pickup trucks

pickup trucks

  A pickup truck is a light truck with an open-top rear cargo area. Many pickups have short rigid sides and an opening rear gate, while others have a flat tray back.

Somewhere in the mind of some aftermarket tuner, the thought of combing rugged functionality with luxury amenities sounds like a pretty good idea. But Cars by Kris isn’t just content with thinking about ideas like this; it actually put went all out and built one.

At the 2013 SEMA Auto Show , Cars by Kris presents the Ford Super Duty High Roller. The name already implies something that’s used to describe people living with affluent lifestyles and for the most part, the interior of this Super Duty speaks that kind of language.

You don’t normally see pickups carrying custom upholstery with hexagon stitching on the seats and custom gauges, but this Super Duty has this material in spades. Painted interior accents also adorn the cabin and the custom floor mats, while not really jazzing up the cabin, still give it the kind of personalized touch you normally associated with exotics. And to ensure that the cabin is as cool and pin-drop quiet, Cars by Kris installed a QuietRIDE Solutions system to reduce the amount of noise inside.

Moving outside, the aftermarket company gives the Super Duty all sorts of performance and handling modifications, beginning with a Banks Power performance products, a Straight-Shot Water-Methanol Injection System, iQ Man-Machine Interface and a MagnaFlow exhaust system, giving more life and power to its 6.7-liter PowerStroke diesel engine.

Rounding out the mods for the High Roller is a Carli Suspension setup and a set of 22-inch, American Force, eight-lug wheels wrapped in Open Country tires from Toyo.

Click past the jump to read about the 2014 Ford F-Series Super Duty

American Expedition Vehicles just threw down the gauntlet. The company known for outfitting Jeep Wranglers with assembly-line-quality aftermarket parts has unveiled this 2014 Ram 2500 concept for this year’s SEMA event .

Starting with a 2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab Diesel , AEV fitted 40-inch-tall tires under the Ram with a three-inch suspension lift. The result is a heavy-duty truck that’s still usable around town, but can handle any off-road challenge thrown its way.

AEV made a name for itself by developing its aftermarket products with guidance from Chrysler engineers, ensuring top-notch quality. The tradition continues in the Ram project with such examples as the suspension setup. The front springs remain stock and sit atop cast-aluminum spacers, so as not to change the ride quality, while heavy-duty Bilstein shocks help manage the expected abuses found off-road.

The Ram’s front bumper is 3/16-inch-thick stamped steel — over four times thicker than the stock unit — and hides a massive 16,500-pound Warn winch. Two recovery points predominantly protrude out front, ready for D-ring shackles. The bumper is divided into three separate pieces for easy replacement of damaged parts, or even further user-customization.

Around to the Ram’s side are the AEV high-clearance finders with integrated flares. They provide the capability to run 40-inch-tall tires with such a minimal lift. (Normally 40-inch tires require six to eight inches of lift) Unique 17x10, AVE-designed “Katla” cast-aluminum wheels are ruggedly stylish and can carry 3,650 pounds each.

In addition to the suspension setup, AEV added a high-steer kit that corrects for the steering gear’s new geometry, while only two inches of lift were added to the rear axle, making the truck level.

While the truck as a whole isn’t headed for production, the individual AEV parts are. They go on sale sometime in 2014.

Click past the jump for more on the 2014 Ram Concept by AEV

The 2013 SEMA Show often welcomes projects that are modded like mad, but sometimes, the adage ’less is more’ has equal value in a place like SEMA. This year, Chevrolet is proving as much with the introduction of the Silverado Cheyenne Concept.

On the outside, you might not think of any comprehensive upgrade given to this Silverado. Actually, you really have to look real closely at the pickup to notice the carbon-fiber replacements given to a number of the pickups exterior components, including the bumpers, the inner cargo box, and the tailgate. Not only does the carbon fiber make the Silverado look more exotic, but it also shaves around 200 pounds off the pickups overall weight.

Outside of the "obvious" enhancements, the Silverado Cheyenne Concept also benefits from a lowered ride height, a rear stabilizer bar, a set of 19-inch wheels that it borrowed from the Camaro Z/28 and Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes.

Moving inside, you’re going to see Recaro sport seats take the place of the standard seats, while a flat-bottom steering wheel also was installed in favor of the normal configuration.

No engine upgrades were given, less the throaty Borla exhaust system, but given the reduction in weight, you can expect the Silverado Cheyenne Concept’s performance figures to go up a tick, albeit a small one at that. That’s not a small feat considering that Chevy’s new EcoTec3 6.2-liter, V-8 engine produces 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque – the highest rated output in the light-duty truck segment, and 65-horsepower and 77 lb-ft more than the production 5.3-liter, V-8 engine.

