A Late-Night Discussion Taken SeriouslyWhen the boys get together with a couple of cold ones, the conversation can go anywhere and everywhere. One late night, Evan P. and his close friends were talking about customizing trucks. Evan was in the process of having a body-dropped Tahoe completed, and his wife, Amanda, had just purchased a ’14 Chevy Silverado 1500. Until then, she had a small import, which was starting to get cramped considering the couple has three kids. So Amanda made the decision to buy the new Chevy truck. Frustrated with how long the build was taking with his Tahoe, Evan said to his friends, “I should just take my wife’s truck and build that.” His friends laughed and said it would never get done.
More Photos View Slideshow
When it comes to BMWs, it doesn’t get bigger than the brand’s newest unveiling—the 2019 X7 is the company’s largest vehicle yet. To its credit, at least, the production version stays fairly true to the concept car.
What we mean is you’ll see several design traits carry over from the prototype, including a huge radiator grill – also the largest for a BMW – that almost harkens back to the vertical-style kidneys of vintage Bimmers.
Radical RenderingsNick Crouch of Surface DVD has had his artwork recognized by Truckin before, but this year he is stepping up his presence in the industry with a booth at the annual SEMA Show Art Walk. This newfound visibility to the wider automotive scene will magnify his reach to potential clients and hopefully increase demand for his stellar hand drawings, but Nick isn’t done creating digital renderings by any means. He has been working in Photoshop since 2000, and, more than 18 years in, he continues to hone his skills. As seen in these two renderings, Nick can help you visualize the revival of a former cover truck or the customization of a brand-new model. Before he gets discovered by the masses and his vision is in even greater demand, get your rendering by contacting him at email@example.com or surfacenick.com.
More Photos View Slideshow
Mighty and EfficientToday’s diesel-engine builders fight a never-ending battle for better economy and power, while keeping emissions within increasingly stringent standards. Designing new powerplants for use with different fuels has become more common—especially for large-displacement engines—and it is exactly what Wartsila did with its 50DF Series engines. The 50DF is a family of four-stroke, dual-fuel (hence the DF) diesel engines designed to be used in seagoing vessels for constant speed generation or variable-speed mechanical-drive applications. The smallest engine in the line is an I-6 that weighs in at approximately 96 tons, while the largest member tips the scale at 240 tons or 480,000 pounds. The behemoth V-16 has a cylinder bore that is 19.7 inches across and displaces 125,092 cubic inches. There are a total of six different engine configurations in the 50DF line. The engine is designed to run on different types of fuels with no distinction in performance between any of the fuel sources. It has an ability to operate on natural gas and two liquid fuels; heavy and light fuel oil. The fuels can be switched from oil to gas while operating at loads less than 80 percent without any engine hesitation. This is made possible by electronically controlling the gas substitution. The change from gas to liquid can be done at any load. Regardless of the fuel type, the oil-burner will not lose power or speed. Engine functions are controlled by an advanced automated system that allows for running conditions to be set independent of ambient conditions or fuel.
A Taco Inspired by Two TacosDeer Park, Texas, resident Chris Malone found his niche when he was introduced to Toyota Tacoma brothers Cody and Bobby Reynolds. “I was walking around a local car hangout when I first saw their trucks,” Chris tells Truckin. “This was the first time I saw one of these minis body-dropped, and I just fell in love with the style.” Chris never owned anything with an adjustable suspension in the past, so this was out of his comfort zone—but it felt so right to him. With the Reynolds brothers offering guidance, Chris was on the hunt for his first Tacoma. His search came to an end when he found a ’98 Toyota Tacoma on a used car lot and immediately made the arrangements to take it home. The Taco had been sitting for quite some time, so the first item on the to-do list was restoring the engine to running condition. Chris had his personal mechanic, Howard Willis, change the injectors and make minor adjustments to get it running. Chris made an appointment with Rocky Fox at Chaotic Customs in Conroe, Texas, to replicate the Reynolds’ Tacomas by adding a stock floor body drop.
