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Archive for the ‘pickup trucks’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6×6 by Hennessey Performance

2018 Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6x6 by Hennessey Performance

How do you make a Ford F-150 Raptor any more awesome? Hennessey Performance has a great answer – stick an extra axle under an elongated cargo bed then add 150 horsepower. Hennessey is no stranger to making outlandish vehicles with insane levels of power. The Texas-based tuner has done several Raptor upgrades before, and naturally, their bread-n-butter is adding more horsepower to stock vehicles. But this marks the first time a 6×6 configuration has been involved.

Mercedes started the 6×6 trend in 2013 with the G63 6×6. Since then, a handful of aftermarket companies have followed those tracks. The idea behind the 6×6 setup is added traction, better payload and towing capacities, and shear badassery. One look at the G63 6×6 or the Hennessey VelociRaptor 6×6 confirms that. Hennessey can’t confirm how well the VelociRaptor 6×6 handles in the dirt, however. The first example already has customer money on the hood. It’s also the same truck Hennessey took to the 2017 SEMA show. With SEMA over, Hennessey had only a few days to ship the truck to its owner in Florida.

Want to know more? Keep reading for details on the VelociRaptor 6×6.

What makes the 2018 Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6×6 by Hennessey Performance special

  • 6×6 configuration with added rear axle
  • Lengthened cargo bed
  • Special rear leaf-spring & 4-link suspension
  • Larger Fox Racing shocks
  • 20-inch wheels
  • All-terrain tires
  • Hennessey front & rear bumpers
  • LED off-road lights
“It goes without saying the 6×6 portion of this build is the focal point”

It goes without saying the 6×6 portion of this build is the focal point. Hennessey achieved this by extending the F-150’s frame to accommodate another full axle and set of tires. The factory rear axle was moved rearward and a custom axle and pass-through differential rides ahead. That pass-through diff allows rotational power to turn its ring gear and the driveshaft that connects to the second rear differential. It’s a similar setup to an 18-wheeler.

The big-rig inspiration continues with the suspension system. A lengthened leaf spring pack spans between the axles and is mounted on a bar to the outside of the frame rails. A four-link setup locates each rear axle. Upgrade Fox Racing shocks similar to the Raptor’s stock shocks control the bounce of the one-off suspension system. To match the rear suspension, the independent front suspension was lifted for longer travel and higher ground clearance. Upgraded shocks are here too.


2018 Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6x6 by Hennessey Performance - image 745588
“Hennessey says the 6×6 conversion adds roughly 700 pounds to the Raptor’s curb weight, but the extra boost makes the 6×6 quicker than the stock truck”

Hennessey couldn’t leave the Raptor’s high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 alone, either. The engine normally makes 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque, which are very healthy numbers for a small-displacement V-6 with a factory warranty. Hennessey already had its VelociRaptor 600 package developed for the Raptor, so the kit is added to the 6×6.

The engine upgrade includes a high-flow intake, a modified wastegate system, an air-to-air intercooler upgrade, a cat-back exhaust system, and a recalibration of the ECU. The result is 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 622 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Hennessey says the 6×6 conversion adds roughly 700 pounds to the Raptor’s curb weight, but the extra boost makes the 6×6 quicker than the stock truck. The sprint to 60 mph is said to happen in 4.9 seconds.


2018 Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6x6 by Hennessey Performance - image 745590
“Hennessey is only building 100 examples for 2018”

Other modifications include custom front and rear bumpers, LED off-road lights, 20-inch wheels with Toyo Open Country R/T tires, a bed-mounted roll bar, and VelociRaptor 6×6 graphics on the door, fender, and tailgate. Inside, Hennessey will customize the interior to customer tastes, but the standard upgrade includes a numbered plaque with the vehicle’s build number.

Hennessey is only building 100 examples for 2018. The allotment is split 50-50, with half staying in the U.S. and half offered to customers around the world. Don’t expect to see a VelociRaptor 6×6 in the crowded streets of downtown London, but rather climbing up the sand dunes of the United Arab Emirates. Those folks in Dubai really love extravagant, over-the-top vehicles, after all.


2018 Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6x6 by Hennessey Performance - image 745591

Paying for the 2018 VelociRaptor 6×6 takes Oil Sheik money, too. Pricing starts at $349,000 and goes up from there, depending on what options a customer adds.

So, what do you think? Would you drive a six-wheeled mega Raptor or is it too much vehicle for you to handle? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Ford F-150


2017 Ford F-150 Raptor - image 610255

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor.

PostHeaderIcon The 2019 Ram 1500 Is Getting A Split Tailgate!

The next-generation Ram 1500 will be raising the bar for pickup truck cargo beds when it debuts for the 2019 model year. A spy photographer just caught a 2019 Ram tester with an uncamouflaged tailgate that is clearly split vertically. The tailgate will be able to open like a regular tailgate while also opening sideways like French doors. The Honda Ridgeline’s tailgate opens like this, though as a solid piece without the split.


The 2019 Ram 1500 Is Getting A Split Tailgate! - image 745567
“The step bumper can actually be used as a step, too, allowing for an easy climb into the bed.”

The handiness factor is huge here. Think about it: The tailgate can be swung open for better access to items deeper into the bed. The step bumper can actually be used as a step, too, allowing for an easy climb into the bed. The 60/40 split would also make it possible to carry longer items while still having a closed tailgate for loose cargo.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Ram’s split tailgate. Allpar.com actually found patent drawings of a 50/50-split tailgate on the U.S. Patent Office’s website, which is in the public domain. Though the percentage of the split is different, it’s presumed the production tailgate will operate in the same manner.

Ram isn’t new to innovation in the cargo bed. When the current generation of Ram trucks debuted in 2009, it brought the RamBox Cargo Management System – a lockable and watertight storage box within the walls of the cargo bed. No other pickup has such a feature, though the Chevrolet Avalanche came close. Only the Honda Ridgeline with its InBed Trunk has more watertight and lockable in-bed storage.

What do you think? Do you like this tailgate design? If this is an extra-cost option, what would you be willing to pay? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Ram 1500


2019 Ram 1500 - image 689361

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Ram 1500.


2019 Ram 1500 Departs From Classic ‘Big Rig' Design - image 739562

Read more upcoming the upcoming 1500 in our the 2019 Ram Departs From Classic “Big-Rig” Design story.



Read more Ram news.

PostHeaderIcon Ford And Roush Giving 2018 F-150 V-8 a Supercharged Punch

Remember the Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck from the 2017 SEMA show? Well, Ford Performance and Roush Performance are paring yet again to bring the Muscle Truck’s muscle to customers nationwide. Ford will offer a Roush supercharger kit for the 2018 F-150’s 5.0-liter V-8. The roots-style blower will be installed at Ford dealerships by ASE-certified Ford technicians and come with a Ford-backed warranty.

Don’t think the F-150’s V-8 is no dud from the factory. Rather, the 2018 update brought ten more horsepower and 13 more pound-feet of torque for a total of 395 and 400, respectively. Adding the supercharger is said to bring levels to 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque! That’s impressive. Other modifications would include a re-flash of the ECU, a new high-flow intake, and likely an exhaust system. Naturally, with this being a dealer add-on part, anybody willing to pony up the cash can get the extra power – regardless of what trim or cab configuration their 2018 F-150 has. Imagine a single cab, short bed F-150 with 640 horsepower. Oh, wait… one Ford dealership already has.

Ford has not released pricing for the Roush Performance supercharger kit or the shop fees for installation. We do know the blower will become available sometime in early 2018.

References

Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 700456

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.


2017 Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck - image 741993

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition

The current Chevrolet Silverado isn’t that old, really. It debuted for the 2014 model year and underwent a very mild cosmetic refresh for 2016. Yet, in the high-stakes game that is the American pickup market, Chevy has to stay current. An all-new Silverado is destined for 2019, but until the fall of 2018, we’re stuck with the current truck. While the 2017 Silverado is hardly a bad apple, Chevy is keeping it fresh by offering several special edition models and among them is this, the Midnight Edition.

I recently spent a week driving a 2017 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition, driving it the same way any truck owner would, well, save for towing a 9,300-pound trailer. I didn’t have one laying around. I did throw a couple coolers and lawn chairs in the bed, haul five people around, take the kiddo to school, and muddle through everyday life like anyone would. Turns out, the Silverado is a fantastic vehicle for active families.

Continue reading for more information.

Video Overview

Exterior

  • Midnight Edition brings blacked-out look, upgraded tires
  • Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires
  • Bumper steps
  • Spray-in bed liner
  • Towing Package
  • Skid plates

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739904
“Looks are subjective, so everybody will have their own opinion.”

The 2017 Chevy Silverado is a handsome truck that’s been around since 2014. The grille, headlights, front bumper, and hood were refreshed in 2016 with a more aggressive design, but otherwise, the truck remains unchanged. Looks are subjective, so everybody will have their own opinion. For me, I like the Chevy’s squared-off appearance.

As for the Midnight Edition, the special edition package brings black door trim, a black front skid plate, black Chevy bowties, and that chrome Z71 badge on the front doors. Equally important to the tuck’s murderous tone are the black 18-inch wheels and Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. Interestingly, the Midnight Edition also brings Front and Rear Park Assist that works via bumper-mounted sonar sensors.


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739864
“The rear bumper features those awesomely handy steps for getting into the bed”

When it comes to utility, the Silverado has it in spades. The cargo bed has a spray-in bedliner, which came standard as the LTZ trim package. The rear bumper features those awesomely handy steps for getting into the bed. In conjunction, the rear stake pockets have larger openings for handles when climbing up. The tailgate has an easy-lower and lift feature. The towing package, which is standard on the LTZ trim, not only includes the two-inch receiver hitch, but both seven- and four-pin wiring connectors. Having 4WD makes the front tow hooks standard. Other niceties include LED projector-beam headlights, LED fog lights,

All told, the Silverado fulfills its utilitarian role as a pickup, but also does a great job of being family transportation. Compile that with the sinister looks of the Midnight Edition, and it’s a solid package.

