By on November 6, 2020

Nissan unveiled a substantially updated version of the Navara pickup truck sold overseas on Thursday, foreshadowing what we might be seeing with the next incarnation of the mid-sized Frontier.

The model shares DNA with many vehicles around the world, including the Renault Alaskan, Dongfeng Ruiqi 6, and the failed X-Class from Mercedes-Benz. While they all have unique touches to distinguish themselves from each other, the platform is fairly consistent and should offer us a glimpse into the future of our Nissan Frontier. But that won’t be because it’s using the same platform as the new Navara. (Read More…)

By on November 3, 2020

While Ford’s F-150 is slated for electrification, Super Duty versions of the F-Series are not. On Monday, the automaker told industry analysts that HD EVs weren’t in the cards — adding that customers can still expect all-electric versions of the Mach-E “Mustang” and Transit van.

“Our goal is to build a profitable electric vehicle portfolio,” John Lawler, Ford chief financial officer, explained during the forum hosted by Dan Levy of Credit Suisse. “To do that, we need to leverage our strengths and the scale that we have. We’re being very strategic about the platforms that we choose.”

(Read More…)

By on October 9, 2020

Americans love their pickups but the segment’s sizing has adopted the same methodologies favored by the McNugget industry. Medium-sized trucks are now supersized, leaving full-sized pickups in danger of developing their own gravitational fields. However, it wasn’t all that long ago when the North American market was awash with compact pickups like the original Ford Ranger, Chevrolet S-10, and numerous Japanese alternatives  including the legendary Toyota Hilux (which we just called “the Pickup”). Dodge even had the Dakota for customers who liked D.I.Y. projects but wanted something a little larger and more capable of hauling the necessary materials in a single trip.

Back then, the competition was incredibly fierce. But club cabs gradually evolved into crew cabs and, before anybody knew what happened, every single pickup left on the market had become monstrously large. Though it wasn’t like that everywhere in the world. Plenty of markets still appreciate the handyman’s pickup and Latin America is about to receive an updated one from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. It’s called the 2021 Ram 700 and serves as the spiritual successor of the Ram 50/Mitsubishi Mighty Maxx. (Read More…)

By on September 24, 2020

 

Seizing the opportunity to introduce another appearance package instead of building the Raptor version that everyone wants, Ford has introduced a new STX Special Edition Package on the 2021 Ranger.

(Read More…)

By on September 18, 2020

2021 Ford F-150. Image: Ford

Ford had a short Web meeting for the media earlier this week, and a big chunk of the time was spent on the newest version of the F-150 pickup truck, including confirmation that the company will be building an all-electric F-150 at the Rouge Electric Vehicle Center, as Matt wrote Thursday.

The other big announcement from the Blue Oval focused on how the F-150’s existence helps America. Drawing on a study from Boston Consulting Group, Ford says the F-150 is among the most valuable consumer goods sold in America.

(Read More…)

By on August 4, 2020

Rustic and western-themed special editions have been part of the pickup truck business for generations. Dodge sold Prospector versions of the Ram pickup in the 1980s, and the same company sold “The Dude” “sport trim package” for its “Sweptline” pickups in 1970 and 1971.

The Dude is most famously — or rather, infamously — known because Dodge (or more likely its ad agency) made the peculiar choice of using actor Don Knotts as a celebrity endorser. People loved Knotts, but his best-known role as bumbling sheriff’s deputy Barney Fife hardly projected a “tough” image. (Read More…)

By on July 6, 2020

Today’s Rare Ride is from the period in the Eighties when many compact pickup trucks were available to the North American consumer. While most of these vehicles were Japanese, some covered their origins with American badges. Others wore both Japanese and American branding, albeit at different dealerships.

Wouldn’t you LUV to check out this P’up? Ugh.

(Read More…)

By on June 2, 2020

The automotive industry’s sudden interest in all-electric pickups may have been surprising initially, but they’ve since offered a few perks that have helped us understand why companies are suddenly so smitten with the concept. When Rivian first showed its pickup in 2018, it came with some interesting storage solutions that were only possible because it doesn’t need to worry about things like a driveshaft tunnel or a crowded engine bay. We wouldn’t call them game changers but they certainly opened the door (literally) for new storage options and we’re beginning to see this take ever-more impressive forms.