More Photos View Slideshow
More Photos View Slideshow
Trucks and SUVs to Look for at the Industry’s Biggest GatheringWe need your help in creating the first ever SEMA Display Vehicle Guide. We all know the scenario all too well–after SEMA, you start seeing pictures of all the insane builds you missed because you didn’t know where they were or you flat out turned the wrong way, got distracted by something shiny, and never returned to check it out. Since we all want to know what to look for, and where to look for it, we need your help in creating a guide to all the custom truck and SUV street and off-road project vehicle booth and feature builds that will be on display at SEMA 2018. We want to properly acknowledge the hard work, creativity, and insaneness of the projects and builders, and we also want to recognize the company (and product) under whose banner these builds enter SEMA. We’ll get started, but again—we need your help! Project managers, vehicle owners, and company representatives: please email or WeTransfer a few hi-res photos (or renderings) along with as much of the following information as you’re willing to disclose to Monica.Gonderman@motortrend.com.
Hall (or Outdoor Area):
Company Product Highlighted:
Vehicle Mods and Information:
Hall (or Outdoor Area): Central
Company Name: Thermo-Tec
Booth Number: #23013
Vehicle Year/Make/Model: 1,000hp single cab Chevrolet Silverado drift truck
Off Road Expo in Pomona, California
More Photos View Slideshow
Rebuilding Our Freshly Painted Silverado with New PartsWhen we left you last month, we had finally rolled our “beat to neat” project out of the paint booth at LGE-CTS and were ready to put it back together. We quickly realized all of the work that was still in front of us, though. So much so that we had to split this portion of the build into two parts. This month, we will show you exactly what it takes to get professional-looking results when you reassemble a truck—basically, all of the unsexy stuff you don’t normally see. All this extra work will make a much nicer base for all our cool bolt-on parts that will finalize the truck’s exterior.
Aggressive good looks in a premium packageSitting in mercurial silver paint with a glowering stare that might make a Cylon blink, the Lexus NX 300 makes a mean first impression from the front. Renamed from NX 200t for the 2018 model year, the NX 300 features the same 2.0L turbocharged I-4 as before, making the same 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Intimidating, indeed. Of course, the NX 300’s menace seems a bit affected, since the SUV shares a good deal of its bones with more plebian Toyota products—in fact, the RAV4 Hybrid we drove recently donated much of its structure to Lexus when the company decided to introduce a small crossover. The RAV4 Hybrid’s powertrain also makes its way into a hybrid NX, producing the same 194 hp as it does in the less expensive Toyota. So would this NX 300 be just an aggressively styled rehash of an aging compact crossover platform? Fortunately for Lexus, not by a long shot.
Eight Half-Ton Trucks Vie for Bragging Rights and Hometown DominanceWe say this almost every year, but it’s never been a better time to be a truck fan. With all-new versions of the Ram 1500, GMC Sierra 1500, and Chevrolet Silverado 1500, as well as a significantly revised powertrain lineup for the Ford F-150, the pickup market’s offerings are fresher, more modern, and more capable than ever. With this year being so special, we decided to alter our annual Pickup Truck of the Year contest a bit, allowing each of the Big Three to send two pickups our way. We requested only four-wheel-drive trucks in two different versions—an off-road special and a luxury-oriented model. In alphabetical order, here they are. Chevrolet has broken lots of new ground with the 2019 Silverado 1500. Its modern design is bold and daring in a way that hasn’t been seen from Chevrolet in decades, doing away with the square wheelwells that have defined the light-duty Chevy since 1973, as well as incorporating extensive aero work. The company sent two pickups our way: an LT Trail Boss powered by a 5.3L V-8 with Dynamic Fuel Management (DFM) and an eight-speed automatic and an LTZ powered by a 6.2L V-8 with DFM and a 10-speed automatic.
Built Better From a Bad ReputationWhen someone takes credit for work they didn’t do or misleads people into performing acts for free, their reputation can be ruined. When Maryland resident Wes Dukes first went on the hunt for a custom truck, he came across a bare frame ’94 Isuzu pickup that had a sordid past. The original owner claimed he’d done all the work, although he really didn’t and had instead used a family tragedy story to get people to modify the mini. Wes wanted the truck, and he planned to turn around the Isuzu’s unfortunate reputation. As a “hang-around,” Wes spent years with his good friends from East Coast Minis and cruised around in their mini-trucks with them until he decided to get his own. A friend of his actually found the Isuzu and vouched for the “bones” of the mini, so Wes decided to purchase it. The purchase came with a donor truck and pieces in boxes, as it was just the chassis and drivetrain he was receiving. Wes had a long road ahead of him, but he was optimistic and excited for the future.
