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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Jun 08 2012, 4:02 PM

It may seem odd in these times of austerity and relatively high gas prices but truck sales are remaining buoyant. Not only that, but demand for higher end offerings, with all the bells and whistles is up significantly.

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 |  Apr 05 2012, 12:27 PM

According to brand CEO Fred Diaz, the 2013 Ram 1500 was due to receive a mid-life freshening. However, what’s ultimately emerged is an extensively re-engineered truck, despite looking familiar on the outside.

Key developments, many in a gesture toward improved fuel economy, include a re-designed frame that’s both lighter and stronger than last year’s true. In addition, there’s also an eight-speed automatic transmission (the TorqueFlite 8), that’s teamed not only with the base 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 but also the 5.7-liter Hemi V8. There’s also a rotary shifter on the center stack designed to make engaging gears easier and free up additional interior room.

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 |  Jan 23 2012, 5:00 PM

At present, save from slight trim and equipment (such as the Denali trim package shown above) there really isn’t much to differentiate the GMC Sierra from it’s Chevy Silverado counterpart. However, that’s set to change.

During an interview in Detroit, Mark Reuss, GM’s North American President said that for the next generation of GM full-size pickups, due for launch as 2014 models, the plan is to move the Sierra more upmarket with a greater list of standard equipment, more distinctive sheetmetal and corresponding higher sticker prices; a similar strategy has so far proved quite successful for GMC’s line of SUVs.

Such a move finally sweeps away the last vestiges of badge-engineering at America’s biggest automaker, something the “old” General Motors was notoriously known for.

“I think you will see equipment and models attacked very differently,” Reuss declared. “If we are going to carry two brands, we are going to make them pay their way.”

[Source: Autoweek]

 |  Dec 27 2011, 12:45 PM

According to Chris Lee, a spokesman for General Motors, the automaker is planning a 21-week suspension at its assembly plants that build full-size trucks and SUVs, namely Fort Wayne Indiana, Flint, Michigan,  Arlington, Texas and Silao, Mexico.

The reason, is to allow time for the General to re-tool these facilities so they can switch over to the updated 2013 full-size pickups, of which production is scheduled to begin during the latter half of next year. The idle is slated to begin at the Fort Wayne plant in January, with a seven week idle schedule planned through October, while the Flint and Arlington facilities will start their idling process in June, with seven and five weeks planned through November and December respectively. As for the Silao facility that produces full-size trucks and SUVs, GM has said it will announce that plant’s idling schedule in the new year.

In preparation for the changeover and to ensure adequate supply for dealers, GM has been ramping up production of current Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra models, aiming for around 200,000 pickups inventory by the end of the year, giving dealers around 90 days supply of 2012 models.

[Source: The Detroit News]

 

 

 |  Dec 20 2011, 9:00 AM

There’s been quite a lot of talk over the last few years concerning the replacement for Nissan‘s venerable Titan full-size pickup.

After the plan to offer a Ram based vehicle went away, following Chrysler’s bankruptcy and subsequent restructuring, Nissan chose to go it alone when it came to a next generation big pickup, bringing the entire development and engineering process in-house.

However, those plans, which reportedly would have seen a revamped Titan rolled out in 2013, have now been pushed back at least a year, largely as a result of supplier fallout from Japan’s natural disaster back in March. This has left the automaker scrambling to get production back on track as a top priority, diverting resources away from some upcoming vehicle programs.

As a result, during a Q&A session with Automotive News at the LA Auto Show last month, Andy Palmer, Nissan’s vice president for vehicle planning and program management, stated that, regarding a new Titan, “we will come out a little later now. I have made the decision.”

As to what form the new Titan will take, or which powertrains it will offer, little is known at this time, though expect V6 and possibly V8 engines as well as extended and crew cab models. It’ll be also interesting to see if Nissan will attempt to target heavier-duty customers with this one (it’s Titan based NV van currently comes in 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton and 1-ton configurations).

