A truck is a motor vehicle for transporting goods. The word "truck" comes from the Greek "trochos", meaning "wheel". In America, the big wheels of wagons were called trucks. When the petrol engine driven trucks came into fashion, these were called "motortrucks". Slowly the word motor in front of truck disappeared.
Electric vehicles and various hybrid systems are taking over the front pages of the automotive world as of late. One of the areas where hybrids and EVs haven’t completely infiltrated is the world of pickup trucks. Well, that’s until former GM executive, Bob Lutz, joined forces with the little-known Via Motors.
Via Motors has quite literally taken the electric truck, SUV, and van ball and run with it, and has started carving itself a nice little niche in the automotive world. One of its entrants is the Vtrux, which is a range-extended electric truck. The information on this new green pickup is not 100 percent available yet, but Via has posted a good amount of information on this pickup’s upcoming release.
The question on the mind of the automotive world is can an electric truck actually do well in this world of powerful diesel- and gasoline-powered pickups? The answer to this question is very simple, but to get to that answer, we have to tear into the Vtrux and find out what makes it tick.
Click past the jump to read all about the Vtrux and find out the answer to that all-important question.
Ford’s mighty F-150 SVT Raptor recently got a host of changes to make it more driver-friendly and off-road capable, but the lack of engine modifications seem to have inspired Geiger Cars to make a few changes of their own. Their package basically pays homage to Hennessey’s VelociRaptor 600 - even though probably not on purpose - with similar improvements done at an expert level.
But let’s get back to the F-150. In its standard form, the Ford truck’s 6.2-liter V8 delivers a total of 411 HP, but after the German tuner’s handywork, it now delivers an impressive 600 HP. This was done with a built-in compressor that also amounts to a fuel savings at a constant speed of 100 mph.
The package includes a few other additional features, including a six-speed automatic transmission, differential lock, 17-inch alloy wheels with massive 35-inch off-road tires BRGoodrich, a Sony sound system, dual-zone air conditioning, and numerous leather items. These changes can be applied for both the Super Cab and Super Crew Cab versions.
The problem with all of these updates is that they come with an astronomical price of € 74,900, or about $90,500 at the current exchange rates.
Holden has official re-released the Holden Thunder Ute, which we all assume will eventually makes its way to the U.S. as the resurrection of the El Camino. With its reintroduction, Holden needed a new advertising campaign. With an advertising campaign comes the need for a new slogan, and “The Ute, Americans are begging us to let ’em use it’” is just too long.
Well, Holden turned to its fans to come up with the new slogan, via everyone’s favorite medium, Facebook. Fortunately, those Aussie blokes are rather creative, as they came up with the slogan “No backseat drivers.” That makes perfect sense, as the Thunder Ute has only two seats and a truck bed. It would have been a little more difficult had GM chosen to go the Subaru Brat route and put two seats in the bed. Then, you technical would have backseat drivers. You can even see the new ad slogan in use in the above Thunder Ute commercial.
For a refresher, the Ute Thunder comes standard with a 280-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 standard and has an optional 360-horsepowerpower 6.0-liter V-8. It also has a special charcoal-colored 19-inch rims and a slew of other standard features.
Now the only question remaining is when will GM officially start “leaking” information about the Thunder Ute coming to the U.S. as the El Camino? We are willing to put a dollar on it being here within five years. Then again, it was rumored to be returning with the previous Ute rendition, so we could be in for just a bunch of teasing and jealousy.
The Toyota PPI Trophy Trucks are often referred to as one of the most significant trucks in off-road history, and rightfully so. The partnership between Toyota and Precision Preparation Inc. (PPI) resulted in 27 wins and seven championships in the now-defunct Mickey Thompson Off-Road Stadium Series, and who can forget the fact that the best of the best in off-roading, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, was a part of this team.
The example we have today, the 1994 Toyota PPI Trophy Truck 015, was the final truck built under the Toyota/PPI partnership. To make this truck even more desirable, Ivan Stewart himself piloted it at the Baja 2000.
This fine truck has just come off of a restoration and RK Motors Charlotte is giving you the opportunity to own this piece of off-road history. We are certain this freshly revamped off-roading legend is going to require a premium price.
To find out more about this truck and its asking price, click past the jump.