More Than Meets the EyeThe ’67-’72 Chevy C10 has become increasingly popular and one of the most common custom trucks you can build. Originally designed in 1960, the Chevy pickup was equipped with an independent front suspension, giving people a more car-like ride in a truck. For the ’68 model, Chevy added side-marker reflectors on the fenders, which certainly made the model more noticeable. Scott Pierce from Columbiana, Alabama, is no stranger to Chevy C10 trucks, as he’s owned more than 30 of them in his lifetime. As a child, his stepfather worked on trucks and taught him how to care for them. Along with basic mechanics, Scott was taught paint and bodywork, which came in handy throughout his lifetime. Scott and his wife, Gwen, sold their antique Chevy truck and were in the market for something new and different. Scott had gone to Biloxi, Mississippi, for the Cruisin’ the Coast show and attended the annual auction held there. “I noticed this unique green Chevy C10, and I really liked it,” Scott tells Truckin. “I knew this was my next truck almost immediately.”
A Lifelong Dream and a Short Build ScheduleIn 1960, International Harvester created the Scout in order to compete with the very popular Jeep. The initial model featured a fold-down windshield and a removable top. During the 20-year period (1960- to 1980) only 532,674 Scouts were produced, which makes finding one today quite difficult. Zach Pennock of Potosi, Missouri, has always enjoyed the life of trucks, owning multiple top builds over the years. One day, while taking a new route to his father’s house, he saw a beat-up, dilapidated ’79 International Scout on the side of a house. After stopping and negotiating a price, he dragged the classic back to his residence by chain.
A Utilitarian ShowstopperThroughout the years, Truckin has featured many builds that run the gamut from form to function. Some are built for pure wow factor, designed to be showstoppers in the truest sense of the word. Others are purpose-built without the owner ever considering the quality of the build might be something we would want on our pages. Somehow, this truck manages to represent both sides. One quick glance at this ’16 Chevy 3500 alerts you to its high-end modifications. Cris Payne, founder of Truck Guru, and his team are credited for this phenomenal build, which embodies all the alluring aspects and functionality of a top-notch truck.
DetonationOutlaw Diesel Super Series competitors take diesel drag racing seriously. They continue to push the sport forward with technology and innovations that yield them higher top speeds and faster elapsed times in the eighth-mile. As the trucks (and cars) get faster, they have to be up to par with the required safety equipment. No matter a competitor’s skill level behind the wheel, even the best must have the proper safety gear. Because there are so many variables that can affect a vehicle traveling at high speed, it is impossible for anyone to know if or when something might happen on the track. So having as much good safety equipment as possible is imperative. From the most minor incidents to the harshest crashes, everyone wants to walk away unscathed. The amount and type of safety equipment required for the various ODSS classes varies. Much of that depends on how quickly the eighth-mile (or quarter-mile) will be eclipsed. In classes that break the 7-second eighth-mile mark, a key safety component that must be installed is a roll bar or rollcage. The overall amount of cage work necessary depends on e.t. The bare minimum for a truck competing in the Flo-Pro Performance Exhaust 6.70 Index Class is a roll bar (specified by NHRA guidelines). But trucks that run in Firepunk Diesel Outlaw 5.90 or quicker classes must have a specified full rollcage, and, in some instances, a complete chassis. When building a cage, use the correct material, supports, and gussets that meet or exceed regulations. Tech inspection will be a breeze if it’s done right. I have heard stories about people who decided to try to cheat the system by using thinner-walled tubing and inferior materials or tried to cut corners to somehow save a few pounds. I ask you: Is a person’s wellbeing worth a couple of pounds? Big sanctions like the NHRA developed specific rules for a reason: to give people the best chance of walking away if something drastic does happen.
Week to WickedSome lucky person is going to win this all-new and improved ground up restored 1972 Chevy C10 pickup and its all going to take place at the Texas Motor Speedway on May 3-4, 2019. What you see featured here is called the LMC Truck C-10 Nationals Classic Trucks Week To Wicked build presented by Gandrud Chevrolet, and these are the progress shots from earlier today which was Wednesday October 10, 2018. Everything about this 1972 Chevy C10 pickup is the best of the best from its CPP suspension, brakes and steering to the PPG paint Sparkburn Hot Rods sprayed over a multitude of brand new LMC Truck, doors, hood, bed, and fenders to what’s under the hood for power.
