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2017 Ram 1500 Rebel Blue Streak

A no-cost color option for the Rebel

The Ram 1500 Rebel is one of the baddest, most audacious trucks in the half-ton segment thanks to its mean mug, steel bumpers, tall ground clearance, off-road tires, and custom interior. The Rebel package might be a couple years old now, but Ram isn’t slowing down. Just ahead of the ahead of the 2017 New York Auto Show, Ram has released two special edition models for its 1500 pickup – the Sublime Sport and this, the Rebel Blue Streak. This special edition model fittingly comes with Blue Streak paint and can be had with the Rebel Black appearance package and optional two-tone paint scheme.

“The Ram 1500 Sublime Sport and Rebel Blue Streak expand our offerings in factory-custom trucks and give dealers a more extensive color palette to excite customers who are looking for something unique,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand.

Basically, the Rebel Blue Streak is a no-cost option on every Ram 1500 Rebel configuration and includes the Blue Streak paint. Customers can make their truck look more one-off with the other optional packages, including the Rebel Black. When optioned, the truck comes with the performance hood with black decals; black wheels; a black grille and lower brush guard; and black badging on the doors and tailgate.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ram 1500 Rebel Blue Streak.

2017 Ram 1500 Sublime Sport

Is this a case of "Gotta-have-it Green?"

The Ram 1500 might be long in the tooth, but that’s not stopping Ram from injecting fun into its pickup. Ahead of the 2017 New York Auto Show, Ram has released two special edition models for its 1500 pickup – the Rebel Blue Streak and this, the Sublime Sport. This special edition model comes with can’t-miss-it paint, 22-inch wheels, and black accents.

“The Ram 1500 Sublime Sport and Rebel Blue Streak expand our offerings in factory-custom trucks and give dealers a more extensive color palette to excite customers who are looking for something unique,” said Mike Manley, Head of Ram Brand.

Those familiar with Fiat Chrysler’s lineup shouldn’t be surprised at the bright color. We’ve seen Dodge and Jeep products wearing similarly fluorescent colors. Ram is limiting the Sublime Sport package to roughly 3,000 examples. Only the Ram 1500 Crew Cab with the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 can be ordered with the package.

Of course, there are more details, so keep reading for the full run-down.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ram 1500 Sublime Sport.

Look Out Perps! Ford Launches Police-Prepped 2018 F-150 & Expedition

The Special Service Vehicle package is ready for government and fleet duty

Ford is updating its lineup of Special Service Vehicles to include the updated 2018 F-150 and all-new 2018 Expedition. The pair joins the Taurus-based Police Interceptor Sedan and Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility. Altogether, the foursome provides the widest vehicle array designed for police and government use by any one automaker.

The F-150 and Expedition SSV are fitted with special equipment designed to accommodate aftermarket upfiting with warning lights, communication radios, and laptop stands. The XL trim level brings heavy-duty rubber flooring and vinyl seats for easy clean up. Even the front 40/20/40-split bench is replaced by a 40/blank/40-split bench to accommodate center command consoles – all to make the F-150 and Expedition ready for duty. Furthermore, the gear shifters are column-mounted for more free space down low.

Ford is limiting the drivetrain choices for the F-150, allowing only the revamped 5.0-liter V-8 and the new, second-generation 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. Both are connected to the new 10-speed automatic transmission. The Expedition is solely powered by the EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic. A 3.73 ratio and limited slip are standard in the Expedition’s rear differential. A high-output 240-amp alternator provides more power than the standard unit, making enough juice to power the bevy of equipment often found in police vehicles.

Police departments and other government agencies can order their vehicles with either RWD or 4WD. The F-150 is available in both SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations, while the Expedition only comes in its standard length.

“While our Police Interceptor Utility remains the best-selling law enforcement vehicle in the country by a large margin, some agencies need to haul five people with higher equipment-carrying capacity, or off-road capabilities are required,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford police brand marketing manager. “That’s where the F-150 SSV and Expedition SSV come in.”

The F-150 and Expedition SSVs are not pursuit-rated, so don’t expect to see one involved in a high-speed chase, though both the V-8 and EcoBoost should have no trouble hitting triple-digit speeds. The SSV packages should become available in the latter parts of 2017.

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Minor Changes Coming on Ram Rebel & Limited trims for 2017

Color options, logos, and running boards top the list

Ram is expanding the 1500 Rebel’s color palette by one, along with adding body-colored running boards and R-A-M tailgate badge on the Limited trim level. That’s the news from Houston, Texas were Ram debuted the changes to the truck-loving market. The new color is called Delmonico Red and will be available on 2017 model Rebel trucks at no charge. The color is also available on the Rebel Black, which comes with black wheels and front skid plate.

Ram boss, Mike Manley, said, “Truck buyers are looking for new colors and features that make a statement and allow them to stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s the off-road-enthusiast appeal of the Ram 1500 Rebel or the luxury and sophistication of the Ram Limited, Ram trucks deliver features and durability that are winning over more and more owners.”

