2019 Chevy Kodiak HD 4500 Caught testing
General Motors and Navistar International announced their partnership to build medium-duty trucks back in October of 2015, but since then, nothing has surfaced regarding the Class 4 and 5 commercial trucks – that is, until now. Spy shots have surfaced of a camouflaged test mule apparently prepped for stability testing. The rig has a beefy roll bar mounted to its flatbed and its front bumper is prepped for outriggers.
The images come via our friends at TFL Truck. The prototype truck clearly has elements of both GM and Navistar International. The hood and front grille are familiar International designs, while the headlights are clearly lifted from the 2015-2015 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 WT. The truck’s cab is also pure GM, likely shared with the Silverado 2500/3500 HD. The trailer tow mirrors, door handles, roof marker lights, and the cab’s overall shape are dead giveaways. Sadly, both automakers have remained quiet about the trucks, though TFL Truck cites reports suggesting the 4500/5500 trucks will debut in March of 2018 and go on-sale shortly thereafter as 2019 models. It’s unclear whether the trucks will have GM nameplate or Navistar International branding – or both. GM’s Chevy and GMC divisions could very easily revive the Kodiak and TopKick names, as both have illustrious histories spanning from 1980 to 2009. International might use the truck to expand its lineup below the DuraStar, currently its smallest medium-duty truck.
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2018 Chevy Traverse Goes Upscale in All-New Generation
General Motors is slaying the 2017 Detroit Auto Show with new metal, including the all-new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse. This three-row crossover continues the Traverse’s reign of family-friendly utility, but adds a high-class exterior and upper middle-class interior to the mix, finally reliving the Traverse’s ageing design that’s been around since 2009.
Although a mid-cycle refresh for the 2014 model year kept the hot-selling Traverse moving off Chevy showrooms, the 2018 Traverse marks the first generational change in the nameplate’s history. This new second-generation Traverse now has a far more upscale exterior that shares design cues with the Tahoe and Suburban, along with Chevy’s smaller crossovers and sedans.
The 2018 Traverse rides on GM’s new C1XX platform. Though this is the same platform that underpins the 2017 GMC Acadia, the Traverse’s footprint is larger, allowing for more interior space. Its eight-passenger seating remains, making it one of the segment’s most versatile contenders. Optional second-row captain’s chairs reduce seating to seven, but provide an easier third-row entrance while giving second-row passengers more personal space. Chevy says it has 98.5 cubic feet of cargo room and 33.7-inches of third-row legroom. Both figures are expected to be best-in-class for 2018.
Chevy is introducing a new engine inside the 2018 Traverse. Acting as the standard engine, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder comes mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The engine makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which is more twist than the Traverse’s optional 3.6-liter V-6 produces.
Speaking of the V-6, it’s the same carryover 3.6-liter as before. It does get a power boost to 305 horsepower, but torque remains at 260 pound-feet. It comes mated to the same nine-speed automatic as the four-cylinder.
Two new trim levels arrive for 2018. A new RS trim acts as the entry-level model and is exclusively paired with the 2.0-liter turbo-four. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Traverse gets Chevy’s High Country trim with the same saddle-leather style seating found in the Silverado High Country. Suede accents in the seats, 20-inch wheels, D-Optic LED headlights, and a trim-exclusive dual-clutch AWD system set the High Country apart.
Chevy expects the 2018 Traverse to hit showrooms in the fall of 2017. Assembly will happen at GM’s Lansing Delta Township plant.
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In Depth: 2017 Ford F-150 Buyer’s Guide
The Ford F-150 has been the best selling pickup for nearly 40 years and has more recently become the best selling vehicle – regardless of model type – in the United States. To say the F-150 is an important and well-loved vehicle would be a dramatic understatement. That’s why we’re looking deep into the F-150’s configuration and options combinations. We aim to inform consumes on what Ford offers with the F-150.
The current F-150 was dramatically reinvented for the 2015 model year an is vastly different from any other pickup on the market. That’s because its body is constructed of lightweight aluminum and it rides on a highly engineered, fully boxed steel frame. It has a pair highly technical, forced-induction engines and it is the first mass-production vehicle to offer a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Of course, the F-150 has some strong competition, namely from General Motors and Ram. GM offers its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra twins, while Ram has its 1500-series truck. There are others out there, too, including Nissan’s new-for-2017 Titan and Toyota’s aging Tundra. Still, it’s Ford that continues to sell more trucks to more people across the North American continent.
Continue reading for the Buyer’s Guide.
