Rolling out the truck iron

From the February 2019 print edition

The big news coming out of the Detroit Auto Show this year had to do with the show itself. This was the last time the show would take place in January. After 30 years, the show organizers decided that June will be a more pleasant time of the year to show off new cars and trucks. But this didn’t stop the roll out of new truck iron—cold or not.

The 2019 Ram Heavy Duty pick up showed off some new sheet metal; a beautifully updated interior (inherited from the 1500-series Ram rebooted just last year) and serious capacity updates.

This Ram HD also fired a shot at crosstown rival Ford by announcing that its 6.7L Cummins diesel engine would offer 1,000lbs-ft of torque. That is a never-before achieved benchmark.

  • Other new 2019 Ram HD features and numbers of significance are:
    The highest capability numbers for any diesel or gas-powered HD pickup—35,100lbs max towing and 7,680lbs max payload.
  • The standard 6.4L Hemi V8 will offer cylinder deactivation and Variable Cam Timing (VCT) and a class-leading 410hp and 429lbs-ft of torque. This engine is now coupled to the TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission.
  • The new frame uses 98.5 per cent high-strength steel—reducing weight while providing the highest levels of torsional rigidity. Meanwhile, more lightweight materials in the frame, powertrain and body (like an aluminum hood) reduce overall weight by 143lbs.
  • New 360-degree surround-view camera with trailer reverse guidance provides a single display-screen view of both sides of a trailer to assist drivers during towing and hookups.
  • Uconnect 4C NAV will come with a 12-inch configurable screen while the new centre console has 12 different storage solutions.
    The truck will be arriving at dealers late this spring.

The new Ranger

The 2019 Ford Ranger boasts a muscular body with a high beltline and a raked grille and windshield.

The new Ford Ranger was also on hand bringing a midsize option back to the market after an absence of nine years.

On the outside the 2019 Ranger evokes a muscular body with a high beltline that emphasizes strength, while a raked grille and windshield are said to give it an athletic appearance. From the rear, the Ranger identifies itself loudly with its name stamped into the tailgate. Inside, the Ranger blends comfort and functionality with room for up to five people, their gear and accessories. The center stack is home to an eight-inch touch screen for the available SYNC 3 system, while the instrument cluster features dual LCD screens for real-time vehicle, navigation and audio information.

This new Ranger is built with a high-strength steel frame, fully boxed with six cross-members, modern parabolic leaf-spring rear suspension, front and rear steel bumpers, short overhangs for off-road clearance and a hitch platform that is through-welded to the frame.

This Ranger has a 126.8-inch wheelbase with an overall length of 210.8-inches (compared to the full-size F-150’s 157-inch wheelbase and length of 243-inches).

The standard powertrain is a 2.3L EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. It features direct fuel injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger and a 16-valve design. This engine makes 270hp and 310lbs-ft of torque. It will also come standard with Auto Start-Stop.

This chassis and powertrain combination offers best-in-class (gas) towing of 7,500lbs. Payload is a very respectable 1,860lbs.

These trucks are arriving at dealerships across Canada now.

Jeep Gladiator

A new Gladiator, the first pickup Jeep has offered in 25 years, has foud doors on a frame that’s 31 inches longer than the Wrangler.

Jeep, one of the hottest brands selling today, is doubling down on its success by showing a brand-new midsize pickup truck for 2020. Called the Gladiator (a revived Jeep truck name from the 1960s) it will look to score sales in the rebounding mid-size market as well as offering Jeep faithful another truck option within the brand family they already love.

If you’re trying to remember the last time Jeep offered a pickup—well it’s been 28 years. Long enough that two entire generations have grown up thinking that Jeep only builds the Wrangler. However, prior to 1992 when the last Comanche pickup rolled off the line Jeep always had a truck as a companion to the original CJ, then the YJ and now the Wrangler.

This new Gladiator’s body-on-frame design offers four doors on a stretched frame 31-inches longer than the Wrangler four-door. The wheelbase on the truck is also 19.4-inches longer. This design provides for a five-foot cargo bed with a payload capacity of 1,600lbs. Inside the bed there are under-rail bed lights, integrated tie-downs, and an external AC power plug (400W). There is also an available spray-in bed liner, bed divider and tonneau cover.

As for towing, the Gladiator is claiming a best-in-class rating (for mid-size trucks). It will tow up to 7,650lbs which along with its payload capacity and space for four adults makes the Gladiator a versatile recreational hauler.

Standard powertrain on the Gladiator is the veteran 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine that makes 285hp and 260-lb.ft of torque. It comes with Engine stop/start standard. The engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission standard—or an optional eight-speed automatic. A second powertrain will become available in 2020—a 3.0L EcoDiesel. This engine will be rated at 260hp and 442lbs-ft of torque. It will be available with only the eight-speed automatic transmission.

Built in Toledo, Ohio, the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator arrives in showrooms in the second quarter of 2019.