Week to WickedIt’s called the LMC Truck C-10 Nationals Classic Trucks Week To Wicked build presented by Gandrud Chevrolet, and the idea behind a Week to Wicked build is to start with a really good example of a bone stock truck, and then turn it into the ultimate muscle truck. But before the clock even starts to tick there’s a lot of preparatory work that goes into a car or pickup resuscitated in a Week to Wicked build. In the case of the 1972 Chevy C10 Fleetside shortbed currently under construction during the week of October 8-12, 2018 its final destination is to be the giveaway truck for the 2019 LMC Truck C10 Nationals held May 3-4, 2019. The 1972 C10 Chevy LMC located for the project looked pretty good as a starting point, but the idea was to make it nice as possible as a stocker, and then let the Week to Wicked crew work their magic.
Lightning Will Host Panel with Holman, Gale Banks, Aaron Kaufman, and Jessi CombsTruck Show Podcast with Lightning and Holman co-host Jay “Lightning” Tilles will moderate a SEMA Education Track interview with four other industry experts this month. Joining the “Brew Talks” discussion will be Gale Banks, president and CEO of Gale Banks Engineering; Jessi Combs, fabricator and professional driver; Aaron Kaufman, occasional Truck Show Podcast guest and host of “Shifting Gears” on Discovery; and Sean Holman, co-host and co-creator of the Truck Show Podcast. The informal panel will take place October 31 at 4 p.m. at the 2018 SEMA Show. With a wealth of experience in vehicle modification and customization, Lightning, Banks, Combs, Kaufman, and Holman are sure to have insightful—and probably sorta irreverent—takes on the auto industry today. We’ll definitely be there to document it all, just in case we need to blackmail Holman sometime in the future. The lighthearted interview panel is just one of the many perks that come to attendees of the SEMA Show, which otherwise include meet-and-greets with other automotive celebrities, the SEMA Ignited afterparty, and of course, 1.2 million square feet of OEM, aftermarket, and supplier goodies. Be sure to watch this space for more on the 2018 SEMA Show, which runs October 30–November 2. Source: SEMA Education Track
How Do These Big Trucks Hustle Through the Quarter?Diesel Power Challenge 2018 Presented by XDP was an exciting and comprehensive test of driver skill, truck strength, and teamwork. And if you were wondering what this year’s event was like beyond the glossy pages of the magazine or the coverage on the Truck Trend Network website, you’re in luck, because Diesel Power Challenge 2018 Video Week continues on the Motor Trend Channel on YouTube and on Motor Trend On Demand.
More Photos View Slideshow
Breaking Records and Trucks on the Final Day of Diesel Power ChallengeDiesel Power Challenge 2018 Presented by XDP was an exciting and comprehensive test of driver skill, truck strength, and teamwork. And if you were wondering what this year’s event was like beyond the glossy pages of the magazine or the coverage on the Truck Trend Network website, you’re in luck, because Diesel Power Challenge 2018 Video Week continues on the Motor Trend Channel on YouTube and on Motor Trend On Demand.
More Photos View Slideshow
Torquey Four Excels in City, Falls Short in Highway RatingChevrolet is implementing a number of new technologies to improve the efficiency of its fullsize 2019 Silverado 1500, including lightweight construction and computer-sculpted aerodynamics. Most intriguingly, however, was the company’s plan to replace the outgoing 4.3L V-6 with a 2.7L turbocharged I-4 as the base engine in some trim levels. And thanks to numbers released by the EPA today, we know how well that engine actually performs in terms of improving fuel efficiency. In rear-wheel-drive form and mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, the 2.7L turbo four achieves 20 city/23 highway/21 combined mpg in EPA testing—we presume these numbers also apply to the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 equipped with the engine. Chevrolet is quick to point out that the city number exceeds that of Ford’s 3.3L base V-6, and it matches that of the mild-hybrid Ram 1500 and its 3.6L Pentastar V-6. However, both Ford and Ram have the Chevrolet beat in highway driving, as both achieve 25 mpg in that metric, as well as combined ratings of 22 mpg.
