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Found 31 results

  1. Zane Merva Executive Editor / Publisher, GM-Trucks.com 1/15/18 Earlier today, Fiat-Chrysler introduced their new 2019 RAM 1500 Pickup. We have more on the all new RAM here, but one thing caught our eye and we wanted to talk about it right away. The 2019 RAM's optional 12-inch Uconnect infotainment system. We were all happy that Chevrolet upgraded the interface of the MyLink System for the 2019 Silverado. That said, the brand didn't upgrade the screen or make it any larger than the last generation. To be fair, 8-inches is right in line with the market as it sits today. Ford certainly didn't offer anything larger, so Chevy apparently didn't see the need to go bigger or better with MyLink for the next generation Silverado. That might not have been a great idea. The new (and highly optional) UConnect seems like it was plucked straight from a Tesla. In comparison, 2019 MyLink looks like it was pulled from a Step 2 Playset Manual. Take a look for yourself. 2019 RAM 12-inch UConnect vs 2019 Silverado MyLink 2019 RAM Uconnect 12 inch vs 8.4 inch 2019 RAM Uconnect 12 inch Interface Of course, we've yet to actually use this new 12-inch system but we've been impressed with RAM's smaller 8.4-inch screen and interface for some time. What do you think? Does the 2019 Silverado have enough with an 8-inch MyLink System or does the 2019 RAM blow it away?
  2. Thom Cannel: Article & Photos Zane Merva: Photos GM-Trucks.com June 24th, 2019 This could be the shortest Chevrolet truck review in history. If that's what you came for, you can stop reading right now. But if you're curious... Why is the 3.0L Duramax so awesome? Because unless you’re building a custom lifestyle truck or simply using it for basic tasks you’ll be no doubt upgrade to more powerful engine when you buy your next Silverado or Sierra. That means either the famous 6.2-liter V-8 gas engine or this all-new 3.0L Duramax Turbo-diesel 3.0-liter diesel with its 277 HP, 460 torques and 9,300 pound towing capacity. If your truck is a lifestyle statement—and we have zero problems with that—this may not apply to you. That is, unless you’re from Texas where a better engine is as necessary as church on Thursday, guns, and football. Our vote, as the upgrade cost is the same $2,495 as for the 6.2L gas engine, is the new 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder diesel. It has the same torque, better fuel economy (we expect) and even has a sweet engine exhaust sound. Chevrolet invited GM-Trucks to Bend, Oregon to test the 2020 Silverado and it’s new diesel engine. Don’t worry if you just bought a 2019 Silverado—there are no huge differences for 2020; the truck was only released a few months ago. So, for 2020 Chevy adds adaptive cruise control and the amazing 15-view camera technology that includes “invisible trailer” from the Heavy Duty segment. We covered that. For 2020 Chevrolet offers a diversity of engines. There are, in addition to the new diesel, the 310 horsepower / 348 lb-ft 2.7-liter DI turbocharged I-4 with an 8-speed transmission, and two legendary small block gas engines, the 5.3L and 6.2L. In Model Year 2020 the 5.3L makes 355 horsepower (265 kW) and 383 lb-ft of torque (519 Nm) coupled to an 8-speed transmission, the 6.2L is SAE-certified to deliver 420 HP (313 kW) and 460 lb-ft of torque (623 Nm). It is paired with GM’s 10-speed transmission, which couples perfectly with GM’s DFM cylinder deactivation system. Hey, you don’t think you can run on two cylinders with an ordinary transmission, do you? According to Chevrolet the new diesel motor will be available in LT, RST, LTZ and High Country trim levels. The 5.3L gas engine is standard in LTZ and High Country models and available on LT, RST and Trail Boss. The 6.2L gas gasser is available more trim levels for 2020. Both engines will be built at General Motors’ Tonawanda Engine Plant in Buffalo, New York.” Not mentioned is the carryover 4.3L engine aimed at fleet owners. We arrived in Oregon to 80°F heat and blue skies, then were fed and watered, and set off on different tasks. We can’t talk about the HD trucks and their massive towing capacity for a couple of days. We were offered an incredibly deep-dive into the new engine, and a mileage competition featuring the new 3.0-liter diesel engine to start, however. Winning a comp is cool, but not realistic when you have a limited time with a vehicle in the first place. That said, other journalists did take the time to compete and Sunday’s winning mileage was in the 34-36 mpg range and then blown away by Monday’s 46 mpg. That, friends, is some serious hypermiling! However we still do not have official EPA certified mileage. That’s “To Come”. If you haven’t read much about the 3.0, here’s a modestly deep dive into its guts. First, the whole engine is state-of-the-art, aluminum head and block with thin steel cylinder sleeves and seven main bearings for the crankshaft. Combustion processes were among the driving forces underpinning design theory, so the cylinder head is essentially flat and the bowl-shaped pistons have zero relief cuts for the valves. That was important for efficiency. Simulation, and single-cylinder engine studies showed that having very vertical valves would not only allow a simpler bowl shape in the pistons, but that very shape would allow inlet-generated swirl to be maximized at every point. Swirl is produced and governed by dual intake runners feeding each cylinder. Oh, the ceramic glow plugs gave GM the highest compression ratio consistent with power and emissions, as well as allowing ignition to -22°F without a block heater. FYI, most of the engine development and engineering, as well as primary calibration took place in Turin, Italy. That’s GM’s center of diesel excellence. To ensure a quiet engine, emissions that more than meet standards, and deliver fuel economy, GM finalized an injection pressure of 2,500 bar (36,500 psi) through solenoid injectors capable of up to ten injections per combustion cycle. Early injections are primarily used to build in-cylinder pressure smoothly to abate diesel clatter. Later injections can be used for power and to keep the catalyst working within specified temperatures (those injections, sometimes caused by a catalyst cooled by highway driving, do negatively affect fuel economy but maintain emissions specifications). There’s a single close-coupled VGT turbo, for now, which indicates a possibility for later development of greater power and torque. Packaging to the “chemical factory” is as tight as could be manufactured. What we really haven’t talked about is the decision for an I-6 engine, versus a V-type. Obviously, six