2015 North American International Auto Show Starts Soon

Ford Atlas front II

It's been a long time since Detroit's annual North American International Auto Show has showcased several new pickup truck introductions, but it seems like that might happen this year.

We know we'll get a look at the long-overdue 2016 Toyota Tacoma, which Toyota is calling "all-new." We assume that means this pickup will offer more than just a new trim package (the Limited) and some exterior design cues (similar in shape to the Tundra).

We also know the all-new 2016 Nissan Titan will debut as well. From the way the truck team at Nissan is talking, it sounds like the Titan will offer something dramatic. That's good, because if Nissan doesn't do something big — which should include frame, suspension, powertrain and design in our opinion — Nissan could get bogged down in one of the fastest-growing and fastest-changing segments in the auto industry.

For the domestics, all we know is what's circulating on the rumor mill. Given the direction Ford has been moving in for the last few years, we fully expect to see something dramatic for the Super Duty or possibly the next-generation Raptor. It wasn't that long ago — 2013 in fact — that Ford's Atlas concept truck stole the show, and a new Raptor could be just the thing Ford needs to steal the show again.

From Ram we keep hearing about a new, smaller pickup or possibly smoothing from Jeep — finally. With Jeep just tipping past 1,000,000 vehicles globally in 2014, maybe this is the time to take the plunge into a new-generation Gladiator or Comanche.

We haven't heard many rumblings from GM, but that doesn't mean it couldn't create some drama with a new SS sport truck package or finally announce that it's putting the Colorado ZR2 into production. We'd like to see both of those things happen. We'll know more early next week.

For those who want to know more than what's happening in the pickup truck universe, check out the Detroit Auto Show coverage at our sister site, KickingTires.com. You'll find photo galleries, features and videos of just about every new-car reveal from the show.

For now, here's a listing of when the most important press conferences are happening in Detroit this year (all times Eastern). You can expect a flurry of stories from us next week about anything and everything we hear and see on the show floor. 

Jan. 12

Chevrolet: 7:35-8 a.m.
Nissan: 8:05-8:30 a.m.
Ford: 9:10-9:35 a.m.
Toyota: 12:50-1:15 p.m.

Jan. 13

Ram: 9:15-9:40 a.m.

Manufacturer image




I think Cummins/Nissan will steal the show. And I keep seeing that off road teaser from Ram. But, I think it will probably be a trim package and nothing extreme.

Only interested in what the titan will be and what the tacoma has for drivetrain. All others models has already been announced so not interested.

I really expect to see a prototype small truck from ford. Suburu brat small on a focus chassis and all whell drive.

The small trucks are all mid sized now.The sad part is the old rangers are still better looking then the new Tacoma and gm twins.

Ford has been on a roll as far as "stealing the show".
I suspect that they will unveil the aluminum SuperDuty.

New Raptor? Perhaps.
How about a flat plane crank 5.0 Raptor?
Most likely a tweaked Ecoboost.

The Nissan Titan HAS TO steal the show. Anything less than a out of the park home run will signal the end of Nissan's Titan. The "Cummins" in a crappy truck approach worked for Dodge way back when but that won't work now (but then again I could be wrong).

The "new" cough hack Tacoma?
Even with a new drivetrain it isn't going to steal the show.

The Colorado/Canyon is their only hope. The production diesel version would be great but not a show stealer. A production version of the ZR2 could be a show stealer if nothing special gets presented by the competition.

Tacoma already had a Limited trim.

@Lou, one of the engineers was asked about the FCP 5.2 being used in a truck, and he didn't think it was suited for that application, though a Raptor would be the closest for high revving, high speed. I think a 5.0 EcoBoost would provide a better balance of economy, torque, and power for that application. I think the new Titan will be talked about, but we've all known about it and have waited for it for 18 months or so, all their competitors knew what to expect and probably decided to keep their mouths shut and try to "steal the show." However I am still excited to see the Titan, I would love to see the all-new Super Duty and Raptor too. I read there will be a GT/GT40 replacement, in which I would definitely expect to see a FCP engine.

The Toyota reveal is from 12:50-1:15. That was nice of Toyota; people can take a late lunch and not miss anything.
Actually, after 8:30, everyone can go back to bed.

Only interested in the Titan Cummins!

@Alex - after I made that post I thought about the flat plane crank design and considering its advantage is willingness to rev, it would not be a good choice for the Raptor. A TTDI 5.0 would be interesting but I suspect the EB3.5 will be the engine of choice.
Maybe a supercharged 5.4 since that engine still exists.

It is all fantasy at this point ;)

We've already seen the new Tacoma. It's not stealing anything, except maybe some Z's. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, GM has up its sleeve. Similarly, what does FCA have for Ram/Jeep? Ford will have, at minimum, the new Raptor (with EcoBeast?) and aluminum Super Duty. Everyone knows Nissan will be showing the new Titan...boom, or bust? Considering it's the oldest truck on the market, they better go big or else they'll be going home.
Good time to be a truck buyer, that's for sure.