Chevy Says All-New Traverse Coming to Detroit Auto Show
Chevrolet is bringing its next-generation Traverse to the 2017 North American International Auto Show. The full-size, three-row crossover is currently one of the oldest vehicles in Chevy’s lineup and is said to receive a bold and refined design with “exclusive D-Optic headlamps” that provide more natural lighting that is comparable to daylight.
The Traverse will continue offering room for up to eight people. Chevy anticipates the Traverse, which will likely be a 2018 model, will have segment-leading legroom for its three, third-row passengers. No details were given in the short press release announcing the Traverse’s debut at Detroit.
However, one important detail is noted. The Traverse, because of its eight-passenger seating, will be larger than the 2017 GMC Acadia – a vehicle that used to share its platform with the Traverse. The new Acadia is now smaller than its previous generation and only provides a maximum of seven seats.
Alan Batey, president of GM North American and brand chief of Global Chevrolet, said, “Nobody in the industry offers a broader, fresher lineup of SUVs and crossovers than Chevrolet. From the all-electric Bolt EV to America’s longest-running nameplate, Suburban, we’ve got something for every customer and lifestyle.”
The revamped Traverse will sell along side Chevy’s other crossovers, including the all-new 2018 Equinox and the 2017 Bolt EV (though some might argue the Bolt is a four-door hatchback). Other crossover and SUV models include the Trax, Tahoe, and Suburban.
Though Chevy wasn’t forthright with information on the new headlights, a quick search reveals D-Optic headlights are a new generation of LED leadlight design with multiple 1x1 LEDs close coupled with injection molded lens optics that provide strong forward lighting with minimal energy requirements.
The Traverse will debut on January 9, 2017. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for official information and photos as they become available.
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2017 Colorado ZR2 vs 2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
These are exciting times for truck enthusiasts who also like off-roading. The 2017 Ford Raptor is out, launching the second generation of Ford’s halo F-150. Toyota has its new-for-2017 Tacoma TRD Pro that’s based on the new-for-2016 Tacoma. And Chevy comes late to the party with its Colorado ZR2 – a production truck based on the concept version from 2014. These three trucks represent the upper crust of the pickup segment. It’s a prestigious group that’s focused on going fast over rough terrain while still conquering the daily commute.
The Raptor might be the premiere pickup, having birthed this niche segment back in 2010, but the Toyota and Chevy new-comers aren’t slackers. In fact, thanks to their smaller sizes compared to the full-size Raptor, these mid-size pickups are more agile and can fit down narrower trails. The famed Rubicon train in California, or instance, is too narrow for the Raptor’s immensely wide track. The Tacoma TRD Pro and Colorado ZR2, however, should have no problem traversing the tight terrain.
The Toyota and Chevy are also less expensive (or rumored to be) than the Raptor. That puts them basically in a head-to-head fight for customers. Typical things like design, features, and brand loyalty goes a long way in choosing which truck is best, but a more objective comparison should be made. That’s especially true for someone who’s ready to pull the trigger on a purchase.
That’s where this article comes in. We’re going to dive deep into the features and specs of both the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and the Chevy Colorado ZR2 in order to help you, the customer, make a better-informed decision.
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Galaxy Note 7 Self Destructs, Takes Jeep with it
If you were thinking about upgrading to the Galaxy Note 7, you probably noticed that your service carrier’s website shows an unknown or rather extended shipping date. So, you go for a Google search and find out that the Note 7 has been recalled because of battery issues. So far, there has been at least 35 incidents regarding the Note 7 and its ability to randomly blow up. Samsung has since initiated a recall, but that recall didn’t come soon enough for one man in St. Petersburg, Florida who is not only out a phone but his Jeep as well.
According to local news outlet, Fox 13, Nathan Dornacher and his family were out doing some summer yard selling. After purchasing a desk, they traveled back home to offload it, at which point Mr. Dornacher left his Note 7 charging in the center console of his Jeep Grand Cherokee. After offloading the desk, the family sent their daughter and the family’s service dog back out to the Jeep, but the dog – doing his duty – made it known that something wasn’t right. Upon looking out the window, Dornacher realized that his Jeep was engulfed in flames. Lucky for them, they hadn’t sent their daughter and dog back to the Jeep any earlier, or the family could be suffering a loss much worse than a phone and a jeep.
Dornacher advised Fox 13 that his Jeep was a “point of pride” as he had made many upgrades to the vehicle. Now, the vehicle is a total loss, and the family must now find a new vehicle. Samsung has been made aware of the incident and told Fox 13 that they are working with the family to investigate the situation and will do everything they can for him.
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2016 USSV Rhino
There are places around the world that are considered inherently unsafe. South Africa, the Middle East, or even Chicago… Traveling to such places as a dignitary or wealthy business mogul has major risks not many are willing to compromise with. Protection from the elements – especially the human elements – is critical for these folks. That’s where US Specialty Vehicles comes in.
