2013 NAIAS: Opening Day is Here

4 Fred Diaz

The 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit opens this week for media (later in the week for the public), and energy levels and excitement are as high as they've been in several years. The big news before the show even opened was that the new seventh-generation 2014 C7 Corvette was to get the royal treatment and hog most of the show's spotlight. Rightly so, since much of the new Corvette engine technology can be found in the recently revealed 2014 Chevy Silverado and 2014 GMC Sierra. But seeing the Corvette isn't the only bit of news here this morning. 


4a Truck of the Year II

Surprising a host of onlookers (including me), the 49 U.S. and Canadian journalists that sit on the North American Truck/Utility of the Year panel voted the new Ram 1500 the winner for 2013. The two other competitors included the Ford C-Max Hybrid and Mazda CX-5. According to several jurors on the panel, the Ram was the hands-down winner. Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Ram Truck, was there to accept the award and brave an ocean cameras. Not long after the award presentation, at the first manufacturer press conference of the day (Jeep's), Diaz sat next to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and gave him a big hug of congratulations and thanks. 


3 Transit poster

Ford will be showing several more versions of its Transit vans at the 2013 Detroit auto show, but if you were driving around town over the weekend, you'd have noticed several 10-story banners promoting the new vans right across the street from the convention center. The Transit vans will be built at the Claycomo Plant in Kansas City, Mo., and should be production-ready by the end of the year (the plant is being redesigned now). Of note, the new commercial and passenger vans use a heavy-duty unibody that must adhere to all severe-duty durability testing that all other Ford trucks have to meet. 


2 XTrux

Our friends at Via Motors have three separate displays at NAIAS; one downstairs next to the Media Center, one at the Cobo Center's entrance and another press conference booth sandwiched in between Lincoln and Michelin. For those that may not remember, Via Motors offers three hybrid-electric trucks based off three current-gen Chevrolet platforms (Silverado pickup truck, Suburban SUV and Express van) that can get in excess of 100 mpg. We're also told they will have an 800-horsepower concept truck that should be interesting, as well. More to come. 


1 protests

What would a huge public show be without some kind of protest going on outside during the event? A vocal group of union workers (who we're told includes actor Danny Glover) were protesting some of the actions and proposed negotiating positions of GM (notice the automaker's headquarters in the background). The protesters had the benefit of good weather and an open public sidewalk area right across the street from the convention center. When viewing and listening to some of the protesters, we also had the chance to see several of the people-movers through downtown that are showing off a lifesize 2014 Chevy Silverado towing a horse trailer. 



Congrats to RAM trucks on winning another award. NORTH AMERICAN TRUCK OF THE YEAR.

I just want to know when that VM diesel will make the jump from the Jeep to the Ram. NYC auto show maybe?

the 21/30 mpg is pretty astounding (20/29 for 4x4). I bet the Ram would probably be about 1 mpg lower all around but would certainly be a solid improvement from any other truck out there. Combine this with a modest payload increase and Chrysler/Ram would really have a decent shot at soaking up a more signfincat portion of the overall truck market, even with GM introducing 2 new trucks.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee: news and rumors.
With the new diesel option, the Grand Cherokee has best-in-class gas mileage (30 mpg highway) and range (730 miles). The state-of-the-art engine, dubbed “EcoDiesel,” is, like the V8, optional on all but Laredo.

With 240 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque, the 3.0-liter EcoDiesel is capable of towing 7,400 pounds, more than any competitor’s V-8 equipped SUVs; yet, it provides a 30% increase in fuel economy over the Pentastar V-6 engine.


It will be interesting to see the take up of the "new" Transits, in particular the diesels. I do think the diesel Transits should get at least 23mpg mixed.

I'm also wondering if cab chassis versions will be on display at Detroit.

I do think cab chassis Transits will sell in the US as economical replacements for people who need HD payload but not rated to tow umpteen tons.

The cost of a cab chassis Transit would be nice, would it be in the same price range as a 1/2 ton? from a business perspective a Transit is more versitile.