The Driver’s SeatJerry, they say, was a race-car driver. Legend has it he drove so damn fast, and while he never did win any races, he never did come in last. At least that’s how the story goes. I, like most people, don’t know who Jerry was, but alas, strive to be just like him. As you all should be aware by now, I am a truck guy on the exterior, but at my core, I’m just a lover all things fast and loud. Throughout my career, I’ve been given the opportunity to drive plenty of powerful cars, trucks, and SUVs. That’s right, cars as well. And unlike some proclaimed “truck guys,” I’d never turn down the opportunity. There’s always so much more to learn, so whenever the opportunity arises to be tutored by someone better, faster, or smarter than me, I’ll quickly pull up a chair and listen. It could be as simple as golf carts, but if there was a pro showing me the fastest way around 18, I’d be there.
A Legend RebornThough it may come as a surprise to some, Cooper’s Discoverer line of off-road tires dates back more than four decades. Seeing as there’s no shame in improving on a good thing, Cooper launched not just one but three new tires under the Discoverer AT3 name. All similar in basic design, the AT3 4S is the base of the line and comes with a 65,000-mile warranty, available in 37 sizes. Adding additional features aimed at the crowd that tows and hauls frequently is the AT3 LT, which has a 60,000-mile warranty and is available in 21 sizes. The tire that most intrigued us is the pinnacle AT3 XLT, which is the most extreme of the bunch. While designed for hard-core use, the XLT still comes with a 60,000-mile treadwear warranty and is available in 29 sizes.
Week to Wicked Day One 1972 Chevy C10 CPP Suspension InstallBright eyed and bushy tailed Classic Trucks build crew tore into the LMC Truck C-10 Nationals Classic Trucks Week To Wicked build presented by Gandrud Chevrolet starting with dropping out the front and rear stock suspension. The premise, or idea behind the LMC Truck C-10 Nationals Classic Trucks Week To Wicked build presented by Gandrud Chevrolet is to show that a DIY guy with a base level of skills can make major upgrades to his truck thanks to packaging. Packaging is another word for kit, and it’s a good way to describe how the brake and suspension components from CPP are available individually or in a pre-engineered kit, so the DIY guy doesn’t have to know every little detail and specification of the parts to ensure compatibility.
Electrified Compact SUV Follows BSG-Equipped Wrangler Into the FutureJeep is preparing its smallest SUV for plug-in hybrid duty, as the Renegade PHEV will arrive—in the European market at least—in 2020. The FCA Melfi Plant in Italy is reportedly beginning its transformation into a facility that can produce the Renegade PHEV alongside the conventionally powered Renegade and Fiat 500X crossovers already built there. According to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the Melfi plant will begin churning out pre-production examples of the plug-in hybrid in 2019, the firstfruits of a $229-plus million investment to launch the new propulsion system. Specific powertrain details have yet to be announced. The Renegade PHEV will be the second battery-operated Jeep, following the mild-hybrid 2018 Jeep Wrangler with the 2.0L turbocharged I-4. That vehicle gets a 48V electrical system and integrated belt-starter generator, which replaces the alternator and provides smoother automatic engine idle stop and start and a small amount of electric boost on takeoff, saving some fuel in the process. The Renegade will also be part of a greater emphasis by FCA on electrified powertrains, joining the Wrangler, Ram 1500 eTorque, and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. The company claims that by 2022, it will offer a total of 12 electrified architectures—in fully electric, PHEV, hybrid, and mild-hybrid configurations. These propulsion systems will appear in 30 different FCA models. Could an instant-torque Renegade Trailhawk PHEV be on the horizon as well? We hope so, and we await further developments with curiosity. Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles UK
More Photos View Slideshow
Plus News from the Texas State Fair and a Daytona Truck Meet Update
Dyno Day Hits YouTube and Motor Trend On DemandDiesel Power Challenge 2018 Presented by XDP was an exciting and comprehensive test of driver skill, truck strength, and teamwork. And if you were wondering what this year’s event was like beyond the glossy pages of the magazine or the coverage on the Truck Trend Network website, you’re in luck, because Diesel Power Challenge 2018 Video Week starts today on the Motor Trend Channel on YouTube and on Motor Trend On Demand.
More Photos View Slideshow
Ford’s FinestSince our look back at Chevrolet’s significant trucks over a century, we’re giving equal time to Ford fans. And as truck fans like an argument, we won’t even say how many years Ford has been building trucks, so you’ll have to decide for yourself: Was it from 1905 and the Ford Deliver Car built on the Model C, the 1907 Delivery Van on the Model N chassis, the 1917 Model TT chassis cab (a Model T cab and engine on a heavier frame), or the 1925 Model T pickup? Ford cites it as the 1917 TT. The same release also says that by 1977, the F-150 had been introduced “to combat the C/K trucks from General Motors” and has “pulled ahead in the sales race,” but in 2015 General Motors sold 40,000 more fullsize pickups than Ford—according to sources, combined Silverado and Sierra sales were 824,683 units, while Ford sold 780,354 F-Series. This list is not conclusive—just the Ford trucks we find noteworthy for one reason or another—so feel free to add, delete, and disagree.