Hm, do we smell a possible production high-performance Chevy truck to do battle with the Ram 1500 Rumble Bee and Ford F-150 Tremor ? It’s possible...

Click past the jump to read about the standard 2014 Chevrolet Silverado

If at some point you wonder why this Toyota Tundra looks all sorts of awesome, it’s best to know that this isn’t like any standard Tundra you’ll ever come across.

The Let’s Go Moto Tundra is one insane ultimate desert sports machine straight from the minds of Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross teammates Josh Grant and Justin Brayton. With the help of a number of aftermarket companies, Grant and Brayton managed to turn this Tundra into one that carries their image and likeness.

The open visage of the Tundra retains its standard looks, although some portions of the pickups body have been treated to some distinctive modifications. The CrewMax cab, for one, has been taken down and replaced with an eight-foot long truck bed. The custom bed can actually accommodate the length of a motocross bike and even has three TV screens that each have unique features.

The first TV screen displays a game console that you can use when you’re not in competition. The second TV screen can play DVDs, and finally, the third one displays bike engine diagnostics, an important attribute, considering that the Let’s Go Moto Tundra actually comes with a Yamaha YZ450F bike.

Other pertinent features of the Let’s Go Moto Tundra include a fridge, a power washer, a helmet dryer, hydrogen tanks, and enough space for tools and back-up gear to ensure that this Tundra comes prepared to answer your sports and entertainment needs.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Let’s Go Moto Tundra

Toyota, Camburg Engineering and DC Shoes teamed together to bring the ultimate snowboarder’s dream truck to the 2013 SEMA auto show happening November 5th through 8th.

Starting with ideas for motocross, skateboarding and snowboarding builds, Toyota and DC Shoes asked the footwear company’s fans for their choice on which to build. The fans voted and Toyota delivered.

DC Shoes and Toyota chose Camburg Engineering for creating the dream truck. Beginning with a 2014 Toyota Tacoma , Camburg brought to life ideas from professional snowboarders like the massive front snowdeflector; a telescoping ramp for loading a full-size snowmobile on the truck bed; a full suite of audio awesomeness, including an in-dash iPad Mini and a pop-up tent mounted to the truck’s roof rack. Sitting inside the truck’s bed is a huge sliding toolbox with enough space to store gear for a weekend expedition.

“Our fans loved the concept of the snowboard-ready Tacoma, and the real-life version will blow them away,” said Dan Hartloff, events and partnerships manager for DC Shoes. “This Tacoma would add a new level of intensity to any practice session or impromptu ride with friends.”

Besides the iPad Mini, the Tacoma’s interior is treated to an integrated charging station powered by on-board batteries separate from the Tacoma’s engine battery for powering cell phones, laptops and cameras. A wireless, all-weather Scoshe boomBOTTLE pumps the music outside the truck even in the thickest of blizzards.

Vision Vision through those blizzards is no problem with the roof-mounted, 40-inch LED light bar and the two light pods sitting atop the Meyer snow deflector. Oversized General Grabber tires keep the truck moving forward – all powered by Toyota’s trusty 4.0-liter V-6.

Click past the jump for more on the 2013 Toyota Tacoma SEMA truck

Happy Halloween, TopSpeed faithful, and as we do on most holidays, we have put together a special article to get you in the spirit of the season. This time around, we polled 30 key members of the automotive editorial industry, yours truly included, to find what car best symbolizes Halloween to them.

Now, the symbol of Halloween doesn’t necessarily mean it is a scary car. It could be a car that simply reminded the person of their childhood and trick-or-treating; maybe a car that looks like a pumpkin; maybe one that is set to tackle the zombie apocalypse ; maybe a car so ugly that it looks like it is wearing a scary costume; or maybe even the car that the bad guy in a horror flick drove.

So, kick back, relax, snag a few mini chocolate bars from you kid’s bag — claiming the wrapper looks "tampered with" — and check out what cars remind the brass of automotive journalism of Halloween.

Click past the jump to read all 30 journalists’ favorite Halloween cars.

Ford F-Series Super Duty

Ford has finally settled a class-action lawsuit over claims it sold defective diesel Power Stroke engines in 2003-2007 Super Duty trucks and E-Series vans. The 6.0-liter, V-8 turbo-diesel in question was manufactured by Navistar International, Ford’s diesel supplier since 1994.

The lawsuit originates in customer complaints over the 6.0-liter having defective exhaust gas recirculation valves and coolers, oil coolers, fuel injectors and turbochargers. Some failures were so severe that Ford replaced entire engines and even bought back trucks that couldn’t be easily repaired.

