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How We'd Spec It: 2019 Ram 1500

How We’d Spec It: 2019 Ram 1500

Our idea of a feature-rich, budget-minded build

Ram has made a massive splash in the half-ton pickup segment with its all-new 2019 Ram 1500. It debuted at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January and is expected to arrive in showrooms by the end of the first quarter. That’s an impressively quick turn-around time as this processes normally takes six months to a year with most vehicles. Nevertheless, we’re restless to get our hands on the pickup.

In the meantime, we’re left dreaming of the ideal build configuration for an average American. Modern pickups offer literally thousands of possible cab, bed, engine, and trim combinations. Here, we’re shooting for that middle-class family who might tow a small boat to the lake on the weekends, haul sports equipment in the bed, and carry those 2.5 kids to their various extracurricular actives – all while staying within a reasonable budget.

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2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro

Minor improvements prevent the Tundra TRD Pro from getting cold

Toyota has upped the ante with its Tundra TRD Pro for the 2019 model year. The off-road package receives a mid-cycle refresh that includes both cosmetic and suspension upgrades. The move is completely understandable considering how hot the off-road segment is getting these days.

It’s important to understand the Tundra TRD Pro’s place in the market. It competes most directly with the Ram 1500 Rebel, both of which fall short of the Ford F-150 Raptor’s outright ownership of the high-speed desert racing niche. But while Ford is busy making the Raptor an extremely capable but very expensive upgrade to the F-150, both the TRD Pro and Rebel are more obtainable for the everyman. In other words, the Tundra TRD Pro might not match the Raptor’s off-road performance, but it’s also far less expensive.

Nevertheless, Toyota’s 2019 updates push the Tundra TRD Pro beyond what it was capable of from 2015 to 2018.

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Tuscany Brings Two Modified Ford F-150s to 2018 Chicago Auto Show

Tuscany Brings Two Modified Ford F-150s to 2018 Chicago Auto Show

Trucks include Shelby name with upgraded power

Ford didn’t limit itself to regular production vehicles at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. Rather, it invited Tuscany to participate in the fun. Tuscany is an independent aftermarket coachbuilder that contracts with Ford to upgrade trucks with special packages and performance modifications before selling them at Ford dealerships and covered under Ford’s new-vehicle warranty.

Well, Tuscany brought two Shelby-branded trucks to the show – both of which are lifted 4WD modes, but with very different personalities.

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All-New Ram 1500 Gets the Full Mopar Treatment

All-New Ram 1500 Gets the Full Mopar Treatment

You can overdose your 1500 in Mopar parts!

It’s been a busy 2018 for the all-new Ram 1500, hasn’t it? In the six weeks that we’ve had of 2018, we’ve seen the Ram 1500 make its world debut at the Detroit Auto Show, star in the most controversial ad in Super Bowl LII, and get decked out in full Mopar garb. The last of these happenings took place at the Chicago Auto Show where Ram and Mopar showed off the many ways you can customize your Ram 1500. From expected accessories to those that aren’t available on the market yet, there are over 200 Mopar accessories available for the Ram’s new heavy-duty pickup.

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FCA Showcase Mopar Accessories for 2019 Ram 1500 in Chicago

FCA Showcase Mopar Accessories for 2019 Ram 1500 in Chicago

More than 200 dealer-installed parts are offered

The all-new 2019 Ram 1500 pickup hasn’t been debuted more than a month but Mopar already has accessories ready for the truck’s launch into showrooms. The long list includes wheels, tires, side steps, bed-mounted storage racks, and even performance accessories.

Mopar, Chrysler’s famed parts and accessories division that dates back to the 1920s, worked in-house with Ram’s engineers and designers to develop the accessories to work with the truck. Customers can buy the parts alongside their pickup at any Ram dealership and have them installed before final delivery with the price rolled into the vehicle financing. Best of all, the parts and accessories are covered under the Ram’s warranty. And since accessories like the high-flow air intake and cat-back exhaust are designed and installed by Ram, they do not void the truck’s warranty.