cylinders are longer than three, or even four. This slightly under-square engine delivers two things that a V design does not: smoothness and less side force. A V-type engine necessarily produces some side thrust, which is one of the reasons that Ford’s new 3.0L is made of CGI or Compacted Graphite Iron. In contrast, by using a robust, deep skirt design, Chevrolet and other divisions have an all-aluminum block, saving weight. Some of the extra length is minimized by packaging chain driven shafts at the rear. If you’ve never driven, or better yet heard an inline six, they’re smooth, likely the smoothest engine you’ve driven and with a unique sound. Both delivered by six evenly spaced exhaust pulses. The last I-6 engine GM produced was the gasoline Atlas LL8/Vortec 4200 used in Chevy Trailblazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Olds Bravada, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7X. ) Note that Detroit Diesel has produced an inline-6 since 1980 that displaces 11-14L.) Before highway driving, we did a walk-around. The GM-exclusive Durabed is impressive, and hard-coated for scuff resistance. Chevrolet says it’s made up of several sections instead of 1-2 deep drawn pressings. This provides owners with more cargo volume. As Chevrolet (and GMC) will tell you, it’s made of several varieties of High Strength Steels, so they claim it’s more dent and penetration-resistant than Ford’s aluminum bed. Inside the bed are 12 fixed tie-down points and nine moveable points, which has been a big hit with owners. Plus there’s that available power up/down tailgate, a power outlet and task lighting. A somewhat unnoticed feature is relocating the bed lights to flank the CHMSL on the roof edge. A couple of other things that are important are the corner steps and bed steps. They’re made for size 13 steel-toed boots and hold up to 500 pounds. We then drove the truck on the highway and on two-lane roads. Our first impression was of the powerful engine sound, followed by impressive torque. Electric motor type torque. Smooth power available at the lowest of engine speeds. Engine noise isn’t intrusive but like the torque, off the line it lets you know it’s there. However, with an open hood you hardly know it’s a diesel, it is that quiet. Even a random enthusiast who had been researching the new 3.0L Duramax and stopped us at a boat launch had to ask if it was a Diesel. This is simply unlike the larger Duramax and any other light duty diesel on the market. Something we’ll get into in our Heavy Duty story is the reason there’s a 10-speed transmission. If you think about the power band of a diesel engine, here delivering all of its 460 lb-ft of torque at just 1,500 rpm and holding strong to about 4,000 rpm, that’s significantly different than the power band of a gas engine. Thus, the 10-speed maximizes power and fuel economy—and every automaker has to deliver fuel economy, low CO2 and clean emissions. We have much more to come. For instance, we need to see if tow ratings are realistic, if its EPA fuel economy beats Ford’s 30Highway/22City/25Combined and how well it lives up to the Find New Roads slogan in real world driving under every condition we can discover.
  3. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 6-11-2019 Ram revealed the specs for its updated EcoDiesel V6 engine in the 1500 this week. The big news is 480 ft-lb of torque in a light-duty truck. Towing is also very impressive with towing up to 12,560 pounds. Finally, Ram says that it expects to also have class-leading fuel economy from its 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine-equipped truck. "The new Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is America’s most powerful half-ton diesel pickup, following up on Ram’s Heavy Duty torque leadership and achieving what no other manufacturer has, with up to 480 lb.-ft. of torque in a 3.0-liter engine,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand. “The all-new EcoDiesel engine and our eTorque mild-hybrid powertrain technologies deliver the highest available fuel efficiency for our Ram 1500 customers.” Ram says it will also pair its diesel with the only air suspension in the class. Being able to lower the truck at highway speeds will likely help with fuel efficiency. Ram's new 3.0-liter EcoDiesel V-6 uses dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) with four valves per cylinder and a 60-degree angle between the cylinder banks. The block is cast compacted graphite iron, which Ram says provides strength to dampen vibrations, but weighs less than grey cast iron. Ram uses a compacted graphite iron bedplate to add rigidity to the block. The new EcoDiesel has a forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods for strength and durability. Ram's aluminum alloy pistons are cooled on the underside via oil jets. Heat-treated aluminum cylinder heads have individual bearing caps to reduce friction and minimize NVH. The engine's chain-driven overhead camshafts employ roller-finger followers. Ram pointed to these specific upgrades as significant: -A new-generation water-cooled turbocharger with variable geometry turbine (VGT) increases efficiency and responsiveness during transient conditions -Redesigned cylinder head intake ports improve swirl and flow, increasing performance and fuel economy -The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system design has been updated to a dual loop (low and high pressure) system. The added low-pressure circulation system draws gases after the diesel particulate filter, thus minimizing turbocharger energy losses, which increases fuel economy -The compression ratio has been optimized to 16.0:1 from 16.5:1 -High-pressure (29,000 psi/2,000 bar) direct-injection fuel injector nozzles were redesigned to match the newly designed and optimized combustion chamber -Lightweight aluminum alloy pistons were completely redesigned to include thinner rings and low-friction coating on the pin and side skirts to reduce losses -NVH has been reduced by offsetting piston pin by 0.3 millimeters from the centerline; thus, minimizing mechanical noises -The lower portion of the two-piece oil sump uses a lightweight sandwiched polymer/metal material that further reduces NVH -The dual vacuum pump system uses electric and a new mechanical low-friction pump with new blades that improve overall system efficiency Ram will not build this engine in the United States. Rather, it will be produced FCA Cento facility in Ferrara, Italy and imported. Watch for price and fuel efficiency new in about two months. The engine will be available in Ram trucks starting this early winter of 2019 unless it is delayed for emissions testing or other reasons.