Interior

  • Seating for five
  • 8.0-inch MyLink Infotainment
  • Handy center console
  • Fold-up rear bench seats

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739873
“This Silverado is meant to haul people and stuff within the comforts of an air-conditioned space”

Being a Crew Cab, this Silverado is meant to haul people and stuff within the comforts of an air-conditioned space. Naturally, the Silverado does this well. My LTZ tester comes with leather seats and has the $510 front bucket seat option that includes the full-length center console. Though it takes away the middle seat, reducing the seating capacity form six to five, the console offers tons of storage space, a rack for hanging file folders, a wireless phone charger, and a rubberized spot for holding cell phones. Best of all, the console adds an array of charge ports that includes two USB ports, two 12-volt power outlets, and a three-pronged, 110-volt plug.

The LTZ package makes a handful of electronic gadgetry standard, too. There’s the 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system with navigation and the 4.2-inch driver information screen in the gauge cluster. Both are moderately customizable and allow for different information to be displayed. The MyLink system rivals Fiat Chrysler’s 8.4-inch Uconnect system for simplistic perfection while offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The home screen’s icons can be rearranged to suit the driver’s preference.


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739890
“The heated and vented front seats work exceptionally well at keeping backsides happy”

Another lovely feature is the heated and vented front seats. They both work exceptionally well at keeping backsides happy. The dual-zone climate controls keep front sides happy, too. Unfortunately for those in back, the Silverado does not have rear air vents, meaning they’ll have to rely on front occupants sharing their vents in the game of “move it a bit to the left. No, too much.” Adding insult to injury, the Silverado (and its corporate twin, the GMC Sierra) is the only full-size truck without rear air vents.

One thing the Silverado Crew Cab has plenty of is storage space. Not only does the center console have a ton of room, but all four door pockets have two shelves and room for big-gulp cups. The glove compartment has two tiers, making it easier to organize things. The rear bench seat has space underneath for stuff, as well. Chevy actually sells a storage organizer for this area, should you not need the mostly flat load floor. And yes, the bench seat folds up neatly, allowing larger items to slide in.

Other interesting features include a sunroof, a power-sliding rear window, memory settings for the driver’s seat, and power-adjustable pedals. Those things help make up for the Silverado’s lack of push-button starting.

Drivetrain

  • 5.3-liter V-8
  • 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • 4WD with Auto mode
  • Automatic locking rear differential
  • 15 mpg city / 20 hwy / 17 Comb
  • 0 to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739891
“The small-block Chevy kicks out 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm”

The Chevy Silverado 1500 is available with three engines: the base 4.3-liter V-6, the volume-leading 5.3-liter V-8, and the premium choice, the 6.2-liter V-8. All three engines are from General Motors’ EcoTec3 engine family and share the same basic architecture and technology. The three main features (and why its called EcoTec3) are variable valve timing, direct fuel injection, and Active Fuel Management, otherwise known as cylinder deactivation.

Like most consumer-grade Silverados, my tester came with the 5.3-liter V-8. The small-block Chevy kicks out 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. That’s enough grunt to move this 5,300-pound truck to 60 mph in only 7.2 seconds. Chevy limits the truck’s top speed to a measly 99 mph, so don’t expect to run the German Autobahn.


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739898
“The 4WD system offers five modes: 2WD mode, an Auto mode, 4WD high, 4WD low, and neutral”

Behind the V-8 is GM’s eight-speed automatic transmission and two-speed transfer case with auto mode. The eight-speed isn’t as smooth as FCA’s ZF eight-speed gearbox, but it’s plenty fine for pickup duty. The 4WD system offers five modes. There’s a 2WD mode, an Auto mode, 4WD high, 4WD low, and neutral. Auto mode is the set-it-and-forget-it setting that only sends power to the front wheels when traction is an issue. For serious stuff, the Silverado is equipped with the G80 automatic locking rear differential. It mechanically senses a difference in wheel speeds between the rear tires and automatically locks to send equal power to both wheels.

The EPA rates my tester at 15 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined.

Behind the Wheel

  • Impressive handling for a truck
  • Feels more powerful than horsepower suggests
  • Easy to drive but hard to park
  • Comfy interior makes long drives fun

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739905
“The Silverado is no sports car”

The Chevy Silverado is a big truck, but it somehow drives smaller than it looks – at least until it comes time to park. The steering is decently weighted but does require several turns from lock to lock. Throttle and braking inputs are smooth and linear. Visibility is actually pretty good, too, thanks to an airy cab and large side mirrors.

When the pedal hits the metal, the 5.3-liter feels way more stout than its 355-horsepower rating would suggest. Throaty intake and exhaust sounds accompany a heavy right foot, as does plenty of tire squealing if pushed too far. Keeping the transfer case in Auto mode is definitely advisable.

Of course, the Silverado is no sports car. Body roll is present, though not outlandish, as is brake dive and squirm from the knobby Goodyear DuraTrac tires. Still, the Silverado feels stable during quick maneuvers. On the highway, things settle down nicely. The cabin is quiet and free of wind and road noise. The meaty tires do give off more noise than the average all-season, but it’s not bad.

Pricing


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739903

Perhaps the biggest downside to modern pickups is the price. The 2017 Silverado 1500 starts at $29,080, but that’s for the bare-bones WT trim in the single-cab, short bed configuration with the base V-6 and 2WD. Opting for something more upscale requires a fat wallet.

My Crew Cab LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition carries a starting price of $48,890 but quickly escalates with options. There’s the $770 LTZ Plus Package, the $1,050 Midnight Edition package, the $995 sunroof, the $945 Enhanced Driver Alert Package, the $650 heated and vented front seats, the $510 bucket seat option, and the $495 addition of navigation to the 8.0-inch MyLink infotainment system. All told, my tester carries a final price of $55,600. While expensive, that actually represents a decent deal relative to what Ford, Ram, Nissan, and Toyota are charging for an equivalent truck.

Competition

2018 Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 701263

The Ford F-150 has undergone a mid-cycle refresh for the 2018 model year. The changes include mild exterior changes like a new grille, front bumper, and revised tailgate skin. Inside, the F-150 carries on unchanged, though that’s just fine since the cab is still fresh form 2015. The F-150 offers the widest array of cab and seating, configuration and options combinations of any vehicle in the industry. Customers can nearly build a one-off truck despite Ford building nearly a million F-Series truck each year.

The big changes for 2018 are found under the hood. The base V-6 is new, displacing 3.3 liters. It’s more fuel-efficient than the outgoing 3.5-liter while producing nearly identical power numbers. The 2.7-liter EcoBoost moves into its second generation with updated technology and 25 more pound-feet of torque at 400 pound-feet of torque. Horsepower remains at 325. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost carries over unchanged from its major updates in 2017. The 5.0-liter V-8 gets love, too, with direct injection and other tech for an increase in power to 395 horses and 400 pound-feet of torque. All but the base 3.3-liter V-6 come with Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission. The 3.3 keeps the six-speed automatic used before.

Pricing for the 2018 F-150 swings wildly thanks to the trucks numerous configurations and trim levels. The base XL regular-cab truck with zero options starts at $27,380. Check every box on the range-topping Limited trim and you’re looking at nearly $70,000.

Read more about the 2018 Ford F-150.

2017 Ram 1500


2017 Ram 1500 Sublime Sport - image 712491

The Ram 1500 is the oldest pickup of this trio, but that will change for 2019 when the next generation hits showrooms. Until then, the 2017 and 2018 Ram 1500 continues to offer all three cab sizes, multiple bed lengths, a slew of trim lines, and nearly as many options as the F-150. And like the competition, the Ram can vary from stripped-down work truck to glammed-up and loaded out luxury machine. Niceties include the lovely 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, a four-corner air ride suspension, and real wood and aluminum interior accents.

Three engines are available: the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, and the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6. All three have their place and target audience. The 3.6 caters to the fleet and budget-conscious with 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. The Hemi is the one with muscle car ties. It kicks out 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque, matching the 2018 F-150’s updated 5.0-liter V-8. The EcoDiesel is for those who enjoy sipping diesel at a slow pace. With 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the turbocharged V-6 can get upwards of 29 mpg on the highway when paired with the right truck configuration. That’s impressive.

Like any half-ton truck, prices vary greatly depending on trim, drivetrain, and cab choices. The base Tradesman trim on a regular cab truck with no options starts at $26,495. Interestingly, the Ram 1500’s max price peaks far lower than the Ford’s at roughly $58,000.

Read our full review on the 2017 Ram 1500.

Conclusion


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739906

Despite strong competition from Ford and Ram, not to mention the hungry Nissan and Toyota, the Chevrolet Silverado continues to sell extremely well, consistently ranking right behind the F-Series. It’s no wonder since the Silverado has a cab size, trim level, and engine choice for just about any job and budget. Choice is what Chevy delivers. Sprinkle on some special edition seasoning and boom, customers who crave something different with their truck can have it.

The Z71 Midnight Edition Silverado adds flair to an otherwise conventional truck. What’s more, the package adds functionality thanks to the more aggressive Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires.

  • Leave it
    • Blacked-out theme is almost too common now
    • Fuel economy
    • Gets expensive with options

References


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739865

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739895

2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition: Dissecting The Name


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739890

The Handiest Feature On The 2017 Chevrolet Silverado


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven - image 739905

The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs to Fix For The 2019 Silverado

Chevrolet Silverado


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 712066

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


2015 Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition - image 612398

Read our full review on the Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition.

PostHeaderIcon Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport

2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport

It’s no secret automakers have found big success in special edition versions of conventional models. Nowhere else is that truer than in the pickup market. Ram’s latest special edition is this, the Hydro Blue Sport, and it will be the last special edition of the 2017 calendar year. Then after 2018, the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 will be hitting showrooms. But before that happens, expect Ram to continue offering dolled-up versions of its current pickups in 2018.

