Ram took the wraps off the all-new 1500 at the Detroit auto show a few weeks back, unveiling plenty of substantial under-the-skin updates along with the fresh looks. The completely redesigned truck now boasts a mild-hybrid system to provide extra torque when needed, along with plenty of extra towing and payload capacity.There is a lot to see before it goes on sale at the end of March -- that's just weeks away -- so we've rounded up the most important bits you need to know. 1. The powerThe 1500's base engine is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 paired with the eTorque mild-hybrid system producing 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, but those in need of greater performance can pick the trusty Hemi 5.7-liter V8, good for 395 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque. Both are paired with TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmissions. Both engines feature variable valve timing, but the Hemi comes with the added fuel economy benefit of cylinder deactivation. With this Fuel Saver Technology system, as Ram calls … [Read more...] about 2019 Ram 1500: 7 (more) things to know
Detroit Auto Show
Richard Truett, Automotive News' powertrain savant, design connoisseur and all-around engineering go-to guy, jumped up on just about every stand, thought and pondered and scratched his head, changed his mind a couple of times and came up with a list of 2018 Detroit auto show hits and misses. We're republishing his take on things to add to our own analysis. HIT: Ram 1500It's easy to imagine Fiat Chrysler Automobiles boss Sergio Marchionne giving his truck team a blank check and this order: "Spend whatever it takes to make the best pickup you can, using all available technology at our disposal."Nearly everything is new from the wheels up. Weight is down by about 200 pounds, though the truck is 9 inches longer. The frame is stiffer, the brakes stronger and the body smoother. The powertrains are updated and upgraded.Inside is where the Ram design team really stands out. An available 12-inch screen with eye-poppingly clear graphics. Most of the materials on the seats, dash and doors are … [Read more...] about 2018 Detroit auto show: Hits and misses
Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) is the latest and best-positioned Chinese automaker with plans for sales in the U.S. Days after GAC showed off a sample of its lineup at the Detroit auto show, including a sub-brand that is (fortunately or unfortunately) named Trumpchi, the automaker and its home country's trade policies faced criticism from U.S. politicians.Reuters reports that Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y, argued on the Senate floor on Wednesday of this week that Chinese trade rules as they apply to cars are "manifestly unfair, and a typically unfortunate example of China’s rapacious trading policies."Schumer's arguments stem from the fact that Chinese-built automobiles would face a 2.5 percent tariff, while cars exported from the U.S. to China face a 25 percent tariff. This is why many U.S. automakers that sell cars in the Middle Kingdom build them there, including Buick, which has a much larger lineup in China than in the U.S. and now exports one model to the U.S.The White House … [Read more...] about Will Chinese automaker GAC’s U.S. ambitions run into political headwinds?
This is the Detroit auto show, right? So where are the concept cars -- the crazy, cool, or maybe clunky and clumsy experimental vehicles we used to have so much fun either faulting or falling in love with?Isn't Detroit supposed to positively detonate with ideas? If Tokyo's concepts were wacky and Geneva's gaudy, Detroit's were always brawny and brazen; head-turners like the Cadillac Sixteen.Where are the Cadillac and Chevy concepts of days gone by? Or maybe something fun and fashionable from Ford. Yes, Jeep does its Moab concepts each year, but why not some kind of conversation starter in Detroit, like the Gladiator of 2005?Nissan and Infiniti gave us two real concepts -- the Nissan Xmotion and the Infiniti Q Inspiration -- so a tip of the hat to the group's new design chief, Alfonso Albaisa.Lexus gave us the LS-1 Limitless, and Chinese maker GAC trotted out the Enverge crossover concept as it prepares to cross over the Pacific to our shores.Of course, all-out concept vehicles have … [Read more...] about Where are the cool concept cars in Detroit?
“If it’s not the ultimate off-road vehicle, it’s not the Gelandewagen.”That was from Ian James, head of marketing for the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. And while the big story for the new 2019 model -- still affectionately known as the G-Wagen -- at the Detroit auto show surrounds its interior upgrades, Mercedes didn’t skimp on the off-road goodies either.For one, there’s more space inside. Now that may sound like an on-road benefit, but Mercedes wants you to know the improvement in legroom, shoulder room and elbow room is equally good for bouncing around off-road. The company was also keen to keep the giant grab handle in front of the front passenger for when things get really tipsy.The new G was tested, like the G-Class has been for 39 years, at Mount Schockl near Graz in Austria where the vehicle is produced -- it’s like a Nurburgring for SUVs. Same line, same people, new tooling, by the way. It only shares three parts overall with the … [Read more...] about Do the new Mercedes G-Wagen’s on-road improvements ruin its off-road credibility?