1917 Model TT
What amounts to a chassis-cab HD today, the TT was based on the Model T cab and engine, mounted to a heavier frame rated at one short ton capacity. A three-speed transmission meant two forward and one backward, and the torque tube went to a worm drive rear end running solid rubber tires. Power came from a 177ci (2.9L) four of 20 horses, but it weighed less than half what a new one does, so it would still manage 40 mph.
Feel Like You Were Really There With a New Video Each DayDiesel Power Challenge 2018 Presented by XDP was an event for the ages, with plenty of high-horsepower speed, dyno-twisting torque, and precision driving for almost a full week of diesel-fired action. Now, we can get you even closer to that action, thanks to Diesel Power Challenge Week at the Motor Trend Channel on YouTube.
Excitement ElectrifiedIt’s not very often that we at Truck Trend get to test electric vehicles. Not because we don’t like to—rather, there simply aren’t that many. Ford ended production of the all-electric Ranger in ’02, and aside from the Tesla Model X, there’s nary an SUV in the bunch. That is, until now. With the introduction of the ’19 I-Pace, Jaguar has become the first mainstream auto manufacturer to mass-produce a fully electric luxury SUV. While we refuse to call it—or anything—a “Tesla Killer,” the I-Pace certainly gives Elon Musk’s utility a run for its money. I-Pace starts at $69,500 and has an estimated range of 240 miles. While still lofty, that price is more than $13,000 less than a comparable Tesla Model X 75D, which has an EPA-rated range of 237 miles. The Jaguar also has normal rear doors, a definite bonus. The ’19 I-Pace comes in one model, EV 400, which boasts an admirable 394 hp and 512 lb-ft of torque and is fitted with a 90-kWh battery pack. There are three trim levels: S, SE, and HSE. Putting power to the ground is a pair of identical permanent magnet synchronous electric motors, one at each end. Below 30 mph, the I-Pace is driven by only the rear motor; above 30 mph, both are active, providing the superb handling you’d expect from an all-wheel-drive Jag. Tipping into the accelerator provides a fantastic burst of initial torque, while burying the pedal propels the 4,784-pound vehicle from 0-60 mph in an estimated 4.5 seconds. At full song, the I-Pace tops out at 124 mph.
Top Ratings Among Midsize Gas-Powered TrucksFord finally announced the towing and payload ratings for the 2019 Ranger midsize truck, as well as the power and torque numbers for its sole engine, a 2.3L EcoBoost I-4. The engine will produce 270 hp and 310 lb-ft, helping the Ranger haul up to 1,860 pounds and tow 7,500 pounds (when equipped with a tow package and trailer brake controller).
Lengthened Titan XD Features Cummins Diesel, Suspension Lift, First Aid SuppliesTo help highlight its “Calling All Titans” service organization, Nissan built a heavily customized Titan XD for the American Red Cross to aid with disasters. The Ultimate Service Titan, which started out as a Titan XD Midnight Edition with a Cummins 5.0L V-8, boasts a mobile command center, first aid unit, and extensive storage, as well as a custom lengthened frame and B&S Customizing Conqueror bed box.
2.0L Direct-Injected I-4 Achieves 29 MPG on HighwayToday, Ford announced the 2019 Transit Connect achieved the highest combined and highway EPA fuel economy ratings among other small vans, thanks in part to the TC’s all-new 2.0L direct-injected I-4. The Transit Connect passenger van—Ford calls it a Wagon—hits 24 city/29 highway mpg, with a combined rating of 26 mpg. (Dock the cargo van by 2 mpg highway and 1 mpg combined—the city rating stays the same.)
GM-Designed I-6 to Produce 282 hp and 450 lb-ftSomeone who had access to GM Canada’s dealer site leaked information about the upcoming 3.0L Duramax I-6 available in the 2019 GMC Sierra 1500 and its Chevrolet Silverado 1500 sibling. Take this data with a grain of salt, as GM has yet to officially announce the all-new Duramax variant’s power, towing, and fuel economy ratings.