Mike Manley, the head of Jeep and Ram brands, says, “The custom look and high-impact colors have been well received in the marketplace and this new Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport will surely stand out on dealers’ lots and in customers’ driveways. Enthusiasts demand that their trucks get noticed and our Ram 1500 Sport lineup delivers a durable, powerful alternative with great visual appeal.”

Naturally, General Motors says the same about its special edition Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks, too. And truth be told, they’re right. We recently spent a week with the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition and found plenty of people staring and making approving comments. Will the Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport have the same effect? Tell us in the comments after reading all the details down below.

Continue reading for details on the 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport.

What makes the Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport special

  • Based on 2018 Ram 1500 Crew Cab, short bed
  • 5.7-liter Hemi V-8
  • 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque
  • 2WD or 4WD
  • Hydro Blue paint
  • Body-colored grille, bumpers, and trim
  • Black interior with Hydro Blue accenting
  • Only 2,000 examples built
  • Sales start November 2017
  • Pricing starts at $47,455

2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport - image 744030
“The Hydro Blue Sport is based on the 2018 Ram 1500 Sport trim with the Crew Cab and short bed.”

Remember that insanely catchy song from 1999, “I’m Blue” from Eifel 65? The one with gibberish for lyrics and that spacey sound that dominated pop music at the turn of the millennium? Yeah, that stupid song is now trapped in my head. Yours too, now. Well, that’s what comes to mind with the Hydro Blue Sport Ram 1500.

The Hydro Blue Sport is based on the 2018 Ram 1500 Sport trim with the Crew Cab and shorter, five-foot, seven-inch cargo bed. The special edition is only offered with the venerable 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. The eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard, too. Customers do have the choice between 2WD and 4WD. Either way, the Hemi kicks out a respectable 395 horsepower and 410 pound-feet of torque.


2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport - image 744028
“The truck comes coated in Hydro Blue paint with matching bumpers, mirror caps, door handles, and grille.”

As for the unique parts, the truck comes coated in Hydro Blue paint with matching bumpers, mirror caps, door handles, and grille. Basically everything else is glossy black, including the grille inserts and R-A-M logo, the door badges, and the rear Ram’s Head badge on the tailgate.

As for the wheels, rear-drive trucks come with polished 22-inch aluminum wheels while 4WD models have polished 20-inch wheels. Customers can also upgrade to blacked out wheels, though the sizes remain the same in accordance with 2WD and 4WD drivetrains.


2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport - image 744027
“Black serves as the base color for the dash, seats and carpet.”

Inside, the blue theme continues. Black serves as the base color for the dash, seats and carpet. The Hydro Blue hue is seen on the anodized aluminum trim surrounding the HVAC vents, along the center console, and on the door panels, It’s repeated in the contrast stitching in the seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The seats are cloth with leather-wrapped bolsters and headrests. Those who want full leather seats can order their truck that way.

Other factory-added options include Ram’s Active level air suspension, ParkSense, the RamBox storage boxes in the bed walls, side steps, and the blacked-out wheel options mentioned earlier.


2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport - image 744031
“Only 2,000 will be built and prices start at $47,455.”

Like any good special edition, Ram is limiting production of the Hydro Blue Sport. Only 2,000 will be built and the order books are already open. Dealerships will begin receiving the truck before the month is over (November 2017). Ram is charging $47,455 for the 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport, which includes the $1,395 destination fee. Naturally, adding options raises that price.

For those wanting something different from Ram, the brand already has the Sublime green, Copper, and Ignition Orange Sport special editions for 2017.

So what do you think? Are you blue enough to drive this Hydro Blue bad boy? Tell us in the comments.

References

Ram 1500


2017 Ram 1500 Copper Sport - image 704779

Read our full review on the 2017 Ram 1500.



Ream more Ram news.

PostHeaderIcon This Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts Is the Ultimate Rock Climber

The 2017 SEMA Show was packed with modified pickup trucks, but none was as spectacular as this EcoBoost-powered rock climber built by CJ Pony Parts. The aftermarket parts supplier has been a constant presence in Las Vegas in recent years, showcasing a restomod 1965 Ford Mustang built with TMI Products, a custom Focus ST with Ford, and a beefed up Mustang EcoBoost with Ford Performance. In 2017, CJ Pony Parts chose to stay away from the car performance realm and opted to create a stunning off-road-equipped F-150 pickup truck.

Already a solid truck thanks to its aluminum body, leading technology, and fuel-efficient engines, the F-150 is now able to tackle the Moab Easter Jeep Safari alongside the most hardcore Jeep Wranglers out there. CJ Pony Parts says that its goal with this build was to create something “that not only looked tough but can back up that look with massive off-road capability,” it seems that the result matches the description. Exterior upgrades are numerous, starting with Lund fender flares, custom two-tone paint with orange graphics, and a rear differential cover. There’s also a T-Rex grille; Rigid Radiance LED lights, Rock Slider side steps, and new Stealth Fighter and Honey Badger bumpers front and rear. The truck also features an Oracle Lighting ColorShift LED underbody lighting kit.

The list of accessories continues inside with a Raptor steering wheel with orange stitching, Ford Performance door sill plates, custom headrests with CJ Pony Parts logo, and orange accents on the dashboard, door panels, center console, and floor mats. But the really important upgrades were operated under the skin.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts.

What’s under the skin?


This Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts Is the Ultimate Rock Climber - image 742565
“Performance has been improved using a Borla dual side-exit exhaust system, and aFE Momentum GT Stage 2 cold air intake, and a Bully Dog GT Platinum gas tuner.”

This pickup truck uses the same 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic transmission as the production model, but there’s no word whether it’s the standard unit or the high-output version. The former generates 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet, while the latter cranks out 450 horses and 510 pound-feet. But no matter the drivetrain, performance has been improved using a Borla dual side-exit exhaust system, and aFE Momentum GT Stage 2 cold air intake, and a Bully Dog GT Platinum gas tuner.

The enhanced off-road capability comes from a ReadyLift seven-inch lift kit with SST3000 shocks and Custom Power suspension by PA Powder Works. The standard wheels have been replaced by two-piece, forged 20-inch rollers wrapped in BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires. A spare wheel was mounted in the bed in case one goes flat while climbing rocks. Arguably the most off-road capable vehicle at the 2017 SEMA Show, CJ’s F-150 is a sight to behold!

References

Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 700457

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig

We love it when a builder goes just a little bit of crazy, creating something over-the-top, but only just. This extensively modified F-350 from Hellwig is exactly that. Dubbed “The Operator,” Hellwig started with a stock 2017 Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat Crew Cab, then added upgrades until it had created the “ultimate recon adventure vehicle.” The most obvious thing to pick out is the large UTV this truck is hauling in its bed – or rather, above its bed might be more accurate. But there’s more to it than just that. “From recon runs in the desert to family camping trips in the dunes, the Operator is capable and comfortable,” says Hellwig, and we believe it. In addition to the usual off-roader gear outside, there’s nice stuff inside the cabin as well, plus a few choice upgrades under the hood to round it out.

All told, while the UTV certainly has our attention, it’s the little details in this build that really impress us. Hellwig didn’t neglect a thing in building its idea of “ultimate,” and in the end, we can’t help but stand back and admire the handy work.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-350 By Hellwig.

Exterior

  • UTV mounted out back
  • New bumpers and paint
  • Lots of utility gear
  • Underbody protection

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741908
“One of the coolest things about this truck is the way in which it moves the UTV.”

Let’s just jump straight to it, shall we? Mounted on the bed of this thing is a 2017 Artic Cat Wildcat X LTD two-seater UTV, a zippy little toy that’ll eat up the surrounding terrain without a moment’s hesitation. It’s an awesome thing to have at your disposal in the right conditions, and The Operator is the right platform to deliver it where it needs to be.

One of the coolest things about this truck is the way in which it moves the UTV. Rather than filling the bed to capacity or dragging around a trailer, The Operator mounts it above the bed line and partially on top of the cab. Responsible for this trick is a UTV deck from SherpTek, which offers heavy-duty loading ramps and all the gear you need to keep that pricey toy in one spot. Just don’t take any sharp corners with it loaded up there…


2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741907

Adding to the build’s aesthetic appeal is a set of new “Vengeance” bumpers from Fab Fours, both in front and in back. In the corners you’ll find Method Race 305 NV HD wheels, which take up residence under flared-out fenders from Lund (part of the Ford Licensed Accessories line). As a quick side note – notice how the UTV’s wheels match those of the truck that’s carrying it? It’s a relatively small detail, but we think stuff like that really makes a build look fantastic, separating the great from the good.

Up front, there’s a new X-Metal grille insert from T-Rex Grilles, while Rigid Industries and Whelen provide the extra illumination. Rounding off the styling is a BASF paint job courtesy of LGE-CTS Motorsports, on top of which is laid a digital camouflage graphics scheme.


2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741906
“Notice how the UTV’s wheels match those of the truck that’s carrying it?”

And of course, we couldn’t forget all the extras added for the sake of utility, such as the Krazy Beaver Tools shovel, Macs tie-downs cargo management system, and Viair air compressor. There’s also a bolt receiver lock system, a hi-lift jack, and a set of Daystar fuel cans.

Protecting the important bits underneath are Mag-Hytech differential covers and transmission pan. A Warn Industries 16.5TI-S winch is placed in the nose, and a Wilco pre-runner tailgate finishes it off.

Interior

  • Power step-ups
  • New seats and upholstery

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741913
“The 5.11 Tactical seats come complete with body-colored coverings from Rogelio’s Upholstery”

With so much attention paid to the exterior of this vehicle, it wouldn’t be surprising if The Operator neglected to do much to the interior space. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

First up, ingress and egress are assisted by electrically operated PowerSteps from AMP Research, a critical component when considering the truck’s sizable suspension lift.

Once inside, passengers will enjoy the 5.11 Tactical seats, which come complete with body-colored coverings from Rogelio’s Upholstery, plus special webbing and tactical storage compartments from Molle. A Ford Licensed Accessories vehicle safe from Console Vault stores sensitive materials up front. Finally, Rugged Radios was called on for the telecommunications kit.

