Chrysler to Make More 2013 Rams and Pentastar Engines

Ram Longhorn action II

By Dave Lee

Chrysler Group announced today that it will add a third shift at its plant in Warren, Mich., in the spring and revamp part of its Mack Engine complex to make more Pentastar V-6 engines, according to Automotive News.

The moves are aimed at boosting the supply of Chrysler's 3.6-liter V-6, which powers many vehicles in Chrysler's lineup, including the 2013 Ram. When paired with the Pentastar V-6 and the Torqueflite eight-speed transmission, the new Ram 1500 can achieve 18/25 mpg city/highway and 21 mpg combined, the best half-ton gas-mileage numbers of any full-size pickup.

Adding the third shift at the Warren plant, where the Ram is produced, has been discussed since before the truck's debut last month. Through October, Chrysler has sold 238,815 Rams this year, a 20 percent gain over last year.

 

Comments

Boy all you Ford and Dodge boys are going to be surprised when the new generation CHEVY motors come out. V8 rules.

@Tony, Chevy has always had good motors its just the crap they put them in. Why worry about improving what ain't broke when the truck itself is the problem.

Hahaha gross this story makes me sick! Gross Ram engine for low lifes lets clap haha

@mhowarth - for it to truly work, one would have to disguise it as something else. Set up a fake forum for intelligent conversations about pickups, politics, religion, global warming etc.
BTW - why pay when one gets that sort of thing for free right here.
Sad but true.

@Lou and mhowarth
Yes, PUTC has it's share of simple people. I do like the entertainment value on this site. Sometimes I can't believe some of the comments.

I had a couple of forays into engineering sites and they were boring. At least on PUTC you have totally unknowedgeable people trying to sound like engineers.

Or some of the totally outragous fanboi stuff, Hemi with his facination of fire, especially Ford fires. He might have some kind of compulsive disorder. It seems his life has come to a stand still since his Ford burnt to the ground. TRX4 Tom with his obsession with wheel diameters and gear ratios and brake sizes.

Oxi with his 2 week foray, yes it is facinating.

I do find that aspect of the site great, all of the personalities, real or otherwise.

I would like to see pictures of the vehicles most drive on this site as well, it would surprise some. I would think half the guys who post on this site are wannabees.

But all like some form of ute/pickup.

@Big Al from Oz - good post. I do find that this site often has more value as entertainment than it does as a source of credible unbiased information.
It's owners probably only care about the number of hits per day. Quantity not quality pays the bills.

Wow, it's quite a complement knowing people want to post in your name because you pissed them off posting facts about their (insert brand X product name.)

So they post about some thing that barely ever happens. It's like the timming problems on Tundras, the transmissions on some F-150s, or for that matter, the Chevy 6 speed trans, as both have had some issues slamming into gear. Chevy had a bunch of bearings put in wrong. Plus, most of us know Tundras are good, but not the perfect picture these Toyota folks want you to think. Or how about the Ecoboost? will it last? There is alot of issues there as well, I guess I can post in others names and knock their brand, like the Ford folks never had spark plug issues. Maybe I can look on all their forums? Nah, maybe I won't drop to the level they are at?

Come to think of it, they all have issues. Me? A bad battery just before 38,000 miles, the same kinda battery that might say Ford, Chevy, Nissan, Toyota, or even Honda, well, if they have something that takes any power to start. My key fobs needed the contacts cleaned, and I bitched that tow haul kept it in the one to one gear for too long, after towing up a hill.

Sandman: 14 mpg with a trailer at 7700 pounds? I don't buy it.

I think the trolls that love the brand X vehicles are just upset Chrysler is making a comeback, so they post a bunch of crap. Maybe someday this site will be like forums where the others don't post in your name. Oh well.

@TRX4 Tom
Stand back and have a look at what you post. Really.

You appear relatively knowledgeable, but one sided. Some Chev/GM or Ford guy has you marked.

I remember one of your original post and you wrote that you aren't a fanboi. Then read your above post.

At least you aren't one those cut and paste Ram numpties.

@TRX4 Tom - Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery................. except for this blog ;)

@Lou
Here is an interesting article that PUTC hasn't picked up on. It states that this pickup might eventually be cominng to the US, and its made in China. I wonder how that would work.

