By on September 15, 2021

Despite EV startups taking a lot of flak for habitually overpromising, sometimes on a level that approaches criminal fraud, things appear to be going rather well at the Rivian factory. Founder and CEO Robert Joseph “RJ” Scaringe announced that the company started building its very first production units on Tuesday.

With the necessary regulatory certifications in hand, Rivian can now begin delivering vehicles directly to customers and the timing couldn’t be much better. The electric brand had said it was basically done with prototypes and ready to spin up the assembly lines for the final product late last month. While this still placed it a bit behind schedule, the company now says it has all the necessary certifications from the relevant regulatory agencies (NHTSA, EPA, CARB, etc.) and an automobile that’s been federally approved for sale.  (Read More…)

By on September 10, 2021

Chevrolet

The full-size truck race is competitive, and one can’t afford to fall too far behind.

After a few years of hearing criticisms concerning the Silverado, and how it’s not as stylish as the Ram 1500 or well-done as the Ford F-150, Chevrolet has unveiled an updated truck, with the intent of blunting those critiques and getting back in the game.

(Read More…)

By on August 6, 2021

As if Ford didn’t have enough headaches in terms of pickup truck supply, the derailment of a train carrying a load of the things has thrown the automaker even further off track. According to local media, a freight train ran into trouble while hauling the things through Missouri, creating a stack of metal that Blue Oval suits certainly could do without seeing right now.

Here’s the good news: no injuries or environmental damage was reported, save for the new pair of pants that was surely required for the train’s operator.

(Read More…)

By on June 8, 2021

Ford’s latest addition has officially arrived, with the compact pickup showing off its surprise standard hybrid powertrain. While we knew there would be a hybrid motor, we weren’t anticipating it coming as default equipment — especially since it seemed important that the manufacturer keep it priced a healthy distance from the midsized Ranger.

However, the Maverick starts at $21,490, distancing itself from its bigger brother by a few grand and maintaining a healthy amount of financial space from the unibody Honda Ridgeline. We’re likewise dubious that Hyundai will be able to price the upcoming Santa Cruz low enough to match the Ford. Though we’re going to need to dig a little deeper before any serious assessments can be made as to whether or not that’s meaningful. It could turn out to be a complete dud, nullifying any value its price tag represents.  (Read More…)

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…)

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