2018 Paris Motor Show Reveal Gets Updated Powertrains and StylingPorsche trotted out a revised 2019 Macan at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, updating the little SUV with a facelift, new powertrains, and a restyled interior. These revisions apply primarily to the Macan destined for global markets, with nothing new confirmed (yet) for the U.S. Macan. Most obviously, the Macan’s styling now apes the all-new 2019 Cayenne a bit more closely. That means there’s a full-width taillight panel, which replaces two individual ovoid taillights, and the rear lighting array gets Porsche’s “three-dimensional LED” styling. Newly standard LED headlights rest above an updated front bumper design, with foglamps relocated to near the bottom of the front fascia and air inlets reshaped to impart a wider, more planted appearance. The Macan’s distinctive rocker trim remains.
’Max EffortLet’s get right to it: The beautiful ’15 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD shown on these pages is owned and built by Aaron Scarbro, a diesel enthusiast who admits he doesn’t compromise or simply “settle” for anything—especially when it’s related to his truck. It doesn’t take a trained eye to see Aaron’s rig is a perfect example of maximum effort— going all-out, full-on, and doing anything necessary to reach a goal. For Aaron, getting the most comfort, power, fun, and family time from the Silverado is the main objective, and it appears he has ticked all of those boxes with this 870hp daily driver. “The thing I’m most proud of is that I can drive this truck 5 or 6 hours with my family onboard, make 7-second [eighth-mile] dragstrip runs, and drive it back home without any problems,” Aaron says. Yes, he often races it with the car seats still strapped into the backseat. As it goes with so many trucks we feature, Aaron says he had all intentions of leaving the ’15 Silverado—nicknamed Large Red Riding Hood—stock when he purchased it. That notion lasted only briefly, though, as Aaron started with bolt-ons and ECM tuning. “In 2016, I installed the dual CP3 injection pumps and then upgraded the turbocharger and the fuel system,” Aaron explains. “Since this is the truck I drive every day, all the modifications are designed to not affect me being able to use it to get to work.” The stock long-block handles the 840 hp and 1,459 lb-ft of torque the 6.6L Duramax LML engine churns out, as well as wide-open abuse on the dragstrip. “One of the highlights of this build was having Dmitri Millard of No Zone Diesel at my house, in my little one-car garage, rebuilding my transmission,” Aaron says. “He taught me so much, and I was really shocked by how quickly he works. The guy knows his stuff, and to have him at my place doing the work was a bonus. We had some beer along with some pizza, and I got a really great hands-on education.”
Tim Kuniskis Chiefs Jeep, Reid Bigland Returns to RamFiat Chrysler Automobiles announced the new heads of the Ram and Jeep brands today, a few months after Mike Manley took the reins of the whole company as CEO. In an open letter to the company, Manley announced that Tim Kuniskis would take over as head of the Jeep brand, while Reid Bigland would return to Ram as that division’s head.
Move Comes as a Result of an SEC Charge of Misleading InvestorsTesla CEO and founder Elon Musk will step down as chairman of the board in order to settle a suit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission claiming Musk misled company investors. He will remain CEO of the company, but will have to pay a $20 million fine as part of the settlement, according to CNN. He will not be allowed to seek the chairman position for three years. The SEC suit was based on a tweet Musk sent August 7, in which he claimed he’d secured enough funding to privatize the company at $420 a share. That claim was allegedly unfounded, according to the SEC, and could have misled investors. There are also theories that the tweet was intended as a joke, with the $420 figure referring to smoking cannabis. In addition to Musk’s personal $20 million fine, Tesla will have to pay its own penalty in the same amount. That money will go back to those investors who were reputedly harmed by Musk’s August 7 tweet. Musk isn’t completely out of the woods, as it’s possible he will have to face charges from the Department of Justice if it’s found that his misleading tweet constituted a criminal act. However, according to CNN’s reporting, it’s likely the SEC settlement will dissuade any further criminal investigation.
More Photos View Slideshow
Luxury and Appearance Enhancements for Ford’s Biggest SUVsThe popular Ford Explorer and spacious Ford Expedition will receive special treatment for 2019, with four different limited editions announced at the 2018 State Fair of Texas. Available nationwide, the Expedition Stealth Edition, Expedition Texas Edition, Explorer Limited Luxury Edition, and Explorer Desert Copper Edition offer some interesting styling updates over their siblings.