  4. Thom Cannell Contributor, GM-Trucks.com February 5th, 2019 2019 - Last North American International Auto Show - as we've known it. Filled with sprawling displays of gleaming sheet metal and enough spotlights to illuminate the International Space Station, this was the final chilly, Detroit Auto Show in January. 2019 lacked the European media-hustle excitement, which left extra space for other exhibitors. Next year the Grand Experiment begins, moving show dates to June and using the Cobo Center rooftop and multiple venues spread throughout downtown Detroit to showcase the best in cars, trucks, crossovers, SUVs, SAVs, mobility pods and platforms. 2020 will be interesting, to say the least. We've done the General Motors story, this is the rest of the best. Ford kicked off the show, bringing their all-new 2020 Explorer to an early debut at Ford Field. Hmm, plenty of space under the dome! At Cobo Center, there were the new Explorer, new Mustang GT500, infused with a supercharged V-8 making over 700 horsepower with a 0-60 time a tick over three seconds, and the latest Ford F-150 Raptor, all brightly colored for maximum exposure. Interestingly, even on limited-attendance media days the Ford layout felt cramped. The 2020 Explorer will use EcoBoost turbo power, either a 2.3L base engine or more powerful 3.0L depending on your needs and your credit union's scorecard. It's a rear-wheel drive platform, with AWD available. To me there's not a substantial change anywhere except the front-end, which is more like Fusion or Focus, which is not a bad thing. FCA's RAM division challenged its cross-town rivals with an all-new RAM Heavy Duty 2500 and RAM Heavy Duty 3500 which the brand says, "Out-powers, out-tows and out-hauls every other pickup available." Why? It's thanks to an update Cummins 6.7-liter high output turbo-diesel that breaks the 1,000 lb.-ft. torque barrier for standard pickups. If you want all of those torques, you'll have to order a two-wheel drive model equipped with proper equipment. Then your Ram will be rated to tow 35,100 pounds and deliver a 7,680-pound payload. Ram's media briefing was all about axles, transfer cases, suspension, brakes and transmissions, AKA gear-head heaven and real news. GAC, will likely the first Chinese automaker to deliver cars to the USA, and have multiple dealerships (we discount supercars and tiny e-cars.) They brought a non-concept concept called ENTRANZE. It seats 3+2+2 in a pod-like configuration. Of course the vehicle is electric, and a version of this shape/size/configuration will be released by GAC later in 2019 for the Chinese market. GAC will soon open a North American headquarters in California. They also displayed a full lineup of sedans and small-and-larger crossovers; these guys are for real, even if we don’t find most of their current lineup visually appealing. Ford and VW held a teleconference announcing a partnership to collaborate on a products and technologies. Likely, VW wants to take advantage of Ford's truck expertise while Ford could rapidly benefit from Volkswagen's advanced electric platforms and autonomous vehicle research. How this shakes out is yet unknown and details are conspicuously-but not unexpectedly-absent. The handsome Lincoln Continental 80th Anniversary Coach Door Edition, designed to remind us of Lincoln's heritage with center-opening doors and a luxury interior featuring Alcantara, was one of the best-looking vehicles on the floor. And the Continental delivers more than a sophisticated exterior, as under the hood you can option a hybrid version of the twin-turbo EcoBoost 3.0-liter V-6. By combining the EcoBoost with hybrid technology, it produces a respectable 450 horsepower and 600 lb.-ft. of torque. Get into line with a bank draft, only 80 will be produced. Arguably the most-anticipated introduction was Toyota's new Supra. The 2020 GR Supra is the first global model developed by Toyota GAZOO Racing, the international umbrella for Toyota's global motorsport program. Built on a chassis shared with BMW's Z4, Supra comes in two models, Base and Premium, with a third Launch Edition based on the Premium limited to 1,500 cars. Those get signatures from Akio Toyoda on carbon fiber for display in your office. However, the base model looks like the better bet. It has the same 300-hp. engine, grippy Alcantara seats (versus leather) and a low-low entry price of $50,920. Car-loving journalists agreed, it has better looks and more impact than Margot Robbie or Gal Gadot. Lexus brought it's RC F Track Edition, which has been upgraded and with a refreshed body. Meant for performance enthusiasts, add a set of tires and extra brake pads and you, too, Can't Drive 55, or have a good weekend of racing. Also, the company displayed a "concept" LC Convertible, a very sexy and meant-for-sunshine-weekend-weather touring. It awaits a decision on soft top or folding hardtop; well, that's what we think. For family buyers, Volkswagen introduced a new Passat, which could look a bit more like the Arteon concept, in our opinion. However, Passats are meant for driving, not display, so look for aggressive pricing and "German Engineering" adverts to follow. Also look for significantly upgraded features added to the brands already-good ride and handling. As their Atlas CUV has great lane keeping and VW's excellent telematics system, we expect Passat to be well received by couples and families. Nothing says Auto Show like CONCEPT CARS. Real concepts, even if they somewhat foreshadow the styling of future product. No production-intent cut lines, no perfect rubber gaskets with part numbers. Real. For several years Nissan and Infiniti have provided winners, 2019 was no exception. The Infiniti QX Inspiration is, of course an electrified vehicle that hints at Infiniti's upcoming EV architecture. There is, according to the company, intent to build, though likely with conventional doors to meet safety regulations. Like other EVs, there's a "skateboard" modular base with e-motors on each axle, which generates all-wheel drive. The QX Inspiration took three of EyesOn Design's awards— Best Concept Vehicle, Best Designed Interior and Best Use of Color, Graphics or Materials Nissan brought the IM purely electric sedan with its odd 2+1+2 seating arrangement. Nissan says IM stands for "Intelligent Mobility". With power estimated at 483 horsepower and 590 lb.