The other amazing thing is its safety rating 4 star ANCAP, and that's without stability control and side airbags. Hmmm?

The other thing is the apparent quality is better than the Great Wall ute, that means within a couple of years the Chinese will be producing vehicles with Japanese/Korean quality, incredible.

It has a Cummins 2.8 (same engine Nissan was testing in the US), Dana axles, Getrag (manual) or ZF (auto), Borg Warner transfer case etc. This is good for the shareholders of those companies. I don't like the petrol engine they will offer though.

From what I can gather it appears to be marginally bigger than our current crop of new mid sizers. The standard cab is supposed to have a seven and three quarter foot bed.

Judging by the photograph the interior is almost an exact copy of my Mazda BT50.

I had it on one of the other posts, its sort of related to this article as Cummins made Rams acceptable:)

Interesting read.
http://www.goauto.com.au/mellor/mellor.nsf/story2/115529ACE96391D4CA257AB500067FD9

Maybe PUTC can have a Chinese pickup shootout:)

trx4: you don't have to buy it, but what do I gain if I lie to you? it is how I drive, it is that simple, the pedal never touches the metal so to speak, and with the tow.haul mode on, I can control the rpm's with the +- button on the shif, and I never let the rpm go above 4500! unless in the mountains, in that case I will get 12mpg, but on average I get 14, oh and having an Airstream helps a lot! that and keeping the speeds at the limit, not carring how long it takes to get to the limit, (unless I have to pull out into oncomming traffic), in that case the comp. will show 5mph at the moment, but at the end of my trips, and when I fill up and do the math it comes out right to what the trucks comp. says every time, imagine that! I truly do believe, that if I had a tundra I would have all the power I could not use, but would not get any better mpg, and probably less, but I would have the better brakes to help, but when I replace the brakes in my Chevy, I will be going aftermarket ft rotors, and rear disk conversion anyway, and with a tacoma, I would not have any power, not to mention the fact that a tacoma has no where near a 7700 tow cap. and I would get terrible mileage!

I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Ram will take tons of wind out of Chevy sails (sales too) with this mid-cycle upgrade. That is the part that impresses me - the 2013 is not supposed to be a "new" model.

Posted by: Lou

I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou

I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou
I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou

Hi yall Im Tom! I touch myself at night over 5.7 Hemi engines. I brag up Dodge, and Ram so much they should pay me! Im always hauling dodge dart, and daytona part. My dodge products are always failing me! I will still brag the hell out of them even if I do more laying on the ground under them then driveing them!

Mr. sandman4X4 in my 2010 Ram I get 5,000 miles per gallon, and yes I did say 5,000 mpg's while hauling my failed dodge parts across country to have them fixed. My awesome coil spring rear end squats down so far the rear bumper drags on the highway! I think thats why my Ram get the 5,000 mpg's, cause the headlights are looking at the moon while the rear bumper draging just gives you awesome mileage man! Oh yeah my awesome out of date 5 speed tranny mission gear ratio's help tons too!

While Im out yall I need got lay under my Ram touch myself, and figure out how to fix this leaking roof on my pile! buhbye now yall wink wink!!

trx4: finaly something we can believe about you.

Personally, I don't care one whit about "which one is best". However, it seems odd to me that for RAM to be so consistently in "third place" as so many here decry, that they would now be adding a full third shift to the assembly line and upgrade an engine plant to build even more of the Pentastar engines. However you look at it, this clearly means that RAM is seeing more sales than they have in a long time and that the Pentastar engine is under the hoods of a major portion of those trucks.

Again, this doesn't mean they're the "best" on any factor, only that they are becoming more popular.

As for people like HEMI V8 and those others--please, can it already. Those of us who really do happen to like SOME of Chrysler's products are getting just as annoyed as everyone else at your spewing. I have been tempted more than once to contact the administrators and ban your IP addresses so you can never post here again.

GUTS
GLORY
RAM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwfu-ZFiKHU

I have a theory.

I might be HEMI V8 who is travelling around the US burning Fords.

HEMI V8 are you a pyromaniac? Or are you a retard? (you know someone who has shortened DNA strands). Some how I don't think your melon is wired correctly.