Drivetrain

  • 6.7-liter Powerstroke V-8 diesel
  • 925 pound-feet of torque
  • MagnaFlow exhaust

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741912
“MangaFlow was called on for its Pro DPF exhaust system”

The heart of the vehicle is the Ford F-350’s top-rated 6.7-liter Powerstroke V-8 turbo diesel engine, which, from the factory, is rated at 440 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and an Earth-twisting 925 pound-feet of torque at 1,800 rpm. And that’s good, especially when you consider all the extras hanging off this thing, including the frikin’ UTV on the roof.

To give the powerband a little extra breathing room, not to mention a much better sound, MangaFlow was called on for its Pro DPF exhaust system. A yellow-top battery from Optima provides the spark.

Finally, a TorqShift six-speed automatic gearbox with a SelectShift feature routes the go to the ground. 05SD hubs from Warn Industries finish off the drivetrain spec.

Chassis And Handling

  • Hellwig air suspension
  • Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stag 5 suspension
  • 4.5-inch lift
  • Falken Wild Peak M/T Off-Roading tires

2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741911

Underpinning the whole shebang are Hellwig-branded Big Wig air springs, while Big Wig sway bars are mounted both front and back. Completing the transformation is a full Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stage 5 suspension kit, which means this bad boy is standing a full 4.5 inches higher than when it left the factory.

Finally, gripping the terra, we find Falken Wild Peak M/T Off-Roading tires wrapped around those custom wheels.

Conclusion


2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig - image 741909

SEMA always attracts some truly impressive modified rides, and this particular example is right up there with some of the best we’ve seen in 2017. It’s got the big stuff, like the UTV, but also the little stuff, like Rugged Radios gear and matching wheels, and that makes it both extreme and well-rounded.

Good work.

  • Leave it
    • Only thing missing is a drone

References

Ford F-Series


2017 Ford Super Duty - image 648383

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck

2017 Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck

Chevy brought two custom Colorado ZR2 pickups to SEMA this year with some heavy modifications that make them even better off-road. One was built in collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles and meant for over-landing while this, the Colorado ZR2 Race Development Truck, is built for high-speed desert running. In fact, many of the upgrades on this truck were first tested on Chad Hall’s Colorado ZR2, which ran in the “Best In The Desert” race series.

The list of modifications isn’t overly extensive, showing just how capable the Colorado ZR2 is from the factory. The truck’s crown jewel is its DSSV spool valve shock absorbers from Multimatic. DSSV shocks were developed for supercars and F1 race teams, so its adoption for an off-roader was unconventional. The factory truck also has better ground clearance than a regular Colorado, along with bespoke bodywork that improved approach and departure angles. Adding to its capability are front and rear electronic differential lockers – something not found on any other Colorado. Still, Chevy improved on the ZR2’s design for hard-core racing.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck.

What makes the Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck special

  • 1.5-inch body lift
  • Long-arm front suspension
  • Long-travel DSSV shocks
  • Skid plates for rear shocks
  • Skid plate for rear differential
  • 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires
  • Cold-air intake for 3.6-liter V-6
  • Performance exhuast

2017 Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck - image 741890
“The list of modifications isn’t overly extensive, showing just how capable the Colorado ZR2 is from the factory”

Chevrolet started off with a stock Colorado ZR2 with the 3.6-liter V-6 and crew cab. They then added a 1.5-inch body lift to help fit larger, 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler MT/R tires. The stock wheels were retained, but wheel spacers and longer wheel studs were added to widen the truck’s already wide stance. Underneath, the rear DSSV shocks got skid plates for added protection from trail damage. A skid plate was also added to the rear differential. An upgraded steel driveshaft was added, too.

Suspension enhancements make the biggest difference, however. A long-arm suspension kit was added to the independent front suspension, and long-travel versions of the DSSV shocks were added. The shocks also have a slightly modified tuning to better handle high-speed runs in the sand.


2017 Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck - image 741888
“An off-road air intake was added, as well, helping filter out dirt and sand”

An off-road air intake was added, as well, helping filter out dirt and sand. On the other side of the V-6, Chevy added a performance exhaust system. There’s no word on how these changes affected power output, but we’d certainly guess the 3.6-liter makes more horsepower and torque.

All told, the Colorado ZR2 Race Development Truck is a beast for high-speed desert running, while staying close to the factory ZR2 anyone can buy. Chevy undoubtedly is preparing for battle against Ford’s upcoming Ranger Raptor – a mid-size pickup with parts styled after the F-150 Raptor. It seems Chevy is definitely ready to throw some punches.

References

Chevrolet Colorado


2017 Chevrolet Colorado - image 686537

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado.


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695944

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension

Ford brought more than 50 vehicles to the 2017 SEMA Show, ranging from factory fresh models and high-horsepower Mustangs to SUVs and lifted trucks. That last one is exactly what we’ve got here – a massive F-250 Super Duty that’s been re-engineered to handle any off-road situation. Ford partnered with BDS Suspension in building what’s been dubbed “Project SD126: No Mission Is Impossible.

The truck started life as a 2017 F-250 Super Duty XLT with a regular cab and long bed powered by the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel and backed by the six-speed automatic transmission and stock 4WD system. BDS broke out the Sawzall and cut the long bed down. The wheelbase went from 142 inches to 126 inches, hints the SD126 name. From there came the suspension parts, new body panels, and reworked interior. Nearly every inch of the truck has been touched. Check out the details below.

Continue reading for more on the SD126 Super Duty.

Exterior

  • Shortend wheelbase
  • Custom fiberglass fenders & hood
  • Smokes lens covers on lights
  • Off-road bumpers
  • Warn winch
  • Power steps
  • LED off-road lights

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension - image 741441
“The bright orange paint, massive 42-inch tires, and bulging fenders do a good job at hogging attention.”

Though the BDS F-250 might have a shorter wheelbase, it’s hardly the first thing anyone will notice. The bright orange paint, massive 42-inch tires, and bulging fenders do a good job at hogging attention.

The truck features steel bumpers from Rogue Racing. The front bumper hides a 12,000-pound Warn Zeon winch, a 40-inch LED light bar, and four LED light pods. The factory tow hooks stick out of the body-colored bumper, too. The blacked-out grille is flanked by smoked headlights and capped by a ram air hood from RK Sport. Out back, the rear bumper also has LED light pods and offers more protection from trail damage.

Other outside adds-ons include AMP Research power steps, smoked cab lights and third brake light, and orange Ford badges. There’s also a full-size spare tire mounted in the bed.

Interior

  • Racing seats
  • Five-point harnesses
  • Kicker stereo sound system
  • Off-road GPS system

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension - image 741448
“BDS carries the orange theme inside the truck with orange accents on the HVAC vents and controls, radio knobs, and door panels”

BDS carries the orange theme inside the truck with orange accents on the HVAC vents and controls, radio knobs, and door panels. The stock seats are replaced by reclining race seats from PRP and includes five-point harness. The custom center console has cup holders and a big 12-inch subwoofer that’s attached to the Kicker sound system. An inch and three-quarter roll bar was added inside the cab for added safety and a Magellan eXplorist TRX7 GSP system keeps tabs on navigation when off road.

Drivetrain

  • 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 Turbodiesel
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • 4WD
  • Cold-air intake
  • ECU programmer
  • Upgraded exhuast system

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension - image 741450
“BDS added a cold-air intake from S&B, an EZ-LYNK programmer, and a Diamond Eye exhaust system”

BDS didn’t have to do much to the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel. In stock form, it makes 440 horsepower and 925 pound-feet of torque. Then again, this is SEMA, so BDS added a cold-air intake from S&B, an EZ-LYNK programmer, and a Diamond Eye exhaust system. There’s no official word on power improvements, but we’d bet this oil-burner is squeezing out nearly 1,000 pound-feet of torque.

The real changes come with the suspension, axle, and tire upgrades.

Suspension

  • Shortend wheelbase
  • 42-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR tire
  • BDS suspension
  • Fox 2.5 coilover shocks
  • Fox 3.0 external bypass shocks
  • Fox 2.0 bump stops
  • Upgraded solid Axles from F-450
  • 14 inches of travel

2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension - image 741444
“The front has a four-link setup with huge coilover springs on 2.5-inch Fox Racing shocks with a secondary, 3.0-inch Fox Racing external bypass shocks mounted nearby”

The stock Ford F-250 solid axles were ditched for the beefier ones found under the F-450 Super Duty. The front axle is Dana 60 while the rear is a M300. Both are 10-lug design, are stuffed with 4.30:1 gears, and have BDS trusses for added rigidity.

Holding the axles in place, naturally, is a BDS suspension system. The front has a four-link setup with huge coilover springs on 2.5-inch Fox Racing shocks with a secondary, 3.0-inch Fox Racing external bypass shocks mounted nearby. Fox 2.0 bump stops provide a soft landing should the suspension bottom out after a hard jump or large bump. A Pac Racing monster sway bar keeps the F-250 from tipping over and extra strong steering gear keeps both tires pointed in the same direction. Out back, the rear leaf spring suspension is swapped for a trailing arm with the same 2.5-inch Fox coilover shocks and 3.0-inch external bypass shocks.
All told, the suspension has an impressive 14 inches of travel.

The truck rides on Stazworks Cheyenne 8 wheels wrapped in 42-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A KR tires.

Conclusion


2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension - image 741439

The BDS Suspension 2017 Ford F250 Project SD126: No Mission Is Impossible truck is a helluva build. It takes a full-size three-quarter ton truck and turns it into a go-anywhere monster with all the torque in the world. Its shortened, 126-inch wheelbase, 42-inch tall tires, solid axles, BDS suspension, and Fox shocks allow it to go where regular Super Duties can’t.

The SEMA Show is full of custom vehicles like this, but it seems BDS and Ford have pulled off one of the cleanest and most interesting builds of the year.