-ft. of torque, the battery pack extends range to 380 miles, eliminating any range anxiety. It’s low, has a fantastic paint job, and a video-only instrument/infotainment panel sweeping across the dashboard. Subaru, home of family cars and the wonderful Subaru WRX and WRX STI boy-racers, brought to the USA, for the first time, the STI S209, a full-on racecar wrapped into an STI body. Subaru Technica International is Subaru's race shop and skunk works. Everything is hand-built or hand-assembled, including the 200 S209's that will be sent to the USA. While 341 horsepower from the boxer engine might sound small, competitors around the world have been looking at the taillights in multiple racing venues. Kia brought its new Telluride three-row crossover to Detroit, putting it on display and on an interior hill-climb track, the first at NAIAS. Appearance is sportier than the soon-to-come Hyundai Palisade, and Kia's theme echoed that with an active lifestyle display complete with ski racks and kayaks. Hyundai showed an enhancement to their N Line of performance vehicles. Available to you and me Really Soon, the Elantra GT N Line combines sportier trim elements with refinements to the chassis and powertrain. Think "BMW M that I can afford." Their first N Line racecar, the Veloster N TCR, will compete in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge race, beginning with the 2019 Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona.
  5. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 2-6-2019 Ram revealed a new 60-40 swing away split tailgate this week. Ram wasted no time in throwing out a zinger to the GMC folks, saying, "Unlike other multi-element tailgates, the Ram multifunction tailgate is trailer-friendly and does not require that the trailer and hitch be removed before opening." What Ram is apparently referring to is possible interference with the new GMC six-position MultiPro tailgate. Some owners have reported that the GMC tailgate can strike the trailer ball or the top of the trailer when it is dropped to its lowest position. “The Ram multifunction tailgate is intuitive to operate and owners will find it immediately useful,” said Reid Bigland, Head of Ram Brand – FCA. “Combined with Ram’s class-exclusive RamBox feature and new tailgate step, we’re taking Ram’s cargo management and storage to the next level.” Ram's new multifunction tailgate has four different configurations including: Open flat Open left door only Open right door only Open both doors. Each door swings open 88 degrees and access can be further enhanced via a retractable center-mounted step option.
  6. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 11-28-2018 This one hurts, but we saw it coming a mile away. In a year that GM has introduced a great new generation of trucks, Ram seems to be taking home the lion's share of awards. The latest is Motor Trend's Truck of the Year Award. Before you assume Motor Trend is biased toward one brand or another, let us tell you we looked back and GM trucks have won the TOTY award in 2016, 2015, 2011, 2008, 2002, 2001, 1999, 1996, 1995 and 1979. The long list and varied winners indicted to us that what Motor Trend primarily looks for is a change agent type of vehicle. Something that stands out from the norm, not necessarily just the best overall brand of trucks. MT says about this year's award, "Our 2019 Truck of the Year should give pause to prospective Blue Oval loyalists (or buyers of any truck, for that matter) because there isn't a truck out there that so precisely hits the diverse needs of the segment better than the 2019 Ram 1500." This particular introduction to the award hit home for the GM-Trucks.com staff. Last week, we attended an event set up by Ram for the New England Auto Press Association. Ram's outstanding support team brought out the new 2019 Ram Limited and also a North Edition (a Big Horn Trim). Ram did this so that they could show us the North Edition, which was developed after Ram specifically listened to the needs of truck testers who live in the snow belt. Folts like Zane and Josh at GM-Trucks.com who live in the white stuff and own truck and know trucks. Contrast this with GM skipping the Texas Truck Rodeo this year. How could they skip the biggest truck testing event in North America in a year they launch an all-new truck? You have to play in order to win, as they say. GM's support for the media and testers seems to have diminished in the recent few years to the point where members looking for trucks to test are pretty much on their own and need to rent or test drive vehicles at dealerships. Meanwhile, Ford has provided NEMPA with two Raptors in the past six months. Enough inside baseball. Ram is deserving of praise for many reasons. One is its air suspension ride. Simply put, it is the most comfortable truck ride we have ever experienced. Next up, novel engine options that add both torque and fuel economy. Finally, the ginormous infotainment screen available in the Ram. In a class of vehicles where everything from the HVAC knobs to the tires are big for the sake of being big, Ram seems to get that bigger is better. And the Ram is a looker too. "Best-in-class: sophisticated without going over the top," editor-in-chief of MT Ed Loh says. "I love the styling," road test editor Chris Walton said, eyeing the Ram 1500 Rebel. "It's like the Viper of Rams." MT's Features Editor, Scott Evans, said. "This is a luxury interior. Look at this wood! This leather! The metal, stitching, design, attention to detail! The leather on the grab handles! Cadillac could learn a thing or two by spending an afternoon in this cabin." We are GM fans here, and we are not saying we agree with MT's pick, but the reasons that other brands are taking home so many trophies are apparent to us from both a product and also a support perspective. Ram deserves congratulations for hitting both sides of the coin. You can check out the full Motor Trend story on the Ram 1500 Truck of the Year win at this link.