I think that most business HD operaters would be more interested in vehicle payload and not tow ability.

What also interests me was the claim that the 3.2 would generate about 400ftlb of torque.

What worries me is Ford going to try and not canabalised pickup sales with the cab chassis.

@Hemi V8
Robert Ryan and myself have been saying this for a longtime.

If Fiat gives the go ahead for Ram to drop that VM diesel in really soon, then Ram might overtake Chev/GMC in sales.

You can do away with the expensive suspension, 8 speed, louvres etc and sell the diesel at a competitive price against gas engines.

A VM Ram I would consider.

2014 ‘Vette: a case of Viper envy?

One of the most eagerly awaited presentations at the North American International Auto Show has to have been the 2014 Corvette. For weeks, speculation, spy shots, sketches and renderings have been flying around the Internet. Today, the wraps came off, the embargoes were lifted and the 2014 Corvette made its debut. One of the things that struck Mopar fans was the number of styling cues shared between the new ‘Vette and the new SRT Viper that just went into production at Chrysler’s Conner Avenue Assembly Plant. In fairness, some of the shared details could be simply a common problem, i.e., air flow management, requiring a common solution. But others, especially when the cars are viewed from the front, raise questions. Of course, it’s said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and the Viper is definitely a vehicle worthy of emulation. Viper fans should thank Chevrolet for the compliments.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2013/01/2014-vette-a-case-of-viper-envy
Text copyright © Allpar, LLC, publishers of the massive Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and other Mopar site allpar.com

That Transit ad should read:


@HEMI V8 Only thing that that the Vipe and have in common are the headlights and maybe the mirror kinda look alike.



@RAM Sucks or HEMI V8
Your turn will come.

Viper* Vette* damn typo's

The jeep only gets a 5% boost in fuel economy with the 8 speed transmission to 15/21 mpg 2wd 14/21. So much for the ram 1500 getting better fuel economy then the ecoboost orchestra.

@RAM Sucks? WTF?
How does the appearance of a working truck really matter.

Do you even work? Or is this concept to abstract for you?

Or are you one of those wannabe's living at home at 25 sponging off your parents?

No, I suppose you are one of those metrosexuals who has to wax his body and use face cream. While ensuring you always go out with your flouro Reeboks and G string.

You're a winner sunshine.

Hahaha HEMI V8, Dodge boys are grasping at straws, Viper needs some idiotic track pack a la SRT10 ACR with that huge wing and r-compound "street" tires just to stay on the same level as a showroom fresh bone stock Vette ZR1.

@Robert Ryan: actually that Ram van photochop does look alot better then the Ford Transit.

Atleast the Rams don't have you using premium gas like some of the Fords with an Ecoboost. I can see people skipping out on it, and putting in regular, and then bitching about their mileage not being near what it's supposed to be.

@Robert Ryan
That is one disgusting looking render!

Boy I don't want to see a Ram van looking like that.

I'm still jet lagged and getting up at 0230 in the morning.

Seems like a good time over here to get onto this site.

It seems Hemi V8 is staying up past his bedtime. I think he was @RAM Sucks, with one his anti Ford slurs.



Seems all the viper guys are in wow and jealous of the new vette. Many people mentioning picking one up as it looks better, will out perform and be less expensive than the viper, hmm. Besides, the deisign of the vette was done long before even being able to see the viper. The only thing that looks remotely similar is the headlights and bottom grill opening, anything else is coincidence but the rest of the car has no resemblance.

@TRX4 Tom
What do you think the final drive ratio should be, with what wheel diameter:)

The new 6.2L V8 in the 2014 corvette is rated at 450hP and 450 torque. I'm guessing the new 6.2L in the 1500 Sierra/Silverado will be rated around 420hP and 440 torque. What does everybody else think?

@TRX4 Tom
That is for the Ram van.

I was thinking a 2.00045623 final drive with a 0.045321 overdrive on 6" rims running 130 series 24 ply N rated tyres:)

Of course that's on 13" wide rims.

