The Latest News From The Industry
Let the Heavy-Duty Wars Begin!
The calendar says it’s not quite 2014 yet, but GM and Ford are already duking it out for heavy-duty pickup supremacy in the ’15 model year. (Yes, Ram has a new HD truck too, but as a ’14 model it’s sooo this year. Yawn.) Here’s how the battle lines are shaping up.
2015 Silverado/ Sierra HD
GM is wasting no time following up its ’14 light-duty pickup launch with new 2500 and 3500 models, which will go on sale in the first quarter of 2014. Like the 1500s, these big boys have new sheetmetal in regular, double, and crew cab configurations; redesigned interiors; new connectivity systems; and newly designed beds (in 6-foot 6-inch and 8-foot lengths) with accessories that include LED lighting and CornerStep bumpers. Interestingly, these trucks are not equipped with the biggest of the new EcoTec3 engines and instead carry on with the 6.0L gas V-8 (rated 360 hp for 2500s, 322 hp for 3500s, and 380 lb-ft for both) or 6.6L Duramax turbodiesel (397 hp, 765 lb-ft). Both are backed by six-speed automatics. A bi-fuel (gas and CNG) version of the 6.0 will be available too.
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StabiliTrak and trailer sway control are now standard on all models, including 3500 dualies. GM says that max payload on the trucks will be 7,374 pounds; the conventional tow capacity will grow from 18,000 pounds to 19,600; and fifth-wheel capacity also rises, from 22,500 to 23,200 pounds. (All these figures are for 4x2s, we’re sure. The 4x4 ratings will be lower.)
There will also be high-end GMC Denali versions of the HD trucks, with unique exterior design cues, interior trim, a Bose audio system, and other lux goodies.
“GM and Ford are already duking it out for 2015"
2015 Super Duty
Rumor had it there would be a new F-150 for 2015, so we were surprised when Ford came out of the chute with news about the Super Duty first. The big story here is the second-generation Power Stroke diesel. Still 6.7L, the new diesel has a bigger turbocharger with larger-diameter compressor and turbine wheels. The waste gate and waste gate controls were taken off, as the new turbo operates at lower pressures. No mention of output numbers, only that the new engine will produce more power than the current Power Stroke, which is rated at 400 hp and 800 lb-ft of torque.
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Ford has beefed up the F-450 with a stronger frame and suspension, commercial-grade 19.5-inch wheels, upgraded driveline components, and larger brakes (shared with the chassis-cab models). All this was done, Ford says, to improve the F-450’s towing and hauling capacities, though the company didn’t offer any new numbers.
The premium end of the truck market is seeing a lot of growth—and quite a few entries. So it’s no wonder that Ford freshened the look of the King Ranch model with new trim paint, black exterior accents, and new Mesa leather upholstery that looks like it has been branded with the King Ranch “Running W” brand. Yes, there is a real King Ranch in Texas, and at 825,000 acres it’s bigger than Rhode Island.
New Upgrades, Warranty for ARB
ARB has upgraded its line of air lockers so that every one of them now is built with forged gears and a two-piece case. As a result, all ARB Air Lockers are now covered by a five-year warranty, up from two years. To mark the changes, the company has designed a new logo incorporating the A and L in air locker in a symbol of a mountain, which will appear on the product’s packaging.
This Just In
GM has finally released output numbers for the biggest of the new EcoTec3 engines. The 6.2L V-8, available in half-ton ’14 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups, produces 420 hp at 5,600 rpm and 460 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm. That, says Chevy, is the most power and torque available from any light-duty truck engine. Ford is close; Ford’s 6.2 V-8 makes 411 hp and 434 lb-ft. The Hemi in the Ram makes 395 hp and 410 lb-ft. The new EcoDiesel in the Ram puts out 240 hp and 420 lb-ft. The 5.7 in the Toyota Tundra produces 381 hp and 401 lb-ft. The 5.6L V-8 in the Nissan Titan makes 317 hp and 385 lb-ft. Nissan might be able to challenge Chevy in the torque department if the 5.0L Cummins diesel that Nissan plans for the Titan makes its reported mid-500 lb-ft of torque.
Roger Norman has merged SCORE and HDRA and created a single six-race series called the SCORE World Desert Championship. The 2014 series will include SCORE’s three Mexican races—the San Felipe 250, Baja 500, and Baja 1000—plus three races in California and Nevada. Full details and schedule information are available at score-international.com
We have learned from AEV that online store kNOw Where 2Jeep has recently acquired the rights to produce the Nth Degree Mobility TJ product line. The store currently has several products already in stock and ready to ship, including 4.0L oil pan skidplates and rear spring relocators, and should be shipping complete Nth Degree long-arm suspension systems by the time you read this.