@alex @lou I think Ford will only be introducing the Raptor. The Super Duty will be saved for the Texas State Fair where apparently everything is bigger. As far as the Raptor, as much as I would like to see an Ecoboost 5.0 I know it's going to be a 3.5TT with a computer flash.... It could be worse.

I'd also suspect Nissan will put on display the next Frontier.

I'd also suspect both Nissan pickups will come with a Cummins offering.

It will be interesting to see what the final output of the 2.8 Cummins is. I'd say around 190hp and 365ftlb of torque.

I'd also suspect the Frontier will come with a 7 speed auto.

The output figures of the 5 litre ISV V8 Cummins in the Titan to me seem a little on the low side. Hopefully we will see the hp power above 300.

If a Raptor was to be put on show, I'd suspect the 3.5 EcoBoost to be the engine of choice. But I still worry about the new chassis engineering from Ford on the 2015 F-150. Is it strong enough to put it through jumps etc.

It would be more probable for Ford to put a concept Raptor out with an EcoBoost to judge consumer response.

Colorado would most likely put the diesel on display as well.

Toyota, well, what about the next Tundra?

Engine and drivetrain choices for the Taco. I'm wondering if the new Taco is sitting on the new Hilux chassis/suspension? They are supposed to be around the same size.

Yes that will be a serious let down. A large eco is needed to compete with the new 5.0 Cummins. What a better engine than a 5.0 ford with a Heritage size and a Neo-Heritage Turbo charge system. We all know that the same engine really cant be used without dropping about 300cc or more to compensate the cylinder liners and every other upgrade the block will need to keep 700ftlbs of torque from twisting it to pieces, before the 100k mark at the least. Eco Beast sounds good but does that just mean a computer upgrade? I certainly hope not! How about Eco Beast standing for 2 v6 2.7L engine added together. Creating a v12 Twin Turbo that lugs at low rpm and revs to a more than respectable 7k rpm.
That to me is an ECO BEAST! if they can grow a pair, And develop v8, v10, v12 configurations to really nullify the competitive offerings. We could think of ford in a more "Fordly" or "Beastly" manner.

No Honda Ridgeline concept for Detroit?

There's two categories here, stuff I want to see and stuff that we will probably see:

Ford: Maybe a new Raptor, probably the aluminum SD, DI 6.2 for SD.

GM: More 8 Speed transmission deployments. 2.8 liter diesel for colorado, canyon.
Nissan: Titan announcement/preview, Frontier announcement and preview, 6 speed or more, 5.0 liter diesel (announced and probably delayed)
Toyota: Tacoma preview with more details released. More power, maybe more gears, but I doubt it.
RAM: more 8 speed goodness, special editions.
Honda: Tidbits and breadcrumbs on the new ridgeline.

@Lou @Zach, I agree. I think the most likely engine will be the 3.5EB with the Navigator tune (380/460). But I also wouldn't be surprised to see them try to nudge 400HP for marketing purposes (even if there is no perceptible difference).

I was there last year. For those of you that are close by and have never been I recommend going. Best Auto Show in America.
I've been to Chicago, NY and couple other smaller ones. Detroit is the place to go.

Chevy SS??? Methinks the Z06 supercharged 6.2L would fit the bill quite nicely. It would probably force the Ram guys to finally toss the Hellcat into the Ram.

Have to love stupid levels of power and speed in a vehicle not designed for it :)

Good times for all no matter the brand you prefer

@Beast - why? so the Raptor can have even worse payload which would put it on par with most Ram 1/4 ton trucks.

@howam00 - one could argue that we are already at "stupid" levels of power ;)

@ Lou

Americans definitely know no limits to stupid. Don't count us out at a mere 865 lbs of torque or 400+ hp. We have a long way to go! (cue monster trucks, dragsters and sled pulling machines pushing 10,000 hp!)


@Dave - bad news for Big Al's pro diesel, pro small truck anti-aluminum stance that hinged on Car Trend's last few tests.

Here's a great article for all you Ford fans! LOL


"@Dave - bad news for Big Al's pro diesel, pro small truck anti-aluminum stance that hinged on Car Trend's last few tests."

Agree, outside NA it is all new for the Hilux, which now has to best the Ranger, Mazda and Amarok for capability and dynamics

@Robert Ryan,
GMH's revised Colorado is going to have the NA body style. I hope this is the case.

As for Toyota. I do fear Toyota in the US with the Taco will encounter the difficulties that Toyota in Australia will face over the next several years.

With the speed of change now in the pickup world I do fear Toyota's conservative and slow response will put them behind.

Toyota has to go back to how they ran the show in the 80s if it wants to maintain it's lead.

At least Ford and FCA have taken a large gamble compared to the other manufacturers.

In Ford's case they may have ventured a little to far, time will tell.

