Week in Review: Good Times for PUTC

Woodward Lead II

It's not often we have a bad week here at PickupTrucks.com. In fact, more often than not, we can't believe we're getting paid to do what we do. Last week, though, was something special. It started out pretty strong with the media introduction of a Ford F-150 Tremor piloted by NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski and things just got better from there. Here are some of the highlights from our time in and around Detroit.


2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

Ford Tremor 2 II

Being in the passenger seat as Keselowski rung out a 2014 F-150 Tremor at the Michigan International Speedway provided some exciting moments. It didn't take him long to figure out where the apexes were in each corner or how close he could get to the concrete wall, but when he did, he was able to hit those points over and over, all the while having a comfortable conversation. The Tremor looks well done, but let's be realistic here; this will be a low-volume player and will not become "the next Raptor."


Lingenfelter Collection

ERod Museum II

Stopping by the Lingenfelter Performance Engineering headquarters allowed us to drive a pair of 2013 Chevrolet Silverados outfitted with the company's newest pickup truck performance parts, but the real thrill of the day was touring the on-site museum with one of the local Corvette club members. Ken Lingenfelter only opens up his private collection for friends and clubs looking to raise money for charities. One of our favorite vehicles in his collection was the 1955 Chevrolet E-Rod that showed up at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association Show several years ago; it has an eco-green theme (the 5.3-liter V-8 runs on E85) with a TrailBlazer SS sport-tuned platform sitting underneath. Gorgeous.


Classic Trucks On Parade

Chevy on Grass II

By far the best thing that happened all week was finally attending the Woodward Dream Cruise. It is definitely difficult to describe. We loved the parade/car show/county fair atmosphere and being able to walk for miles, occasionally stopping at a park, a parking lot or a side street to talk to classic truck owners. Practically every inch of curb space was filled with lawn chairs, shade tents and amateur photographers. Cars and trucks of every shape, size and year were parked on the grass with owners and friends seated alongside. It's a 10-mile salute to old metal.


Ram Rumble Bee Concept

Rumble Bee II

Wherever auto enthusiasts gather, there will always be car and truck makers looking for a marketing opportunity. Not that we have anything against Ram Truck debuting its 10th anniversary edition Rumble Bee concept truck in the heart of the power and performance universe, but why not just tell us this vehicle will be offered pretty quickly? To say this is a concept that won't make it to production would be akin to torture. We have to assume when a great chef goes to the trouble of setting a great meal on the table, wafting the aromas under our noses, that at some point he's going to feed us. Our highlight was watching the engineering and marketing team, along with CEO Reid Bigland, interact with real people about real issues: "You have to make that truck," folks said of the Rumble Bee. You can't pay to get that kind of product feedback.


2013 Ford Transit U.K.

Ford Transit II

Although some of our compatriots were driving some exotic automobiles around Detroit during the Woodward Dream Cruise, we took advantage of Ford's offer to drive a United Kingdom-made Transit van it was marketing to Detroit business fleet buyers. The 8-foot-tall, 20-foot-long Transit had a turbo-diesel 2.2-liter inline four-cylinder and a six-speed manual powertrain that got 24.2 mpg from the half-tank of gas we burned navigating the highways and city streets around Woodward. We predict these work vans will gain popularity as buyers discover their tremendous flexibility; they drive and handle pretty well too. Ram ProMaster, Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans will fill this growing segment nicely, not to mention the Ford Transit Connect, Ram ProMaster City and Nissan NV200 stepping in where capable smaller vans will do the job.


Next-Gen Titan to Use Cummins 5.0L V-8

Cummins Vanguard_V8 2 II

Although the official announcement that a brand-new Cummins turbo-diesel would be a powertrain option in the next-generation Nissan Titan wouldn't come for a few days, we did hear about the news while wandering the boulevards in Detroit (we have friends everywhere). Some thought it exceptionally interesting that Nissan Vice President of Sales and Marketing Fred Diaz, previously the CEO of Ram Truck, was the executive to make the announcement. At Ram, Diaz was in on the decision to put the Italian-based VM Motori turbo-diesel into the Ram 1500, so it does make you wonder whether this was, on some level, some sort of jab for not going with a Cummins diesel for Ram. Maybe that's too much conspiracy theorizing, but we love how this is playing out. From where we sit, the more light we can shine on light-duty powertrain alternatives, the better.


General Motors well ahead of everyone else...

@AllAmerican :What does your comment have to do with this article? Explain it to me, the author of this article and all the other readers.

Do use all a favor an enlighten us with your infinite truck wisdom.

I was born with a IQ higher then yours.

@Mark Wwiiliams
"We predict these work vans will gain popularity as buyers discover their tremendous flexibility; they drive and handle pretty well too. Ram ProMaster, Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans will fill this growing segment nicely,"

Could not agree more., they will make an impact.


Don't mind him. He's Trolling. Enjoy the article.

I bet the Transit would of gotten better then 24.2 mpg if you "burned diesel" instead of gas.

