AutoGuide News Blog
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.
President Barack Obama will outline a timetable today to introduce new fuel efficiency standards in medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.
Once upon a time trucks were built for work. They had manual door locks, crank windows and AM radios, if they had any sound system at all. Leather seats, air conditioning and voice-activated distractions were out of the question. Like a framing hammer, pickups were simple and effective.
For decades they were purpose-made for hard-working men (and women), the kind of folks that make Paul Bunyan look like a dragqueen. But somewhere along the line these roughneck vehicles became cool with the subdivision set. People living in suburbia started to buy them en masse. With sales increasing so did the clarion call for more comfort.
Today it’s easy to push a simple truck’s window sticker well into luxury-car territory… and beyond. Sure, these vehicles can still handle a 14-hour day on the jobsite and are even more capable than their forebears, but more often than not they’re loaded with costly options that appeal to style-conscious shoppers rather than blue-collar workers. Here’s a list of 10 pricey pickups tailor-made for urban cowboys. The MSRPs are listed without incentives, so actual pricing may vary.
Black boxes in cars? We’ve reported on it before, but a bill requiring such devices has recently passed the U.S. Senate and is expected to fare the same in the House.
If it goes all the way, cars built after 2015 will all have tattlers to give specific information on a car’s activity. If implemented, the devices are meant to be used by emergency responders during an accident, but the applications are far from limited to those incidents.
Chrysler has announced that heavy-duty pickups in the company’s lineup will be available with a new six-speed automatic transmission for the 2012 model year.
The Ram 2500 and 3500 HD models will receive the six-speed coupled with an available 6.7-liter Cummins High Output Turbo Diesel engine with 800 lb-ft of torque at 1,500 rpm and 350-hp and 3,000 rpm. The 3500 truck can tow up to 22,750 pounds if equipped with an optional Max Tow package. Interestingly, the Cummins oil burner manages to meet EPA emissions standards without the annoyance of having to use Diesel Exhaust Fluid.
Fuel economy ratings have not been posted for the Dodge with the six-speed nor have prices been released. More details will become available closer to 2012.
The United States Department of Transportation has proposed a plan to require all light-duty vehicles to be equipped with data-recording black boxes. The 197-page proposed document was released yesterday by the White House.
NHTSA is also considering the meausure for heavy-duty trucks. The electronic data recorders(EDR) are equipped to many vehicles already. GM began using the technology in 1990, and has made it a standard on all light-duty vehicles built after 1995. According to NHTSA estimates, 64 percent of all 2005 model year vehicles sold in the U.S. were equipped with some form of an EDR.
GM, Toyota, Ford, and Chrysler previously endorsed EDRs but concern is growing regarding the proposed regulations. The boxes are designed to record pre and post-crash data. The more sophisticated these systems become, the more they cause an increase in vehicle price.
Rules have already been finalized to standardize EDRs by 2013 to make data collection easier.
[Source: The Detroit News]
Hyundai and Chrysler could partner together for a full-sized truck based off of the Ram, after Chrysler’s deal with Nissan fell apart. Sources say that Hyundai approached Chrysler as late as February regarding a potential tie-up. Hyundai’s lineup is experiencing a renaissance in North America, but the Korean automaker lacks a full-size pickup truck for the crucial North American market. Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly turned down the offer at that time, but is now re-considering due to excess capacity at truck plans. Both Toyota and Nissan have struggled to sell their own full-size pickups in recent years.
[Source: Left Lane News]