Trucking into ’23
From the October 2022 print edition
Despite manufacturing and supply chain difficulties the automotive industry is surging ahead with new technologies and designs.
In fact, the 2022 model year has been a highwater mark for vehicle introductions and new technology –electric propulsion. Next year, 2023, promises to be just as good.
Regarding trucks, here are just some of the automotive headlines for the coming year:
- New GM twins, Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon, are coming, including some even wilder off-road versions. This includes the first-ever Trail Boss and an even more capable ZR2 – built on three specific chassis setups.
- Toyota Tacoma is up for its seven-year refresh. We haven’t seen anything yet, but we can expect meaningful changes.
- Ford’s Tremor (off-road package) is being added to the F-150 but also to the Ranger and Maverick.
- GMC introduces the Sierra Denali Ultimate – as the name implies it’s now the new top trim. GMC also now offers the AT4X off-road package in both its Sierra and the coming Canyon.
- A new Ford Ranger is coming in 2023.
2023 Ford F-150 Lightning
The Lightning is a powerhouse; delivering 563hp and 775lbs-ft of torque pushed through its dual in-board electric motors. It comes standard with 4WD. It’s built on a standard F-150 frame and body (all normal F-150 specs apply).
A feature unique to the Lightning is Ford Intelligent Backup Power, which can turn the truck into
a power source for your home. With the ability to offload 9.6kW of power it can serve an average home for three days in the event of a blackout. The standard-range battery claims 370km of range and an available extended-range battery is targeting 483km of range. The maximum payload is 2,000lbs and maximum towing capacity is 10,000lbs.
2023 Ford F-150 Raptor
Next year, 2023, sees the third- generation F-150 Raptor debut. This new Raptor adds enhanced connected technology. It’s HO 3.5L EcoBoost engine now delivers better low-end torque, enables greater towing and increased maximum payload capability. Its projected fuel range is 800km. The Raptor R (a V8 powered Raptor) is coming later this year.
2023 Ford Maverick
Resurrecting a name from the 1970s, the Maverick compact pickup is partly based on the current Escape. Maverick comes as a five-passenger, four-door pickup only. It is powered by a 2.5L hybrid that promises good fuel economy. It also features electronic AWD with drive modes like Mud/Rut and Sand, as well as Hill Descent Control. It has a projected fuel number of 5.9L/100km/city – or about 800km on a single tank of gas. For 2023, the Maverick gets the Tremor treatment. Available on XLT and Lariat series trucks it includes a one-inch lift, exclusive Trail Control, unique off-road front, and rear suspension. The maximum payload is 1,500lbs and maximum towing capacity is 4,000lbs.
2023 Toyota Tundra
Late 2022 saw the intro of a new generation of Tundra. The single biggest change is the death of the 5.7L
V8 and the introduction of the V6 twin-turbo engine. Two versions are available. The i-Force 3.5L V6 TT (389hp and 479 torque) and the hybrid i-Force Max 3.5L V6 TT (437hp and 583 torque).
The sheet metal has been reworked, as has the grille. Check out the new technologies added:
- Tow/Haul mode now has two settings to respond to lighter or heavier trailers.
- New cameras on the Tundra display multiple exterior angles on the 14-inch monitor.
- New power extending and folding tow mirrors.
- Blind Sport Monitor that includes the length of the trailer.
- New rear air suspension available to auto-level any load.
- A new Trailer Back Guidance system will back up a trailer (hands free) in a straight line.
- A new fully boxed, splayed frame is designed to better handle payload and towing
Option packages will remain basically the same. A total of 17 trim configurations are now offered.
The maximum payload is 1,710lbs and the maximum towing capacity is 12,000lbs.
2023 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 ZR2
For 2023, Chevy is adding the ZR2 off-road treatment to its Silverado. Sporting front and rear e-lockers, a special facia and the Multimatic DSSV damped shocks (already found on the mid-size Colorado ZR2).
The ZR2 includes the 6.2L, V8 mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission; uniquely-tuned springs; Terrain Mode; 33-inch off-road MT tires; skid plate package and a unique bumper with removable end caps. The maximum payload is 2,250lbs and maximum towing capacity is 13,400lbs.
2023 GMC Sierra
The big news at GMC is a new interior on all its trucks – and a new top-of-the-line package added to the Denali trim called the Ultimate. This new version of Denali pushes Ultimate back into the lead in this high-
priced, much-fought-over segment. Also new is the AT4X off-road package on Sierra. With the arrival of the Chevrolet Silverado ZR2 (Chevy’s desert racer truck) GMC has been wanting its own version. This AT4X has the same off-road goodies that the current Chevy ZR2 sports, and an even more luxurious interior. The maximum payload is 2,250lbs and maximum towing capacity
2023 Canyon and Colorado
The twins are going to be new this coming year. However, today, all we know is the small diesel has been dropped and there will be three off-road versions offered in addition to the regular trims.
2023 Nissan Frontier
For 2023, the Frontier gets a new 3.8L direct injection V6 that makes 310hp and 281lbs-ft of torque.
The transmission is a nine-speed automatic. It features shift-on-the-fly 4WD with 2WD/4HI/4LO modes. Frontier also has a four-wheel limited-slip system. The PRO-4X model adds an electronic locking differential, Bilstein off-road shocks and underbody skid plates. For 2023, Frontier is offering a unique Canadian-only model. The Frontier King Cab PRO-4X with six-foot bed will only be available in Canada.