I don't understand the articles about vans. Isn't this PICKUPTRUCKS.COM? Is a van a pickup truck? Are pickup truck buyers cross-shopping vans? Not any that I know. I must say since Mike Levine left the articles on this website have left me with a lot of unanswered questions. At least Mike Levine would reply to good questions in the comments. Now it's just a bunch of trolling by teenage kids.

I think full size SUV's would be a better segment then Vans for this site people shopping for pickups do crossshop Suburbans and Expeditions when looking for a tow rig for th family.

Those in construction are cross-shopping vans. Two years ago Mike Levine put it up for vote and it was decided unanimously that PUTC would cover work vans.

There will be no CUV discussion here.

I don't see anything wrong with covering Vans as they are built on the same platform as trucks. They are used for work so why not.

Whats the problem? Don't like Vans, keeps scrolling.

Gotta wonder if Diaz made the bone head call for on 5.0L. Looks big, over built, more expensive, probably only mid 20's mpg best case, and won't do much for Nissan CAFE standards.

@beebe - Answering bloggers questions and controlling trolls would require reading the blogs. Mike Levine read the blogs.

RAM, Best looking truck on the market with muscle to back up it's menacing looks.

"Week in Review: Good Times for PUTC"

Not if you are a blogger.

The caption should read, "Week in Review: Good times for Trolls".

I don't mind scrolling past the van articles. I'm not the least bit interested in them. I just wonder if them wasting time on vans takes away from the real pickup news. Maybe it's just where I live (around here 4x4 is important) but I almost never see full-size vans even for contractors. I used to come to this site for the latest news about pickup trucks. Now it seems the new and interesting stuff comes from other websites first and then I read it here a few days later if at all.

The European vans are boring here in Europe, and European vans are absolutely without charm in U.S.A,I remember the tv movie A-team, this is a genuine v8 American style van!

I went all week without my inner grammar Nazi surfacing, but when someone sets up pins for you, you have to knock them down...
From AllAmerican:
"I was born with a IQ higher then yours."
The correct use is "an" before a vowel. "I" is a vowel. "Then" denotes some later time. "Than" relates two objects.

allamerican should change his name to 48% american since he is a GM fan and shops at walmart

Here's where it was decided to cover vans. Work vans have been covered for over 2 years now. It started with the new Nissan cargo van.


Mike, Do you only cover Nissan Vans? Sorry I didn't see any coverage on any other vans.
Posted by: Fred G | Feb 3, 2011 1:57:51 AM

@Fred G: I made a decision to cover the new Nissan vans because they have heavily modified version of the current Titan's frame that could be used to underpin a heavy-duty version of the Titan.

However, the segment isn't covered in detail by other outlets. What do you think? Should we also cover vans?
Posted by: Mike Levine | Feb 3, 2011 2:07:28 AM

@Mike L.

I would read the article about vans if you write them. In the ever changing world of business, the term service vehicle is not limited to only one type of vehicle. It may not be pretty, but I think the return on investment with this vehicle could be quite high as it fills into many different job titles.

If you write it, they will read it.........
Posted by: Jeremy O. | Feb 3, 2011 2:42:48 PM

YES, start reviewing and covering vans, specially cargo vans.
Posted by: Dave | Feb 3, 2011 12:53:22 PM

@ Mike Levine

I see no reason not to cover vans. It's a small segment of the market, but nobody else seems to cover it. As long as you don't start branching into minivans and crossovers that is...
Posted by: AL | Feb 3, 2011 5:40:30 AM


@nitro - I can tell from the quality of the Rambo Motard posts that you make you are used to playing with small nobs.

I also had a bad week. Speaking of that does anyone know where to by Extreme A.T.M. in bulk? So Ford got nailed for false MPG numbers as well. It centres more on the Titan and RAM hybrids. Some say it is how hybrids are tested and rated as opposed to "fudging" my underwear. Typical reaction - how dare any foreigner say something negative about my fat wife. But regardless of my wife’s weight, the payback on the Ecodiesel should be reasonable but even if one removes "payback" from the equation, my baby got back!

A recent study shows that diesels do have a cost benefit over gassers. The lowest savings was Volvo 60 series versus Cummins. The savings was $2 dollars on a 3 year cycle but jumped to $2.15 over 5 years based on total cost of ownership. Ford on the other hand had a very poor diesel resale (thank you 6.1/6.7) but still had a net benefit in getting my wife in and out of rehab. Ford has a 3 year total cost of ownership at $.30 and 5 year down to $6.

Google this: contractor pickup truck vs van. There are lots of topics on this.


It comes down to pickup truck vs van vs box truck vs pickuptruck/van with a trailer. Contractors will still want pickups but willl start looking at the new vans if not for weather then for security.

Electricians and plumbs still much prefer Vans, a lot easier to store all thier tools and equipment. Those of us who now how to drive can drive a Van in the Snow at least here in the flatter upper midwest.

Notice how all the truck in the news this week were not GM trucks(Tremor, Rumble Bee, Titan). It's ironic how the new GM trucks just got release, yet the competition has managed to generate all the buzz.

I think Nissan is making a mistake by going with the 5.0 Cummins. This will not be able to achieve fuel economy that is markedly different from the current gas offerings from the competition, and with diesel fuel at 75 cents per gallon more it's really going to be hard to justify for most buyers.