  7. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-18-2018 A new story by Left Lane News titled, "FCA Confirms New Midsize Ram Pickup" seems to have facts to support its claim. The publication says that " A presentation slide from FCA's Capital Markets Day shows the new model on the roadmap for 2022, slotting below the Ram 1500." A new Ram Dakota is long overdue. The name sounds weird to our ears. "Dodge Dakota" has a nice ring. Both Dodge and Ford have missed out on hundreds of thousands of truck sales by missing the market's resurgence. Toyota is selling over 20K Tacomas per month now and GM could be as well if it had the capacity. Left Lane News says the new Ram Dakota would be built alongside the new Jeep pickup. GM-Trucks.com reached out to our FCA contact to ask if the news can be confirmed. The answer was "NOT CONFIRMED." Hmm. Check back in a week or so and we will see how this develops.
  8. Zane Merva Executive Editor / Publisher, GM-Trucks.com 2/5/2018 FCA was ready to use multiple commercial spots during this year's Super Bowl to promote the heck out of the all new 2019 RAM. Instead, it has ignited a firestorm over the use of a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr as the background track in a commercial to sell trucks. The NY Daily News says "Dodge’s Super Bowl ad distorts MLK’s message of service to sell trucks" Business Insider's headline reads: People hate Dodge Ram's Super Bowl ad, which uses a Martin Luther King speech to sell trucks The New York Times: Martin Luther King Jr. Commercial for Ram Trucks Is Swiftly Criticized ABC News Just Put Up An Article From The Associated Press:  Ram truck ad using MLK speech draws backlash A topic discussing this ad on r/Politics on Reddit shows that some people are very outraged. - I got excited to hear mlk. I was not thrilled it about the selling trucks thing. Terrible idea. - /u/Pm_me_hot_sauce_pics - Tried sending Dodge an e-mail of my disgust but their server must have crashed. I sure hope thousands of others had the same intent. - /u/seness - I wanted to ****ing spit at my TV over this shit. There is no American for whom it would be more offensive to use to sell a product with than Dr. King. - /u/RussianTrollHunter - This just in: corporate America doesn't and never will give a shit about civil rights, truth, or justice. Unless of course that somehow involves you paying them on a generous bi-weekly basis 3/4 of your paycheck, then they'll totally pretend to give a shit about civil society. - /u/Adwokat_Diabla Watch the ad and see the controversy for yourself. Than let us know what you think below. Although this ad is getting all of the attention, it wasn't the only ad RAM showed during the Super Bowl. Here's two more that are not getting any flack.....yet. And the most popular... General Motors on the other hand, didn't run a Super Bowl ad this year for the 2019 Silverado. So, what do you think? Did RAM step in it? Or is this all overblown?
  9. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 1-23-2018 The information Ram put out for the new 1500 is extremely detailed. Almost overly so. We scoured the available information on the new Ram 1500’s drivetrain and running gear and created a sort of highlight reel on just that tipic for readers to scan. Here is what we found: Engines - V6 “Pentastar” has 305 horsepower and 269 lb.-ft. of torque. - V8 “Hemi” has 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque - eTorque mild hybrid system standard on second generation 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and optional on 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engines. eTorque combines a belt-drive motor generator unit with 48-volt battery pack to enable start/stop function, short-term torque assist and brake energy regeneration and adds up to 90 lb.-ft. of torque to the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and up to 130 lb.-ft. to the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8. The eTorque unit also recaptures energy during deceleration and braking to feed charge to the battery pack. - V8’s Fuel Saver Technology (cylinder deactivation). The engine control computer turns off fuel and spark, and closes the intake and exhaust valves on four of the engine’s eight cylinders during light load operation, such as highway cruising when full power is not needed. - For the 2019 model year, the Interactive Deceleration Fuel Shut Off (iDFSO) feature that pauses fuel flow to the engine cylinders when the vehicle is decelerating is improved to be active in third gear and higher. - The HEMI V-8 in the 2019 Ram 1500 benefits from a new 850-watt electric cooling fan using Pulse Width Modulation to tailor the fan’s energy draw to the cooling demand. Eliminating the traditional fan blade mounted to the front of the engine helps improve fuel economy by reducing parasitic losses and fan noise. Transmissions - Every 2019 Ram 1500 is equipped with a fully electronic TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission with a wide spread of gear ratios that keeps engine rpm in the right range for the task – whether putting in a full day of off-road work or highway cruising. Trucks equipped with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 use an FCA-produced TorqueFlite 850RE transmission. The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 uses an upgraded TorqueFlite 8HP75 transmission. Both transmissions use a new generation of computer controllers that process data faster and coordinate transmission operation with the eTorque mild hybrid system. There are more than 40 individual shift maps to optimize shift changes