trucks

trucks

  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.

The Ram Heavy Duty has been around since 1981 when Dodge introduced the three-quarter and one-ton trucks. The Ram was available with an innovative, 5.9-liter, Cummins turbo-diesel, something GM and Ford trucks couldn’t boast. The old Cummins turbo-diesel saw Ram Heavy Duty sales grow, thanks to its direct-injection fuel system, turbocharger, and greater power outputs than the competition.

Four generations of trucks later, the Ram Heavy Duty is still powering ahead of the competition with its Cummins turbo-diesel power, unmatched payload and towing stats, and its rugged, big-rig-like looks.

The 2015 model year sees some fairly significant changes for the Ram truck, mostly dealing with its updated, 6.7-liter, Cummins powerplant and the trucks certification with the Society of Automotive Engineers’ J2807 towing standards. Though the Cummins is the headlining engine, Ram (no longer Dodge since 2010) also offers a 6.4-lite, HEMI V-8 and the venerable 5.7-liter, HEMI V-8.

With three cab configurations, three bed lengths, two engines, and two- or four-wheel-drive offered, the Ram 2500 and 3500 can be built to suit whatever job needs doing. Heck, Ram even offers a chassis cab version of the 3500 prepped and ready for aftermarket bed applications.

Click past the jump to read more about the Ram 2500 and 3500 Heavy Duty Models

The U.S. auto industry have given us some of the most incredible automobiles over the last 100 hundred years. Starting with the Ford Model T , the first vehicle mass-produced on moving assembly lines, and ending with the aluminum-bodied, 2015 Ford F-150 pickup truck, America has made a name for itself as one of the world’s biggest automobile manufacturers. Before the Great Depression, the U.S. produced over 90 percent of the vehicles sold globally, and after World War II it was responsible for 75 percent of the world’s production. That’s no longer the case in 2014, when China manufactures nearly 20 million vehicle a year, more than both the U.S. and Japan.

Sure, these numbers don’t mean U.S. manufacturers have lost their touch. Just look at the new Mustang and Corvette Z06 , and you’ll notice the brilliant engineering and the passion are still there. However, it’s common knowledge that global production works on different standards which restrict the availability of certain models in certain markets. It works both ways. Europe, for instance, can’t have many of the vehicles sold in the U.S., while Americans can’t buy cars made by a variety of European brands. Ironically, North American manufacturers have launched a bevy of nameplates that can’t be had in the U.S. And while most of them wouldn’t stir any interest on these shores, some vehicles have caused great frustration to the American enthusiast.

I’m going to talk about the latter. The cool cars we can’t buy and drive over various production or import issues, or even the manufacturer’s lack of interest in the U.S. market. Take a look at my choices below and tell me what you guys think. I narrowed the list down to 10 vehicles, so feel free to let me know which ones you think I should have included in the comments box.

Click past the jump to read more about the cool cars we can’t buy in the U.S.

Having the right tool for going off-road is just like having the right tool for the track; purpose-built vehicles work best for their intended purpose. And just like we at TopSpeed often compare track toys that go fast, we also like to compare the dirtier side of the automotive spectrum.

Below the jump is our pick of the top-five best off-road vehicles currently on the market. They hail from five brands, three continents, and two vehicle types. These trucks and SUVs represent the best in modern innovation tied in with proven technology wrapped in attractive packages.

Just like at the track, it’s all about getting power to the ground when heading off the beaten path. Locking differentials, axle articulation, and proper tires make all the difference. With pricing in the comparison ranging from $31,000 to in excess of $50,000, the group varies wildly from spartan to outright luxurious. But no matter what the interior looks like, the greasy bits underneath are what count the most.

Click past the jump for TopSpeed’s Top Five Off-Roaders

The Ram truck has been around since its nameplate was officially used on the 1981 Dodge pickup. Dodge trucks dating back to 1933 were known for their ram hood ornament, so the mascot went from decoration to the trucks’ name. Big news happened again in 2010 when the Fiat Chrysler Group moved the Ram lineup outside the Dodge umbrella, making the Ram its own brand. Now in its fourth generation, the Ram truck is breaking ground on uncharted territory. That uncharted ground includes innovations like dumping the traditional leaf-spring rear suspension design in favor of a smoother-riding, five-link with coil springs and introducing the industry’s first V-6 turbo-diesel in a half-ton package. The diesel aspect has garnered the Ram some notable attention from both the auto industry and the truck-buying public.