Of course, we’ve seen Mopar do this before. The most recent example is the 2018 Jeep Wrangler JL. Mopar showcased over 200 parts at the 2017 SEMA show weeks before Jeep officially debut the Wrangler JL.

Continue reading for info on the Ram’s Mopar accessories.

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Nissan Debuts Suspension Lift Kit for Titan & Titan XD

Nissan Debuts Suspension Lift Kit for Titan & Titan XD

Kit developed by ICON and won’t void warranty

Jeep isn’t the only automaker now offering factory-backed lift kits. That’s right Nissan is launching a suspension lift for the Titan and Titan XD pickups. The hardware comes from ICON Vehicle Dynamics, a well-respected company that designs and builds suspension lifts and other off-road gear for trucks and SUVs. The lift kit will give Titans up to three inches of additional height while not voiding the truck’s factory warranty.

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The Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Gets More Capable for 2019

The Toyota Tundra TRD Pro Gets More Capable for 2019

Upgrades shocks, more wheel travel, and Exterior mods take center stage

The biggest member of Toyota’s TRD Pro trio, the Tundra TRD Pro, is getting similar updates as the Tacoma and 4Runner TRD Pros for 2019. This includes updated Fox Racing Shocks and a few cosmetic changes to keep things fresh. The 2019 Tundra TRD Pro can easily be picked out thanks to its new secondary hood scoop and new 18-inch BBS forged-aluminum wheels.

As with its TRD Pro stablemates, the Tundra TRD Pro will arrive in showrooms in the fall of 2018. Toyota hasn’t released pricing yet, but here at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show, we’re getting our first look at the truck. Keep reading for the details.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro.

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Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro

Toyota Ups the Ante With 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro

New TRD Desert Air Intake joins the options list

Toyota is giving its TRD Pro trio – Tundra, Tacoma, and 4Runner. – a mild update for the 2019 model year. The changes are mostly minor but help keep the already capable vehicles fresh in customers’ minds. That’s definitely needed considering how hot the off-road pickup segment is getting.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

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What's Under the Skin of the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor?

What’s Under the Skin of the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor?

Highlights include beefy shocks, aluminum control arms, and a Watt’s Link

The 2019 Ranger Raptor is making headlines as it finally debuted in Bangkok, Thailand. As expected, the truck takes the same approach to high-speed off-roading as its big brother, the Ford F-150 Raptor. There are a few major differences, however, not the least of which is the Ranger Raptor’s suspension.

The mid-size truck does use Fox Racing Shocks at all four corners, an independent front suspension, and a solid rear axle. However, the similarities stop there. All four of the Ranger Raptor’s Fox shocks measure 46.6mm in diameter for improved off-road refinement on high-speed bumps compared to the standard Ranger. Fox uses Position Sensitive Damping technology to give the shocks variable rates. With mild bumps, the shocks provide a soft ride thanks to lower damping forces. Driven hard over rough terrain, the Fox shocks provide higher damping deeper into the shocks’ travel. This keeps the truck from hitting its bump stops while still providing a tailored ride in a variety of situations.

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The 2019 Ranger Raptor is the Diesel-Drinking Off-Road Beast We've Been Needing

The 2019 Ranger Raptor is the Diesel-Drinking Off-Road Beast We’ve Been Needing

A look at Ford’s new 2.0-liter I-4 turbodiesel

Ford’s new 2019 Ranger Raptor is making big waves as its debut in Thailand reaches America’s shores. Anticipation for the truck garnered nearly limitless speculation from industry analysts and journalists. Everyone basically knew the Ranger Raptor would be wider, taller, have a dolled-up interior, and ride on Fox Racing Shocks. Those were easy guesses. But one thing nobody saw coming was Ford’s new twin-turbo, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel under the hood.