What do you think? Do you like this build? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Leave it
    • Only room for two people
    • Would be expensive to replicate

References

Ford F-Series


2017 Ford Super Duty - image 648383

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept

2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept

Folks like to modify their rides for a variety of reasons. Some like to add a dash of personalized style, while others want to enhance the vehicle’s natural talents. However, some of the most interesting results come from the desire to take a vehicle out of its comfort zone, and as a result, create the unexpected. The Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept is a great example of something from that third category. While the Silverado is best known for its ability to haul goods, Chevy decided to see what would happen if it built a Silverado that could also haul ass. As such, this 2018 model gets a boatload of extra power thanks to a new concept supercharger system that ramps up output from the truck’s 5.3-liter V-8 engine by more than 100 horsepower. Of course, while gobs of extra power is always appreciated, a well-rounded build needs the complementary gear to go with it, and the Silverado Performance Concept delivers with additional performance parts, styling upgrades, and more.

Making its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Silverado Performance Concept joins roughly 20 other factory-backed Chevy models in attendance to entice both builders and enthusiasts alike with Bow Tie-styled goodness. Read on for the details on this go-faster truck.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept.

What Makes The Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept Special

  • Concept supercharger adds more than 100 horsepower
  • Blower is based on the Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Z06
  • Big Brembo brakes in front
  • 22-inch wheels
  • Breathing support mods
  • Custom exterior graphics
  • Black badges and trim
  • Carbon fiber gauges
  • Performance Data Logger

Wait, It’s A Blown Silverado?


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741741
“Under the hood we find a brand-new supercharger stuffing the stock 5.3-liter V-8 with enough boost to produce more than 100 extra horsepower.”

You heard right. The big news with this concept is what’s going on under the hood, where we find a brand-new supercharger stuffing the stock 5.3-liter V-8 with enough boost to produce more than 100 extra horsepower. Although Chevy didn’t give us specific figures, we know that the V-8 Silverado makes 355 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque from the factory, so it’s probably safe to assume as much as 460 horses and nearly 480 pound-feet of torque from this concept. In stock form, the 0-to-60 mph sprint takes 7.2 seconds, and we’re guessing the blower cuts that down to the high-five-second range.

That’s a huge jump in output and performance, but we’re not surprised. Chevy says the supercharger system is based on the same blower you get on the LT4-equipped Camaro ZL1 and Corvette Z06, even utilizing an intercooler system to keep the incoming air nice and chilly.


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741737
“That’s a huge jump in output and performance, but we’re not surprised. Chevy says the supercharger system is based on the same blower you get with the Camaro ZL1.”

To help put it all to the pavement, the Performance Concept gets 22-inch performance-oriented tires, which are mounted on custom aluminum wheels painted in a unique hue. Under the front rollers are new brakes from Brembo, rocking six-piston calipers finished in red.

Supporting the superchargers is a new cold-air intake, as well as a cat-back exhaust with a polished tip. This last bit left us a bit surprised, as we would have expected a full-length exhaust upgrade to make the most of the blower, but hey – 100 horsepower is still 100 horsepower.

What’s Going On With The Exterior?


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741739

To help it look the part of a tuned performance machine, this concept Silverado gets a new Satin Steel Gray paint job. Adding extra lines and muscly sinews is a restyled lower fascia up front, plus new air ducts and a new hood. The grille surrounds and bumper were also repainted to match the color of the body.

Complimentary details include darker accents for the window moldings and various body emblems, as well as smoked coverings for the headlights and taillights. You’ll also find custom exterior graphics and a tri-fold tonneau cover.

Looks Pretty Good!


2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept - image 741738

We agree, and the good stuff continues inside where the steering wheel is covered in black suede and gets the requisite performance red stripe. The concept also uses carbon fiber gauges from the Z71, as well as an LCD competition-style dash logger so you can put some numbers to your extra performance.

And, being a truck, there’s some practicality-oriented gear as well, including all-weather floor liners and a storage organizer under the rear seat.

We didn’t get any photos of the interior, but it sounds like it’s got the right stuff to impress.

References

Chevrolet Silverado


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 648480

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Spied: 2019 Ram Getting Massive Vertical Screen

Ram’s next-generation 1500 pickup is on the verge of debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show ahead of its arrival in showrooms for the 2019 model year, but we’re getting a sneak peak thanks to a spy photographer who captured a detailed look at the 2019 Ram’s interior. The truck features a massive vertically oriented infotainment screen that dominates the center stack. It’s a vastly different design than anything currently seen in the pickup category. In fact, only Tesla and Volvo models have such large screens, followed closely by the Toyota Prius Prime.

Thankfully, it seems Ram engineers have thoughtfully retained hard buttons for the most common controls. These include the radio volume and tuning knobs, buttons for the HVAC fan speed and dual-zone temperatures, and the secondary HVAC system like defrost and recirculation. A bank of toggle switches line the bottom of the screen, controlling features like the optional air ride suspension, traction control, and parking sensors. As for the software, it’s clear Ram is continuing to use the well-loved Uconnect system. Icons along the bottom of the screen offer quick access to menus like the radio, HVAC, apps, navigation, phone, and system settings.

There’s more to see in the photos, so keep reading for more analysis.

Continue reading for more information.

Inside The 2019 Ram 1500


Spied: 2019 Ram Getting Massive Vertical Screen - image 742287
“The gauge cluster is new with a larger TFT driver information screen, there’s a new steering wheel, and the center console is updated”

The spied 2019 Ram 1500 is certainly a high-ranking trim level with all the bells and whistles. Lower spec trucks are likely to have a smaller screen and a separate HVAC control system.

Beyond the big screen, we can see the Ram’s dash has a completely new appearance. The gauge cluster is new with a larger TFT driver information screen, there’s a new steering wheel, and the center console is updated. Even the grab handle on the A-pillar is new. Wood trim tops the center stack, visible with chrome trim around the HVAC vents. The rotary shift knob makes its return, though with an updated knob and further separated from the center stack. We’re betting the push-button start is located just to the left of the gear knob. In fact, we can see the key fob sitting in the center console behind the drinks. It has buttons that look to control the tailgate, meaning it’s got an electronic release for hands-free operation.

“We expect this massive screen to begin making its way into other Fiat Chrysler products”

Naturally, we expect this massive screen to begin making its way into other Fiat Chrysler products as each go under mid-cycle refreshes or generational changes. This is an exciting change since the Uconnect system is generally regarded as one of the leading infotainment software in the industry, getting praise for its ease-of-use and snappy reaction to inputs. And we’re very happy to see actual buttons remain for the radio and HVAC controls, even though the Uconnect system is a breeze to quickly navigate through. Real buttons just make the experience simpler.

So, what’s your opinion? Do you like the large Uconnect screen? Will other automakers begin adopting this design? Will it appeal to pickup buyers? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Ram 1500


2019 Ram 1500 - image 689361

Read our full review on the 2019 Ram 1500.



Read more Ram news.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Titan XD Snow Plow Package Is Ready for a White Christmas

Recent U.S. winters have had greater than average snowfall, and it seems that the upcoming cold season won’t be any different. Nissan is doing something about it, though, by offering the Titan XD with snow plow and all the accessories needed to turn the pickup truck into a reliable, commercial or personal snow remover. Called the Snow Plow Prep Package, this special winter upgrade was showcased at the 2017 SEMA Show and will become available this fall.

The bundle includes snow plows from five leading manufacturers, so you get to choose between Boss, Fisher, Meyer, SnowEx, and Western. The package also comes with higher capacity front springs that increase front gross axle weight rating (GAWR) capacity by from 4,325 to 4,900 pounds). This allows fitment of snow plows on all three body configurations of the Titan XD (Single Cab, King Cab, and Crew Cab). It’s worth mentioning that the heavy-duty springs aren’t anything new, being already available for the Titan XD with the Heavy Duty GAWR Package, which makes vehicles equipped with that package snow plow-capable.

All these vehicles are powered by the massive, 5.6-liter V-8 engine rated at 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to move large quantities of snow off anything from neighborhood alleys to interstate highways. There’s no word as to how much the Snow Plow Prep Package costs, but commercial buyers will benefit from a $500 Nissan Upfit Allowance to help defer the cost of the equipment.

References

Nissan Titan


2016 Nissan Titan XD - image 610121

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Titan XD.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept

2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept

While SEMA certainly has plenty to offer when it comes builds that are low and fast, the annual vehicle modification extravaganza also offers loads of rough-and-ready off-roaders, many of which are rocking big suspension and the right stuff to tackle whatever Mother Nature has in store. The Chevy Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept is one good example, which looks to add to the Bow Tie’s already impressive performance truck cred as one part in a duo of custom Colorado concepts. Unlike its desert-running counterpart, the AEV focuses more on overland capability, adding robust off-roading exterior protection, enormous 35-inch tires (plus the requisite suspension lift), and even a fridge in case you get hungry while stomping around the great outdoors.

And that’s about right, considering AEV stands for American Expedition Vehicles, a private Montana-based manufacturer that’s been making comprehensive off-roader packages for the past two decades. “Our collaboration taught us that Colorado makes a great platform for building an off-road truck that can take you as far out as you want to go, safely,” says AEV’s founder, Dave Harriton. Read on for the specifics on what that claim entails.

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept.

What Makes The Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept Special

  • 35-inch BF Goodrich tires
  • AEV off-roading exterior protection
  • Plenty of overland gear
  • ARB refrigerator and freezer
  • 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel
  • Big suspension upgrades
  • Custom Multimatic DSSVTM shocks

Looks Pretty Serious…


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 741882

It most definitely is. Like any proper off-roading truck, the AEV Concept mounts some seriously impressive tires and wheels, with 35-inch BF Goodrich KM2 mud and terrain rubber wrapped around AEV’s custom DualSport beadlock wheels. Complementing the wheel and tire package are new bumpers front and rear, once again customized by AEV for superlative off-roading performance, plus the necessary high-clearance fender flares. Thick underbody protection, including a rear differential cover, keeps all the vital components safe from wayward bits of terrain.

Out in back is an Expedition bed rack, an indispensable component considering how much gear this thing is packing (more on that in a bit). Finishing off the exterior upgrades is LED lighting, both front and back.