In fact, more than 8,000 EcoDiesel trucks were ordered by Ram dealers in the first weekend the books opened — a number than represents nearly half of the Ram 1500’s normal monthly production run. Since that February weekend in 2014, Ram EcoDiesel sales have exceeded the automaker’s expectations and have contributed to Ram’s overall sales increase over last year.

So what’s the big deal about a diesel, you ask? Well, I squeezed 33 miles per gallon out of my Ram 1500 EcoDiesel tester I recently had. Sure, that was with me babying the throttle down the highway, but by the week’s end, the dash still showed an average of over 24 mpg. That’s the big deal. Not to mention my tester was equipped to pull 9,200 pounds at the hitch and haul an impressive 1,620 pounds in the bed.

Skip on down fore the complete run-down of the 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel

Toyota has announced it will enter a new Tundra TRD Pro series truck in the 2014Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 taking place in mid-November 2014. The Tundra TRD Pro being entered is only slightly modified in order to compete in the full-size truck class, leaving the majority of the truck as stock. “Competing in the full size sock Class allows our team to test the Tundra TRD Pro as close to stock as possible,” says Andrew Franceschini of Toyota. “[That] showcases its strength and durability in the Mexican desert’s treacherous terrain.”

A few items were added to the Tundra TRD Pro in order to compete, mainly to do with safety. A full roll cage and safety fuel cell was added, along with Mastercraft racing seats with five-point harnesses. A full suite of GPS navigation and race communication radio equipment was also thrown in.

The truck will compete in the 47th Tecate SCORE Baja 1000, a race spanning over the harsh desert terrain between Ensenada, Baja California to La Paz, Baja California Sur. Though the race’s name suggests otherwise, the endurance even lasts a grueling 1,130 miles, testing both vehicle and occupants.

The Baja 1000 is set to take place November 12th through the 16th. 2014 with several checkpoints between the start and finish lines. Check back with TopSpeed for more coverage of the Baja 1000, but until then, check out more information on the Toyota Tundra TRD Pro truck.

Click past the jump to read more about the Toyota TRD Pro Tundra Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

Ram Trucks just announced its newest product headed for the U.S. marketplace, the 2015 Ram ProMaster City. For American buyers, the ProMaster City might be all-new, but in actuality, the Class One light van has deep roots in Europe as the Fiat Doblò. The Fiat was introduced in 2000 and saw its second generation come in 2010. Now in its third generation, the Fiat is dawning a Ram grille, rear trim pieces, and an Americanized powertrain we’re familiar with in other Chrysler products.

The jump across the Atlantic Ocean makes perfect sense for Ram as its competition have developed some small vans of their own, namely the Chevrolet City Express, Ford Transit Connect, and the Nissan NV200. The American van market hasn’t been this hot since the 1970s when full-size conversion vans and hippy machines were all the rage. Now smaller yet more mature, these vans are taking care of work rather than pleasure. You won’t find any shag carpet or chrome side pipes here — it’s all about cargo capacity, interior volume, fuel economy, and overall cost of ownership.

Though Ram hasn’t release many of the important data facts like price and fuel economy, brand CEO Reid Bigland says the ProMaster City will lead the class in several key area, making it a top choice for small businesses and delivery services across the country.

Click past the jump for the full rundown on the 2015 Ram ProMaster City

Nissan is again turning to Internet crowdsourcing for help in building another one-off vehicle with the help of some 80,000 friends on Facebook. You might recall Nissan’s first crowdsourcing foray with the 370Z Project back in 2012, but this time, the automaker is getting down and dirty with a trail-ready truck that started life as a stock Nissan Titan.

Nissan has teamed up with the Wounded Warrior Project in building a capable off-road rig ready to tackle the rugged Alaskan wilderness with two WWP Alumni veterans in the cab. David Guzman and Kevin McMahon will set out on a week-long journey across Alaska with a little bit of mountain climbing, towing, and hauling along the way.