Think back about seven years or so and imagine a Ford F-150 circling the track as the official pace car for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It’s pretty easy if you imagine that truck being the SVT or supercharged Harley-Davidson model. You can’t really picture a V-6 model though, could you?
Well, thanks to Ford’s ingenious EcoBoost, a V-6 pace truck is not only plausible, but it is actually happening. A six-pot-powered 2013 Ford F-150 FX4 4x4 will be the pace car for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Of course, said V-6 has a pair of turbochargers strapped to it, pushing its total horsepower to 365 and the torque to 434 foot-pounds. Behind the wheel of this beast is no professional driver. Nope, it’s none other than Ford’s American president, Mark Fields.
This pace truck is all decked out in a fresh-off-the-assembly-line red paint and also boasts a bold new grille, HID headlights, and a graphics package specifically for the Sprint Cup race. This also opens the door for a special edition 2013 Ford F-150 Pace Truck edition. This is especially possible, as Ford is definitely not shy with pry barring special editions into its lineup.
Chances are that we will only see this special F-150 FX4 a handful of times throughout the race, but we will likely hear about it in F-150 commercials for the next 12 months, or so. We wonder how Chevy plans to counter this one, because we all know they will somehow…
You can see the F-150 twice this year, once on June 17th at 12:00 p.m. for the Quicken Loans 400. This selection of the F-150 to pace the groups marks the third straight year that a Ford model has been the pace car for the June race in Michigan and the second straight year that Mark Fields is the driver.
Click past the jump to read Ford’s official presser.
Anyone that drives a truck in a manner that it is built to be used – you know, actually hauling more than just yourself – will tell you that diesel power is the way to go. Not only are diesel engines far more reliable, but they also boast extraordinary torque for their size and historically get better fuel economy. For some reason unknown to us, the “Big Three” only offer diesel engines in their 3/4-ton and larger trucks, leaving 1/2-ton truck with only gasoline engines to choose from.
With trucks being all about towing these days more than in recent history, a lot of focus has been placed on increasing frame rigidity and driveline quality to bump up towing capacity on the entry-level 1/2-ton pickups, but little has been done to pump up the twisting power needed to get those heavy loads moving (A.K.A. torque).
Well, it looks like Chrysler is getting really serious about the Ram taking over Chevy’s No. 2 slot on the best-selling pickup list. In addition to all of the new enhancements coming in 2013, reports are pointing toward a diesel variant coming to the 1500 lineup in the near future, as test mule 1500 Rams are being spotted bearing torque-happy diesel power plants.
No, this is not a Cummins diesel engine like most would expect. The engine of choice is the VM 3.0-liter V-6 diesel engine by Fiat. Before you start complaining about Ram straying away from the Cummins engine, understand that this Fiat diesel is no wimp, as it cranks out 241 ponies and 406 pound-feet of torque straight off of the shelf. Add in the fact that it gets up to 28 mpg on the highway and you have a winner.
That would put this diesel at the same torque output as the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8, but allows it to get 10 more MPG on the highway. Given the new frame enhancements in the Ram 1500, we would anticipate a towing rating well over 10,000 lbs from these diesel-power Ram 1500s.
For now, these engines are still in the testing phase, but we will keep you informed if anything changes.
Back in 1979, the late and great Mickey Thompson put together an indoor off-road event that took place in various stadiums, including the Los Angeles Coliseum. This series inspired likely one of the most awesome storyline arcade games of the 1980s, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s Super Off-Road. By 1996, eight years after Thompson’s murder, the entire series went bankrupt and closed up shop.
Well, Robby Gordon, NASCAR driver and son of former off-road legend, “Baja Bob” Gordon, has brought back the series under the name of Robby Gordon’s Stadium Super Trucks.
In modern times, this series might actually survive, with stations like ESPN2, SpeedTV, and other specialty channels to give it plenty of airtime. What makes this series better than the more long-distance off-road series, like Baja Racing and off-road rallies, is the fact that given the small area it covers, it is easier to film for TV.
The season kicks off in 2013 and there are some pretty impressive awards for a startup racing series, as each race pays the winning driver $40,000, the 2nd place driver gets $15,000 and the 3rd place driver takes home $5,000. In addition to money per race, there is a payout to the series champion of $500,000. Yeah, it’s not NASCAR money, but for a startup like this, that is pretty decent.