Rebel customers can order their truck with a two-tone color scheme with black lower panels, or a standard monotone paint scheme. This includes Delmonico Red, which was already available on other Ram truck models outside the Rebel. Other color choices include Bright Silver Metallic, Bright White, Brilliant Black, Flame Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, and Mojave Sand

Inside, the Rebel continues unchanged, utilizing black and gray colors with the Rebel logo stitched into the front seats’ side bolsters. Anodized aluminum accents the dashboard and center console for a custom look. The Uconnect 8.4-inch screen is standard, as is the full-length center console that separates the front bucket seats. A full bench seat holds three people in back, as the Rebel is only available in the Crew Cab configuration.

As for the range-topping Limited trim, those can now be ordered with monochromatic touches, including body-colored running boards and a body-colored R-A-M badge on the tailgate. This option isn’t confined to the 1500-series, either. Customers can order the monochromatic look on the 2500 and 3500, as well. Body-color running boards will also be offered on the Ram 1500 Night edition.

As for pricing, the Rebel starts at $46,490, including destination. The Delmonico color will start arriving in showrooms this May. The Limited trim starts at $55,660, including destination. And like the Delmonico-colored Rebel, it will begin arriving in May. Those wanting the body-colored running boards and R-A-M tailgate logo options will have to pay $195 for each.

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2019 Toyota Tundra

What could Toyota have up its sleeve?

The current Toyota Tundra has been around since 2007, with only a modest update for the 2014 model year. This makes Toyota’s full-size truck the oldest in the segment, falling well past its competition. News from Toyota is nearly nonexistent on an update, but there is a solid case for 2019 being the target year. In typical Toyota fashion, a game-changing update isn’t expected, but rather a well conceived renewal of what works. In an attempt to capture this, we’ve created a rendering that plays off the Tacoma’s detailing yet still captures the Tundra’s main theme.

As for what’s under the bodywork, well, there is speculation Toyota will employ its newest D-4S dual fuel injection technology into a heavily revised, if not all new, V-8 engine. An eight- or 10-speed automatic transmission might be in the works, while a strengthened steel frame gives the pickup a stronger backbone.

The Tundra’s reach into the luxury truck stratosphere is also expected, with upscale equipment and niceties added to the 1794 Edition and Platinum models. Toyota could also introduce a new Limited Platinum model as a range-topping trim, just as on the Highlander. Trucks like the Ford F-150 Limited and GMC Sierra 1500 Denali offer luxuries far beyond what’s available on the Tundra. The remaining trims will likely carry over, including the SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition, and TRD Pro. The three cab configurations are expected to make the generational jump, including the Regular Cab, Double Cab, and CrewMax cab.

For more speculation on the 2019 Toyota Tundra, click “continue reading.”

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2017 Toyota Hilux Tonka Concept

Ford isn’t the only automaker to have fun with Tonka trucks

Toyota Australia is commemorating its corporation’s 80th anniversary, along with the 70th anniversary of the famed toy truck builder, Tonka, with this one-off concept HiLux pickup styled with outlandish bodywork and ton of off-roading equipment. Fittingly called the HiLux Tonka Concept, this truck is designed as the grown-up version of a kid’s favorite toy truck. And it should have no trouble traversing an adult-sized sandbox.

The HiLux Tonka features a six-inch lift thanks to a taller suspension and portal hubs. Toyo Open Country MT tires sized at 35 inches give it all the traction it needs, while custom bumpers add protection and the ability for self-recovery. Hidden behind the front bumper is an electric winch, which frame-mounted tow hooks on each side.

Of course, what’s a Tonka truck without some awesome black graphics atop a yellow base coat of paint? Toyota didn’t leave Tonka fans wanting in that department. And besides the bumpers, the hood and tailgate are also unique, adding to the appeal.

Sadly, neither Toyota nor Tonka have any plans to sell copies of this truck. Rather, it will make its rounds at auto shows, expos, and demonstrations around Australia in the coming months.

Continue reading to learn more about the Toyota Hilux Tonka Concept.

BJ Baldwin Proves Trucks Can Fly in Recoil 4

Insane hang-time and horsepower arrive in Cuba

Famed Baja racer BJ Baldwin is back again with is Recoil series, and boy, is it worth the wait! Recoil 4 takes place in Cuba, whose borders were just recently opened to U.S. citizens. It seems Baldwin didn’t care to tread lightly, despite the fledgling relationship between the two governments. Armed with his 850-horsepower Toyota trophy truck, Baldwin tears through the hilly streets of Havana and the vegetation surrounding the historic coastal city.

Think of Recoil as the off-road version of Ken Block’s Gymkhana. Insane stunts followed by high-horsepower rampages down empty streets followed by slow-motion, high-resolution videography showcasing the vehicle’s and driver’s abilities.