@Big Al from Oz: I might someday consider a VM Motori V-6 diesel Ram 1500, but I would want an 8 speed, AND the air suspension.

Which transmission would you want them to have?

Unlike you, I don't have a forklift to load my truck, and I have covered that many of times, but I am sure you will probably say some crap like funtion, form, blah blah blah...

Honestly, why not try to make good better? If it can be lowered at speed, raised for offroad, and I don't mean playing around offroad, as some here just play and that is the only reason they go offroad.

It can be lowered to load stuff.

Funny, you just told me a pickup is a luxory, but maybe it never gets in your head: I know that, that's why I drive a car that gets better then 30 mpg when I don't need a truck. But it's funny to hear you tell me that it's a luxory, while you are blasting down the road at 85 plus, you could be doing it in a car and getting much better mileage.

If you never see adults in the back of crew / quad/ ext cabs, maybe you need to get out some next time you get to the states. I regularly see people packing 3 or 4 adults into a truck at the racetrack. Think they want to sit an adult in the middle seat that is higher then the outside seats? If they had to, they would, good thing we have OPTIONS.

My friend has a quadcab Ram 3500 hemi dually 5 speed manual, and when the race is non local, it gets packed up!

Then there is the kind of stuff you don't want to sit in the back of the truck, stuff like helments, clothes, food...

Good thing the UAW was there to remind everyone that vehicles built by organized labor will never be as good as vehicles built by workers who are accountable.

On another note, it doesn't seem like we'll be getting a Jeep pickup anytime soon, does it? It should have debuted here if it was coming in the next year.


I think you are close with the power figures. On the various Chevy/GMC pages I have guesstimated 420 hp on the 6.2 and 425-435 lbs of torque. Not huge gains but gains nonetheless. My guess is GM will say something like "our 6.2 makes 25 lbs more torque at 2000 rpm than Ford's 6.2" and that will be the marketing strategy.

I highly doubt any of their motors make top power or torque figures (might be close, especially the 4.3) but they will be improvments in power, lower weight and better mpgs. That is a nice all around improvement and really is probably what is needed by the populace but it doesn't have any sexy marketing aspect.

@Big Al from Oz
"That is one disgusting looking render!"

I hope they were joking.

@TRX4 Tom,

" regularly see people packing 3 or 4 adults into a truck at the racetrack."
Ridiculous, why a not a 7 seater SUV?

@TRX4 Tom
Most every vehicle we have are luxuries. Its good to have these luxuries.

Once luxuries become expectations then we are what is termed spoilt.

I don't need two vehicles to get my 30mpg, just like the diesel Grand Cherokee and it can still tow. The largest I expect to tow is a 20' boat, 400lts of fuel with 1 500lbs of supplies in the back of the ute for a week's outing fishing and camping. Oh, that is towing mostly hundred's of kilometers down tracks to a fishing spot in 4 high, until I hit rough stuff.

I actually have a ute back on mine, as I use mine as a SUV/tow vehicle. I did consider a Grand Cherokee before my ute but in all honesty the ute has better build quality and a much higher load capacity and the same basic features for the same cost. The Grand Cherokee is not good on extended trips. They would be alright for a 2-3 day camping trip. Also my previous experience with a Chrysler product was quite dissappointing.

As for off roading I do think our mid sizers are quite good, they are becoming almost as capable as Landcruisers. Landcruiser still have an edge, but chew up fuel to achieve the same work. This is important when all you have is what you take.

Our traybacks are used by people who tend to bulk out, so a single cab with a 6x8 tray works well, and they sit the same height as your beds generally as a 2wd and have much better access than a ute back.

As I have told you in the past come on over and look for yourself. Book yourself a fishing holiday in the Top End or get in touch with me and we can show you what a safari type expedition is like, awesome. But you need vehicles capable of doing these things, like our diesel mid sizers, Land Rovers 110s and 130s, Landcruisers etc.

Most guys where I work go on 2 week fishing and hunting trips in some of the most remotest parts of the world.

In a couple of weekends us managers at work are going on a fishing trip and I'll try and get some photo's on how we prepare and the loads we move and the fish we catch.

