Tesla Should Build an Honest Cab-Over Half-Ton Pickup
Picture this: a high-riding half-ton pickup truck with an all-electric drivetrain hung between hydro-formed, fully boxed frame rails and the center of gravity akin to a BMW 5 Series rather than a top-heavy truck. That’s a far-fetched idea, but it might be something Tesla could build. See, during the debut of Tesla’s new Semi truck and the surprise reveal of the 2020 Tesla Roadster, this little sketch was briefly mentioned by Elon Musk.
“It’s a pickup truck that can carry a pickup truck,” Musk is reported to have said. We wouldn’t know since we’re apparently not cool or hipster enough to get invited to Tesla events. Bearded and skinny jean-wearing millennials also say Muck muttered, “By the way, you will actually be able to drive that with a normal driver’s license. It’s kind of wrong, but I like it.” So apparently this outlandish pickup thing has more traction than a locked differential – well, as much traction as afforded by the wishful dreams of the real-life Tony Stark.
But for real – Tesla could actually start something here. Pickups have maintained the same basic layout since their invention in the early 1900s. The engine goes in front, followed by the cab, and bookended by the cargo bed. Why change what works? Well, if Musk has his way, this cab-over style consumer pickup could revolutionize the way pickups are picking stuff up.
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2018 Ford F-150 VelociRaptor 6x6 by Hennessey Performance
How do you make a Ford F-150 Raptor any more awesome? Hennessey Performance has a great answer – stick an extra axle under an elongated cargo bed then add 150 horsepower. Hennessey is no stranger to making outlandish vehicles with insane levels of power. The Texas-based tuner has done several Raptor upgrades before, and naturally, their bread-n-butter is adding more horsepower to stock vehicles. But this marks the first time a 6x6 configuration has been involved.
Mercedes started the 6x6 trend in 2013 with the G63 6x6. Since then, a handful of aftermarket companies have followed those tracks. The idea behind the 6x6 setup is added traction, better payload and towing capacities, and shear badassery. One look at the G63 6x6 or the Hennessey VelociRaptor 6x6 confirms that. Hennessey can’t confirm how well the VelociRaptor 6x6 handles in the dirt, however. The first example already has customer money on the hood. It’s also the same truck Hennessey took to the 2017 SEMA show. With SEMA over, Hennessey had only a few days to ship the truck to its owner in Florida.
Want to know more? Keep reading for details on the VelociRaptor 6x6.
The 2019 Ram 1500 Is Getting A Split Tailgate!
The next-generation Ram 1500 will be raising the bar for pickup truck cargo beds when it debuts for the 2019 model year. A spy photographer just caught a 2019 Ram tester with an uncamouflaged tailgate that is clearly split vertically. The tailgate will be able to open like a regular tailgate while also opening sideways like French doors. The Honda Ridgeline’s tailgate opens like this, though as a solid piece without the split.
Ford And Roush Giving 2018 F-150 V-8 a Supercharged Punch
Remember the Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck from the 2017 SEMA show? Well, Ford Performance and Roush Performance are paring yet again to bring the Muscle Truck’s muscle to customers nationwide. Ford will offer a Roush supercharger kit for the 2018 F-150’s 5.0-liter V-8. The roots-style blower will be installed at Ford dealerships by ASE-certified Ford technicians and come with a Ford-backed warranty.
Don’t think the F-150’s V-8 is no dud from the factory. Rather, the 2018 update brought ten more horsepower and 13 more pound-feet of torque for a total of 395 and 400, respectively. Adding the supercharger is said to bring levels to 640 horsepower and 600 pound-feet of torque! That’s impressive. Other modifications would include a re-flash of the ECU, a new high-flow intake, and likely an exhaust system. Naturally, with this being a dealer add-on part, anybody willing to pony up the cash can get the extra power – regardless of what trim or cab configuration their 2018 F-150 has. Imagine a single cab, short bed F-150 with 640 horsepower. Oh, wait… one Ford dealership already has.
Ford has not released pricing for the Roush Performance supercharger kit or the shop fees for installation. We do know the blower will become available sometime in early 2018.