Making things even more interesting, Gordon has invited old-time off-road racers Danny Thompson, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart, and Walker Evans to participate. Other drivers already locked in include: supercross and off-road race Ricky Johnson, NASCAR Truck Series racer Justin Lofton, off-road stars Justin Matney, Jessie Johnson, Luke Johnson, Andrew Caddell and Casey Currie, and rally star Samuel Hubinette.
The only sponsor listed for the series so far is R/C car builders Traxxas, so we will have to see if the series can attract more sponsorship, which should be too hard, given it is not directly competing with any other series.
Gordon promised to release more information as we get closer to the series debut, so we will pass more info on to you as it becomes available.
Unlike the One Lap of America race, which recently ended, the Houston Half Mile Shootout is a brand new race for 2012. This year it was run in conjunction with the 4th annual Aeros & Autos event at Ellington Airport in Houston, TX.
This race is much like the Texas Mile, as it is purely a top speed-style of race, where your goal is to reach the highest speed within the half-mile-long track. Simple enough, right? Well, driving in excess of 200 mph is never simple, but rules sure are.
This inaugural run includes cars and motorcycles, both street legal and off-road only, which makes for some really intense speeds, but also some utter disappointment. The biggest disappointment that we see is Mario Williams, an NFL Linebacker, running his Aventador down the half-mile track and only hitting 167 mph in the above video. C’mon, man, open her up a little. That’s just getting that $400,000 supercar warmed up.
On top of that, event organizer John Hennessey shows that he is not a football guy, as he calls Mario Williams an “All Pro defensive player from the Houston Texans,” but Williams signed with the Buffalo Bills in March, oops. We have to give Hennessey a pass though, as the video was taken on March 5th and Williams was still a free agent at the time, but he certainly was not a Texan at the time.
Fortunately that was just a warm-up lap, as we saw much more speed as the event went on.
Click past the jump to read more about the event, cool cars and highlights.
This is the kind of giveaway that can pretty much put a smile on just about everyone’s face. Rockstar has teamed up with Ford to give away one of three models as part of their "Drive like a Champion" giveaway. The winner can choose between the 2013 Ford Focus ST, the 2013 Ford Mustang GT and the 2012 Ford F-150, and all they have to do us head over to www.rockstar69.com/drive to enter.
Entering the contest is easy too. Contestants need to choose between Tanner Foust or Brian Deegan, then choose one of the three models, type in your contact information, and patiently wait until October 15, 2012 for the winners to be announced. We wish there was some sort of virtual race to win, but unfortunately, it’s all random. Of course, you have to be a United States resident and be at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry to be able to enter the contest, as well as read the official terms of the contest in all of its fine print glory.
Even if you don’t end up winning one of Ford’s pride and joys, you can still win a few other prizes, including a year supply of Rockstar. That’ll get your engines revving!
Let us know which of the three models you would like to win in the comments section below! But remember, in order to be entered into the contest, you must head over to www.rockstar69.com/drive!
When Jeep revealed the Mighty FC Concept at the 2012 Easter Safari in Moab, Utah, we could really just think one thing, “bad-ass.” The Mighty FC is essentially a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on ‘roids, as the designers hacked off the Wrangler’s hood and rear quarter, jacked it up into the sky a little, bolted an eight-foot bed onto it, and threw a set of nasty 40-inch tires under it.
Just the outward appearance of this thing is overwhelmingly awesome, but knowing that Jeep didn’t skimp out on it makes it even cooler. In the above video, you can actually witness the Mighty FC frolicking through the desert with the original Jeep forward control army vehicle, which features a two-cylinder two-stroke diesel engine, trailing it.
Watching this beast climb the rocks in Moab is awesome, but what really blew us away was the care that Jeep put into the interior. Unlike a lot of forward control vehicles, the Mighty FC has a regular old steering wheel, just like its donor Wrangler, and not that funny feeling bus-style steering wheel. It also features a carefully crafted plaid design that was actually one a part of a snowboard bag – some of the zippers and trimming are still on the fabric too.
Ultimately, the Mighty FC will likely never see production or it may be offered only as a fleet-type of vehicle, but it’s a sweet looking and performing concept nonetheless. Take a look at the video for yourself and also watch as one of the Mighty FC’s designers talks about this machine like a kid describing an awesome Christmas gift. We wouldn’t mind seeing this under the TopSpeed Christmas tree this year, that’s for sure.