Truck News: New towing ratings, new engines and hints of things to come

There’s been some interesting news in the truck industry recently, so let’s get to it.

First up, Americans bought 1 million trucks in the first half of 2014. USA! USA! USA!

Towing

Ram has made all its trucks’ towing ratings compliant with the J2807 standard. It’s the first of the big three to make this leap with its entire line.

Chevrolet and GMC have made their 1500 pickups J2807 compliant already, but not their HD pickups. Ford has promised that its new 2015 F-150 will be tested according to the standard. Meanwhile, Toyota’s Tundra has been compliant for some time.

RAM

Sharp-eyed photographers spotted this little test mule running around in Michigan. Several journalists note that it looks like Fiat Strada beneath all that cladding, which could mean that Ram is looking at doing the same thing with the Strada that it did with the Ducato (ProMaster van, anyone?)

So what does a Strada look like under normal conditions? Like this:

FORD

Ford has finally showed how much weight this aluminum body shaves off its 2015 F-150: More than 700 pounds.

It’s worth pointing out that the comparison Ford set up for the press compared a 2014 F-150 with the 5.0L V8 with a 2015 F-150 with the new 2.7L EcoBoost V6, but it’s still quite a bit of weight savings.

Also noteworthy is that Ford says that new little EcoBoost engine will make 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque.

Here’s a video Ford made where it set up some towing drag races between the F-150, Ram’s EcoDiesel and Chevrolet’s 5.3L V8.

Two more things: it’s pretty much official that Ford’s 6.2L V8 will no longer be available for the F-150, so if Ford’s Raptor will continue past 2014, it might have some special plans for a big engine up its sleeve. Also, a global Ford Ranger was spotted doing some test driving in Colorado, so maybe Ford is trying to be ready to compete with GM if the new little trucks prove popular.

Chevrolet/GMC

The public launch of the updated Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon approaches, and we finally know how much power the trucks’ gas engines will have.

The 2.5L inline four will make 200 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque, while the 3.6L V6 will make 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque.

Official numbers on the 2.8L Duramax diesel that will come with 2016 Canyon/Colorado pickups are still unavailable. There’s all sorts of rumors and speculation on how much power it’ll have, but we’ll just have to wait.

And if you want to see how big these trucks are, here’s a GMC Canyon next to a Ram 1500.

Speaking of rumors, folks in Detroit are whispering that Chevrolet is working on special off-road version of the Colorado that would compete with Ford’s Raptor.

As for the full-size trucks, starting with 2015 models the trucks with the 6.2L V8 will get eight-speed transmissions.

NISSAN

Last month, it sounded like Nissan had a new truck for us. It turns out, it has a new truck for everyone but us (for now).

Nissan’s big reveal was the NP300 Navara for the global market. Some think it’s what to expect from the next Nissan Frontier. Maybe. Maybe not.

For now, we can wonder if the next Frontier will have the diesel engine Nissan’s been teasing about. Here’s a video of The Fast Lane Truck taking that concept for a test drive:

Lucky guys.

Published by

Johnny Tonneau

Agri-Cover, Inc.

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