For the discerning pickup buyer who can’t spend enough, GMC announced Tuesday its 2016 Sierra 1500 Denali Ultimate edition complete with 22-inch wheels and chrome all over the place.
According to a GMC spokeswoman, the truck will start in the low $60,000-range when it goes on sale near March next year. Denali sales represent 20 percent of GMC’s light-duty sales.
In addition to bigger wheels and chrome, the truck sports standard automatic steps for passengers and to load the forward section of the bed, magnetic ride control and trailer brake. GMC’s 5.3-liter V-8 paired with its 8-speed automatic transmission is standard; the 6.2-liter V-8 that makes 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque is optional on the truck, but probably going to be on every single Sierra Denali Ultimate anyway.
Eleven years ago, I married a remarkably tolerant woman. She’s not particularly into cars, but she humors me when I prattle on about the merits of whatever awesome car caught my eye that day. Or when I decide I need to take an epic, one day, out-and-back trip to Maryland to buy a race car that’s never turned a wheel under it’s own power in the three years I’ve owned it. But she has her own automotive tastes, and for sake of marital harmony, I do my best to listen.
As a country girl, trucks weigh heavily in her list.
One peculiar truck that caught her eye about fifteen years ago was the Ford SVT Lightning. I think the bit-player role it took in the first “The Fast and the Furious” film (as Harry’s shop truck) may have done it for her. That, or she’s conflating her lust for Vin Diesel’s bulging biceps with the sweet melody of whistling supercharger and burbling V-8.
Ford Motor Company said Tuesday that the company posted its most profitable third quarter driven by pickup sales in North America.
According to Ford CEO Mark Fields, F-150 transaction prices were up $2,800 for the third quarter in 2015 compared to the same period last year and dealers were reporting full stocks of trucks, up from this year’s shortage.
Fields stopped short of saying the new F-150 was more profitable than the outgoing generation, but said the truck was contributing — not taking away from — the company’s record profit. Representatives said high-margin cars such as the Edge, Mustang and Explorer also contributed to pre-tax profit of $2.7 billion last quarter. (Read More…)
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will look further into claims that 2011-2012 F-150 trucks may have a faulty brake vacuum pump on cold starts that caused seven crashes, including one injury, the Detroit News reported.
According to the report, nearly 253,000 trucks are affected by the investigation. Ford has said that it will comply with the investigation and that a recall shouldn’t be necessary for the trucks because the failing vacuum pump will sufficiently notify drivers before braking distance is significantly impacted.
After starting in Barrow, the northernmost settlement in the United States, our second stop takes us 200 miles (320 km) south east to Prudhoe Bay, again on the Arctic Ocean.
United Auto Workers at the Kansas City, Missouri plant that produces Ford F-150s may strike as early as Sunday if the automaker doesn’t “negotiate in good faith,” according to Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president:
The challenges we face may not be easy, and I certainly cannot predict the future, but I would rather die fighting than to do an injustice to this membership or our institution.
Settles wrote to union members that issues such as “manpower provisions, the national heat stress program, and skilled trades scheduling amongst others” prompted the threatened strike at the Kansas City plant.
Ford released photos and video Friday of its newest Raptor off-road testing in Northern Michigan.
The truck, which will go on sale next fall, has better ground clearance than the outgoing Raptor, although Ford isn’t giving us official specs yet. We know the last generation’s fording depth was officially 30 inches up to 4 mph and that capability likely won’t decrease — but we don’t know if it’ll go up.
“The all-new Ford Raptor will be more capable than the previous Raptor, including improved wheel travel and ground clearance,” Ford spokesman Mike Levine told us.
Ford’s plans for the Mustang may include their 10-speed automatic transmission, jointly developed with General Motors, and a Mach 1 version, according to Automotive News (via Motor Authority).
The amazingly engineered 10-speed, which will make an appearance on the new Ford F-150 Raptor, may be mated to Ford’s four-cylinder EcoBoost engine in the Mustang in the U.S. — and only in the Mustang — which feels weird.
But Mach 1(!)
Metal bars welded to the Ford F-150 Super Crew in front and behind its front wheels that helped it pass the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s notoriously difficult small-overlap crash cost roughly $58, Automotive News is reporting.
It was revealed last week that the low-cost part was left off of regular- and extended-cab models, prompting the insurance organization to retest the F-150 models and revise their ratings much lower than the original test.
According to Automotive News, Ford stopped short of saying that it would include the low-cost parts on the regular- and extended-cab versions of the truck, but said it would install “countermeasures” to improve crash performance. The regular and extended cab comprise about 5 and 25 percent of overall F-150 sales respectively.
Automotive News is reporting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety will rate versions of Ford’s F-150 pickup with dramatically different safety ratings after re-testing versions of the pickup, which is a highly unusual move for the safety nonprofit.
The SuperCrew cab version of the F-150 earned the highest marks from the IIHS in its small overlap crash test, earning a Top Safety Pick rating. The re-tested SuperCab registers only a “marginal” rating in the same crash.
The difference, according to Automotive News, are tubular frames called “wheel blockers” installed on the SuperCrew, but missing from the SuperCab and Regular Cab models.