When I was in the States over Christmas I bought some nice Shimano baitcasitng fishing gear I want to try out. A 12-15lb rod and an overhead baitcasting reel.

We fish for barrimundi, its a huge tourist business up here and people from around the come to fish for them, and its on my doorstep, fantastic. On a typical outing you can expect to get them one metre long, great fun.

Also as I have told you in the past I have never told you what to have or anyone on this site. I look at the industry and engineering between vehicles.

Unlike you I don't have to prove Fiats are better than GM or Ford or Mazda etc. To me that is bull$hit talk by people who have to grasp for something lacking in their lives.

@Robert Ryan: How many 7 seven seaters do you know will tow with near as much stability as a dually? (at this point, Al will hop in and say crap like "putting duals on a truck isn't a very safe thing"-or similar, as he has before. No Al, FACTORY DUALLY. Much more stable then those short wheelbase wanna be trucks you have.

And maybe not all are duallys, I know one guy that tows about 5500 and runs an excavation business. You think he wants to drive some 7 passenger SUV so they could throw nasty dirty stuff in the back of it? No. Therefore, a supercab F-150 works for him, and the 3 or 4 that ride with him.

I can just see it "easy putting that engine in the back of my suv, boys" while picking up and engine at the machine shop, or actually, "make sure all that oil and dirt doesn't get on the carpet!", when hauling an used engine to the speed shop.

Like it would even be safe to stick a engine block in the back of an SUV. LOL!

You have no sense how short track people operate.

@Tundra HQ: It's good thing Motor Trend told us in their battle of the top 6 sedans how well built the non Union Camry is: they pretty well said it was a POS.

Good thing it went on to get a poor rating in the IIHS's newest head on partial test. Yup, designed fto be new for 2012, yet gets a fail, while an older Dodge car built for 2008 gets an acceptable, out of the four ratings good, acceptable, marginal, and poor.

It's a good thing the Tacoma makes alot more noises offroad then a new Ram, I guess the Toyota folk are willing to put up with alot more. Or maybe those that buy a Tacoma for offroad just get the 4 banger version, and put up. Then again, alot of Taco buyers just let them sit in their garage, and barely get them dirty.

Toyota...the myth....

TRX4 Tom,
"@Robert Ryan: How many 7 seven seaters do you know will tow with near as much stability as a dually"

Why would you be taking 4 adults in a Dually? talk about cramped. If you want a reasonable compromise get a 7 seater.

@TRX4 Tom
"Like it would even be safe to stick a engine block in the back of an SUV. LOL!"

Ever heard of a Utility Trailer? Take 4 people in COMFORT as well?

A year from now we will see those new Transits everywhere.

*Whips out a bag of popcorn and :)* This is getting good.

All jokes aside TRX4 Tom whats you're take on the Vette and the Viper since you are into the raceing stuff? I know this is little off topic but trying to keep the fighting down.

@Tundra HQ:


Funny thing tho, if I look at the Prius' IIHS safety report, it will say "this vehichle has not had a partial frontal (or whatever they call it) test". Meanwhile, the Camry reports the poor results.

I wonder if they build Tundras like this?

BTW, I am neither for nor against unions, both union and non union can build good or poor products.

I remember in the mid seventies my dad had a large body shop built near Chicago. Some union turd stuck a sign in the ground stating "this building is non union built" My dad tossed the sign in the scrap metal pile.

I only call the person a turd because he thinks FOR SURE that union is better, for sure.

Maybe, maybe not.

NAIAS = The nail in Chevrolet's coffin. Trucks and cars both. It's all about Dodge and Ford in this new century. Chevrolet's turned into junk over the last 10-15 years by GovtMotorCorp's hand. They can't save the sinking ship now.

@TRX4 Tom
You generally take discusion out of context to prove your point.

If I remember correctly you were talking about dropping duallies on the back of a small single wheel pickup.

I also remember I pointed out that this isn't wise as it will increase the load on the axle bearing, that wasn't engineered for that type of loading. As duallies would increase the load on the axle.