If not, why keep on posting worthless $hit.

Get over it, you should have had insurance.

FLAMMING F SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=839kQJoi1kw

@BigAl, Is it legal to eat rabid KANGAROO or are you a criminal?

@HEMI V8
Here are some kangaroo recipes you might be able to use.

Kangaroo is quite good to eat and it's very healthy, as it generally has less than 2% fat content.

Also a guy at work used to make the best kangaroo jerky, it had loads of chilli as well.

http://www.kangaroo-industry.asn.au/recipes/recipe_frame.htm

@HEMI V8

I wish I had the...
Guts
Glory
The award-winning all-new 2013 Ram!

I think that the 2013 Ram is the new benchmark and compass pointing the direction all of the automakers will head towards.
Posted by: Lou

What's the difference between a Ford and a shopping cart? A shopping cart is a lot easier to push

Support your local mechanic; buy a Ford

At Ford quality is Job 1… Job 2 is putting out the fire

License plate frame I saw… Today's Special… Smoked Ford

One Word: PINTO

FORD = Factory Ordered Road Disaster

Why did Ford put heaters in the tailgates of their trucks? To keep their hands warm when they are pushing the truck to the shop.

Al, might be somebody like old Cory, who is mad cause him or his coworkers cause they can't get but 14 mpg out of a 4x2 Ram. Well, we know some workers don't care how much gas a truck uses, cause they don't buy it (Even though if they care, maybe their companies would be better off? Most likely) Alot of them let things idle alot, get on it hard after turning into a lane, or gas it right up until they have to turn off, then slam on the brakes. Then again, are they really driving highway? Is it drive 20 miles of highway, shut it off, drive 30 or 50 highway, shut it off? On and on.

Anyway, he's mad because I can get 18.5 out of my 3.92 geared 4x4, at 65. that's what happens when somebody that buys their own gas drives and they don't drive like a maniac.

Or, might be old Harley F-150, who just comes on any Ram story to say the same old "cheap made in China blah blah blah.....Not alot of substance to him. He's still upset some family member wrecked a Dakota and he said it was so bad in the snow, well, maybe if he put good tires on it, and remembers they have a bit more leaf spring then the other midsizers.

Then of course, ol hemi lol can't stand me. Guess he doesn't like me pointing out the actual performances of the Tundra at times. Tundra, the (truck that's not changing anymore)overbuilt truck that pushed the Big 3 trucks to get busy. I guess I am supposed to just nod my head and say, Hup, them Tundras, they have no faults! Always best in class! They have finesse! Sorry, it aint happening, they have goods and bads. I guess if I was such a fanboi I wouldn't give credit to Toyota for there transmission, or I wouldn't be real and say Ram's roof can be stronger. Maybe he doesn't like me referring to tests in writing, but hey, if we depend on just what others say, I cause we can make up whatever!

Heck, might even be you Al, Mr. "we do it so much better in Austaulia" Like I sit there and tell you, duals do better holding weight, and all you can say is they can be unsafe, or whatever. Yeah, that's why the put them on 1 tons! GM, Ford, or Ram! And no Al, I wasn't talking about just throwing them on any truck. Factory built trucks!

Never did I say Rams don't break. I said ALL TRUCKS HAVE ISSUES, maybe not everybodies truck will have the problems. Toyotas aren't out of the woods, either. I guess if I was such a fanboy, I wouldn't say my battery didn't make it 36 months of ownership, it only went 32 plus. Could be the same battery you get from whatever company. I complained about my key fob unlocking, and the tow haul, but I guess if I was such a fanboi you make me out to be, I would say I was 100% happy, no problems or issues. I would never have said the current SIX SPEED (who was posting in my name said it was a 5 speed, they should get it right, it's a 6 six speed with two 2nd gears too close together.) is perfectly geared. Or maybe I wouldn't have griped about the limited tire choices Ram has?

I never said the Ram coil springs were the toughest, best things in a half ton. I have said before if I neded to haul heavier I woulda bought something else. But they work for me, and they hold a decent load. Mine works good for me, sorry if I am too honest.