and points for fuel economy, performance and drivability. Transfer Cases, Axles, 4X4 Gear and Such - Upgraded for 2019 BorgWarner 48-12 for part-time 4WD operation with Hi and Low ranges; and the BorgWarner 48-11 for on-demand 4WD are available in the 2019 Ram 1500. Both transfer cases engage via a push-button control center-mounted underneath the rotary gear selector on the instrument panel. - Three final drive ratios are available on 2WD and 4WD models – 3.21, 3.55 and 3.92. Each combination is available with a traditional open or limited-slip differential, which automatically divides torque among the rear wheels to maximize traction available at each wheel. - New for 2019 is an electronic locking differential, available on 4WD trucks with the 3.21 and 3.55 final drive ratio and lifted suspension, and 2WD and 4WD trucks with the 3.92 ratio with the base or lifted suspension (Rebel and 4x4 Off-road Package). The electronic system gives the driver the ability to lock or unlock the differential on demand, providing maximum traction to the vehicle when needed. - Also new for 2019 is a Max Tow Package, an option with the 3.92 final drive ratio offering up to 12,750 pounds of towing capability. The Max Tow Package is based around a Dana Super 60 center section and open differential with a 256-millimeter gear set, and uses 35-spline axle shafts. It is available on 2WD trucks powered by the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 with eTorque. Drivetrain Electronic Gadgets - Heat exchanger system now includes industry-first thermal axle to quickly warm rear axle gear oil, maximizing axle during warm-up - Hill-descent Control - AdaptAdaptive Cruise Control with Stop, Go and Hold - Ready Alert Braking and Trailer-sway Damping control - LaneSense Lane Departure Warning-Plus alerts and assist the driver with corrective action - ParkSense Parallel/Perpendicular Park and Hill-start Assist uses ultrasonic sensors to help the driver perform technical maneuvers
  10. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 1-15-2018 Ram launched its new 1500 today at the Detroit Auto show. Highlights of the launch include a new eTorque mild hybrid system that increases payload by 22% and towing capability by 20% due to its significant torque increases at low RPM. The New Ram also has a class-leading infotainment setup that takes FCA’s already popular UConnect system to a place no other truck seems to be in terms of size. The new Ram also has revised air suspension options, more high strength steel in its frame and other key areas which brings down weight, and is longer, wider and more aerodynamic than the outgoing model. Does the new Ram sound to you in some ways like the new Silverado? If so, watch the launch video and it will sound even more similar since its launch host also has a foreign accent, just like the two hosts of the Silverado launch event! Rule Britannia! “The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 delivers a no-compromise approach to the full-size truck segment with strength, durability, technology and efficiency,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand. “The Ram 1500 offers truck buyers leading-edge innovation with 225 pounds of weight reduction, 12,750 pounds of towing capability, a stunning Uconnect 12-inch touchscreen display and active systems that improve fuel efficiency and assist drivers. The Ram 1500 stands out as the benchmark in a very competitive segment.” The new Ram has many other interesting tidbits added. Ram says there are now 100 safety features to bore you. One plus of the new mild hybrid system is that when the truck shuts off (yup, stop-start), the new system is what powers the re-start. The parking brake is now electronic. There is a new 4X4 off-road package with cool stuff. Both Ford and GM are bragging that their new diesel engines now to Ram’s. However, Ram made sure to point out that its 1500 has a new diesel engine coming in 2019 that will “Regain all of its titles.” It sounds like 2019 is the year of the diesel. The new Ram has many very specific improvements we will explore in the coming week with focus stories and comparison and contrast stories showing where Silverado stands among the new lineup of trucks for 2019. Check out our focus on the UConnect infotainment system here.
  11. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 1-12-2018 Fiat Chrysler Automobile, U.S. (FCA US) has announced that it will move production of its RAM trucks from its Saltillo truck plant in Mexico to the Warren plant in Michigan. This move will mean that the approximately 6,300 jobs in the Warren plant will expand by about 2,500. The Warren plant will receive $1 billion in investment funds to modernize and prepare for the move. The next-generation RAM HD will be made there starting in 2020. Fortunately for the Mexican workers in the Saltillo plant, FCA plans to repurpose the plant building commercial vehicles for the international market. “These announcements reflect our ongoing commitment to our U.S. manufacturing footprint and the dedicated employees who have contributed to FCA's success,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. Image Note: Warren production line.
  12. What's up ya'll. I've had my front and rear Rough Country floor mats in my 2014 Silverado Double Cab for a bit over a year. I shot a quick update video to show you guys how they are holding up and protecting my floors
  13. Hi All! We excited to share our installation guide of the Magnum Headache rack on my 2014 Silverado 1500. This installation procedure is going to be very similar for most trucks. Enjoy! for the video.
