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.
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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.
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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.
2018 Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept
Folks like to modify their rides for a variety of reasons. Some like to add a dash of personalized style, while others want to enhance the vehicle’s natural talents. However, some of the most interesting results come from the desire to take a vehicle out of its comfort zone, and as a result, create the unexpected. The Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept is a great example of something from that third category. While the Silverado is best known for its ability to haul goods, Chevy decided to see what would happen if it built a Silverado that could also haul ass. As such, this 2018 model gets a boatload of extra power thanks to a new concept supercharger system that ramps up output from the truck’s 5.3-liter V-8 engine by more than 100 horsepower. Of course, while gobs of extra power is always appreciated, a well-rounded build needs the complementary gear to go with it, and the Silverado Performance Concept delivers with additional performance parts, styling upgrades, and more.
Making its debut at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the Silverado Performance Concept joins roughly 20 other factory-backed Chevy models in attendance to entice both builders and enthusiasts alike with Bow Tie-styled goodness. Read on for the details on this go-faster truck.
Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Silverado Performance Concept.
Spied: 2019 Ram Getting Massive Vertical Screen
Ram’s next-generation 1500 pickup is on the verge of debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show ahead of its arrival in showrooms for the 2019 model year, but we’re getting a sneak peak thanks to a spy photographer who captured a detailed look at the 2019 Ram’s interior. The truck features a massive vertically oriented infotainment screen that dominates the center stack. It’s a vastly different design than anything currently seen in the pickup category. In fact, only Tesla and Volvo models have such large screens, followed closely by the Toyota Prius Prime.
Thankfully, it seems Ram engineers have thoughtfully retained hard buttons for the most common controls. These include the radio volume and tuning knobs, buttons for the HVAC fan speed and dual-zone temperatures, and the secondary HVAC system like defrost and recirculation. A bank of toggle switches line the bottom of the screen, controlling features like the optional air ride suspension, traction control, and parking sensors. As for the software, it’s clear Ram is continuing to use the well-loved Uconnect system. Icons along the bottom of the screen offer quick access to menus like the radio, HVAC, apps, navigation, phone, and system settings.
There’s more to see in the photos, so keep reading for more analysis.
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