Like the 370Z Project before it, Nissan fans will get to vote on what equipment is fitted to the vehicle. A suspension lift, wheels, tires, and other modifications are among the listed items up for vote. Once the tallies are in and the truck is finished, the two vets will set out through Alaska followed by a camera crew. The end result will be several feature videos appearing on Nissan’s YouTube page in September.

If you want to get involved, jump on over to Nissan’s Facebook page to cast your vote. Then keep an eye out for the video series debuting on Nissan’s YouTube channel starting sometime in September.

Updated 08/08/2014: Nissan unveiled the first video in which explains the development process of its new "Project Titan" The video explains how Nissan fitted the Titan with hardcore tires and a high articulation suspension system.

Updated 09/02/2014: Nissan unveiled a series of new details and images on its future Project Titan. A new video was also unveiled revealing new phases from the project’s development program.

Click past the jump for more Titan info and speculation of Nissan’s future plans

As Americans give pause to remember those men and women who honorably gave their lives in defense of the United States, we take a look at the top-five military vehicles that our troops used. It’s by no means a comprehensive list, but one of that celebrates a wide variety of military muscle spanning over the last 70 years of American history.

These vehicles have demonstrated their ability to perform their duties with amazing skill, while traversing all sorts of hostile terrain from hilly landscapes riddled with mud and ruts to sandy deserts miles away from civilization. Some have rather specialized tasks, while others are more general purpose. Either way, they’re fascinating to look at.

These vehicles not only inspire cheers of patriotism and pride, but also awaken our inner child for all things military. And while there are tons of military vehicles the world over that demand just as much respect, our list focuses on those hailing from the U.S.

Click past the jump for our list of Top Five Military Vehicle

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 decked out in the range-topping High Country trim and powered by the largest V-8 offered by The General . While the High Country competes with the gaudy western-wear cowboys from Ford and Ram , the Chevy pulls off the John Wayne look with a touch more class and refinement.

Missing is the dinner-plate belt buckle styling with embroidered seats and barbed-wire floor mats. In their places are simple saddle-colored leather seats with matching leather stitched atop the dashboard, door panels, and armrest. The look is just subtle enough to remind occupants of the truck’s western flair without choking them with the motif.

While the overall theme of the truck isn’t outlandishly equestrian, the Corvette-derived 6.2-liter, V-8 engine under the hood has no shortage of horses — 420 to be exact. Only a handful of parts separate the Silverado’s powerplant from that found in the new C7 Stingray , and after pressing the accelerator, that becomes clearly evident. Though the truck weights double the Vette, the 6.2-liter still motivates the truck with ease, hitting 60 mph in just six seconds.

Click past the jump for the full review

Toyota Tundra

Note: Current generation pictured here.

It appears Toyota will be the next automaker to adopt diesel technology into its full-size truck segment. According to WardsAuto, the Tundra will be getting a V-8 diesel powerplant when its next generation debuts in 2016. What’s more, word has it Tundra’s new oil-burner will be supplied by famed diesel builder, Cummins. And not just any Cummins at that…

It will be a version of the same 5.0-liter V-8 turbodiesel that rival truck-builder Nissan has slotted to power its next-generation Titan set to debut next year. Not only is this huge news for Tundra fans, it represents uncharted territory in diesel engine sharing on the light-duty level. Truck buyers are a fiercely loyal bunch, so it will be interesting to see where exactly loyalties fall — with the truck- or engine-builder.

There’s no official word on how the Tundra’s diesel will compare to the Titan’s, which is said to be rated at “more than” 300 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque. The only sure thing is the certainty of some very intense engineering meetings between the three companies.

The overriding reason diesels are catching headlines these days is the need for automakers to meet the impending CAFÉ standards that are tightening up on corporate average mpg ratings. The target: a company average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Nissan and Toyota aren’t the first to go diesel. Ram , in fact, already has their 3.0-liter V-6 EcoDiesel currently on sale in the U.S. Rated at 240 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, the EcoDiesel Ram 1500 achieves a class-leading 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Toyota Tundra.

Source: WardsAuto

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