USSV offers this – the Rhino GX. It’s a custom-built SUV with the option of being fully armored, so navigating the occasional riot is no problem. And when it comes to navigating unpaved terrain, the Rhino’s 4WD system and beefy tires do the job.
In interior is fully customized with high-end materials, as well, making the pickiest customer happy. All this is built on the previous-generation Ford Super Duty platform with power coming from the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbodiesel or the 6.8-liter V-10 gasoline engine.
Dive into the details with the full review below.
Ford Announces 10-Year Renovation Plan for its Dearborn Facilities
Ford Motor Company has announced plans for a complete revitalization of its Dearborn, Michigan facilities over a 10-year period. The plan include new buildings with better workflow layouts and high-tech connectivity upgrades, walking paths, roadways for autonomous shuttle vehicles and eBikes, and courtyards for employees to enjoy – all done with green energy building practices.
“As we transition to an auto and a mobility company, we’re investing in our people and the tools they use to deliver our vision,” said Ford President and CEO Mark Fields. “Bringing our teams together in an open, collaborative environment will make our employees’ lives better, speed decision-making and deliver results for both our core and emerging businesses.”
The transition to an auto and mobility company Fields talks about will have Ford not only building cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans like today, but will expand into building autonomous vehicles and becoming a “leader in connectivity and mobility,” along with tapping into customer experience, data, and analytics.
Construction is set to begin by the end of April 2016 at the Ford Research and Engineering Center and should be done by 2023. Work on the Ford World Headquarters will begin in 2021 and is scheduled for completion in 2026. The two-phase project will deliver more than 1.3 million square feet of space.
Ford expects both locations will achieve at least a minimum silver certification through the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design process. All newly constructed buildings are planned to meet LEED Gold certification, meaning they are environmentally constructed and use less energy than a conventional building.
All this is aimed at replacing Ford’s current facilities, which are more than 60 years old.
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The recent debuts two all-new SUVs – the 2016 Toyota Fortuner and 2015 Ford Everest – have reignited interest in the seven-passenger, body-on-frame SUV segment, particularly in Australia where such vehicles enjoy healthy sales. However, one stalwart in the segment is the Isuzu mu-X, an SUV that shares all the same important criteria as the others.
Isuzu’s seven-passenger people hauler rides on a ladder frame design with an independent front suspension and a solid rear axle sprung with a multi-link and coil design. The mu-X also sports a turbodiesel powertrain, available manual transmission, and optional 4WD. On paper, the mu-X certainly has the right stuff.
Ironically, much of that can be credited to General Motors – the parent company to one of the mu-X’s closest rivals, the 2012 Holden Colorado 7. Reminiscent of GM and Isuzu’s past partnership in the U.S., the mu-X is a rebadged version of the Holden Colorado 7. Here in the States, GM rebadged the first-generation Chevrolet Colorado midsize pickup truck as the 2004 Isuzu i-Series and the Chevrolet Trailblazer SUV as the Isuzu Ascender.
Unlike that past partnership, Isuzu is providing its own powertrain for the mu-X, including a 3.0-liter inline four-cylinder turbodiesel and five-speed transmissions in place of the Holden’s 2.8-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel and six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes. Beyond that, the Colorado 7 and mu-X are strikingly similar. Still, both compete against each other in the Australian market and will have to fend off the new Fortuner and Everest from Toyota and Ford.
So let’s take a deeper dive into the Isuzu mu-X.
Continue reading to learn more about the Isuzu MU-X.
Despite having “eco” in its name, the Ford F-150’s newest engine, the 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6, did not woo Wards Auto in its yearly 10 Best Engines test simply because of fuel economy. Wards’ independent testing showed the turbocharged V-6 only averaged between 17.6 and 19 mpg over a 253-mile test loop in a 4WD supercab truck. What’s worse, checking the fuel economy manually by filling up the tank and dividing miles by gallons revealed a dismal 15.6-mpg average.
That’s a far cry from the EPA’s estimated fuel economy of 20 mpg combined and 23 mpg highway.
Adding insult to injury, Wards claims to have gotten better fuel mileage in the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V-8. While the author didn’t dive into details, the EPA rates the Coyote V-8 at 15 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.
Wards had a lot of good things to say about the 2.7-liter EcoBoost, despite its poor fuel ratings, however. “This all-new F-150 pickup engine is compelling for several reasons, particularly the “hybrid” block construction that uses compacted-graphite iron for the upper part and aluminum for the bottom, as well as aluminum heads with integrated exhaust manifolds.”