Perhaps the most exciting addition to the new Titan, however, will be the addition of a Cummin’s sourced diesel engine.

[Source: Autoweek]

 |  Dec 14 2011, 3:00 PM

2012 motor trend truck of the year ford f-150Since its introduction as a 2009 model, the Ford F-150 in many respects has raised the benchmark when it comes to 1/2 ton full-size pickups. Incorporating many features that improved ride, handling, capability and practicality, the lineup received a major boost (literally) with new powertrains for the 2011 model year.

Collectively this has resulted, not only in maintaining the one-fifty’s position as sales leader in the segment, but also in a truck that consistently stands apart from the herd.

This is something Motor Trend magazine duly noted, during it’s annual truck of the year test for 2012 models. When all was said and done, the F-150 scored a solid lead over rival contenders, including Nissan’s new full-size van, the NV, the Ram HD Laramie Longhorn and Toyota Tacoma.

And a big part of that had to do with the truck’s 3.5-liter twin turbo EcoBoost engine, which today, is accounting for around 40 percent of all F-150 sales in the US. Said Motor Trend‘s editor-in-chief Ed Loh of the EcoBoost. “It mastered every task we subjected it to, acing our instrumented tests at the proving grounds and swaying opinions during our real world evaluations.”

Upon the announcement of the 2012 MT Truck of the Year, Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas remarked, We are proud to receive this award and even more pleased that our F-150 customers have additional validation of their top choice.”

Ford’s F-150 has previously garnered Motor Trend Truck of the Year honors in 1997, 2004, and 2009.

 |  Oct 27 2011, 1:00 PM

It seems that pickup trucks with “rugged outdoors” themes are becoming increasingly popular. Ram has released the Outdoorsman and more recently the Mossy Oak Edition as production specialty trucks, while General Motors is now taking a stab with this, the Chevy Silverado HD based “Realtree.”

Unlike the Ram offerings, for now at least, the GM truck is purely a showpiece, built for this year’s SEMA show, however, it hints at what could possibly materialize down the road and certainly follows a similar theme to the Mossy Oak.

Standard kit on this SEMA show stopper, includes custom Champagne Metallic exterior paint emblazoned with Realtree graphics, while inside, one finds Dark Cocoa finished leather seating with Blaze Orange stitching and camouflage piping, plus a smattering of Realtree AP accents throughout the cabin. Retractable running boards provide easy entry/exit without compromising ground clearance.

In keeping with the rugged outdoors theme, the Realtree 4×4 rides on 35-inch off road tires and 18-inch wheels, plus boasts a custom rear cap for storing hunting and fishing gear, as well as one-off front bumper and winch, for dealing with sticky situations.

Naturally, a truck of this stature needs a torque monster under the hood to cope with the extremes mother nature can throw at mankind and the Realtree sports GM’s 6.6-liter Duramax Diesel rated at 397 horsepower and a whopping 765 lb-ft of torque, coupled to an Allison six-speed automatic transmission.

According to Tony Truelove, marketing manager for Chevy trucks the [Realtree] “is a celebration of the seven-year partnership between Chevrolet and Realtree Outfitters. It’s only natural to combine the dependable, long-lasting Silverado HD with Realtree, the best gear for the outdoors,” said Tony Truelove, marketing manager for Chevrolet pickups. “Like all great outdoor gear, the Silverado Realtree Concept is designed to get the job done and;  look sharp while doing it.”

 |  Oct 24 2011, 10:00 AM

At the annual Truck Rodeo in San Antonio, the Texas Auto Writer’s Association (TAWA), declared that of the 48 vehicles evaluated among 57 members, the 2012 Ford F-150 was most deserving of the prestigious “Truck of Texas” award for 2012.

In other categories, the Ford Edge was named best Crossover Utility Vehicle of Texas, while Ford’s EcoBoost direct injection/turbo technology, available in both vehicles was named best overall vehicle feature.