Recoil 4 earned some world records in the process. Baldwin’s custom-built truck soared 191 feet through the air, setting the record for the longest residential jump in a trophy truck. Undoubtedly, Cuba has never seen anything like this before.

Those fascinated by slow-motion video of suspension systems in action should find this nine-minute film nearly pornographic. Especially eye-catching is Baldwin’s dance over logs at the 4:45 mark. It’s amazing how that long-arm suspension and those King racing shocks soak up the bumps at blistering speed. It’s also incredible how much capability big tires and huge power give a rear-wheel drive truck. This thing is unstoppable!

The 2018 Ford F-150 Will Have Night Vision!

Get ready to see into the dark (Sort of)

Ford has developed a new nighttime pedestrian detection system and will introduce it on the 2018 F-150 pickup, along with the 2018 Mustang and European-spec 2018 Fiesta. The system is designed to help drivers better detect people walking along the roadside in low-light conditions. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the European Road Safety Observatory show that pedestrians are far likelier to be hit at night. While it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand why, Ford is taking logical steps to help reduce the problem.

The system works by processing information from the bumper-mounted radar system and the windshield-mounted camera. That info is digitally compared against an onboard database of “pedestrian shapes.” Should the system detect what it believes is a person, an audible tone and visual warning light alerts the driver to danger. Should the driver not take action and the system detect an imminent impact, it will autonomously activate the brakes.

The Nighttime Pedestrian Detection System will be an available option for 2018, though it will likely become standard on high trim levels soon after. In the years to come, expect to see such technology incorporated within every vehicle’s autonomous driving system.

Continue reading for more information.

Hands Down The Coolest Feature of the Toyota Tundra

Why doesn’t every pickup have this?!?

Take a gander at the image above. Notice anything missing? Yep, the back window. No, it didn’t get busted out, but rather is rolled neatly into the rear bulkhead of the Tundra’s CrewMax cab. Controlled by a rocker switch by the driver’s left knee, the power-operated rear window drops down for the best open-air driving experience available in a modern pickup. Not even a panoramic moonroof gives the same effect.

Toyota has a long history will roll-down rear windows. The 1984 4Runner started the trend in the U.S., and the Tundra carried the tradition in 2000 when it was introduces as a replacement for the T100 pickup. The roll-down window made the generational jump in 2007 to the second-gen Tundra, and again with the 2014 facelift.

The roll-down rear windows brings several benefits. First is that open-air driving experience. With all five windows down in my 2017 Tundra test truck, the wind moves quickly and quietly through the truck, even at highway speeds. There’s no buffeting or swirling – just a nice steady flow of air through the cab. My wife’s hair even stays out of her face.

The second benefit is utility. Imagine needing to haul eight feet of PVC pipe. Just roll down the window. It also makes easy access between the cab and cargo bed. And how Toyota hasn’t marketed this feature RV manufacturers for a full-width pass-through into a slide-in pickup camper is beyond me. How cool would that be?

Ranting aside, there’s plenty to love about the Toyota Tundra. There’s even more to hate/wish Toyota would finally update this decade-old truck. However, the Tundra’s coolest feature is still that roll-down back window.

Mercedes X-Class Prototype Spotted And It Looks Awesome

More details emerge on production-spec Mercedes pickup

Mercedes-Benz is busy testing the production-spec X-Class, its mid-size pickup truck developed in partnership with Nissan. We’ve already seen several test mules running about with Nissan bodywork, but this is the first time we’re seeing the Mercedes version. High-end headlights, the large grille, and several other familiar Mercedes details spoil the camouflage’s effectiveness.

Up front, it’s clear this isn’t a Nissan Navara. The headlights feature LED lighting technology, including the familiar daytime running lights eyebrow. The grille is also Mercedes-esque, with a center-mounted logo hidden behind the swirly camo. Squint hard enough, and you’ll even see the horizontal chrome grill hidden behind the wire mesh. Down low, proximity sensors are peppered across the bumper, while the radar beacon for the adaptive cruise controls sits perfectly centered. A single tow hook hides further down on the passenger side.

The hood also shares the two bulges seen on the X-Class Concept truck that debuted back in October of 2016. At the sides, the doors and windows share similar traits to both the X-Class concept and the Nissan Navara, suggesting little will change with the production model. The rear end also receives some changes, including LED taillights and a step bumper.

Under the hood, the X-Class will use Mercedes powertrains. The 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel is rumored to be the range-toping engine. Currently offered elsewhere in Mercedes’ lineup, (but not in the U.S.) the engine kicks out 261 brake horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. A variety of four-cylinder engines are expected, too. Mercedes is expected to use its 9G nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic AWD system. Should the X-Class actually make it Stateside, it might get Mercedes’ new 3.0-liter inline-six gasoline engine barring any under-hood packaging issues.

Continue reading for more information.


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