So, Tom again stop with your bull$hit, be sincere in your approach and ensure you realise not all people are like you when debating an argument.

Purposely misinforming isn't good or spruiking information you can't comprehend and trying to sound like an authoritive speaker. You will get caught out.

Tom, also our vehicle regulations would never allow your HD tow loads, as they would be deemed unsafe. More so when the vehicle operator is untrained.

Uh Oh.. The Ford Transit got a big front and center jump on the next Chevrolet Express. Chevy might be in trouble there. Not good.


Yet GM still sells more vehicles than Dodge. How is dodge winning when they are constantly in third place? Yes they have new innovative products, but until they unseat GM for second place in the selling category they are still third best.

@Robert Ryan: the fact you never have thought about a QUADCAB dually, shows your lack of knowledge on whats available here.

Lets see, there have been times when the race was 85 miles from my house, or actually, 130 miles from my friends place, and the truck was full, 6 people. You tell me how how that guy in the back of that 3 row suv seating SUV feels, he feels pretty damn cramped!

But it's kinda hard to COMPROMISE with a 7 seater when you tow with a INCLOSED GOOSENECK that totally would be overweight even if it was a bumper pull.

So, he should buy another little trailer to tow an engine around?

My friend already tows two racecars to the track, when racing locally, so that means atleast two trailers he pays to lisence.

Why bother with a little trailer that won't even hold a car? When you can put it in the back of the truck that you already own?

Why get a bigger SUV that will tow heavy? As it is my friend has an suv that holds the 4 including him, in his family. But for him to get a bigger one, one that would tow 4500 comfortlably, now the family small suv will suck gas, and sure won't get the 28 or whatever mile per gallon the current one gets.

I myself might get a little 4x8 trailer to tow a small dune buggy behind my rv, only cause it makes no sense to tow my 18 footer for something so small.

But knowing I am about to move, why bother registering something else, that will just need registered in the next state?

What do you got there, a trailer for everything?

Sorry, we aint rich.

Keep it simple.

Why is Chevy letting VIA motors damage it's own company??????? WTF? That should be Chevrolet offering stuff like that. Not some other no name company in a Chevrolet package. How stupid are these guys???

well since the jeep has the 3.0, 3.6, 5.7, and 6.4, i see no reason for ram not to get all of these motors as well (all with 8 speed). hopefully the wrangler gets the 8 speed for 2014 so chrysler can retire the long in the tooth mercedes 5 speed. have you guys heard the rumors of the return of the grand wagoneer to replace the durango for 2014? it will most likely get the same powertrain as the grand cherokee minus the 6.4.

Yet GM still sells more vehicles than Dodge. How is dodge winning when they are constantly in third place? Yes they have new innovative products, but until they unseat GM for second place in the selling category they are still third best.

- That day is at hand, much sooner than you think. GM has done so much damage to Chevrolet because of their other so called brands/companies it isn't even funny. It's over for Chevrolet. Especially when it comes to trucks. It's been over for a LONG time.

oh yeah the corvette will have good numbers on paper and has cool features and looks ok from the front and sides, but the back looks hideous! it looks like the current camaro had relations with a pagani zonda! and has anyone heard any news on the stats of the gm trucks yet?

@ TRX4 Tom
"@Robert Ryan: the fact you never have thought about a QUADCAB dually, shows your lack of knowledge on whats available here."

That is what I was referring too. Nice for two Adults and two children possibly. Four Adults no.

@TRX4 Tom
I wouldn't go there with Robert Ryan. He might make a fool of you.

You don't know what or who people are. Look before you leap.

"I dream of selling as many pickups as Ford," Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said recently. "I like the pickup business a lot. I drool over it actually."


"Within the segment, buyers are brand loyal. Last year, 36% of F-150 buyers traded in an F-Series, Edmunds.com data shows. By comparison, the Toyota Camry is considered to have an inordinately high loyalty rate, but had only 33% of its sales to previous Camry owners, Caldwell said.