  14. Zane Merva Executive Editor, GM-Trucks.com 8/18/2016 What's the biggest unknown detail that enthusiasts what to know about GM's 2017 model year. Only two numbers. Horsepower and torque. Specifically, how much of each will the new L5P Duramax Diesel serve up. We've been slowly learning about the 2017 Silverado and 2017 Sierra this week. We know what the new colors are and how the option packages will be structured. We know the RPO codes and we know that there's a new and improved Duramax Diesel engine on the way. So, while GM is playing mum with the official numbers, we're going to read between the lines. Allison transmission improvements are also expected (maybe more gears?) but we're going to focus on the Duramax right now. Where we are today The current 2016 Duramax is currently rated at 397 horsepower and 765 lb-ft of torque. That's not insignificant or something to scoff at... but the truth is Chevy's and GMC's competitors have been stepping up their game. It’s worth to remember, however, we’ve come a long way since 2001 when the Duramax came to life at only 235-horsepower and 500 ft-lbs of torque. 300-horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque. 2017 Ford PowerStroke and RAM Cummins Ford has an all new PowerStroke Diesel for the coming model year. It's a doozy. Rated at 440-horsepower and 925 lb-ft of torque, Ford has topped the Duramax's numbers by large margin. Specifically, 43 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque. Both are big numbers when you're towing 15,000 lbs. Ram is also bringing big specs to the table. Their 2016 Cummins Diesel is producing 385-horsepower and 900 lb-ft of torque. It's still under Ford's PowerStroke but better than the 2016 Duramax. Like General Motors, Chrysler is keeping their 2017 numbers under wraps as of today. We expect an increase to top or match Ford's PowerStroke numbers, because Ram's strategy is big numbers on spec sheets. GM's 2017 Duramax What can we expect from the new Duramax taking the current numbers into consideration? The first thing we need to think about is that the consumer HD pickup segment is on a race to 1,000 lb-ft of torque. How close the Duramax comes to this magic number is the biggest unknown but General Motors would love to be the first at that number. Second, it’s important to remember that GM historically takes every opportunity to best Ford on paper, even if only by a small number. Also, GM, as a company, also likes to give itself room to grow with vehicle performance specs while underrating true output. Taking all of that into mind, my personal thoughts and 16 years of experience tell me we'll see the all new Duramax power numbers lay out as follows. Our (100% Unconfirmed) Prediction 2017 6.6L Duramax Engine ~450 -Horsepower ~950 lb-ft of Torque What do you think? Would this be enough? Should GM go for 1,000 ft-lb of torque? Let your comments be known below.
  15. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9-30-2016 No, it isn't the 707 hp that the Hellcats get, but 575 hp is nothing to sneeze at. Using a 6.2-liter HEMI V8 and a paddle-shifted 8-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, Ram says this concept could run 100 MPH off-road. Ram emphasizes this is a factory drivetrain, not a tuner's version. With 13-inches of travel and 37-inch wheels the Ram Rebel TRX looks the part. It is also six inches wider than the current production Ram. Ram says that the Rebel TRX concept employs the standard Ram 1500 front axle with an open differential. The CV half-shafts are custom to work with the added width. Ram explained its rear end, saying, "In the rear, a Dynatrac Pro 60 axle spools power through an electric, selectable locker to 35-spline, 1.5-inch axle shafts. The locker is available in all modes and commits both rear wheels to traction at the same speed, spreads the torque load and maximizes the tractive effort (power put to the ground) in full-throttle maneuvers." We've seen Ram Rebel concepts in the past. Do you think this one will make it to production?
  16. Zane Merva Executive Editor & Founder, GM-Trucks.com 1/12/16 Nissan is going full force promoting the all new Titan pickup. Yesterday the company released a 90-second video spot on YouTube that lets the world know it respects the pickup brands that have come before. In a weird way, it's almost as if Nissan is acknowledging the previous generation Titan was a sub-par effort and is pretending it never existed. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8tKtYXztzY The video hits on a lot of emotional levels. It's a virtual tip of the hat to the the Big Three (most of whom have been producing pickup trucks since before Nissan was ever founded). It also is a sly way for Nissan to read a hand out to current Silverado, Sierra, F-150 and Ram owners. "It's ok, we're just like you!" What do you think of this video? How will it resonate with current Chevy, Ford, and Ram owners?
  17. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8tKtYXztzY The video hits on a lot of emotional levels. It's a virtual tip of the hat to the the Big Three (most of whom have been producing pickup trucks since before Nissan was ever founded). It also is a sly way for Nissan to read a hand out to current Silverado, Sierra, F-150 and Ram owners. "It's ok, we're just like you!" What do you think of this video? How will it resonate with current Chevy, Ford, and Ram owners?
  18. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 4/27/2016 Perhaps the only failure of FCA US recently has been the company's inability to compete with mainstream family cars. The Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart have proven unsuccessful. That is why multiple news outlets, including Automotive News, have reported that FCA will move its Ram trucks into the Sterling Heights plant. The two cars mentioned will either be mothballed, killed off, or outsourced. The general idea is to move some of the Warren, Michigan truck production in and ultimately expand the total truck production capacity. The Warren plant may soon be building some kind of new Jeep model. Unfortunately, about 1,300 workers at the Sterling Heights plant will be temporarily laid off during the retooling and transitioning, according to MLive. FCA US CEO, Sergio Marchionne, said about the moves “I confirm now that the realignment of the footprint will yield an increase in manpower.”
  19. Watch Ram 1500 Fail Critical Crash Test

    IIHS VP Raul Alberlaez mocked automakers for "Trying to one-up each other in ads on who build the toughest large pickup trucks." Speaking about the combined small frontal overlap results of the Ram, Tundra and Silverado, Alberlaez said a driver in one of these vehicles "...would need help freeing their legs from the wreckage." He went on to add "The injuries they sustained could require months of rehabilitation." Keep in mind that this is a test in which vehicles from all other classes including economy cars, and the Ford F-150 score Good, meaning the driver is not injured and there is no intrusion into the cabin. See our prior story to see the full IIHS crash video results for large trucks.