You Said Something About Gear?


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 741883

Yeah, and there’s a lot of it. Check out the above-pictured panel mounted just behind the driver’s side taillight – it looks like it offers all kinds of amenities, such as an external source of electricity, a source for water, and an air compressor.

Chevy also says the AEV concept comes with aluminum storage cases from Equipt and a James Baroud USA awning for the bed, plus NATO-style fuel cans for extra go-juice in reserve. Recovery shackles, a Hi-Lift jack, a Warn 9.5XP-S winch, and MAXTRAX recovery devices were also added. Finally, an ARB refrigerator and freezer keeps the rations fresh and tasty.

What About The Hard Bits And Oily Stuff?


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 742243

You probably noticed that high-rise snorkel snaking its way up the passenger-side A-pillar. In addition to blessing the AEV Concept with additional water wading capability, the tube directs fresh air to a 2.8-liter Duramax turbo-diesel powerplant under the hood. No word on whether or not the engine gets a tune or additional performance mods, but in stock form it creates 181 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.


2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 AEV Concept - image 741881

Much more impressive than the engine is the suspension set-up, which utilizes a comprehensive Chevrolet Performance system incorporating plunging front half-shafts, stiffer high-angle tie rods, front and rear jounce shocks, and a high-angle upper ball joint. There’s also an anti-wrap link and long-travel rear leaf spring. Custom Multimatic DSSVTM shocks finish it off.

All told, this thing is an overlanding beast. Impressive stuff all around.

References

Chevrolet Colorado


2017 Chevrolet Colorado - image 686537

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado.


Chevy Colorado ZR2 Takes L.A. By Storm with Supercar Suspension - image 695944

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2.


2017 SEMA Show – Preview - image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

PostHeaderIcon The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs To Fix for the 2019 Silverado

The current Chevrolet Silverado 1500 has been around since the 2014 model year and has only received a minor facelift in 2016. But, this truck won’t be around much longer. Chevy is bringing an all-new Silverado for the 2019 model year, and with it, some big changes. It’s hard to know for sure what Chevy has up its sleeve at this point, but rumor suggests the pickup’s body will be aluminum while its bed remains steel. The fame will be new, too, lending to better ride comfort and strength for doing truck stuff. The rest is still a mystery.

So, in the darkness of the unknown, we have four ways Chevrolet could make the 2019 Silverado a better truck. Ranging from minor to major, these updated would also help the Bowtie compete against Ford’s ever-hot F-150, which just went under the knife in 2018 for a mid-cycle refresh. Ram is also debuting its next-generation 1500 for 2019, so the competition is certainly getting tense. Let’s hope Chevy (along with GMC and its Sierra) make these and other much-needed updates. And don’t forget to leave your ideas for updates in the comments below.

Continue reading for the top four things Chevy needs to change about the 2019 Silverado

1. The Key


The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs To Fix for the 2019 Silverado - image 741112
“The current Chevy Silverado does not offer a proximity key or push-button starting”

The current Chevy Silverado does not offer a proximity key or push-button starting. Nope, even the $60,000+ High Country trim comes with an old-school key fob you’ve got to remove from your pocket and push the unlock button to get inside. Then you’ve got to turn the key in the ignition. Yeah, it sounds like we’re spoiled millennials with no concept of how hard things used to be, but seriously, proximity keys and push-button starting is easy to get used to.

Making it worse for Chevy, only the Toyota Tundra still uses a conventional key. The rest of the Silverado’s competition offers the keyless system. That means Ford, Ram, and even Nissan have all moved into the 21st century.

2. Second-Row HVAC


The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs To Fix for the 2019 Silverado - image 739886
“The Chevy is the only full-size pickup to not have air vents for its second-row passengers”

While the Silverado has the Tundra keeping it company in the old-school key category, the Chevy is the only full-size pickup to not have air vents for its second-row passengers in its Crew Cab model with the first-row center console. Rather, Chevy just teases its sweaty or freezing second-class… err… second-row passengers with blank spots on the console. Chevy needs to give these rear passengers both air vents and their own HVAC controls, at least in high-trim models like the High Country.

3. A Flat Load Floor


The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs To Fix for the 2019 Silverado - image 739902
“The Silverado has a mostly flat load floor that’s great for hauling stuff too fragile for the cargo bed”

Still harping on the back seats of the Crew Cab model, the Silverado has a mostly flat load floor that’s great for hauling stuff too fragile for the cargo bed. However, the space is hindered by the bumps and unevenness in the floor. By comparison, the Ford F-150 has a completely flat load floor with acres of dead-flat load space. Fold those seats up and boom, it’s like a cargo van. Even better, the F-150’s rear seats are mounted high enough there’s tons of room under them for storing lesser used items. Ford even sells a cargo organizer for this area. Yes, the Chevy does have a similar space and cargo organizer, but it’s just not as cavernous as the Ford’s.

Granted, the Chevy still outranks the Ram and Nissan Titan in rear floor flatness. Both still rely on a foldout load floor that doesn’t completely extend to the front seats.

4. Fuel Economy


The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs To Fix for the 2019 Silverado - image 739892
“It’s rated at 15 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined when fitted to a Crew Cab truck with 4WD”

Of course, nobody can expect Prius-like fuel economy in a full-size pickup designed to tow 10,000 pounds and go off-road, but improvements can still be made. The Silverado 1500’s most popular engine option is the 5.3-liter EcoTec3 V-8. It’s rated at 15 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined when fitted to a Crew Cab truck with 4WD. Granted, Chevy has worked some impressive tech into its classic small-block V-8 engine, including variable valve timing, cylinder deactivation, and direct fuel injection. Added up, these three advancements (hints the Ecotec3 name) do help the Silverado get competitive fuel economy against Ford and Ram’s V-8s.

However, adding its new 10-speed automatic transmission should help boost those fuel economy numbers up, at least by one or two mpg. Currently, the Silverado caps out with an eight-speed automatic, but it’s heavier than the new 10-speed and obviously has few gears to keep engine revs low when not doing big work.

Better yet, Chevy could revive the 4.5-liter Duramax V-8 turbodiesel it nearly put into product in 2009. This engine was ready to go, but the economy recession killed it from seeing dealership showrooms. With a few updates to pass modern emissions regulations, the baby Duramax could be a great engine for the half-ton Silverado. It was designed to make 310 horsepower and 510 pound-feet of torque while getting better fuel economy than a similar-sized gasoline V-8. These numbers aren’t far off from the 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 turbodiesel in the Nissan Titan XD, but that isn’t a half-ton truck.


The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs To Fix for the 2019 Silverado - image 739891
“Chevy could also make its eAssist mild-hybrid powertrain more robust and widespread through its Silverado lineup”

Ram already beat everyone to the half-ton diesel market with its 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 in the Ram 1500. It makes 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque and is capable of getting 29 mpg on the highway. Ford hot on Ram’s heels with its new 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6 turbodiesel. It’s basically the same engine found in Jaguar Land Rover products like the Range Rover. In that application, the oil-burner makes 254 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque. Expect Ford to keep or slightly exceed those specs in the 2019 F-150 turbodiesel.

Chevy could also make its eAssist mild-hybrid powertrain more robust and widespread through its Silverado lineup, too. Currently, the Silverado eAssist is being produced in limited numbers and sold in limited areas, so not everybody can get one. The eAssist is combined with the 5.3-liter V-8 and eight-speed automatic to add 13 horsepower and 44 pound-feet of torque via a 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery and an electric motor to help ease the burden on the V-8. The system is said to boost fuel economy by 13 percent, giving the 2WD Silverado 1500 eAssist an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined. That’s not bad for a tiny hybrid system that only adds $500 to the Silverado’s price tag.

Conclusion


The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs To Fix for the 2019 Silverado - image 739906

These are just a few things we’d love to see Chevy (and GMC) add to its pickup for 2019. We’re expecting big things since we’ve seen some pretty exciting spy shots in the recent months. Chevy is scheduled to debut the 2019 Silverado 1500 at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January. After that, we can expect the same updates for the 2020 Silverado 2500 and 3500 HD.

What do you think? What changes should Chevy make for the 2019 Silverado? Let us know in the comments below.

References

Chevrolet Silverado


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview - image 739276

Read more about the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 in our previous overview.


The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs To Fix for the 2019 Silverado - image 739904

Find our more about the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition name


The Top 4 Things Chevy Needs To Fix for the 2019 Silverado - image 739906

Learn more about the handiest feature on the 2017 Chevy Silverado.


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 648477

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.

PostHeaderIcon The Handiest Feature on the 2017 Chevy Silverado

Pickup trucks have gotten bigger and taller over the years, and an unfortunate side effect is the height of the cargo bed. For anyone less fit than a teenager or Olympic gymnast, climbing into the bed can be difficult. Automakers have combated this with various step designs like Ford’s fold-out tailgate step and Nissan’s adoption of aftermarket-style pop-out steps that hide under the fenders. But it’s Chevrolet that wins the simple-is-better prize with its integrated bumper steps.

I recently spent a week with the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition and found the steps to be an essential tool for using the cargo bed. My week included hauling coolers, folding lawn chairs, and Lacrosse equipment. Thanks to the Chevy’s nose-heavy rake, everything tended to gather around the bulkhead, making getting into the bed to retrieve things a necessity. The bumper steps proved absolutely invaluable.

Now, I’ve used Ford’s fold-out tailgate step plenty of times on several different F-Series trucks, and though it works, it’s just not as effective as Chevy’s bumper step. Ford’s obvious downfall is its step requires action to use it. I have to stop what I’m doing, empty my hands, and lower the step. It’s just not as slick, though, in Ford’s defense, I can climb up its step without using my hands – something I can’t say about the Chevy’s bumper step and stake pocket hand-grab.

Still, the Chevy’s bumper step takes the cake for the simplest design and one that isn’t going to break. The bumper step is also seen on General Motors’ other pickups, including the mid-size Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Sierra and Canyon. GM fans will remember the bumper step making its debut with the 2001 Chevrolet Avalanche.