In addition, the entire Ford truck line was also named “Best in Texas” for the 12 consecutive year, in recognition of best-in-class durability and capability.

“Texan consumers put their trust in TAWA’s automotive journalists,” stated the association’s president Mike Herzing. “After lining up vehicles from major auto manufacturers, our members determined Ford simply had the best trucks and crossover.” He also went to say that “ the real winners here are Texas’ truck buyers. Ford delivers the trucks that fit their lifestyles.”

Ford’s President of the Americas, Mark Fields, added, “these awards validate what our customers have been telling us about our ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150, and we are honored by their recognition of the strength of our truck lineup as well as our crossovers and EcoBoost engines.”

 |  Oct 23 2011, 11:00 AM

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Chrysler has announced that it will expand its Ram trim levels for 2012, offering two new ones on the 2500 3/4 ton Power Wagon, plus a limited run “Mossy Oak” Edition as part of the 1500 1/2 ton lineup aimed at the hunting and fishing set.

Getting back to the Power Wagon, the two trim levels include a base ST, essentially a no frills version of the heavy-duty off road rig, that features a black painted grille and bumpers, single tone paint and available roof mounted clearance lights – a truck largely aimed primarily at the likes of mining contractors, forestry services and border security agencies (essentially fleet buyers who need some serious four-wheeling capability). Plus, Ram will also offer a luxo-lined Laramie trim (shown) that slots in above the existing Power Wagon (which will be called SLT).

Like other Laramie trimmed Ram trucks, the Power Wagon version sports all the creature comforts one could ask for, including a woodgrain dash, leather seats, dual zone air conditioning, premium sound system and on the outside, plenty of chrome gingerbread, including the grille, bumpers, exterior mirrors and door handles. The base Power Wagon ST has a MSRP of $42,620, the mid-range SLT, $46,560, while the new Laramie retails for $51,995.

Moving on to the Mossy Oak, this truck is designed to capitalize on the success of the Outdoorsman and indeed is based on this truck, adding special “Mossy Oak Breakup Infinity” camouflage on the pickup bed trim and tailgate, plus the dash and door panel inserts.

There’s also Mossy Oak logos on the head rests and on the rear quarter panels. Retailing for $39,910, the Mossy Oak Edition will be offered in a variety of exterior colors (including Black, Bright White, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl (all of these in either mono or two tone), plus Mineral Gray Metallic, Saddle Brown and Sagebrush monotone. However, it will only be offered as a crew cab rig with four-wheel drive.

According to Ram Division, the Mossy Oak Edition answers a need for a “premium” outdoor truck, since demographics supposedly indicate that 30 percent of all Ram 1500 buyers like to hunt, while 42 percent like to camp and 44 percent like to fish.

Obviously, with stats like that, the former sun belt urban cowboy buyers, who once snapped up two-tone Laramie 1500s by the bucket load, must have largely evaporated.

GALLERY: 2012 Ram Power Wagon Laramie

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 |  Oct 04 2011, 2:15 PM

Despite getting long in the tooth, Nissan isn’t giving up on its stalwart F-Alpha pickups just yet. For 2012 the now almost seven-year-old trucks have been injected with a bit of new life, thanks to a pair of quite comprehensive appearance packages.

The full-size Titan, the so-called Sport Appearance Package adds body colored bumpers, Dark Hyper Silver grille, black step rails, a set of 20-inch alloy wheels and a lockable storage compartment inside the bed. Moving to the cabin, the SAP adds white faced gauges and seats with special ‘Titan’ embroidery.

On the mid-size Frontier, the Sport Appearance Package follows a similar theme. Offered on the SV King Cab and Crew Cab models, it adds the dark grille, the body colored bumpers, special Frontier graphics and 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside white faced gauges can be found, along with special cloth sports seats and even a Bluetooth hands-free system.