Loads of Trucks, Nothing NewWhen people think of a state fair the first things that come to mind are likely amazing fried foods, sketchy rides, and cheap hot tubs. However, when talking about the State Fair of Texas high on the list of must-sees is its auto show, which is the largest of its kind and longest running in the state of Texas. This auto show has been gradually gaining importance on the auto show circuit as a whole and is becoming the go-to source of new pickup news. Ramping up over the past five years, we’ve seen such large announcements as Ford’s all-new 2017 Super Duty, Ram’s incredible Rebel TRX concept, and nearly every special edition pickup. Maybe we got a bit spoiled because while the 2018 State Fair of Texas brought a decent amount of news for the truck and SUV world, none of it was breaking and in fact there was nothing we hadn’t already head about. Ram kicked off the Media Day round of automotive speed dating by showing off the new 2019 Ram 1500 Rebel 12, the 2018 Ram 2500 Power Wagon Mojave Sand edition, and the 2018 Ram 2500/3500 Rodeo edition. Next, we cruised over to Chevrolet who showed the 2019 Colorado ZR2 Bison in person for the first time. Chevy also talked about their Legends program, the upcoming 2019 Silverado medium-duty 4500/5500/6500, and chatted about four custom 2019 Silverado pickups equipped with Chevrolet Performance parts that they plan to unveil at SEMA. After Chevrolet it was Ford’s turn with the media’s attention. They pulled the sheets of a hot foursome of special edition SUVs, two 2019 Explorers and two 2019 Expeditions. Explorer receives Limited Luxury and Desert Copper editions, while Expedition will be available in both Texas and Stealth editions. Kia and Chrysler took the stage next, however they had nothing of any interest to us. Moving on, Toyota was next and unveiled a pair of special editions aimed at their base model pickups, and a new blacked out premium 4Runner. The 2019 Tacoma SR and Tundra SR-5 receive the new SX package, while 4Runner Limited gets a blacked-out Nightshade special edition. Rounding out the day with a rockin’ live performance by one of Fender’s top recording artists to usher in the new available Fender audio system in the 2019 Titan and Titan XD. Titan and Titan XD also receive an update infotainment system and additional USB ports for 2019, while the Cummins diesel equipped XD gets an upsized diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank. While we came to Texas hoping for some sort of large announcement or juicy gossip, what we left with didn’t disappoint. We’ll be back next year, even if just to see Big Tex.
More Photos View Slideshow
Taking the Scenic Route to the Top and Finding Ourselves Pleasantly SurprisedWe buy crossovers, SUVs, and trucks in part for the sense of ruggedness they impart. With a higher stance and added ground clearance compared to most cars, they just seem to be a bit more ready and able to tackle the nearest trail. But is that perception justified? Are our machines actually that capable, or is it just marketing hogwash? We wanted to find out, and luckily, the good folks at Rocky Mountain Redline had just the venue for us to try: Colorado Climb 2018. Situated in Breckenridge, the first-ever Colorado Climb brought together 11 trucks, crossovers, and SUVs from nine different manufacturers, with two different trails to try them out on. Our base camp was the Golden Horseshoe Tour Company, seated in the hills above Breckenridge at 9,000 feet. From there, we climbed. Headed up Humbug Hill would be the Acura RDX, Honda Pilot, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9, and Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn. The trail to Georgia Pass (elevation 11,600 feet) would (hopefully) be dominated by the likes of the GMC Sierra 1500 AT4, Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and Wrangler Rubicon, Lexus LX570, Ram 1500 Rebel, and Toyota Tacoma TRD Off-Road. We knew to expect good results from the Wrangler and Tacoma, but how did the others fare? In two words: Surprisingly well.
2019 Acura RDX
We last got a taste of the Acura RDX in another scenic resort town: Whistler, British Columbia. There, however, our drive was almost exclusively on paved, smooth roads, with enough twists and turns to prove the available Super Handling All-Wheel Drive’s mettle in enthusiastic driving. On Humbug Hill, however, SH-AWD got its exercise shuffling power between the right and left rear wheels, as the trail’s diagonal washes forced one or the other to lift off the ground with regularity. That stiff chassis does wonders for handling and ride comfort, but it’s not ideal for off-road articulation.