the alternative fuel is housed in an aluminum box just behind the passenger compartment, right where many truck owners place a locking tool box. GM claims a seamless transition between the two fuel systems, with a combined range of 650 miles.
“The bi-fuel Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra provide customers with choices in advanced propulsion technology, and because CNG is a clean-burning, domestically produced fuel, it has wide appeal,” said Ed Peper, general manager, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “The addition of a full-size bi-fuel pickup truck to GM’s fleet portfolio is another milestone in putting the customer first in everything we do – by offering great products, innovative solutions and a great customer experience.”
Using a specially designed 6.0-liter Vortec V8 engine, GM assembles the trucks at its Fort Wayne, Ind., plant then shipped to a Tier 1 supplier for installation of the CNG bi-fuel delivery and storage system. No special ordering processes are required. Chevrolet and GMC dealers can order the trucks just as easily as any standard pickup.
“The bi-fuel truck provides businesses with added re-fueling flexibility and eases consumer range concerns that typically come with CNG, all while reducing emissions and controlling costs,” said Joyce Mattman, director, GM Commercial Product and Specialty Vehicles. “This turnkey ordering process, combined with the best warranty in the industry for a commercial product, makes our bi-fuel truck an attractive option, especially for commercial customers.”
GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile warranty covers the bi-fuel commercial trucks, with a five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and vehicle emissions warranty. The new bi-fuel trucks meet all Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emission certification requirements.
For more information, visit http://www.gmfleet.com/
Nissan Frontier Listed Among “Least Expensive to Insure”
March 1, 2012 — Turns out there is an award for just about everything. Even, of all things, insurance rates on motor vehicles.
Nissan just announced that Insure.com named the 2012 Nissan Frontier S King Cab and Frontier SV King Cab models to its “Least Expensive Vehicles to Insure” list. We didn’t even know there was such an award.
At least it’s relevant in this economy we find ourselves stuck with, and it could translate to sales for Nissan for consumers cross-shopping against Toyota, which did not make the list. General Motors’ GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Canyon also made the list. In fact, the full-size GM pickups are cheaper to insure than the Nissans, according to the survey. No other pickup tricks made the list.
“Our annual rankings provide consumers with a view of the best insurance deals of the year,” said Amy Danise, editorial director of Insure.com. “If you want to save money on your insurance bill and you’re in the market for a pickup truck, the Nissan Frontier is an excellent choice.”
The least expensive 2012 vehicles to insure per year, according to Insure.com, are:
1. Toyota Sienna LE: $1,111
2. Toyota Sienna 4 cyl: $1,114
3. Jeep Patriot Sport: $1,116
4. Jeep Compass Sport: $1,118
5. GMC Sierra K1500 Regular Cab: $1,121
6. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab: $1,125
7. Dodge Grand Caravan SXT: $1,129
8. Ford Escape XLS: $1,137
9. Toyota Sienna 6 cyl: $1,139
10. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab: $1,143
11. Dodge Journey SXT: $1,143
12. Honda Odyssey LX: $1,146
13. Kia Sportage: $1,151
14. Hyundai Santa Fe GLS: $1,152
15. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport: $1,154
16. Nissan Frontier S King Cab: $1,162
17. Nissan Frontier SV King Cab: $1,163
18. Hyundai Tucson GL: $1,166
19. Ford Escape XLT: $1,167
20. GMC Canyon: $1,167
Insure.com also publishes a list of the most expensive vehicles to insure. No pickup trucks or SUVs made that list, but Nissan’s GT-R did. The rest of the list all commonality among them: They are all German sports cars and sedans.
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