Then you get people that say they get 14 mpg towing 7700 pounds, lets see, compared to Mike Levine towing 9000 with a smaller engine that has more power and he got high 9s? So, 1,300 pounds less gets 4 more mpg? Really?

Lol, I didn't post the one before last.

@TRX4 Tom
You know it isn't as hard as you think to work out who's using your name. It can't be HEMI V8, because any word in his posts with more than 2 syllables is cut and pasted.

Just look at the way the sentences are structured, how they use paragraphs, spelling and the tone of their writing.

All authors have a particular writing style, that's why I know its you who wrote the above post.

Another one is like we say at work, "toughen up", like I posted previously, this site isn't really challenging and it has an above average rate of numpties and unfortuneately for you they are Ram fanboi's.

Most of this stuff is trivial.

About mpg's towing, a ute like mine pulled 15mpg towing a 7 700lb Airstream through some real hilly country on the South Coast of New South Wales. Robert Ryan says its getting 18-20mpg running on flat ground.

Sandman might not use the accelerator to much. I do know at 50mph I'm getting over 40mpg empty, but that is very slow up here. Road trains sit on over 60mph.

And actually we do a lot of things in Australia very good. You have to admit the T6 Ranger/BT50 is an exceptional truck and we make some pretty cool muscle cars.

I'm a Nissan man, Nissan aren't good at the moment. I think they are trying to out compete Toyota on who can run the oldest platform now that the NA Ranger is gone.

The T6 Ranger team was lead by the guy who designed the current F-150, other Ford engineers and the Mazda team from Japan.

Your 1/2 ton pickups are most similar to our Ford and Holden utes, more of a passenger wagon. I don't think you guys in NA would like our mid size trucks because the suspensions are probably a little stiff.

Also, when writing, the tone you are using is overly authoritive and some are probably offended by that. Look at how you "attack" during a debate. Don't make to many "personal inferences", then people will take it personally and tackle you. If you do make personal attack be prepared for a reaction.

@TRX4 Tom
It is a person from the US. Look at the language:)

I worked out who it is, not hard.

Mike Levine‏@mrlevine http://twitter.com/mrlevine

A 2013 Ford F-150's roof is ~1.6X stronger than a 2013 Ram 1500's, according to @IIHS_autosafety rollover test: http://tinyurl.com/c2ev5nm


I rented a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo with 2 wheel drive with the Penstar V6. The performance of the V6 was hardly noticeable from a V8. The mpgs were not that different but honestly I was driving at high speeds on hilly roads. As for V6 performance I agree with DW Fields that the V6s now are not the same V6s of old. My wife's Taurus has the 24 valve overhead cam V6 and it runs like a V8. Driving moderately I have gotten 27mpgs on the highway. V-6s will become more prevalent in half ton trucks and Ram is making a smart move by increasing production of the Penstar. GM needs to follow with a competive V6 to the Ford EcoBoost and the Chrysler Penstar. This is a good move for Chrysler.

@ Jeff S Here is some info on the next GM V6 engines that could come.

2014 Chevy Silverado, though few details have been confirmed, the new GM pickup a new generation of fuel and cylinder deactivation, with the weight saving features such as direct injection, aluminum block and small-block V-8s that you should say that to get the Chevrolet Silverado 2014 Ford F-150 to go toe-to-toe with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, as well as the ubiquitous 3.6-liter V-6. In addition, features such as jewel-like projector beam headlamps, a prototype image As you can see we have just released a little hard to predict every detail. This vehicle's off-road capabilities, aggressive 35-inch tires on 18-inch wheels are rumored to be powered by. We do not know whether it is not yet officially will be changed but some of the major car hp 400 hp (296 kW) generating said to be powered by a large diesel engine.

http://2014chevroletsilverado.net/

@Big Al from Oz--Good comments. I will admit that I do not have the expertise of an engineer to go into the details that some others do. I do have over 40 years of experience driving different types of cars and trucks and with that experience I have more knowledge than most of the general public. At one time I used my truck to the fullest capacity when I lived in the country and I hauled heavy loads, but now I will never use a truck to full load capacity. I do like having the ability to haul loads without being limited by height and size and not messing up the inside of my vehicle. That is what a pickup does well and that is why I own one. As for horsepower and size and don't need anymore than what I have, I do not deny others the right to have as big and powerful truck as they want but don't force me to buy one.