In terms of pricing the Frontier Sport Appearance Package will set  you back an additional $1,190 over the cost of the truck, while the Titan SAP retails for $2,490 on top of one of these big rigs.

 |  Sep 30 2011, 1:00 PM

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Given how hotly contested the full-size pickup truck market has become in recent years, those manufacturers participating are constantly looking for ways to one-up each other. Most recently, in the half-ton segment, Ram has attempted to do such a thing by going after the fleet crowd with its 2012 model year 1500 Tradesman Heavy Duty.

Although only offered as a no frills work truck, which means just two-wheel drive, a regular cab and eight foot box, the Heavy Duty Tradesman is essentially a half-ton, entry-level rig with 3/4 ton cargo and towing capacity, something the brand believes will appeal to value conscious commercial buyers during these hard, Dickensian times. Besting both Ford and GM’s current entry level work trucks in terms of loading and hauling capability doesn’t hurt either.

Ram has also been playing around with other 1500 options and features, in the Express line, for example, buyers can now opt for Quad and Crew Cab configurations, as well as a Ram box  bed in six foot, four-inch configuration.

Considering that the Express Quad starts at $28,050 and the Crew version at $30,010 (with standard 5.7-liter Hemi V8 no less) these new configurations and the HD Tradesman should be enough of an incentive for more folks to consider stopping by their local Ram showroom.

GALLERY: RAM 1500 Tradesman HD

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 |  Sep 30 2011, 8:15 AM

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Despite being the consistent number one seller of pickup trucks in the U.S. with its every popular F-150, the Ford Motor Company is wisely choosing not to rest on its laurels.

After the big splash of new powertrain options for 2011, the folks in Dearborn are attempting to stay ahead of the curve by donning their sales champ with a number of upgrades for 2012.

Perhaps most noticeable, is the debut of a new, rather sinister looking FX appearance package (shown), which sports flat black accents, special 20-inch flat black finished alloy wheels with stylized exterior graphics and ID lettering. Inside, the FX incorporates black upholstery surfaces, including the seats, which sport contrasting red piping and perforation inserts.

Red stitching on the steering wheel and brushed metal accents round things off. An FX luxury package is also available which adds both heated and cooled front bucket seats.

On the greasy bit front, Ford has added electronic locking rear differentials on trucks equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V8 engines, as well as an updated 4×4 system with a fully automatic selection mode. In addition all 4 x 4 F-150s now have the ability to be flat towed, while a new Hill Start assist feature has been added to prevent the truck from rolling back on inclines. In addition, EcoBoost powered rigs get a boost (pun intended) when it comes to operating range, thanks to a new 36 gallon fuel tank which now permits some 756 miles worth of driving between fill ups.

GALLERY: 2012 Ford F-150 FX Appearance Package

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Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost Review

 |  Aug 30 2011, 3:15 PM

With GM planning to introduce its next generation of full-size pickups around 2014, the existing generation of trucks are essentially marking time.

That said, for the 2012 model year the 1/2 ton Chevy Silverado 1500 has received a few updates. Most noticeable is a slight tweak to the nose, which sports a chrome mesh grille and surround on LT and LS trim level rigs; while on 2WD trucks (which come without front tow hooks) a below bumper spoiler has also been added, as a nod to slightly improved aerodynamics.

Other new features include a now standard trailer sway control and hill start assist on all Silverados bar the Hybrid, as well as a new hard drive based, optional navigation system (dispensing the need for clumsy discs).

There’s also an optional WiFi system, which should provide highly useful for those that need web access while on the go, ranging from work related info such as building and municipal sites, to online streaming and favorite restaurants, parks and other venues.

In an effort to inject further life into an ageing warhorse; GM is also offering a White Diamond Edition package on LT and LTZ trim level Silverados. It includes special White Diamond Tricoat exterior paint, chrome mirror caps,  door handles, exhaust tip and tow hooks, plus special Chrome clad 20-inch wheels and low profile touring tires. In addition, on the LTZ White Diamond Edition, the Z60 performance suspension package is fitted as standard.

 |  Aug 15 2011, 7:00 PM

Heavy-Duty pickups were designed for abuse. And in order to see just how much they can handle, website Pickup Trucks.com put together it’s Heavy-Duty Hurt Locker Comparison test.