For those vehicles that were repairable, Ford will have to reimburse owners a percentage of their costs for each component they replaced, along with half of the $100 deductible owners paid for having their vehicle serviced under Ford’s five-year/100,000-mile engine warranty. The lawsuit also reimburses owners anywhere from $50 to $825 for post-warranty repairs done on their trucks and vans with under 135,000 miles on the clock.

The troubled 6.0-liter Power Stroke was the nail in the coffin for Ford’s relationship with Navistar. In 2010, Ford dumped the company and moved it diesel development and production in house. The result is the current 6.7-liter Power Stroke that produces 400 horsepower and an astounding 800 pound-feet or stump-pulling torque for 2014.

Oddly enough, Navistar was released from the litigation proceedings, leaving owners and Ford to fight it out.

Click past the jump for more on the 2014 Ford Super Duty

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The 2014 Ram Heavy Duty is heavily revised with new air suspension options, an all-new interior, and a fifth-wheel trailer towing option that allows these huge trucks to hitch a trailer right into the bed of the pickup truck.

The Heavy Duty Ram line also brings a mild exterior refresh with the projector-beam lights on posh trims like the Laramie test truck.

A quick spin was enough to have me looking for poundage to haul somewhere, maybe a friend who likes to ride dressage horses competitively?

Sadly, not enough time to test the limits of this tall workhorse by towing some show ponies out back.

This all-new 2014 Mega Crew Cummins 2500 is the big chief of the Ram family, with over 800 pound-feet of torque and tow ratings that would make a tractor trailer blush with embarrassment. For a non-truck-guy, the 2500 Ram is generally thought of as the 20,000-pound trailer max — in the right settings.

The 3500 Ram is now in a class of one with a 30,000-pound towing max, again with the right option boxes ticked.

With base pricing just below $30,000, how does the Ram HD line compare with the best-sellers from Ford and Chevy ?

Click past the jump for the full TopSpeed Driven review of the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty 2500 Diesel.

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For an entry-level engine configuration, the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado LT Double Cab 4.3-liter is quite a contender as the most affordable and stylish do-it-all truck on sale now.

A quick intro to the fuel-economy leader of the all-new Silverado Double Cab V-6 was accompanied by only a brief spin around the block.

Even so, the bright red paint, huge chrome grille, and six-lug wheels made quite the impression.

Click past the jump for all the details of TopSpeed’s intro to the most affordable Silverado trucks on the lot for 2014.

Land Rover Defender

It is indeed a sad day as we learn of Land Rover’s plans to end production of the iconic but barely road-worthy Defender .

Automotive News reported that recent sales stats of this lovable truck are in a tailspin during its last years on the market before saying ‘bye bye’ for 2015.

U.S. federal safety, emissions and import duties on small trucks keep the go-anywhere vehicle from roaming our shores with its lack of compliance to such thing as crumple zones and airbags. The one Defender we did get is long gone even in England: the V-8 automatic convertible two-door. Almost all green and very charming, these were the rich-guy Wrangler Jeep of the 1990s.

In the markets where it is sold outside the UK, like continental Europe, 50 years of history is almost a negative feature versus ultramodern crossovers. The Defender’s main problem is that it drives like a ’lorrie’ and is more uncomfortable and thirsty with diesel than one too.

Europeans have simply lost interest in the Defender, with Land Rover selling a mere 561 units in the first eight months of 2013, according to JATO Dynamics.

The historic SUV first saw production in 1983 and was sold within the US in very limited numbers. It was built on both a 90-inch or 110-inch wheelbase and featured a variety of different powerplants - both gasoline and diesel – and body configurations.

The Defender ’s extreme prowess off road and its rarity have earned it a cult following among enthusiasts. Such conditions have kept values for Defenders rather elevated for those in the US – even causing some to enter the country via the black market and away from Uncle Sam’s watchful regulatory eye.

However, there may be a silver lining in losing the Defender . A replacement for the hard-hitting rover is likely in the works and would be built well within the safety standards of governments world-wide and feature amenities buyers no longer consider optional. Power steering, a suspension that absorbs bumps and strong A/C are all features the Defender lacks.

Much of JLR’s cash is tied up trying to resuscitate Jaguar, so the Defender is taking a back seat in the new world of Euro6 and Cafe fuel standards.

"The Defender replacement remains far from ready due to a lack of volume and weak business case," analyst Max Warburton with Bernstein Research wrote in a recent report on Jaguar Land Rover.

Land Rover did show the DC100 concept at the 2011 Frankfurt auto show , but according to Warburton, the project has since been scrubbed.

He says Land Rover is currently mulling over an aluminum-bodied vehicle that would employ the current Range Rover’s underpinnings as a possible Defender replacement.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Land Rover Defender.


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