  20. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 4/12/2016 Our recent story listed the results of all full-size pickup trucks tested by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety. We focused on the positive results in our main story, but Ram had a very bad day of testing. The small frontal overlap test simulates a pickup truck hitting a telephone pole with the front corner of the vehicle. Small economy cars like the Prius can ace this test. So too can cars in the mid-size class and all crossovers have models that can score "Good" on this test. In fact, it is difficult to find any car or crossover that does not score Good on this test. Watch the Ram results. IIHS VP Raul Alberlaez mocked automakers for "Trying to one-up each other in ads on who build the toughest large pickup trucks." Speaking about the combined small frontal overlap results of the Ram, Tundra and Silverado, Alberlaez said a driver in one of these vehicles "...would need help freeing their legs from the wreckage." He went on to add "The injuries they sustained could require months of rehabilitation." Keep in mind that this is a test in which vehicles from all other classes including economy cars, and the Ford F-150 score Good, meaning the driver is not injured and there is no intrusion into the cabin. See our prior story to see the full IIHS crash video results for large trucks.
  21. Spec's in bullet point: •New 2017 Ram Power Wagon front grille design styling super-sizes Ram 1500 Rebel •Tops Ram – “The Off-road Truck Leader” – 4x4 lineup •New colors, lighting, wheels, grilles and legacy graphic takes cues from 1979-80 “Macho Power Wagon” •New interior colors and materials, including Diesel Gray and Black seats with tire tread-matching pattern •Unique 17-inch wheels and 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires pull dirt from its comfort zone •Standard 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 with best-in-class 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque features unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/60,000 miles •Unique Ram “Articulink” front suspension system incorporates high movement joints and sway-bar disconnecting system, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation •Ram engineering continues to lead heavy-duty segment innovation with five-link coil rear suspension to deliver best-in-class ride and superior axle control •Ram Power Wagon features standard front and rear electronic-locking differentials for true four-wheel drive and maximum traction •Standard Warn 12,000-lb. electric winch mounted behind the front bumper, able to hang competitors off the ground •Power Wagon available in Tradesman trim and design •Up to 10,030 pounds of towing capacity •Introduced in 1945, Power Wagon was first mass-production 4x4 pickup — simply no other pickup on the market matches Power Wagon’s on- and off-road capability
  22. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 2/12/2016 Ram launched the 2017 Power Wagon at the Chicago Auto show this week. The 410 hp 6.4-liter Hemi gasoline V8 is just one aspect of the truck that makes it tough. Ram clearly thinks this truck is the most off-road capable truck in the market. Toyota's TRD Pro may be more capable, but it is not a full-size truck. The Ram sure is. Here are some images and the spec rundown on the truck the Ram says, "... is an off-road, all-access pass, removing the limitations, instilling confidence and allowing owners to reach areas of recreation and lifestyle not attainable with any other pickup. The 2017 Ram Power Wagon delivers to those who travel into extreme terrain, while providing the towing and payload capability required in a heavy-duty truck.” Spec's in bullet point: •New 2017 Ram Power Wagon front grille design styling super-sizes Ram 1500 Rebel •Tops Ram – “The Off-road Truck Leader” – 4x4 lineup •New colors, lighting, wheels, grilles and legacy graphic takes cues from 1979-80 “Macho Power Wagon” •New interior colors and materials, including Diesel Gray and Black seats with tire tread-matching pattern •Unique 17-inch wheels and 33-inch Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires pull dirt from its comfort zone •Standard 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 with best-in-class 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque features unsurpassed powertrain warranty – five years/60,000 miles •Unique Ram “Articulink” front suspension system incorporates high movement joints and sway-bar disconnecting system, allowing for additional flexibility and axle articulation •Ram engineering continues to lead heavy-duty segment innovation with five-link coil rear suspension to deliver best-in-class ride and superior axle control •Ram Power Wagon features standard front and rear electronic-locking differentials for true four-wheel drive and maximum traction •Standard Warn 12,000-lb. electric winch mounted behind the front bumper, able to hang competitors off the ground •Power Wagon available in Tradesman trim and design •Up to 10,030 pounds of towing capacity •Introduced in 1945, Power Wagon was first mass-production 4x4 pickup — simply no other pickup on the market matches Power Wagon’s on- and off-road capability
  23. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 2/15/2016 Ram Trucks and Cabela's have team up in a new partnership that has made Ram Trucks the official truck of Cabela’s. The two companies will work together on special events, give-aways and other types of co-marketing projects. Commenting on the new pairing, Bob Hegbloom, Head of Ram Trucks – FCA North America, said, “More than 80 percent of Ram owners list hunting, fishing or camping among their most cherished hobbies. Ram truck owners tell us they’re passionate about hunting and the outdoors, and our Ram team is no less enthusiastic. As the official truck of Cabela’s, Ram is able to reinforce its support of this industry, and this partnership provides the opportunity to be involved with the outdoor enthusiasts that make up Cabela’s customer base.” Look for information on the new partnership at Cabela's stores or website in the coming days. Toyota and its Tundra have a similar arrangement with Bass Pro Shops.
  24. Cabela's and Ram Trucks Team Up

    Toyota and its Tundra have a similar arrangement with Bass Pro Shops.
  25. The Ford F-150 MRT with its breathed-on 3.5-liter EcoBoost had too many add-ons to list, but some of the most notable drivetrain parts include: •MRT stainless steel exhaust, Max-Flow h-pipe and back half exhaust system •MRT custom induction •MRT custom shifter •MRT custom rear spoiler fabricated by Team Z Motorsports •JMS Pedal MAX accelerator pedal signal controller •JMS Boost MAX boost signal controller •SCT custom tune for performance and extreme duty thermal management •Tremec Magnum 6-speed manual transmission (conversion) •QuickTime bell housing •EXEDY performance clutch and flywheel •Turbosmart blow-off valve Toyota brought a Tundra made into a limo which we refuse to dignify with an image. However, Yoda redeemed itself with this awesome looking 4Runner Tonka off-road vehicle.
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