The idea was to pit the latest H-D offerings from Ford, General Motors and Ram (in this case the F-350 Super Duty, Sierra HD 3500 and Ram HD 3500) in a series of extreme towing tests, covering a distance of some 2,200 miles across the American West . The tests included navigating some of steepest grades in the country in some of the most extreme climates, hauling fifth-wheel gooseneck trailers of some 19,400 lbs behind each truck.

And when the dust finally settled, the GMC Sierra HD 3500 was judged the overall winner. “The GMC Sierra led with best-in-class performance, with wins in almost every test we put the trucks through,” declared Pickup Trucks.com’s editor Mike Levine.

GM engineers have instigated some changes on the 2012 model Sierra and Silverado HD, in order to improve towing capability; these include reinforced pickup box sills, stronger rear springs and box mounts and revised suspension tuning.

The result is an increase of some 2000 lbs in tow rating capacity, which now stands at an impressive 23,000 lbs. To see how the Sierra performed against its chief rivals in the Heavy Duty Hurt Locker test, watch the video below.

Hit the jump to see the video

Continue Reading…

 |  Jul 26 2011, 11:30 AM

Back when it was first introduced to the F-150, there were many who questioned Ford‘s logic for installing a twin-turbocharged V-6 in a pickup truck. However, it appears the Blue Oval has proved the naysayers wrong; in recent months, V-6 sales have been really gathering steam.

At the beginning of the calendar year, six-cylinders accounted for around 35 percent of all F-150 sales, now the total is around 56 percent, with 41 percent of those being EcoBoosts (the remainder are 3.7-liter base V-6s).

In terms of individual engines, the 5.0-liter V-8 still leads the way, being installed in 44 percent of all F-150s snapped up by the public. But if the V6 continues to gain acceptance and fuel prices rise, it’s very likely that by the end of the year, the 3.5-liter EcoBoost alone will equal if not surpass it in terms of overall volume.

 |  Jul 20 2011, 5:00 PM

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, certain models of Ford pickups and SUVs have a defective switch which can cause the brake, taillights and rear turn signals to fail, potentially resulting in accidents, specifically rear end collisions.

As a result, the automaker is recalling certain 2004-2011 Ford Ranger pickups, 2002-07 Super Duty pickups, including F-250 through F-550 models, as well as 2002-05 Excursion SUVs.

In total, some 20,450 trucks in the US are affected, in addition Ford is replacing some 6000 defective switches that were sent to dealers as replacement ‘in-service’ parts.

The company plans to notify owners of the recall, who will have the defective switches replaced, free of charge. It also says, that despite the number of trucks being recalled, so far no accidents resulting from brake or taillight failure on the affected vehicles have been recorded.

 |  Jul 15 2011, 11:59 AM

There’s no question that the US Federal government’s proposed Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards have drawn a lot of fire and widespread opposition from automakers, especially as the Obama administration is now pushing for a 56 miles per gallon fleet average target by 2025.

In particular, General Motors and Chrysler, still on the road to recovery after receiving Government assistance in 2008-09 have expressed dismay at the proposed standards, since large trucks and SUVs, which will find the regulations tougher to meet, still represent a sizeable portion of their profits.

As a result, in an effort to win support for it’s fuel economy plan, the Obama administration is considering proposals that would loosen the requirements for large trucks and SUVs, giving automakers, namely the Detroit three, a larger window with which to comply with the new regulations.

This would mean an improvement of 3.5 mpg per year, instead of the 5 mpg increments required by passenger cars and smaller trucks and SUVs.