2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition – Driven
The current Chevrolet Silverado isn’t that old, really. It debuted for the 2014 model year and underwent a very mild cosmetic refresh for 2016. Yet, in the high-stakes game that is the American pickup market, Chevy has to stay current. An all-new Silverado is destined for 2019, but until the fall of 2018, we’re stuck with the current truck. While the 2017 Silverado is hardly a bad apple, Chevy is keeping it fresh by offering several special edition models and among them is this, the Midnight Edition.
I recently spent a week driving a 2017 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab LTZ Z71 Midnight Edition, driving it the same way any truck owner would, well, save for towing a 9,300-pound trailer. I didn’t have one laying around. I did throw a couple coolers and lawn chairs in the bed, haul five people around, take the kiddo to school, and muddle through everyday life like anyone would. Turns out, the Silverado is a fantastic vehicle for active families.
Continue reading for more information.
2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport
It’s no secret automakers have found big success in special edition versions of conventional models. Nowhere else is that truer than in the pickup market. Ram’s latest special edition is this, the Hydro Blue Sport, and it will be the last special edition of the 2017 calendar year. Then after 2018, the all-new 2019 Ram 1500 will be hitting showrooms. But before that happens, expect Ram to continue offering dolled-up versions of its current pickups in 2018.
Mike Manley, the head of Jeep and Ram brands, says, “The custom look and high-impact colors have been well received in the marketplace and this new Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport will surely stand out on dealers’ lots and in customers’ driveways. Enthusiasts demand that their trucks get noticed and our Ram 1500 Sport lineup delivers a durable, powerful alternative with great visual appeal.”
Naturally, General Motors says the same about its special edition Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra trucks, too. And truth be told, they’re right. We recently spent a week with the 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Midnight Edition and found plenty of people staring and making approving comments. Will the Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport have the same effect? Tell us in the comments after reading all the details down below.
Continue reading for details on the 2018 Ram 1500 Hydro Blue Sport.
EarthRoamer is no stranger to building high-end, custom, off-road RVs. The Colorado-based company has been building them since 1998. Their main model, the XV-LT, is built using the Ford F-550 Super Duty platform. It’s a go-anywhere rig designed for off-the-grid living. Well, now the company is building something even bigger – the XV-HD. It’s based on the massive Ford F-750 medium-duty truck and is converted to 4WD with a solid front axle. The fiberglass body is one large piece with no seam, and the interior is fully customizable and built to suit each owner. Obviously, something like this won’t be cheap – and it’s not. It carries a price tag of $1.7 million.
The truck (building on wheels?) has 46-inch-tall mud-terrain tires, a 30,000-pound recovery winch inside its custom front bumper. It can carry 115 gallons of diesel fuel, 250 gallons of fresh water, and its solar panel array generates 2,100 watts of power and feeds a 20,000 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Oh, and there’s an automatically starting generator should the batteries need to be recharged in the dark.
There is a ton more information, so keep reading for the details.
Continue reading for more on the EarthRoamer XV-HD.
This Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts Is the Ultimate Rock Climber
The 2017 SEMA Show was packed with modified pickup trucks, but none was as spectacular as this EcoBoost-powered rock climber built by CJ Pony Parts. The aftermarket parts supplier has been a constant presence in Las Vegas in recent years, showcasing a restomod 1965 Ford Mustang built with TMI Products, a custom Focus ST with Ford, and a beefed up Mustang EcoBoost with Ford Performance. In 2017, CJ Pony Parts chose to stay away from the car performance realm and opted to create a stunning off-road-equipped F-150 pickup truck.
Already a solid truck thanks to its aluminum body, leading technology, and fuel-efficient engines, the F-150 is now able to tackle the Moab Easter Jeep Safari alongside the most hardcore Jeep Wranglers out there. CJ Pony Parts says that its goal with this build was to create something "that not only looked tough but can back up that look with massive off-road capability," it seems that the result matches the description. Exterior upgrades are numerous, starting with Lund fender flares, custom two-tone paint with orange graphics, and a rear differential cover. There’s also a T-Rex grille; Rigid Radiance LED lights, Rock Slider side steps, and new Stealth Fighter and Honey Badger bumpers front and rear. The truck also features an Oracle Lighting ColorShift LED underbody lighting kit.
