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August 2008 4x4 Truck & Automotive News - RPM

Posted in Project Vehicles on August 1, 2008
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Photographers: Chris Doane For Brenda Priddy & Co.

Ford Raptor Is A GO!
Here is the latest spy shot of the hotly anticipated 2010 Ford Raptor. Since we last brought you the story, some more news about Ford's factory long-travel truck has come to light, namely that it is being engineered by SVT and may carry the SVT moniker in the name. The Raptor was made official in April when it was shown to Ford dealers at a closed-door meeting in Las Vegas. Some of what was revealed was a unique black mesh grille with no Blue Oval. Instead, "FORD," in block letters, is proudly displayed. We also have information that a normally aspirated (OK, so we were wrong about the turbos) 6.2L Boss V-8 will power the truck and will put out at least 380 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The Raptor features Fox 2.0 piggyback reservoir shocks and will offer 4 inches of additional travel over stock, bringing the Raptor to a full 12 inches of front wheel travel. We were also correct on the tire size, which will be 35s. Also note in the latest spy photos that the engineering mule is now wearing what appear to be production-intent wheels and BFG All-Terrain T/A tires. A selectable front locker will also be available. Ford touted it to its dealers as the first Baja trophy truck you can buy. If the dealers are in on the action already, you can expect the unveiling sometime later this year-possibly as an early 2010 model. We can't wait for Ford to pull the cover off of this one: 2010 Four Wheeler Pickup Truck of the Year, anyone?

Ironman Special Edition Tundra
Select Toyota dealers will be getting a special edition Toyota Tundra, blessed by the Ironman himself. Ivan "Ironman" Stewart, who earned the nickname from all of his solo desert races and record 17 Baja 500 victories, has lent his expertise and ideas to the Ivan Ironman Stewart Signature Edition Tundra. This special 4WD Tundra is no sticker-and-badge package and will come in two stages. Stage 1 will include 20-inch Alcoa forged alloy wheels, General Tire AT2 All-Terrains, Bilstein 5100 Series shocks, a Magnaflow after-cat exhaust, a Hurst billet and carbon-fiber shifter modeled after Ivan's own grip, and a sequentially numbered dash plate. Stage 2 adds Toyota Racing Development's new supercharger with 504 hp, according to We'll update you when we hear what the pricing will be. There will be an online Ivan Ironman Stewart Toyota Enthusiasts Club and Owner's Registry that will bring you all the latest on Ivan's off-road adventures, feature stories, reviews of Toyota vehicles, events, and more. Owners will be invited to special events to meet Ivan and have him autograph their trucks. Motive Club members can register for the chance to meet Ivan and attend the press conference as his guest this June in Southern California. For more information, check out Motive Club at

Mahindra Diesel Hybrid
Mahindra is working with FEV on a diesel parallel hybrid powertrain that is likely to come to the U.S. at some point. The vehicle is based on the Mahindra Scorpio SUV. The powertrain consists of a 2.2L common-rail turbodiesel mated to a six-speed automatic and augmented by a 30kw electric motor. The system has the capability to launch solely on electric power, stop at idle, and it utilizes regenerative braking to help recharge the NiMH battery pack.

Ford To Drop Manual From Super Duty
Our sources tell us that Ford is close to dropping the manual transmission option from the next freshened Super Duty. We think Ford would be making a big mistake in leaving Dodge as the only fullsize manufacturer left with a manual transmission option. Not only would this create a lack of choices from the truck leader (something Ford has never had a problem with), but it would also make getting the excellent Power Stroke option more expensive, as it would have to be coupled to the automatic, similar to the Duramax, which is $7,195 alone, but with no manual has to be ordered with the Allison, raising the price by $1,200 to $8,395. Currently the Power Stroke is $6,895, but raises to $8,385 when ordered with the TorqShift automatic. Now there isn't anything wrong with the current crop of automatics-in fact they are some of the best automatics built-but choices are good for those who enjoy a more intimate relationship with their machinery. We think having the choice of a manual transmission is as important to the fullsize truck market as a choice of two- or four-wheel drive, gas or diesel, and regular- or longbed. Please Ford, keep the manual.

Chrysler To Build Titan Replacement
Chrysler and Nissan announced the next-generation Nissan Titan would be built by Chrysler, on the Dodge Ram platform with unique Nissan sheetmetal. Nissan may or may not use the Titan name, but it has been determined that the new truck will use the Ram's coil-spring rear suspension. All Nissan would say for now is that the new truck will take advantage of Chrysler's powertrain options to give the Titan buyer a wider selection of engines than the 5.6L DOHC V-8 solely offered now. It is possible this may include the two-mode hybrid powertrain that will be coming to Ram in the near future. Current Titan production will end in 2010, with the new Titan production ramping up at Chrysler's Saltillo, Mexico, plant in January 2011.

First Official 2009 Dodge Ram Regular Cab Photo
Here is the first look at the Dodge Ram TRX4 model in regular cab trim, which we think looks pretty good. Quad Cab and Crew Cab models will also be available.

Quick Hits
* Bloomberg has reported that the low-selling Jeep Commander will be killed before its product cycle is complete.
* Ford showed its upcoming 4.4L turbodiesel V-8 recently to dealers and announced it would make 9 percent more horsepower and 15 percent more torque over the 5.4L gas engine with a 20-percent fuel economy improvement.
* For the most up-to-date news, check out

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