As for mpgs I am maybe one of the few readers on this site that cares about fuel economy from an economic standpoint and an environmental standpoint. Call me green I really don't care but also call me cheap because I will not just pay anything for fuel without changing my consumption habits and product preferences for more fuel efficient vehicles. I will not just buy something for just fuel efficiency but when I need to replace a vehicle I will look for the most fuel efficient vehicle that meets my needs at a competitive price regardless of brand.

I do presently have 2 trucks and one car and if someone really wants to see my trucks I will take pictures of them and post them but most of you would not be interested in them because they are not full size and they are not that fancy except the Isuzu which has received several compliments even from Ford guys. I am not as hardcore a truck fan as others but I like my trucks and appreciate their utility.
I also appreciate an intelligent well informed discussion as well and want to thank Big Al, Robert Ryan, Lou, DW Fields, and some others for such and will continue to enjoy such discussions despite extreme fanboyism.

@ Big Al from Oz

I could not disagree with you more when you say "Your 1/2 ton pickups are most similar to our Ford and Holden utes, more of a passenger wagon."

I own a Holden Commodore (G8 GT). It is laughable to compare the Ute (Commodore based) to a NA 1/2 ton pickup.

I would put my Tundra up against most of the "world" mid-sizers. I spent considerable time in South American and they are neat little pickups, but way overblown by the theory of "forbidden fruit"--it must be really great if we can't get it.

The Navara and Frontier are very similar, and we already get that. While people think otherwise, the Hilux is not tremendously different than the Tacoma--and our 1/2 tons are more capable than both of those pickups.

The area I will concede to the world pickups is in fuel economy--we obviously don't have the small diesels. But our trucks will also do zero to 60 faster than many sporty cars, so there is the fun factor.

I have gotten 14 MPG towing a race car on an open trailer on what I consider somewhat hilly, but not excessively so, terrain. But that was also with street biased tires and speeds around 55/60 MPH. I have also gotten ~13 MPG at 8000lbs GVW with my truck camper (weighed on a scale) on very long trips throughout the Rockies--not the best MPG, but aero is very poor and I was on E-rated AT tires. On a regular highway trip, empty, my Tundra will get about 19 MPG with the more aggressive tires.

Then again, MPG and hills are relative--my grocery store is at a higher elevation than the highest peak in all of Australia.

I am not trying to put down the world pickups--the new Ranger does sound fantastic--but I think that you are underestimating some of the NA 1/2 tons.

Mike Levine‏@mrlevine http://twitter.com/mrlevine

A 2013 Ford F-150's roof is ~1.6X stronger than a 2013 Ram 1500's, according to @IIHS_autosafety rollover test: http://tinyurl.com/c2ev5nm

Posted by: From the desk of Mike Levine | Nov 18, 2012 5:22:07 AM

FORD HAS HAD LOTS OF PRACTICE WITH ROLL OVERS WITH THEIR FORD EXPLODER'S LOL

Zzzzzzzz

Jeff S. | Nov 18, 2012 8:22:41 AM,

The V6 in the Grand Cherokee is surprisingly perky for a vehicle of that weight and size. I bought my wife a 2012 Overland Summit 4x4 V6 in Nov 2011 and it has performed well for us. No problems but lousy mpgs because of my wife's lead foot and 85mph cruising speeds on the highways.

We have a friend who purchased a 2012 Limited 4x4 5.7 because she liked my wife's Overland Summit and her 5.7 is actually the perfect combination of power vs weight/size vs performance. Mpgs are also lousy even though the 5.7 runs on FOUR cylinders much of the time.

And then we have the 2012 SRT8 Grand Cherokee 4x4 bought by our son. It is a monster! No doubt, it is a beast! While it is very well balanced and performs flawlessly, it has way too much power. If you don't ease up on the go-pedal, you'll find yourself easily topping 100mph without noticing it. Surprisingly, the mpgs are damn good! Consistent 16mpg at highway cruising speeds exceeding 75mph on I-10.

How this relates to the topic at hand, the 2013 V6 RAM, is that IMO a V6 pickup truck is for the wannabees. You need power for something that heavy.