References

Chevrolet Silverado


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview - image 739276

Read more about the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 in our previous overview.


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 648477

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


2015 Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition - image 612398

Read our full review on the Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition.

PostHeaderIcon The Handiest Feature on the 2017 Chevy Silverado

Pickup trucks have gotten bigger and taller over the years, and an unfortunate side effect is the height of the cargo bed. For anyone less fit than a teenager or Olympic gymnast, climbing into the bed can be difficult. Automakers have combated this with various step designs like Ford’s fold-out tailgate step and Nissan’s adoption of aftermarket-style pop-out steps that hide under the fenders. But it’s Chevrolet that wins the simple-is-better prize with its integrated bumper steps.

I recently spent a week with the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition and found the steps to be an essential tool for using the cargo bed. My week included hauling coolers, folding lawn chairs, and Lacrosse equipment. Thanks to the Chevy’s nose-heavy rake, everything tended to gather around the bulkhead, making getting into the bed to retrieve things a necessity. The bumper steps proved absolutely invaluable.

Now, I’ve used Ford’s fold-out tailgate step plenty of times on several different F-Series trucks, and though it works, it’s just not as effective as Chevy’s bumper step. Ford’s obvious downfall is its step requires action to use it. I have to stop what I’m doing, empty my hands, and lower the step. It’s just not as slick, though, in Ford’s defense, I can climb up its step without using my hands – something I can’t say about the Chevy’s bumper step and stake pocket hand-grab.

Still, the Chevy’s bumper step takes the cake for the simplest design and one that isn’t going to break. The bumper step is also seen on General Motors’ other pickups, including the mid-size Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Sierra and Canyon. GM fans will remember the bumper step making its debut with the 2001 Chevrolet Avalanche.

References

Chevrolet Silverado


2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71: An Overview - image 739276

Read more about the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 in our previous overview.


2016 Chevrolet Silverado - image 648477

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado.


2015 Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition - image 612398

Read our full review on the Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition.

PostHeaderIcon Yamaha Cross Hub Concept

2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept

Yamaha is well known for building fun stuff like motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, outboard engines for boats, and even the occasional musical instrument or two. Now, the Japanese mega-corporation is toying with entering the compact pickup market with this, the Cross Hub Concept. It’s unique in just about every way, from its seating configuration to its cargo bed. Sadly, the project seems a bit too “concept” to make production anytime soon.

The Cross Hub Concept made its debut at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show and is billed as a lifestyle car for those splitting time between city life and the great outdoors. Yamaha says it’s “just the right size” and is designed for on-road and off-road maneuverability while still having room for “other Yamaha recreational products.” So far, this is the furthest Yamaha has gotten to building a road-going, four-wheeled vehicle. Of course, there was the time it developed and built high-strung V-6 and V-8 engines for the first three generations of Ford Taurus SHOs, and technically some of its side-by-side UTVs are road-legal, but you won’t find any rolling down the interstate. The Cross Hub, on the other hand, promises to be road-ready and built for fun.

Continue reading for more information.

Exterior

  • Outlandish design
  • Innovative cargo bed
  • Looks like nothing else

2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept - image 740663
“The most interesting part is where the bubble-like cab meets the cargo bed”

Calling it different would be the understatement of 2017. The Cross Hub Concept looks like nothing else because it’s a clean-sheet design. It’s like Yamaha raised a group of whiz-kid engineers in a closed environment, never showing them photos of a pickup truck and then asked them to design one with minimal instruction.

The most interesting part is where the bubble-like cab meets the cargo bed. The cab rounds off, enclosing itself completely separate from the bed and its satin-silver roll bar support. The cab and bed look like two separate units that have come together – like how the Starship Enterprise (NCC1701-D for you nerds out there) is designed to separate its saucer from the stardrive section.


2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept - image 740674
“The Cross Hub’s front looks like a mix between one of Yamaha’s UTVs and a Ford Edsel”

The Cross Hub’s front looks like a mix between one of Yamaha’s UTVs and a Ford Edsel. Three different lighting elements mixed with horizontal and vertical lines give the Cross Hub a busy look. Then again, it sort of works for this thing.

Like a mullet in 1985, the Cross Hub’s party is kept out back. Its cargo bed is designed to carry a Yamaha dirtbike diagonally. The tailgate extends the bed but does not keep loose items from falling out when latched since it’s not solid. The tailgate actually fits around the curved bed floor when lowered. Even more interesting, the top of the tailgate has secondary taillights for when its lowered. As for the wood planks in the bed floor, Yamaha says it choose wood as a tie-in to its line of jet boats.

Interior

  • Diamond-shaped seating layout
  • Driver controls are orange
  • Wood flooring

2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept - image 740664
“The interior has a diamond-shaped layout with the driver in the middle, almost like the McLaren F1”

As unconventional as the exterior is, things remain just as strange inside the Cross Hub Concept. The interior has a diamond-shaped layout with the driver in the middle, almost like the McLaren F1 but with an extra seat behind the driver. A U-shaped steering wheel wrapped in orange suede matches the orange driver’s seat and gauge cluster binnacle. The small screens on the dash display vehicle info and entertainment features, while the digital dash gives the driver an unobstructed view of vital stats. The orange, gray, and black interior also has aluminum fixtures like the door pulls, foot pedals, and dash supports. And like the cargo bed, the floor is wood.

Though it’s not the most practical interior ever conceived, it is certainly interesting and a big departure from anything we’ve recently seen. You’ve got to give Yamaha credit for that.

Drivetrain

  • Likely powered by four-cylinder engine
  • Most likely 4WD
  • Turbocharged

2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept - image 740670
“There is no mention of what powers this Yamaha”

Sadly, Yamaha did not make mention of the Cross Hub Concept’s drivetrain – likely because this is merely a design concept. Should something this size actually make production, Yamaha should be fully capable of designing and building its own drivetrain components. A turbocharged four-cylinder would do the trick nicely, so Yamaha could easily massage and tweak one of its many engines to fit the bill. The Cross Hub looks like it would be 4WD. Developing that system shouldn’t be harder than beefing up the 4WD systems it uses on its side-by-side UTVs. We’d bet on front-mounted, transverse four-cylinder with at least a six-speed automatic transmission and 4WD or AWD. Perhaps a hybrid powertrain could be added, too, though that would be new ground for Yamaha engineers.

Conclusion


2017 Yamaha Cross Hub Concept - image 740665

We’ve seen some strange concept vehicles over the years, but none seem as outlandish as this – especially considering it comes from a company that doesn’t build road-going cars or pickups. Yamaha is well known for being an ultra-diverse company, having its fingers in just about everything imaginable, so it’s not surprising to see the company think about a utilitarian, compact pickup made to transport its other products.

If Yamaha can make professional-level musical instruments, jet boats, and UTVs, it can surely make a truck. Of course, getting into the pickup wars isn’t an easy thing to do, especially in North America. As such, Yamaha might stick to Asian or European markets with the Cross Hub – should it even produce it in the first place.

What do you think? Should Yamaha build the Cross Hub? What do you think of the design? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Leave it
    • Very outlandish
    • No powertrain details
    • Not likely to happen

References


Yamaha Sports Ride Coupe Concept - image 653307

Read our full review on the 2015 Yamaha Sports Ride Coupe Concept.


2017 Tokyo Motor Show – Visitor's Guide - image 737628

Read more Tokyo Motor Show news.

PostHeaderIcon The 2018 F-150 Earns Big With IIHS Safety Ratings – Except For One Thing

The Ford F-150’s skin might be made from recycled beer cans, but the full-size pickup scored very well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s barrage of testing. Since it debuted in 2015, the current F-150 has scored a “Good” in all crash tests. But, things aren’t all rainbows and butterflies for the half-ton pickup. The 2018 F-150 is too short-sighted to earn the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick+. The reason: it can’t see well in the dark.

The IIHS rates the F-150’s headlights as “Poor” in all five of its tests.

Both the base halogen headlights in the lower-trimmed F-150 and the LED headlights in the more expensive models scored a “Poor” in visibility testing. The halogen lights’ low and high beams fall short in straightaway visibility on the left and right sides of the road. The low beams only give 149 feet of visibility on the right, and 89 feet on the left and the high beams only shine 412 feet and 317, respectively. In curves, the headlights perform even worse, providing an average of only 102 feet of visibility with the low beams and 148 feet with the high beams in the four different curve tests done by the IIHS.

Jumping up to the LED headlights don’t help the situation, though they perform a tab bit better. The low beams shine 323 feet on the right and 168 feet on the left, while the high beams shine 544 feet on the right and 428 feet on the left. In turns, the LED low beams illuminate an average of 135 feet ahead, and the high beams shine an average of 163 feet ahead. The unfortunate trade-off for the better performance is excessive glare for oncoming traffic with the low beams. They exceed the IIHS’ glare threshold between 94.8 and 187.9 percent. That’s not good.

There’s more to this story below.

Safety Ratings Are Big For Customers


The 2018 F-150 Earns Big With IIHS Safety Ratings – Except For One Thing - image 740101

It’s odd why Ford didn’t do any better. The IIHS has been testing headlights since 2016, and the F-150’s new-for-2018 front-end styling should have accounted for the evaluation. Of course, Ford isn’t the only automaker scoring low on this new test, but Ford certainly had the chance to make it right with the F-150’s 2018 refresh.

Sadly, the headlights have cost the 2018 F-150 the IIHS’ coveted Top Safety Pick+ award. The F-150 would have earned this rating for 2018 thanks to its new Front Crash Prevention technology. The optional Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go scored a “Superior” in the IIHS’ testing. The truck automatically and completely avoided rear-end crashes at 12 mph and 25 mph.

Still, the 2018 Ford F-150 earns the IIHS’ Top Safety Pick award, which is one level down from the Top Safety Pick+ award. And, aside from the headlights, the only other test criteria that didn’t meet a perfect score of “Good” was the ease-of-use of the rear-seat LATCH system, which earned a “Marginal.”

