Our spies recently snapped pictures of a pack of "Coyote"-powered F-150 pickups. The Coyote, Ford's new four-valve, 5.0-liter V-8 engine, is slated to power a slew of Ford vehicles from the Mustang to the F-series. The engine, like the 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 and 6.2L V-8, is expected to produce approximately 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 that's scheduled to arrive in late 2010 for the F-150, the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 won't use direct injection or turbocharging. It's a naturally aspirated motor with fuel economy that's expected to be comparable to the current 5.4L V-8. It's also expected to use a cast aluminum engine block instead of iron to help save weight. Ford has been testing the engine in every trim level of F-150, including the seven-lug, heavy-duty-payload package version.
No More Dodge Ram?
Chrysler has announced its intention to separate Ram from the Dodge brand, which would give Chrysler four brands in its showrooms: Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram. Under this new brand strategy, Dodge cars would be marketed independently of Ram trucks, which would focus on pickup trucks, consumer and commercial, and their capabilities. Will the new brand be called Dodge Ram, or just Ram? Chrysler isn't saying yet.
BFGoodrich Tires and BlueRibbon Coalition Join Forces
BFGoodrich Tires and BlueRibbon Coalition announced a partnership that will benefit wheelers and trails alike. BFGoodrich Tires will make a $5 donation to the BlueRibbon Coalition for each of its new ten sizes of BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/AKM2 tires sold between August 2009 and the end of December 2009. Due to consumer demand, BFGoodrich recently expanded its line of Mud-Terrain T/AKM2 tire sizes, which are part of the ten sizes eligible for the contribution.
The tire sizes are as follows:
As a respected national recreation group that represents more than 600,000 recreationists nationwide, the BlueRibbon Coalition is dedicated to protecting responsible recreational access to public lands and waters. More information about the BlueRibbon Coalition is available at www.sharetrails.org. Visit BFGoodrich Tires online at www.bfgoodrichtires.com.
Toyota is adding 850 jobs to its San Antonio truck plant to fulfill its plans to relocate Tacoma production from the now-defunct NUMMI plant in California. Once the tooling switchover is completed, the San Antonio plant will be able to produce 200,000 Tacomas a year, although they will start out building about 100,000 units. The San Antonio plant also produces Tundra pickups.
Defender To Say Cheerio
According to the Australian newsletter GoAutoNew, Land Rover will be forced to replace the legendary Land Rover Defender by 2013 because of ever-tightening regulations regarding emissions and pedestrian safety. The aluminum-bodied and hand-built Defender, which at one time was available in the U.S., has been a Land Rover hallmark since 1948. Defenders have been used around the world for many diverse uses, such as agriculture, expeditions, and military work. The last major bodywork revision was in 1983. Thankfully, Land Rover says that any replacement will offer more capability and will not be a softer vehicle.
Department of Corrections
In our December 2009 story "Rallye Aicha Des Gazelles," we incorrectly stated that Emily Miller is the only female driver to have "ironmanned" the Baja 1000. She is actually the only women to have soloed the longest race in the U.S., the Best in the Desert's 1000-mile TSCO Vegas to Reno.