And 38% of Silverado buyers traded in a Silverado. "The Silverado buyer is two times as loyal as a Malibu buyer," Caldwell said of Malibu's 15% repeat rate last year."

USA Today

Not sure how much I am supposed to say, but I can tell you that a shipment of two different prototypes of a part with a print with "DR LD 3.0 Diesel" in the title were sent to Detroit this last weekend. That's all I will say.

@Big Al: No, you don't remeber correctly. I never said anything about "just adding" a dually.

I did say they are more stable, which if you ask people that tow heavy, they will agree.

I have a dually on my old RV. It's a FACTORY STOCK Dana 60.
The axles are FACTORY ENGINEERED, so the bearings are much bigger, and the bearings are almost right in the very middle of the two tires.

I know you can't imagine this Al, with your spend a week in the states once in awhile, and when you are not drunk or at some meeting, you actually see a liitle of how things are in whatever big city like Vegas you landed in.

So, Al again, again, you stop with your bull$hit.

I see you are comparing your truck getting 30 mpg, to my car. It might get that, (your truck) but at what speed? I said 30 MPG for my car,but that's at over 70 MPH.

Now, lets talk COST PER MILE. Even if you got the same mileage as my car at 70 MPH (it can get 34 plus going 60 MPH) you are paying alot more for your diesel. No sense in even doing the math on that, it's only 60-70 cents more per gallon on a $3 a gallon of gas. If it was here you would need DEF. More $$$.

But hey, your a rich aircraft engeneer, or so you say.....

That's just an old 96 Camry. Since we are talking about comparing to a 2012 "truck" how about a 2012 car? 35 MPG at 75 is not a big deal.

No Al, I have no desire to fish there, I am close to the trout capital, and pretty close to where there is alot of bass, crappie, and catfish.

I have seen me some USA from east to west, north to south, a bit of Mexico, Honduras, Germany, Iraq, and Kuwait.
I really don't want to go too far, cause most of what I want is right here!

However, I do wish I went to British Columbia when I had the chance, when I was about 20.

Oh, coulda sworn the width of your truck is 72.8, that's about 7 or 8 inchs less then our full sizes were. They have only gotten wider. But you probably don't even know that. Actually, I did look it up, the bed is 44'8" wide between wheel wells. WOW! Now that explains it!

Oh, not only do people like me need trucks that are big enough to actually hold something, those people drive Tundras, F-150s, (can't see Lou's dogs fitting in some little Mazda) Chevy and GMC, and even Titans! So, not just Rams!

So, don't try to bully us around! Bunch of think you know it alls!

Lol, Big Al, he will tell me to get an SUV to tow with, hard to tow a GOOSENECK with one. LOL. Even if it was a quadcab bumper pull, it'll pull better then alot of these seven passenger suvs with short wheelbase.

Oh, I said it was a 3500 also (standard deal to get a dually)

Nowadays, they don't MAKE DUALLY QUADCABS, they are CREWCABS. Since you are gonna want to compare modern day 7 passengers.

GM or Ford might make extended cab duallys, I don't know.

The person that i an excavator has no desire for such a small trailer just to move engines.

Full size trucks work for us here, no matter how much you don't want to accept that, and you want to change the whole world.

I take it you folks don't get off the island much, huh?

Ah, well, time to pull an engine.

You nuckers are totally futs.

I'm putting all my eggs in the Lutz overstated electric capability basket. I say that project dies before the year is over.

Jeep has taken the wraps off the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Grand Cherokee SRT8, revealing few surprises for Allpar readers, but many gains. Numerous systems have been tweaked, taking advantage of a new, faster electronics architecture and other technologies. SRT8 buyers get their 470-horse V8 with an eight-speed automatic, with new tuning enhancements and a far easier to use launch control system. For more photos and the full story, see 2014 SRT Grand Cherokee. Share me!

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2013/01/2014-jeep-grand-cherokee-srt8-revealed?fb_source=pubv1
Text copyright © Allpar, LLC, publishers of the massive Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and other Mopar site allpar.com

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