Also mentioned were the fracture-split connecting rods, the variable-displacement oil pump, composite oil pan, and “smooth-functioning” start/stop system. In other words, the EcoBoost is a marvel of modern engine building. Sadly, it failed to deliver on its promise of fuel economy – at least for Wards.
While we hold in high regards the validity of the results, we have to wonder if the particular F-150 tester was having issues. We’ll reserve judgment until a broader field of trucks show the same symptoms.
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The Land Rover Defender is about as iconic as they come, getting its start some 68 years ago and remaining relatively unchanged despite the six decades that’s past. However, nothing lasts forever and the classic Defender is on its way out, soon to be replaced by a more modern vehicle that will hopefully be available worldwide thanks to updated emissions and safety standards. To commemorate the Defender’s ride into the sunset, Land Rover has commissioned three special edition models in a “Celebration Series.” The trio includes a Heritage Edition painted in the classic soft green, a top-of-the-line Autobiography Edition, and this – the off-road ready Adventure Edition.
The Adventure Edition package includes some specific upgrades that make tackling an African safari trip or mountain expedition that much easier. Most noticeable are the knobby Goodyear MT/R tires and swanky alloy wheels. The large front skid plate and side rocker panel guards also top the list. Topping the Defender itself is a full size roof rack and engine snorkel. Add to that the special Phoenix Orange paint color accented by the black hood and grille to call attention to itself, and the Adventure Edition Defender makes for an appropriate send-off.
To help commemorate the current Defender, Land Rover went back to the Defender’s roots – tracing back to Red Wharf Bay where the rugged SUV was dreamt up. A plan was brewed to trace a Defender’s silhouette in the sand before the tide erased it forever. However, the tracing was no stick drawing, but an outline that stretched a kilometer across. Check the video below the jump.
Click past the jump for more info on the Adventure Edition Defender
Automakers have employed cylinder deactivation for years now in an effort to increase fuel economy on large-displacement engines. The process essentially cuts fuel to a set number of cylinders when load on drivetrain is at minimal levels. But what if every cylinder could be deactivated to save fuel, only getting fuel and a spark when it’s needed? That’s what General Motors is exploring with the help of a company called Tula Technologies.
It’s called Dynamic Skip Fire and it basically uses sophisticated computer algorithms to fire only cylinders when needed for generating power and canceling vibrations caused by an imbalance in rotational mass. Though still in development, Tula claims a 15-percent improvement on fuel economy over V-8 engines with GM’s cylinder deactivation technology called Active Fuel Management.
Of course, DSF only works on engines with direct fuel injection like GM’s latest EcoTec3 family of engines.
Modifications to the engine include fully deactivatable lifter on the intake and exhaust valves, along with additional oil galleries in the block to supply the new lifter oil manifold assemblies with a steady steam of oil. The computer does the work beyond that.
No doubt the integration of DSF into a production engine will take time and thousands more hours of testing, but the idea of saving another 15 percent on fuel consumption without sacrificing peak engine output is a tantalizing thought. Hopefully we’ll see more of this system in the future, especially now that GM Ventures has announced its investment into Tula.
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Robby Gordon is no stranger to racing. He’s one of the rare types that chases wins from as many racing series as possible. Gordon’s quest has landed him trophies from NASCAR, Indy Car, short course, the Baja 1000, 24 Hours of Daytona, and the 12 Hours of Sebring. And while he’s won multiple stages of the ten Dakar races he has competed in, he’s yet to pull off an overall win. Gordon plans on changing that this year.
Work has been an ongoing event since the 2014 Dakar ended last January. Gordon and his team has constructed a brand new vehicle to compete, called the Gordini, which is a V-8-powred, rear-drive, monster that competes in the car class.
The documentary above details out the first half of the Gordini build, including though from team members and specific challenges that have been overcome. The second half to the video series (below the jump) continues the adventure as the team prepares to ship off to South America.
Much of the two-video documentary covers the intricate fabrication of the off-roader. The tube-frame chassis, aluminum skid plates, large suspension components, a Chevrolet LS V-8 powerplant, and tons of dyno runs to sort it out are all included. Gordon also dives into the mind-blowing logistics it takes to pull off participating in a Dakar race. It’s all an amazing feet of skill and determination.
With the race already underway, Gordon snatched a podium finish for the first stage, ending in second place. Gordon’s good luck ran short on the second day, however, as overheating brakes and a secondary mechanical issue cost the team more than four hours.
Click past the jump for the second video
The 2015 Dakar Rally is officially underway this week, getting its start Sunday, January 4th and going till January 17th. The highly competitive off road race is the most challenging endurance race of its kind, pairing four classes of vehicles with a drive route that’s over 2,600 miles long through some of the harshest desert terrain on earth. The 13-stage race takes place in South America and travels through Argentina, Chile, and Bolivia on a coast-to-coast round trip.