Headlights


The 2018 F-150 Earns Big With IIHS Safety Ratings – Except For One Thing - image 740111
Trim level(s) XL trim
XLT trim
Lariat trim
Low-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
High-beam headlight type Halogen reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
Automatically switches between low beams and high beams (high-beam assist)? No
Overall rating P
Trim level(s) Lariat trim equipped with 502A package
Raptor trim equipped with Raptor Technology package
King Ranch trim
Platinum trim
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
Automatically switches between low beams and high beams (high-beam assist)? Yes
Overall rating P
Trim level(s) Raptor trim
Low-beam headlight type LED reflector
High-beam headlight type LED reflector
Curve-adaptive? No
Automatically switches between low beams and high beams (high-beam assist)? No
Overall rating P

2015 Ford F-150 Crew Cab Small Overlap Crash Test

2015 Ford F-150 Crew Cab Side Impact Crash Test

References

Ford F-150


2018 Ford F-150 - image 700449

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford F-150.

Ford F-Series


2017 Ford Super Duty - image 648458

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Super Duty.

PostHeaderIcon Don’t Fall Out! Ford F-150’s Doors Can Fly Open

Ford is issuing a safety recall for roughly 1.3 million F-150 and Super Duties from 2015 to 2017 over concerns the door latch can become inoperable, which could lead to the door not opening, or worse, the door flying open while driving. Ford says two mechanical problems can lead to the condition. One, the latch could become frozen and two, the cable running from the inside handle to the latch can become kinked. In either scenario, serious safety problems arise.

Basically, it boils down to the door not latching or unlatching when it shouldn’t. That’s bad, especially if somebody needed to enter or exit quickly, say in an emergency. What’s worse, Ford says the door could appear closed, yet the latch be unsecured. That could lead the door to fling open while taking a turn. Forget to put a seatbelt on, and somebody is leaving the truck in a bad way.

Thankfully, Ford says it has no reports of injuries stemming from this problem but is replacing door latches on a select number of aluminum-bodied F-Series trucks. These include the current-generation F-150 built from March 2014 up through the new 2017 Super Duty built in 2016. The full list of recalled trucks is below. The recall covers 1,101,107 F-Series trucks in the U.S., 222.408 in Canada, and 21,090 in Mexico for a total of 1,344,605.

Ford’s solution to the problem is installing a “water shield” over the door latches to prevent water from getting inside. Ford didn’t specify whether the latches freeze due to rust or if actual ice was accumulating in colder weather. Regardless, Ford dealership technicians will inspect the parts and repair them if necessary.

Continue reading for more information.

The F-Series Trucks Under Recall

  • 2015-2017 F-150 built at Dearborn Assembly Plant from March 12, 2014 to December 31, 2016
  • 2015-2017 F-150 built at Kansas City Assembly Plant from August 11, 2014 to December 30, 2016
  • 2017 Super Duty vehicles built at Kentucky Assembly Plant from October 8, 2015 to September 1, 2016

Owners can also cross-reference their vehicles’ VIN with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website to find recall information specific to their vehicle.

References

Ford F-150


2015 Ford F-150 - image 537938

Read our full review on the 2015 Ford F-150.

Ford F-Series


2017 Ford Super Duty - image 648458

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Super Duty.

PostHeaderIcon Nissan Removed the Fender Badge From 2018 Titan And Nobody Noticed

It looks like Nissan snuck a cosmetic change onto the 2018 Titan half-ton pickup without anybody noticing – even two months after the automaker released photos of the 2018 Titan Midnight Edition. Gone is the large fender badge that denoted the V-8 engine was under the hood. The badge was styled like a heat vent designed to keep engine bay temperatures down but offered no such functionality.

So, how did the change get noticed?

Well, it was a commenter who noticed the missing badge on Nissan’s new No Lazy Horses commercial – at least that’s the first mention I had seen. Digging deeper shows Nissan made zero mention of the missing badge in its press release on the 2018 Titan Midnight Edition back in August, nor has Nissan released info on changes for the standard 2018 Titan. Reading the commercial’s on-screen fine print does confirm the truck is a 2018 half-ton model. How about that?

The heavier-duty Titan XD will keep the fender badge, however, since it has two engine options – the 5.6-liter V-8 and the 5.0-liter Cummins V-8 turbodiesel. Originally, the half-ton Titan was slated to get a V-6 as standard equipment soon after it launched, making the fender badge necessary for distinguishing between the engine choices. That begs the question: does the missing fender badge mean the Titan isn’t getting a V-6 option?

On the other hand, you’ll notice the door badge now reads “Titan V8” on the No Lazy Horses truck. That’s new. The 2017 Titan doors didn’t have the V8 designation and only said “Titan.” Maybe this is Nissan’s way of better separating the Titan from the Titan XD? I’ve reached out to Nissan and will update this story if I hear back.

What do you think? Does this mean Nissan killed the V-6 development? Did you notice the badge was missing before I did? Let me know in the comments below.

References

Nissan Titan


2017 Nissan Titan - image 665129

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Titan.


2016 Nissan Titan XD - image 610121

Read our full review on the 2017 Nissan Titan XD.


2016 Nissan Titan XD - Driven - image 659452

Read our driven review on the 2016 Nissan Titan XD.

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$36,100.00 (26 Bids)
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 15:19:20 PST
Buy It Now for only: $56,250.00
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 3LT AUTO NAV HUD 16K #113448 Texas Direct Auto
$1.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 14:57:59 PST
Buy It Now for only: $49,980.00
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2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 6-SPEED 650HP KRYPTON GREEN 1K MI #203550 Texas Direct
$61,230.00
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 18:04:28 PST
Buy It Now for only: $61,230.00
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO 2SS RS AUTO LEATHER NAV HUD 20'S 27K #280186 Texas Direct Auto
$10,188.00 (27 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Nov-23-2017 16:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $26,230.00
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1969 Chevrolet Camaro 1969 Chevy Camaro RS Yenko 427 12 Bolt Posi PS PDB Disc Brakes Replica
$20,400.00 (8 Bids)
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 13:09:03 PST
Buy It Now for only: $59,995.00
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY 3LT 7-SPEED NAV HUD 19K MI #112622 Texas Direct
$28,100.00 (3 Bids)
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:35:17 PST
Buy It Now for only: $41,780.00
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2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS Coupe 2-Door 2015 CHEVY CAMARO SS RS AUTOMATIC 20" WHEELS 20K MILES #105619 Texas Direct Auto
$26,530.00
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 15:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $26,530.00
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1952 Chevrolet Other Pickups 1952 Chevy Pickup Truck
$14,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:13:36 PST
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2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CAMARO ZL1 S/C AUTO LEATHER NAV HUD 20'S 29K #800633 Texas Direct
$37,480.00
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 18:15:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $37,480.00
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY CONV 2LT 7-SPD NAV HUD 6K #128702 Texas Direct Auto
$49,480.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 18:33:26 PST
Buy It Now for only: $49,480.00
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2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS 2016 Chevy Camaro 2SS "Chicago Blackhawks Edition"
$49,000.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Tuesday Nov-21-2017 13:34:35 PST
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 Convertible 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY Z51 CONVERTIBLE AUTO 8K MI #119209 Texas Direct
$44,230.00
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 12:30:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $44,230.00
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2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 6 speed FAST AND FURIOUS,no reserve
$22,600.00 (37 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 18:46:57 PST
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2017 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe 2-Door 2017 CHEVY CORVETTE GRAND SPORT 2LT RED LEATHER NAV 1K #101720 Texas Direct Auto
$43,100.00 (111 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 14:32:37 PST
Buy It Now for only: $64,880.00
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1967 Chevrolet C-10 HORT BOX RESTORED V8 MANUAL PS PB DISC HOT ROD 71 72 stepside STREET ROD 69
$5,100.00 (2 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:02:01 PST
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2015 Ford F-150 2015 FORD F150 XLT SPORT CREW ECOBOOST REAR CAM 17K MI #C26765 Texas Direct Auto
$32,675.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:28:40 PST
Buy It Now for only: $32,675.00
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1951 Chevrolet Other Pickups Deluxe 1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pickup truck, Patina Deluxe Cab Original Survivor
$10,300.00 (28 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Nov-22-2017 9:19:33 PST
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2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 Coupe 2-Door 2016 FORD MUSTANG SHELBY GT350 5.2L 6-SPEED TECH NAV 2K #522266 Texas Direct
$6,000.00 (5 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 12:14:27 PST
Buy It Now for only: $52,230.00
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2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium 20800 Miles Black 2D Coupe 5.0L V8 Ti-VCT 6-Speed A
$18,998.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 16:14:19 PST
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2015 Chevrolet Corvette 3LZ 2015 Corvette Z06 (Z07 package)
$60,300.00 (33 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 10:43:24 PST
Buy It Now for only: $68,500.00
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2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Coupe 2-Door 2016 CHEVY CORVETTE Z06 2LZ Z07 S/C 7-SPD NAV HUD 5K MI #601154 Texas Direct
$73,230.00
End Date: Monday Nov-27-2017 15:00:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $73,230.00
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1991 Ford Mustang GT 1991 Mustang 5.0 GT
$8,500.00
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 17:11:46 PST
Buy It Now for only: $8,500.00
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2015 Ford Mustang Premium GT 2015 ford mustang gt premium BY OWNER
$27,900.00
End Date: Sunday Nov-26-2017 11:45:00 PST
Buy It Now for only: $27,900.00
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2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe 2-Door 2014 CHEVY CORVETTE STINGRAY 3LT AUTOMATIC NAV HUD 16MI #109470 Texas Direct
$30,100.00 (6 Bids)
End Date: Saturday Nov-25-2017 13:10:17 PST
Buy It Now for only: $44,230.00
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2015 Ford Mustang GT Premium Like New 2015 Mustang GT Premium *2100 Miles, Recaro Seats, Loaded!
$34,500.00
End Date: Friday Nov-24-2017 15:35:40 PST
Buy It Now for only: $34,500.00
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