Bigger is better? Hmm. For those of you who believe that, and who want something bigger and badder than their neighbor's Hummer, have we got a deal for you. Based on commercial work trucks, the new CXT from International is going be the world's biggest production pickup truck when it goes on sale in early 2005. The company plans to build between 600 and 1,000 units next year at its plant in Garland, Texas. The CXT features four-wheel drive, a six-ton towing capacity and an optional dumping and tilt bed. Also available are all the standard creature comforts you'd expect to find in a luxo-SUV. The mammoth beast is powered by a 466ci turbodiesel rated at 220 hp and 540 lb-ft of torque. It's expected the truck will retail for around $100,000. So don't wait. Operators are standing by.
The entire Ram lineup will be getting a frontal makeover in early 2006. The result is shown here, featuring revised headlamps with a horizontal amber strip at the bottom, as well as new cladding around the wheel arches. Dodge plans to introduce the Mega Cab shortly following this revision. This new cab configuration will rewrite the rulebook with regard to interior space. Picture a Ford crew cab with half of an extended cab piggybacked on the end of it. This is what Dodge engineers have come up with to resolve the current Ram's spatial issues, which we didn't know existed.
At the 2004 Diesel Engine Emissions Reduction Conference we drove a Cummins prototype V-8 designed for under-8,500-GVWR applications. It was fitted in a Dodge Ram 1/2-ton with no body, frame or suspension modifications and a 48RE automatic.
The 5.6L aluminum-head/iron-block engine is modular, with a balance-shaft added to the 4.2L V-6 version, and uses a single chaindriven cam per bank to operate four valves per cylinder via hydraulic lifters. Induction is via wastegated turbo and common-rail injection, similar to today's Cummins Dodge.
Fully dressed, the V-8 weighs 766 pounds and is rated at 300 hp @ 3,800-4,000 rpm and 460 lb-ft @ 1,700-2,200 rpm; with a variable-nozzle turbine it could go to 350 hp and in all cases torque is limited to protect the driveline. The V-6 runs 250-270 hp with the same torque.
Although a prototype, the engine started easily and ran smoothly and quietly. Noise with the hood open is lower than a current Power Stroke with its hood closed, and equal to the 4.7L gas engine at 60 mph. In this Ram it will crank off runs of 0-60 mph in under 9 seconds while averaging a claimed 22 mpg. Because of the minimal emissions resulting from use of a catalytic converter, a NOx absorber and a particulate filter, no muffler seems necessary.
Sound good? Don't expect to see either of these engines until model year 2009-assuming the check-signers think it will sell.-G.R. Whale