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Given that it’s long been the preferred supplier of vehicles to taxi fleets, Ford has offered a Compressed Natural Gas option on its Crown Victoria for years. More recently, it has expanded the availability of CNG and LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) options to its larger commercial vehicles, namely the E-Series vans (of which it has already shipped some 3000 conversions) Transit Connect and most recently, the F-450 and F-550 Super Duty chassis cab trucks.
At the annual Ford Fleet Product and Business Conference on June 7, the company presented the details of its new fuel conversion option, which will be available on F-450 and F-550 trucks powered by the 6.8-liter V10 engine. Making the CNG/LPG option easier is the fact that the V10 already comes with hardened exhaust valves and seats that can withstand gaseous fuels.
Because around 97 percent of natural gas is domestically produced in the United States and there are available government tax credits for commercial fleet operators that convert their vehicles to run on alternative fuels, the F-450/550 gas conversion is likely to prove very popular.
Ford will provide calibration guidance to recommended CNG/LPG conversion specialists for the Super Duty chassis cabs, much in the same manner that programs are in place for the E-Series and small Transit Connect. By adhering to the guidelines and bulletins issued by Ford, the converted trucks will be able to maintain their full factory warranties.
[Source: Ford Motor Company]
There was once a time when pickups were essentially utilitarian vehicles. However, during the 1980s and 1990s, half-ton full-size rigs became increasingly laden with creature comforts, leather bucket seats, center consoles, power everything and serious in car entertainment. Now the concept of luxury truck is expanding upmarket, with General Motors recently launching a luxury GMC Denali as part of the Sierra Heavy-Duty line from 2011.
Now GMC has announced that the Denali HD will be available in both 3/4 (2500) and 1-ton (3500) versions. Both 2WD and 4WD drivelines will be offered with a choice of regular (6 foot, 6-inch) and long (8-foot) boxes, plus the option of single or dual rear wheels on 3500 models. Exterior colors will be limited to Black, Stealth Gray and White, though 17, 18 and 20-inch wheels will be offered.
Standard engine in the HD Denali is GM’s 6.0-liter V8, coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, the updated 6.6-liter Duramax diesel, rated at 397-hp and a staggering 765 lb-ft of torque will be optional. Like the rest of the Sierra Heavy-Duty line, the Denali trucks will be covered by GM’s 100,000-mile, five-year powertrain warranty.
According to GMC product marketing director Lisa Hutchinson; “we received such an overwhelming response to the new Sierra Denali 2500HD, that we worked quickly and decided to extend the model into the 3500HD series so those GMC buyers can also benefit from blending capability with premium features and styling.” No word yet on whether four-wheel steering will be offered.