The new engine was designed to offer more power and better fuel economy, but with less weight than traditional turbodiesels. Ford’s engine testing included running the engine wide open nonstop for 200 hours with both turbos glowing red hot. The engine was then subjected to countless miles of off-road driving and other extreme regimens. The result, hopefully, is an engine that will last the life of the truck without major mechanical issues.

Speaking of the turbos, Ford is using the age-old trick of compounding the turbos. Rather than having two identical turbos, they are different sizes. The smaller, high-pressure turbo works to combat turbo lag since its smaller size allows it to spool more quickly. This turbo then feeds the larger one, which runs at a lower pressure but with much more air volume. Combined – or compounded – the two turbos work to quickly spool at lower engine revs but deliver big boost pressures at higher engine speeds.

Ford’s result is this: 210 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

The longitudinally mounted engine mates exclusively with Ford’s new 10-speed automatic transmission, which it co-developed with General Motors. Both the engine and transmission are specifically tuned for the Ranger Raptor, including for severe off-road duty.

Despite the Ranger Raptor’s soft, off-road-oriented suspension, it’s rated to tow 5,511 pounds on its standard two-inch receiver hitch. That’s 511 pounds more than the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Duramax is rated to pull. As for power, the Ranger Raptor boasts 29 horsepower more and the same torque figure. Add to that the Ranger Raptor’s four additional gears in its transmission.

Stay tuned to TopSpeed.com as we continue our coverage of the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor.

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This Is It! Meet the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor!

This Is It! Meet the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor!

It debuted for Asian markets, but don’t worry, it’s coming here

Ford has finally pulled the covers off its much-anticipated 2019 Ranger Raptor. This is the hard-core off-road version the world has waited for. It boasts many similar attributes to its big brother, the Ford F-150 Raptor, but benefits from a smaller size, a Watt’s link and coil spring rear suspension, and a twin-turbodiesel powerplant. The debut event took place in Bangkok, Thailand, where pickups are extremely popular. And while Ford hasn’t admitted it yet, the Ranger Raptor will arrive in the U.S. Keep reading to learn all about it.

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2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Edition

2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Edition

Ram ups its luxury truck game

Ram has introduced the Laramie Longhorn trim level on its all-new 2019 Ram 1500 pickup. Like on the outgoing truck, the Laramie Longhorn is western-themed luxury trim filled with high-end materials. However, thanks to the vast improvements made on the 2019 Ram 1500, the Laramie Longhorn trim sees equally impressive advancements.

Designed to compete against the Ford F-150’s King Ranch and the Chevrolet Silverado’s High Country trims, the Laramie Longhorn goes above and beyond with real barn wood accent trim, full leather seats with contrast piping, brushed-nickel badging and accent trim, and Ram’s new 12-inch Uconnect touchscreen engulfing the dashboard. There is even the Laramie Longhorn badge branded into the wood trim above the glovebox – branded, like with a hot iron. That attention to detail continues through the cabin and onto the exterior.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn.

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2019 Ford Ranger

2019 Ford Ranger

The Return of the Ranger after a seven-year hiatus

Well, it’s back. The Ford Ranger mid-size pickup has returned to the U.S. and in glorious fashion. The pickup made its debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit right beside the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado. While it’s not the F-150, the 2019 Ranger will put Ford back in the mid-size pickup fight against the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier, and most importantly, the venerable Toyota Tacoma.

The addition of the Ranger positions Ford as having the widest-spread pickup lineup in the world. Entries include the new Ranger, the half-ton F-150, the heavy-duty Super Duty lineup, and the commercial medium-duty segment with the F-650 and F-750 cab chassis.

Of course, the Ranger will have its work cut out; the Toyota Tacoma has long been the leader in mid-size trucks and the General Motors twins aren’t too far behind. Let’s see how the 2019 Ranger stacks up.

Continue reading for more on the 2019 Ford Ranger.

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