Browsing the New York Times yesterday, we came across some interesting statistics: American trucks are back in a big way. Over the past decade, every manufacturer has followed each other down the rabbit hole of building crossovers. These family haulers are basically jacked-up sedans with poor visibility, limited cargo space, and wimpy towing abilities.
The notion that a crossover can be luxurious is hard to contemplate, so the big 3 have responded in a classic way. The luxury full-size SUV and truck market is hot. Ford has taken the aluminum construction of the F150 series and adapted it to the new Lincoln Navigator. Using the same massaging seats as the Continental, the EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 will give the Escalade a run for its money. Speaking of Cadillac, GM finally allowed Chevrolet to build a Tahoe with the 6.2 Liter engine that has been previously exclusive to Cadillac and GMC’s Denali models. Sales in 2017 were so strong that GM gave every hourly employee a nice bonus for their efforts.
New 2019 Silverado Gallery
The new Chevy Silverado RST is smaller and lighter than the Suburban, and it combines Corvette power with Brembo brakes and a mean exhaust note. Essentially it’s the Police Interceptor package along with snazzy styling upgrades. Since it has a more affordable price than import SUVs, dealers are having a hard time keeping them in stock. The NYT article also states that GMC is having to ramp up production on their Denali versions of the Sierra and Yukon to keep up with demand. Mr. duPont even traded in his Porsche Macan for a 6.2 powered Yukon, and it is a beast!
Fiat-Chrysler’s new Ram is poised to steal everyone’s thunder with the 2019 Ram series. The multi-chamber air suspension and the small Eco-Diesel engines make it a comfortable & efficient option. The Silverado and Sierra are also new for 2019. Focusing on aerodynamics and weight, the smoothed front is comprised of more aluminum than they have ever offered. The bed is still cold-rolled steel to handle the abuse of a job site. And Ford’s sales of the F150 Raptor are helped by the aftermarket.
The Roush Raptor offers 500 horsepower and 562 lb-ft of torque. Working with RPG offroad, it arrives with LED lighting, Fox Racing 3.0 shocks, tubular bumpers and more. Sometimes four tires won’t do, so allow John Hennessey and his team to build your very own VelociRaptor 6×6. They boost the output to 602 horsepower and 622 lb-ft of torque, which is sent through 3 locking differentials.
Full-size trucks have grown larger and more luxurious, which has opened the door for the return of the midsize pickup. Ford has shocked the world with the return of the Ranger, with a Raptor version that has no equal on the market. GM’s Colorado and Canyon twins offer the same V6 found in the Camaro and Cadillac, and their biggest hit has been the ZR2 package. The suspension is by MultiMatic, the same experts responsible for the Camaro ZL1 and the Ford GT. Mercedes-Benz even released a pickup, but it is illegal in the US.
In some situations, only a Jeep Wrangler will do. That’s why Bruiser Conversions was the first shop to LS swap the new Wrangler JL. They also offer the JK Crew in 4×4 and 6×6 configurations. They have been a fixture at our Cars & Coffee shows because the 6 Wheel Drive spreads weight so evenly that it doesn’t disturb our landscaping (plus, it’s doubtful any other rig could pull them from atop the hill).
If you are dead-set on a rugged German SUV, the new G63 AMG are still on the slow boat from Deutschland. Their rivals are the BMW X Series, which are not actually German. From the X1 to the X6, each one is built by BMW USA in Greer, South Carolina. Nissan and Mercedes-Benz are also planning to expand their US factories to meet demand around the world. Don’t forget about our other aftermarket friends like Brabus, because they will expand your horizons. Tell us which new truck you would consider in the comments below.