The list of accessories continues inside with a Raptor steering wheel with orange stitching, Ford Performance door sill plates, custom headrests with CJ Pony Parts logo, and orange accents on the dashboard, door panels, center console, and floor mats. But the really important upgrades were operated under the skin.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-150 By CJ Pony Parts.
2017 Ford F-350 “The Operator” By Hellwig
We love it when a builder goes just a little bit of crazy, creating something over-the-top, but only just. This extensively modified F-350 from Hellwig is exactly that. Dubbed “The Operator,” Hellwig started with a stock 2017 Ford Super Duty F-350 Lariat Crew Cab, then added upgrades until it had created the “ultimate recon adventure vehicle.” The most obvious thing to pick out is the large UTV this truck is hauling in its bed – or rather, above its bed might be more accurate. But there’s more to it than just that. “From recon runs in the desert to family camping trips in the dunes, the Operator is capable and comfortable,” says Hellwig, and we believe it. In addition to the usual off-roader gear outside, there’s nice stuff inside the cabin as well, plus a few choice upgrades under the hood to round it out.
All told, while the UTV certainly has our attention, it’s the little details in this build that really impress us. Hellwig didn’t neglect a thing in building its idea of “ultimate,” and in the end, we can’t help but stand back and admire the handy work.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-350 By Hellwig.
2017 Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck
Chevy brought two custom Colorado ZR2 pickups to SEMA this year with some heavy modifications that make them even better off-road. One was built in collaboration with American Expedition Vehicles and meant for over-landing while this, the Colorado ZR2 Race Development Truck, is built for high-speed desert running. In fact, many of the upgrades on this truck were first tested on Chad Hall’s Colorado ZR2, which ran in the “Best In The Desert” race series.
The list of modifications isn’t overly extensive, showing just how capable the Colorado ZR2 is from the factory. The truck’s crown jewel is its DSSV spool valve shock absorbers from Multimatic. DSSV shocks were developed for supercars and F1 race teams, so its adoption for an off-roader was unconventional. The factory truck also has better ground clearance than a regular Colorado, along with bespoke bodywork that improved approach and departure angles. Adding to its capability are front and rear electronic differential lockers – something not found on any other Colorado. Still, Chevy improved on the ZR2’s design for hard-core racing.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet ZR2 Race Development Truck.
2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty XLT By BDS Suspension
Ford brought more than 50 vehicles to the 2017 SEMA Show, ranging from factory fresh models and high-horsepower Mustangs to SUVs and lifted trucks. That last one is exactly what we’ve got here – a massive F-250 Super Duty that’s been re-engineered to handle any off-road situation. Ford partnered with BDS Suspension in building what’s been dubbed “Project SD126: No Mission Is Impossible.
The truck started life as a 2017 F-250 Super Duty XLT with a regular cab and long bed powered by the 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbodiesel and backed by the six-speed automatic transmission and stock 4WD system. BDS broke out the Sawzall and cut the long bed down. The wheelbase went from 142 inches to 126 inches, hints the SD126 name. From there came the suspension parts, new body panels, and reworked interior. Nearly every inch of the truck has been touched. Check out the details below.
Continue reading for more on the SD126 Super Duty.
2017 Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck
The 2017 SEMA Show is here, and as it happens every year, Ford brought a handful of modified F-150 pickup trucks to Las Vegas. Among them, there’s a beefed-up version created by the folks over at RTR Vehicles. Known mostly for tuning Ford Mustangs and for providing Vaughn Gittin Jr. with vehicles for the Formula Drift series, RTR used its experience in creating race-ready pony cars to put together a performance-oriented F-150.
RTR used a Lariat SuperCrew model as a base for this souped-up truck and add some of the features seen on its Gittin-prepped Mustang, most notably the D-shaped LED lights in the grille. Of course, the F-150 got a few unique touches as well. But, unlike the Mustang RTR, there’s no improvement in terms of horsepower and torque, although the truck now sports a wide range of chassis upgrades. So while it’s not as quick as the Raptor, it’s definitely more capable on the unbeaten path than a standard F-150.
Continue reading to learn more about the Ford F-150 RTR Muscle Truck.