Import automakers, whose product portofolios tend to focus more on smaller cars and SUVs, claim these changes would give their Detroit rivals an unfair advantage, citing that such proposals would ultimately defeat the objective of the proposed CAFE requirements.

This isn’t first time this year the Feds have backed off on proposed fuel economy standards. Originally ,the mandate for 2025 was a 60 miles per gallon fleet average, though widespread opposition reduced it to the current 56 mpg proposal.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Jul 14 2011, 12:42 PM

Chrysler has announced that it is recalling some 280,000 Ram pickups in the US, Canada and Mexico along with several other parts of the world.

The trucks, ranging from model years 2008 to 2011 are being recalled for defective outer tie rods on the left side, which can cause front-end miss alignment, excessive steering and tire wear and potential tie rod failure.

The automaker said, the problem most frequently occurs during low speed driving, such as in parking lots when drivers are making tight turns. The recall affects both light and heavy-duty trucks, including 4 x 4 Ram 1500 Mega Cab models, up to and including 2500 and 3500 pickup and 4 x2 chassis cabs, as well as older trucks (2003-08 model 2500 and 3500 rigs) that received these tie rods as replacement in-service items.

This marks the second time in less than year that Chrysler has had to recall trucks for tie rod ends, a previous one was issued back in December, that affected heavy-duty 4500 and 5500 chassis cab trucks.

The automaker hasn’t yet said when the recalls will actually begin, though expect something to materialize in the next few weeks.

[Source: Detroit News]

 |  Jun 30 2011, 12:31 PM

Although originally postponed due to the automaker’s bankruptcy and subsequent re-structuring, GM‘s next generation full-size truck program is now reportedly back on track. Sources within the corporation say that the new trucks, internally coded K-2 will begin rolling off assembly lines in 2013 as ’14 model year vehicles.

As to what we can expect, it’s likely that 1/2 ton crew cab models will be introduced first, during the spring, since they’ve become the volume sellers. Extended and regular cab rigs will follow, with SUV derivatives such as the Tahoe, Escalade and Yukon arriving in the fall.

In terms of engineering and styling, it’s rumored the new trucks will be powered by updated pushrod V-8s, including a new 5.3 that will sport both active fuel management and direct injection, along with a development of the 6.2.

GM Powertrain is also reportedly working on an eight-speed automatic transmission designed for these trucks and other rear-wheel drive applications.

In terms of design, the new trucks are also slated to make a radical departure from the current slab sided look, which has been a trademark of GM pickups since the T400 rigs were introduced way back in the 1988 model year. Mike Simcoe, Chevrolet’s design director says we should expect to see more of the look embodied by such vehicles as the Chevy Cruze, Sonic and even the Camaro (some clues can be found in the 2008 Denali XT Concept, shown above).

No word on interiors, but it’s likely the 2014 GM trucks will boast significant improvements over the current models, which lag considerably behind their competitors, especially Ford and Ram.

[Source: GM Inside News]

 |  Jun 21 2011, 10:49 AM

General Motors has announced that it will be idling it’s Flint, Michigan and Fort Wayne, Indiana assembly plants in an effort to clear out  it’s current high inventory of full-size pickups.

Both facilities will be idled beginning July 4, for a two week period, as quoted by GM spokesman Tom Wickham, speaking with news source Bloomberg.

At present GM has an inventory of approximately 282,000 trucks, which translates to a 110 day supply, almost double the industry average. In addition to using the idle time to whittle down the current inventory, the General will also use it  to prepare both facilities for 2012 model-year pickup production.

Although in recent, years, one approach to moving trucks off dealer lots and reducing supply is via incentives, GM’s North America President, Mark Reuss, said the company will stick to production rather than price cuts to drawn down inventory.

[Source: Bloomberg]

 |  Jun 02 2011, 5:29 PM

It was perhaps inevitable. With the Ram 1500 introducing the lockable Ram Box feature as an option for its 2009 update, it was probably only a matter of time before the feature became available on the division’s larger trucks.