The V6 Ram is using makes a lot more sense. The I-4 Cummins that Nissan was testing in the Titan would have made even more sense than any of them.

WXman if you want fuel economy by a Civic, if you want a truck with Balls get a V8 Cummins.

This was the best week ever for PUTC.

Ford could only dream of their Trembler sounding soooo good.


@Fred, THAT'S Because Govt Motors and their GovtMoCo Sierra truck blows. WASTE of Taxpayer Money for TWO Trucks! The Chevrolet is OK at Best! At LEAST it doesn't wear the GovtMoCo badge. But it Still isn't great. Chevrolet is OR WAS Better Than the new Silverado.

Dodge and Even Nissan will be TAKING Chevrolet's place behind Ford.

Fred, did you not see the stoies about GMperformance, and Lingenfelter, and safety, or your computer only has half a screen?

@Rick: maybe WXman wants to use a truck for truck stuff and half good mileage? What a concept! The Ram 1500 diesel will tow what probably 90% of half ton buyers need to tow, with honest ratings. You just want to play atound, maybe the Nissan is for you, but when you tealize it's not enough truck, Ram has it covered. The 2500 handles more then Nissan knows about trucks, and transmissions.

@MoparMadness - You’re so stupid you probably think Taco Bell is where you pay your telephone bill. I figure Fiat will take this place behind FORD and in front of FORD there will be a tow truck. If one considers Datsun, one should wait to see when they come out with their new Truck (it’s only been a decade) and maybe they will do something worth looking at (now that they stole the only Fiat executive that new anything about trucks).

But enough about you. A brands identity is tied to its looks. Truck owners for the most part are Mormon types. They like consistency, continuity and women’s arena football. Evolution versus day old bread. The similarity from the first 1962 F150 to 2013 is on purpose. The frames, drivetrains, suspensions, interiors, and snout like Micheal Jackson’s face have all been changed over those 5 years. The SuperDuty is getting long in the tooth in every area with the exception of the tire caps but that is a whole other discussion.
If one looks at Dodge (now Fiat) then they are looking at a truck. If one looks at a Alta Verapaz spikethumb, the same design orthodoxy exists with my wife. Even Dodge cars have adapted my wife’s face "crosshair" grill style, as their corporate face. Chevy/GM had the biggest departure from design evolution with the GMT800-900's and they have experienced an abrupt change in weather patterns. If one were to take Mustang when it came out you would go to jail. It is best for one to go to ones Ford dealer and buy it. There is much fear among enthusiasts that Ford will completely depart from the poor quality and bad craftsmanship that tie-in to the early Mustangs. In the final analysis, what matters is whether or not you are happy, and my wife does not satisfy my aesthetic palate, there are other women or men to chose from.

Amen, brother Tom. Preach it.

This Bat Ram will eat that poser Ford for lunch. Save the Ford for Bat women. lol



P.S. Turn it up and listen too that Viper V-10!

@rick if u want real balls get an l6 Cummins in ram hd!

The "if you want fuel economy don't buy a truck" argument has merit but if fuel prices continue to rise, getting a few mpg better could mean the difference between owning a truck or owning something else.
We saw an exodus of image buyers from the truck ranks in 2008 and it was very damaging to USA auto companies.

@Mark Williams
When are you going to do the article on the 2.2 litre Transit?

It will be interesting to see what you views are on such a small diesel in a largish vehicle.

The 2.2 diesel is the base engine in the BT50 pickup we have here. It apparently does an acceptable job moving the truck around.

I been a passenger in a Transit bus with the 2.2 diesel and it actually sat on 130kph (approx 85mph) for hours on end.

They are quite economical as the Mazda pickup is returning about 34mpg (US) on the highway. The pickups weigh about 4 400lbs.

@Big Al- we're not getting the 2.2 Duratorq in America, but the Sprinter has a small diesel like that as the base motor now. ITs hooked to a 7speed auto.

@ Mr Knowitall
I realise this.

I want to hear what Mark Williams has to say on these small diesels.

In the near future this size diesel will be viable in a full size truck.

@ Mr Knowitall
I realise this.

I want to hear what Mark Williams has to say on these small diesels.

In the near future this size diesel will be viable in a full size truck.

I hope this isn't a duplicate.

I don't see anything wrong with covering vans, the coverage is so sporadic, its not an issue. Vans are use for work, which is what most trucks are used for, plus many use similar platforms to trucks. Please keep the van coverage, what we don't need on this site is more CUV coverage.

I truly think Nissan needs to upgrade their 5.6 with a 6 or 7 speed transmission. Im positive Nissan engineering can achieve more hp and better fuel economy from their proven V-8.
As for redesign. They make a real nice looking truck but to stay with the times they do need to change the style but only slightly.Ram really hasn't changed that much over the last 6 to 8 years either and ford is more boxy now then ever.
Nissan, Please don't completely destroy the look of this fine truck. Just update it for MPG and keeping with the times style for buyers.We all know your profit margins on the Titan are huge by now.

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