Bollinger Motors has recently patented a passthrough gate that allows one to slot exceptionally long cargo all the way through the vehicle. Officially, they’re two separate patents that work in tandem to allow pickup owners a spot to stash up to 16 feet of lumber — or more if one doesn’t mind it hanging out the front and/or back of the vehicle. Just be sure to tie things down so you don’t accidentally create a brake-launched tarmac torpedo.  (Read More…)

By on May 13, 2020

A Chevy Silverado owner in Florida snapped and attempted to run down a gas station attendant following a heated argument about fuel pumps. Frankly, we can’t imagine how anyone could be unhappy with fuel prices being so low, but this is Florida, a state whose motto of “In God We Trust” seems far less fitting than my proposed alternative of “Check This Out.”

America’s infamous panhandle is a wellspring of weirdness and, in true Florida fashion, the latest event is as terrifying as it is hysterical. While attempting to assault someone with a motor vehicle holds little humor in itself, watching that person fail as their agitated target (who had to get in the last word) takes a near-perfect pratfall offers so much instant relief, the mind can’t help itself. (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2020

Buy/Drive/Burn has focused solely on Japanese trucks lately, and thus far covered the Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties. Today we turn to the new century and take a look at three midsize Japanese pickups. They have something in common: All them are pretending to be a different brand than they actually are.

Badge games, activate!

(Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

Rare Rides previously featured the weather-inspired SVT Lightning, an effort that saw Ford add a healthy dose of power and sporty handling to its full-size pickup.

Today we’ll have a look at Lightning’s smaller sibling, which is named after the same weather event: the Ranger Thunderbolt, from 2002.

(Read More…)

By on March 16, 2020

Domestic automakers are enamored with the full-sized pickup segment because it’s a reliable way of securing hundreds of thousands of sales in North America on an annual basis. Here, Ford’s F-Series reigns supreme. That might not always be the case, however, especially with younger buyers opting to purchase their pickups at competing brands.

Last month, Edmunds released a study claiming Ram is leading the charge with buyers under 35 — saying the brand had won over “the most coveted section of the market.”  (Read More…)

By on January 20, 2020

With General Motors razzing Ford back in 2015 for optioning an aluminum truck bed to save weight, thus improving fuel economy, it couldn’t pull off a similar move without a sea of mouths wailing warnings of hypocrisy. GM has been playing catch-up with the Blue Oval’s full-size pickup since forever, always framing the GMC Sierra and Chevrolet Silverado as the more robust choice. The company even launched an advertising campaign to prove its steel truck bed was the tougher option.

When the General’s full-sized trucks underwent a weight-loss program of their own, it was decided anything that opened or closed should be aluminum while the bed absolutely had to stay high-strength steel. Otherwise, it would be guilty of the same mistakes it accused Ford of. Despite throwing shade at Ford’s claimed lack of sturdiness for over a decade, the aluminum-sucks angle has been reeled back immensely over the last couple of years. GM even attempted to wipe all evidence of a comparative rock-drop test from the internet, possibly because it’s finally decided to embrace aluminum itself.

However, there’s already an alternative to the high-strength steel GM currently offers — the CarbonPro bed available on the GMC Sierra Denali and AT4 — and the manufacturer has prepared another stunt show to test its mettle.  (Read More…)

By on August 13, 2019

Image: Nissan

Nissan won’t be extending the same commitment it has for small cars to its full-size pickup line. The automaker recently told U.S. dealers that it would begin scaling back its Titan offerings, partly due to a new Titan looming on the horizon. Nissan intends to unveil the new pickup in the fall. Meanwhile, existing Titan sales could be a lot stronger. The model can’t really compete against domestic brands, despite also being manufactured in the U.S.

The Titan’s annual sales are less than monthly Ford F-Series deliveries. Extrapolated, Nissan moved 50,459 units in 2018 against the pickup sales king’s 909,330. But the Titan even has trouble competing with the likes of the GMC Sierra, which saw 219,554 domestic deliveries last year.

According to Automotive News, Nissan’s evolved pickup strategy focuses on prioritizing what works for the passenger market — which means turnings its back on single-cab models and the Cummins diesel engine available in the Titan XD. (Read More…)

By on August 1, 2019

Earlier this year, Ford teased a bunch of updates for its 2020 F-Series Super Duty pickups — including the all-new 7.3-liter V8 the automaker planned on offering.

Timed perfectly to coincide with the exact moment we forgot the motor was supposed to be coming, Ford released some specs this week. They don’t look half bad. Designed to be as hardwearing as possible, despite not being a diesel, the Windsor-built V8 will be made broadly available — making its way inside F-53 and F-59 stripped chassis models and the upgraded E-Series van. (Read More…)

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