The 2018 North American International Auto Show’s press days are behind us, and the show can be summed up in one word: Trucks. Well, maybe two words: Trucks and SUVs. We saw the new Ram 1500, Chevrolet Silverado, Ford F-150 diesel, BMW X2, Ford Ranger, Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and Jeep Cherokee. That’s just the production stuff. Indeed, the U.K.’s Car Magazine said Detroit could become “a very interesting commercial-vehicle show.” Don’t know if I’d go that far, but I see where they’re coming from.Yes, pickup trucks are still where the sales are and thus the profits, and sales are supposed to go up yet again this year if you believe the analyst types. The good news for Ford, GM and FCA is the new entries look good. I loved the new Ram’s styling and was especially impressed with the interior –- it embarrasses more than a few luxury cars. The Silverado’s big news is it adopts the complex mixed-material construction system … [Read more...] about Opinion: Detroit auto show proves trucks are just as important as autonomous electric pods
Detroit auto show media days are winding down as the international journalists escape to warmer climes, like Sweden and Canada, and this means that public days are approaching. We've seen just about all that Detroit's Cobo Center had to offer this year including the world debuts of the all-new Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Silverado and the Ram 1500. We also saw "trucks" like the all-new Mercedes-Benz G-Class that looks a lot like the old G-Class, and may require a minute or two to tell apart.Were there vehicles smaller than the Ford Ranger in Detroit this year? You bet, and that includes the 2019 Volkswagen Jetta, 2019 Kia Forte, 2019 Honda Insight, which is now a sedan, and the 2019 Toyota Avalon, which was a sedan all along. We also saw the North American debuts of the BMW X2, as well as the 2019 Mini Cooper hardtop and convertible.Oh, and the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt made an appearance, as had been rumored in weeks prior, but it wasn't chasing a Dodge Charger inside Cobo Center. At least … [Read more...] about 2018 Detroit auto show: Everything we saw
The BMW X2 made its North American debut this week at the Detroit auto show, after being unveiled in October 2017. Positioned below the X1 in size, the X2 is a subcompact crossover aimed at the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class and the Audi Q2, offering the versatility of a station wagon along with compact dimensions.The X2 sits 2.8 inches lower than an X1 and is 3.2 inches shorter in length, even though it has the same wheelbase. The new crossover shares the UKL platform with several Mini models, also part of the greater BMW empire. Meant to be smaller and sportier than the X1, the X2 trades some of the cargo space and headroom of its larger sibling for a more city-friendly footprint, but the two are not that far apart when it comes to dimensions.In xDrive28i guise, which will be the sole model available at the start of sales, the X2 will be powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four producing 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and sending power to all four wheels via an … [Read more...] about 2018 BMW X2 makes its Detroit auto show debut
We know the new Lamborghini Urus SUV will be fast on the track -- it has a 641-hp turbocharged V8 up front with a “hot-V” setup, which means the exhaust ports and turbochargers are in the V8’s valley. We know it’ll be expensive too: It starts at about $200,000 and goes up to about $250,000. And we’re guessing it’ll sell well. Lamborghini expects to double its current yearly output with the Urus, and if the Porsche Cayenne has anything to say about it, it might do more than that. At a swanky event after the first press day of the 2018 Detroit auto show, the SUV made its North American debut, and we learned a few more interesting facts. Off-road abilityThe Urus should have real off-road chops. Its air suspension can range from 6.2 inches of ground clearance to 9.8 inches. That’s more than the Wrangler Sport, a tad less than the Wrangler Sahara and only an inch less than the world-conquering Rubicon. You’ll be able to order this car with … [Read more...] about 5 things you need to know about the 2019 Lamborghini Urus
Instead of showing a next-generation mobility solution concept or a new pickup truck, Mercedes-Benz ripped the sheets off its current-generation GLS-Class SUV at the Detroit auto show, hiding a new Grand Edition trim package. The new package adds quilted leather seats and open-pore ash wood trim, plus a leather-trimmed dash. Your color palette is limited on this Grand Edition GLS -- only white and brown on the inside, or "porcelain and espresso," as ‘Benz calls them.The outside of the GLS Grand Edition is essentially the same as the standard GLS, except for the 20-inch 10-spoke wheels for the GLS450 or 21-inch rolling stock for the GLS550 and an array of special badging. The new package will hit GLS option sheets in the middle of this year. If you’re interested in adding some extra luxe to your massive Mercedes three-row, it’ll set you back $6,000 if you want to add it to a GLS450 or $3,200 on the GLS550. … [Read more...] about That Mercedes-Benz GLS not luxe enough? Try a Grand Edition