I know, a lot of people make the argument that they want to project the status symbol of a full-size truck with the economy of an econobox, but I started with six-cylinder trucks back in the day when that was all they had, the 1950s and 1960s.

Since I bought my first 350 V8 Silverado in 1988, I'm never going back to a V6. For me, an SRT8 6.4-liter RAM would be a lot more appealing than a V6 RAM.

But given a choice between pushrods and a DOHC 32-valve all aluminum V8 marvel, I'll take a 5.7 Tundra any day.

I just don't see the merits of buying ANY half-ton truck with a 6-cylinder anything in it. A 6-cylinder belongs in a quarter-ton truck like a Ranger, S-10, Dakota, Tacoma or Frontier.

If people want to run with the big dogs, they need to buy a big dog. Everything else is just make belief. They're not fooling anyone.

@Dav
I don't disagree with some of your towing figures as I have towed some relatively large weights and returned some surprising fuel enonomy figures. Its about how you drive.

But I think we will both disagree with the newer mid sizers. As I have pointed out in the past the Hilux and Navara is way behind now, it's one of the previous generation utes. They have quite a low tow capacity, Less refined to drive, carry less weight.

I have to agree with you that all of the previous generation mid sizers that you described were on par with your 1/2 pickups in the versitility stakes and I would have opted for a US pickup any day over one of them. But the Ranger, BT50, Amarok, Colorado and DMax I don't agree with you. These utes are game changers, more than just a new model.

These newer diesels we are getting are really torquey and cheap on fuel. Can tow surprisingly well, safe and the quality of the utes are quite exceptional in some cases, not all.

But don't let the external look decieve you on our utes. There are some significant chassis and suspension differences. The Taco sits on a Surf chassis, a chassis designed to carry on a little more than a wagon, yes it is distantly related to a Hilux from 20 years ago. Also, if they weren't that much different why is GM spending 2 years to redesign the new Colorado. A new dashboard, moving the steering wheel and a wheel alignment doesn't take 2 years.

Believe it or not we are similar to the US when it comes to wanting more hp. Outside of Australia and New Zealand most of the mid sizers have smaller engines, even in Europe, in some cases much smaller. The engines we run as standard are only fitted as options in the higher spec'd vehicles in other countries. Developing nations recieve sub 2 litre engines in their pickups becasue they don't have the higher speed roads and the cost of fuel to earnings is much higher.

The Holden ute is significantly different to a G8 Pontiac. The utes have live axles and leaf springs on the ass and the utes have a unitary chassis, that extends to a full half chassis on the back.

The biggest selling utes in Australia for work are the Japanese utes, not the Holden or Fords. The Holden and Fords are viewed by many as not as capable. So they are sold as a lifestyle vehicle. The most you see them tow is jet skiis and dirt bikes/quads and maybe a fishing boats or going to the hardware store.

The applications used by the Holdens and Fords would be very similar to what the majority of US pickup owners do.

Most are V8 show ponies, we have several guys at work who drive them and they think its un-Australian and unmanly to drive foreign utes. They are very similar to some on this site about the US pickups.

Your pickups are lighter (I'm talking vehicle construction) because they don't carry the same loads and are not used in some arduous road in a third world country. Yes their tow capacity is relatively large, but so is a Grand Cherokee's tow capacity at nearly 8 000lbs.

Our utes and your 1/2 ton pickups are similar vehicles designed for two completely different operating environments. The similarity is in the past decade more and more Australians are buying them as SUVs.

@Highdesert cat--I don't dispute that a V-8 is better for towing or handling heavy loads but for me the V-6 would be right because I would never tow and my loads are a lot lighter now. My 2008 Isuzu crewcab with a straight 5 cylinder has a tow package and is designed for towing but I will probably never tow with it. How many people use their trucks to the fullest capacity? Most don't but maybe more of the readers of this sight might. My V-8 days are gone with my last V-8 11 years in February. Pretty much a 4 cylinder guy now and looking at the new Buick Lacross for our next car with e-assist for my wife which gets up to 36mpgs on the road.

@Jeff S
It's amazing how the US pickup has evolved, from a simple work truck, were acceleration and hp wasn't a significant factor to what it is now. It was cheap work vehicle, now many have become status symbols.

