Until then, the blue oval brand maintains a stranglehold with its fuel-efficient EcoBoost-powered F-150, but Chrysler’s RAM truck brand is gunning to change that by offering a Pentastar V6-powered pickup. As fuel costs rise year-over-year, the two companies see value in luring customers with higher mpg numbers, something GM doesn’t necessarily agree with in the segment.
Mark Reuss, president of GM North America, recently told Automotive News that his brand sees the truck market being thinned to exclude those that don’t actually need one. He says the result will be remaining demand for trucks that emphasize durability, towing capacity and power over conservative consumption.
But that isn’t what the industry is showing through Ford’s sales numbers. Long the industry leader, it’s F-150 is most popular with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that offers 365 hp and 16/22 mpg in the city and on the highway.
While it won’t offer a half-ton to meet those marks, the General will continue selling midsize trucks under both the Chevrolet and GMC brands.
It’s true that RAM is jumping aboard the V6 band wagon, but that doesn’t mean it plans to copy Ford’s playbook verbatim either.
When the Pentastar-powered pickup debuts, it will do so with a naturally-aspirated 3.7-liter making 302 hp, something brand CEO Fred Diaz says is actually an advantage. The company hasn’t offered any fuel numbers just yet, but insists that its entrant will have best-in-class economy. That fuel economy will come courtesy of an eight-speed automatic transmission. Geared correctly, it could also make up for the gap in torque.
Furthermore, Diaz said his company’s truck will be better in the long run because “turbos are very expensive to replace.”
Outside the Detroit 3, there really isn’t too much to look out for. Toyota offers a V6, but isn’t competitive with the EcoBoost and Nissan’s Titan is only available a 5.6-liter V8.
Updates for the Titan and Tacoma also aren’t due until 2014, leaving the American automakers plenty of time to fight amongst themselves first.
[Source: Automotive News]