According to sources, Ram is seriously considering the feature, though on the larger trucks the Ram Box would be part of a longer 6 foot 4-inch bed (it’s 5 feet 7 inches on the 1500 trucks). This would mean that storage capacity could reach almost 10 cubic feet each side, making the feature notably more useful, for everything from hunting and fishing gear to heavier tools for the jobsite.

If the HD Ram Box feature does make the cut, expect it to become an option during the 2012 model year. There are also rumors that the 1500 Ram Box might also receive larger capacity storage bins, as well as the possibility of a version for 1-ton dualie trucks.

[Source: Pickup trucks.com]

 |  May 26 2011, 4:05 PM

We’ve already heard about Mopar’s Ram Runner package for 1500 pickups, that essentially turns one into a street-legal Pre-Runner type truck, now we’ve got official pricing on it.

As part of a line of accessories available through the Mopar catalog, enthusiasts have the option of acquiring the complete Ram Runner package in one go or doing it peacemeal.

The  Pre Runner Stage II kit, includes a five-link rear suspension, Fox Shox, chromemoly lower control arms, replacement upper arms, forged-steel tie rods and rebuildable high angle ball-joints.

Purchasing the entire kit will set you back $13,270, plus the cost of the donor truck and labor/installation charges and taxes. In addition; Mopar sells a specific off-road front bumper ($1,250) plus an off-road tire carrier, designed to be mounted in the bed ($1,010).

There’s also a set of fiberglass front and rear fenders ($1.020 per set) plus a stamped aluminum hood ($978) that includes twin scoops, plus a performance dual exhaust system ($1,135) to give your Ram Runner the sound only a Hemi can provide through a set of big pipes.

If you add the cost of all this additional stuff, then by the time you’re done, you’re probably looking at close $50,000, factoring in the cost of the truck, the taxes and labor charges.

Is it worth it? Depends on your viewpoint. But, considering you’ll have a Hemi powered rig with 14 inches of suspension travel and a 41-degree approach angle, it’ll still be fun to go out and beat on some F-150 Raptors.

 |  May 26 2011, 11:08 AM

Back in September, the US Department of Energy, in conjunction with Nissan Motor Co, green lighted a proposal to test a Cummins four-cylinder turbo-diesel in the full-size Titan pickup.

The program was largely conceived to help big trucks like the Titan achieve better fuel economy, in lieu of the 35.5 miles per gallon CAFE requirements (that now also include light trucks), scheduled to be phased in in 2015.

The test engine, a 2.8-liter unit cranks out 350 lb/ft of torque at 1800 rpm making it comparable with the Titan’s existing 5.6-liter V-8. However substantial gains in fuel economy have already been achieved, the diesel is said to currently allow a 2WD Titan to achieve around 28 miles per gallon, a sizeable improvement on the V-8 truck’s 13/18 mpg (city/highway).

Cummins says this new diesel can be built in either 2.8 and 3.5-liter forms and thanks to the use of high strength steel pistons, is not only a sturdy engine but also rather compact by diesel standards, not that compactness is of real concern when installing one in a Titan.

The test program is scheduled to run through September this year and it will be interesting to see what further results develop when it comes to capability and fuel economy. However, regulators are now proposing even tougher fuel economy standards for 2025, as much as 62 mpg. With such shifting targets, in such a short period time, the ability of any pickup truck manufacturer to meet them is going to prove challenging at best.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  May 18 2011, 9:06 AM

They’ve been problematic ever since the Feds mandated them back in 2007. Now, the Toyota Tundra is the latest to join the list for Tire Pressure Monitoring System woes.

A recall has been issued for a number of 2007-11 model year Tundras because they may have incorrectly calibrated TPMS systems, preventing warning lights from operating when tire pressures are low. Around 1,697 trucks are affected, all of which were originally sold in the South Eastern United States.

Owners of the affected trucks will be notified by Toyota and dealers will fix the problem free of charge.