Even your HDs are heading in that direction more and more.

If they sell, build them. I agree with you on engine size, if you want it and can afford it, buy it. But most people are like you and me, we weigh up what we need to what we want.

I do think most on this site are boy racers like our Holden and Ford ute guys. If it can't get to 100kmph in less than 6 seconds its not manly or tough. But the majority of us don't care, that's why the very outdated Hilux is the biggest seller here more than any other vehicle.

The same would be true in the US and Canada.

I don't know if you remember when I said that our V8 Holden and Ford utes will come to an end, well that could be much closer than I predicted.

It seems GM Holden might close shop as well as Ford. They aren't building the right vehicles.

But the government will probably subsidise them, which I totally disagree with. If I made a bad financial decision the government wouldn't bail me out.

The other thing is a lot of US readers on this site are totally unaware of the new mid sizers. They look at Tacomas and Frontiers or think of mid sizers from the past.

Even the new Foton Tunland from China might end up being very competitive considering all of the names being used, Bosch, Cummins, ZF, Getrag, Borg Warner and Dana. Money from these companies in China will flow back to the US and Europe.

Judging by what I have read Australia will be used to develop the Foton for more western markets including the US.

This Foton might take a couple of years to find a foothold, but they have to iron out some of the rough edges.

@Dav,
With the "fiscal cliff", Economic woes abounding , Ford and GM and even Chrysler wish they had Pickups, that could be built in RHD/LHD in NA, stick a diesel in then sell them anywhere else in the world. Not so, they have had to design ones with higher payloads , much better off roarding abilities for the non NA market

I cannot understand why GM US does not do the Corvette in RHD? One of the great mysteries of the world.

@Mike Levine: although the Ram has about half the footwell intrusion the Ford has. Lets see, IIHS testing offset frontal, the Ford brake pedal moves back 14 CM, the Ram? Only 3 cm. The Ford went from all green good marks in it's total rating on 2004 to 2008, to having one yellow with the rest being green marks.

http://www.iihs.org/ratings/datatables.aspx?class=70&type=f


Which accident happens the most? Yeah, Ram can stand to improve the roof, but the Ford is kinda weak in head on.

@Big Al from Oz --I was not aware of the midsizers that you have until I started to read about these trucks on Pickup Trucks.com and read your comments as well. My maternal grandfather was a farmer and didn't believe in buying any more truck or farm tractor than he needed. He bought stripped down Dodge and IH pickups with no radio just 3 on the tree with a straight 6 engine. He said he did not want to spoil the hired hands who would drive his trucks occassionally.

My 2008 Isuzu has a 3.7 5 cylinder with 242 horsepower which I will guarantee you is more than I need. It has a towing package which if I used it would be more than what I would need for my purposes. My handyman has a 2004 Ford F-250 crewcab with a Powerstroke and 5 speed manual and hauls a work trailer which is what he needs and he uses it. I know farmers that utilize their full size trucks to the fullest, but most truck owners don't even come close to using the capacity of their pickups.

I too am not that enthusized about the Government getting in the auto industry as what happened to the British and the Swedish auto industry which lead to a breakup and foreign ownership of their industry. I was reluctantly for the GM and Chrysler bailouts but I am against any further loans because as what you said with your Holden and Ford Falcon utes if the market changes then the manufacturer needs to adapt and continuing government support is like supporting an addict on crack. Competition is good and the Chinese trucks that you have mentioned from GWC & Foton Tunland would bring a globally sized truck to the NA market.

When fuel prices rise to a level of $6 to $8 a gallon then the demand for gas guzzling large V8 trucks will plummet. Eventually this will happen just like the disappearance of the land yacht cars of the 70s. Things change.

@Jeff S
During my 6.5km walk today I figured out why the difference in our utes/pickups other than size.

Much of the size difference is due to CAFE, EPA regulations, customer requirements.

The difference is due to design philosophy which affect engineering needs. I remember in the mid 80s when Toyota announced that the Hilux would be designed as a 4x4 first then adapted into a 2wd configuration.