The four vehicle categories are bikes, quads, cars, and trucks – each highly modified specifically for this race. Looking like a cross between a Baja 1000 truck and a Rally America racer, the car class has massive shocks, meaty tires, all-wheel-drive, and a full roll cage. The truck class resembles a monster truck rally than a Baja race. Also called the Lorrie class, the trucks are cab-over-engine designs and weight over 7,716 pounds. Think Mercedes Unimog.
Though all four vehicle classes run the same basic race, specific routes are planed out to maximize the challenges specific to each vehicle type. The motorcycle and quads are generally grouped together while the cars and trucks mostly run side by side.
Videos are added daily at the official Dakar website and include race details and results.
Click past the jump for more videos
The MB100 is an old Mercedes van sold in Asia, South America, Africa and Australia. The van has a long history behind, but despite being pretty popular on the emergent markets it went out of production in 2004.
The vehicle was built in Korea and shared the same design and technologies with the SsangYong Istana. Unfortunately the only Mercedes part found at the van was the badge, so don’t expect to the same level of reliability and refinement that is usually found at any Mercedes vehicle.
The van was a pretty rugged workhorse built with practicality in mind and was available in both commercial and passenger versions.
Power options included two engines namely a 2.3 liter diesel and a 2.2 liter petrol.
The SsangYong Musso is a double cab pickup based on the Musso SUV. The vehicle was commercialized between 2002 and 2005, and features Mercedes engines and transmissions. The Musso Pickup offered a good compromise between luxury, strength and refinement, but it never received the deserved attention.
Thanks to the use of Mercedes parts, the truck was pretty reliable delivering strong on road performances and being able to deal great with heavy loads too.
The SsangYong Musso Pickup was offered with either 4x2 or 4x4 drive modes and was able to tow a maximum weight of 3500 kg, while payload is rated at 854 kg.
The ChineseGreat Wall Wingle has entered the worldwide market in 2006. The vehicle was also known as the Steed in Europe and the V-Series in Australia.
The Steed was available in both single and double cab configurations and offered a good mix between comfort, price and practicality.
The exterior design looked like a combination between Isuzu’s D Series and the Volkswagen Magellan Concept.
The vehicle is available with two engines which come with 2.4 and 2.8 liter displacements and are mated on a five speed manual transmission. The Steed 3 can be ordered with either 2WD or 4WD configurations.
The Holden Rodeo was basically a rebadged version of the Isuzu Rodeo and was sold between 2003 and 2007.
Except for some minor exterior differences the Holden Rodeo looked identical with its Japanese twin. The same platform was also used to build the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado.
The Holden Rodeo was offered in a wide range of versions including single, double and extended cabs, and also two and four wheel drive models.
The truck was fairly practical and coped great with many arduous jobs. Though, the Holden Rodeo had to deal with a pretty strong competition which affected its sales charts.
The vehicle has a minimum payload of 1054 kg with a maximum towing capacity of 2000 kg or 3000 kg, depending on the engine.
According to some rumors, Jeep is planning its big re-entrance in the pickups segment, with the new model being based on the Gladiator Concept revealed in 2005.
The Gladiator Concept was based on the Wrangler model and was fitted with an innovative mid-gate which helped the driver transport longer weights. The mid-gate concept is not new and it’s borrowed from the Chevrolet Avalanche pickup.
The latest pickup developed by the company (the Comanche) was sold until 1992 and despite the fact that it was a fairly good product it never managed to attract a large number of buyers.
The newest ute was launched by Holden in 2007 as a replacement for the old Commodore based VE model.
The new generation continues to keep the standards high and is considered by many the best ute ever built by the company. Continuing to be based on the high class Commodore passenger car, the new VU is more like a sedan with a tray at the back than a classical utility pickup.
The cabin offers s superior level of comfort while the road manners are also part of the first class.
The base model is named Omega and under its bonnet you’ll find a 3.6-litre V6 which can be mated on both manual and automatic transmissions.
The old Colorado was a pretty competitive vehicle, offering a good balance between comfort and utility. The new generation moves this heritage even further and is a completely new vehicle designed from the ground up to respect the contemporary requirements of pickup trucks.
The 2012 Holden Colorado shares the same platform and technology with the Isuzu D-Max, but it’s equipped with its own GM engines.
Similarly with the old model, the new Holden Colorado is offered with regular, extended and crew cabs. The vehicle is offered with a choice of two engines which come with 2,5 and 2,8 liter displacements.