In Australia during that period if you wanted a 4x4 for a family you needed to buy a Nissan Patrol or Toyota Landcruiser wagon. If you want a 4x4 truck you bought the same but in a cab chassis. I know we had Landrover etc, but the Toyota and Nissan were the most popular.

Toyota with the Hilux made a very capable 4x4, Nissan and the other manufacturers made 4x4s that were adapted from a 2wd base design. These other utes were not as capable as the Hilux off road.

These new mid sizers we are getting now are using the current Hilux as the benchmark and the Toyota formula, so they are designing 4x4s to be adapted into 2wd.

Since Toyota had the design aspect of building mid sizers worked out for so long they tended to be blaise about improving the overall vehicle. I do think Toyota needs to make a huge improvement in the new Hilux to set the new standard.

In my thinking your pickups are designed as 2wd to be adapted into a 4x4, not counting the difference in load capacity. I'm not saying they can't be used off road or modified to be excellent off road.

They are cheaper to manufacture and are designed to do what you guys use them for. If they weren't they wouldn't be manufacturing them the way they do.

Your Tacoma is built on an old Surf platform, which is basically very similar to an old Hilux platform, except in in chassis strength. This chassis was designed for a 4x4, hence they do off road reasonably well.

Anyway that's my subjective view of the day:)

It's pretty sad when the Honda Ridgeline has a stronger roof than the "Guts & Glory" Ram.

http://www.iihs.org/ratings/summary.aspx?class=70

@Big Al from Oz--That is an interesting perspective but now that you mentioned it I can see it. I do see where American trucks were designed first to be 2 wheel then converted to 4 wheel drive. Toyota's first Land Cruisers in the US were more similiar to the early Jeeps that were more military the open ones. My brother-in-law has an 87 Toyota Landcruiser that is more SUV with the 4 doors but it has a 5 speed manual, straight 6 cylinder engine, and the locking hubs on the wheels. He bought it new 25 years ago and still has it. The front is built very heavy duty and it is like a tank. It is a great vehicle.

From what you are saying about the Tacoma if it was originally a 4 x 4 it is no wonder that it is a good offroad vehicle. Isuzu use to have good 4 x 4s in the US market as well such as the Trooper and the Rodeo. You still see them on the road. I saw a Dahatsu Rocky recently which are very rare and I have heard that they made a good 4 X 4. Some of the early Nissans which were called Datsun made some great 4x4 pickups and Datsun was the first compact truck in the US with the extended cab (King Cab). Datsun was for years the Number 1 selling compact truck in American.

From the Australian shootout article all those trucks are very competitive trucks. I am not a big VW fan but I could live with that truck. Any of those trucks is more capable than what I presently own but I am very happy with what I have. The Isuzu has been a good choice for the winter months and has served me well during the snowy weather. I doubt if I will ever offroad in it but thats ok as long as I have the 4 wheel drive for the winter. It has a fairly substantial frame and is reasonably well built. Fuel economy is not great but it gets about 18 to 24 mpg which is not terrible for a 4 x 4. If I were buying a truck now it would either be a Tacoma or a Frontier, but I would rather have one of your trucks.

@Jeff S
It's interesting you brought up the Diahatsu Rocky, because they were base on the Toyota Bunderra, which evolved into the Toyota Prado/Lexus 470/Landcruiser 70 series, we call them Troopcarriers.

There was another Diahatsu that was the size of a 2 door Suzuki Vitara, I know you have them but I don't know if you call them a Vitara.

These chassis's were based on the Hilux but stregthened, after they decided to build decent Hilux 4x4s.

The large Landcruiser wagon you are talking about was mechanically similar to the Toyota Dyna and Diahatsu Delta trucks.

These trucks we used in lieu of your HDs. They had a payload of about 5 500lbs, back then. That's why those Landcruisers from that era were nearly indestructable. The older Landcruiser's gasoline engine were based on a Canadian GM OHV six from the fifties.

Other than the mini trucks from the 70s and 80s we had a couple of mid sizers, before you guys had the Dakota's. They were the Nissan Junior and Toyota Scout. I don't know if you had them.

I know this article is about the Pentastar, but..........there doesn't seem to much talk on the engine.

Once Fiat sorts out the bugs in the Pentastar it should be a nice engine, though I don't think it met the economy that the hype generated.



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