Ford's been making a huge deal out of the turbocharged "Ecoboost" engine in its new F-150. And its been making an especially huge deal out of the EPA-verified 26 miles per gallon figure they've been citing. So Ward's Auto went and tested the claim, and found it all kinds of "disappointing."

Sums up the Ford camp. lol

Ford still has it's last hurdle with it's FE.

EPA approval.

I'll retract my above comment as it isn't exactly accurate.

I miss read an article regarding the delay in the use of FE as a marketing instrument.

I'll try and find the article which stated that there Ford will not use it's FE marketing until later. I'll attempt to find the article I read the other day regarding Ford FE issues with the 2015 F-150.

The EPA has officially sanctioned Ford FE figures for the F-150.

@me.... I find your article pretty amusing. They drive the truck slightly over halfway on the highway and still achieved 19 mpg but because it didn't reach the 20 mpg combined (which is what they were doing, combined driving) this truck is a hoax? I would have to say I will not be buying into their spiel.

"difference between low speed off roading that needs articulation and high speed off roading that needs more wheel travel"

WTF. The comment of the week. What's the differenence.....suspsension. They are the same.

I do think Google will make someone or awl'one look silly.

Hmm........cut and paste.
"Wheel articulation - lateral movement of a live axle. For independent suspension this is described as wheel travel."

The link;


@the numbers, awl'one,
Degrees and distance travelled are the same.

If a control arm has x dimension and moves y degrees you can determine the distance it has moved. Just get onto Google find out what trigonometry is.

It seems we have physics and maths here in Australia to find solutions to "complex" engineering problems;)

A little education and less brashness in your statements with a little common sense might just allow you to keep the same name on this site.

So am I correct or not?

So, as I submitted;
Articulation is distance travelled with a live axle and wheel travel is the distance travelled with an independent suspension. The control arm deflection can be measured in degrees as with most independent suspension a pivot point is necessary.

So, it appears you've repeated my comment, but in a fashion that you can't comprehend.

I do hope you are learning from my input. Just like being at school.

I'm only interested in the Nissan Titan/Cummins truck. Finally a half ton truck with a diesel that isn't a Ram.

"And your beloved little diesels big hurdle when buyers figure out that these diesels actually don't save them money because they have a higher cost per mile then many engines that outperform them."
Work out a lot cheaper overall as we sell a lot of diesel vehicles. Costs are much higher in NA. Gas engines are not as effective as diesels at doing the same thing.
Diesels can be small 3 Litre or large 16litre 700hp , 2500lbs ft of torque Quite a lot of different sizes in between

The guy that has a 2011 F-150 EcoBoost that rides my bus spotted a Ford Super Duty in full camo in Columbia, IN over the Christmas holidays. Apparently Ford has been testing these in many places.

I think the one to watch will be Nissan. What will Nissan display? Nissan could possibly have a big reveal. Ford could reveal a Super Duty, especially since there have been several sited in camo form? I agree with Lou BC that the Colorado/Canyon would be the only truck that GM could display that would generate interest especially a production version of the ZR2. I don't see much excitement with Toyota trucks, out to lunch.

An aluminum superduty saving 1000 pounds would be big news. So will the raptor. So will the titan. I think tacoma will get buried by all the other news. The one thing I most want to see is a compact pickup from somebody. I wouldn't be surprised to see a concept but would be surprised to see one ready for production. It's not very often that something like that comes completely out of the blue with no rumors or spy shots.

The D23 will come in two sizes a D40 size and a D20 size.

I have read that the US will receive the smaller D20 size Frontier.

This should placate some of those who have commented on the overly large size of the midsizer.

Ram is making a reveal of an off road vehicle. Could it be a factory Ram Runner? 1500 Power Wagon? Compact pickup 4x4? We will soon find out. Nothing confirmed.

Post any source, just one, that F 150 has larger articulation than RAM 1500.
Please, just one.

Posted by: Beast | Jan 10, 2015 1:33:33 PM

Ha Ha, Ford did not even show up for the off road test. Couldn't find one. lol Ford only one of the worlds largest manufactures. Funny.

I think Ford already conceded the Win to Ram. Couldn't compete with the suspension not even including the air suspension that lifts the truck for off road clearance. All Ram exclusive.

Ram wins!


Why Ferrari engineers don't like turbos.

Turbos, which are powered by exhaust energy that is otherwise wasted, increase engine output by forcing extra air into the cylinders, prompting the fuel injectors to provide more fuel for combustion. More combustion, alas, means more heat. To keep the engine (and turbo) from overheating, turbo engines inject excess gas under boost. It seems counterintuitive, but this "rich mixture" cools down combustion and reduces exhaust temperatures. It's also a double-whammy fuel-economy killer, because burning that extra fuel doesn't help the engine make more power, it actually reduces output.


@Hemi, Ferrari as well as BMW and Mercedes used to advocate naturally aspirated all the time, saying that turbos was cheating and didn't offer the desirable characteristics. Since GTDI came, Ferrari, BMW, and Mercedes all embraced turbocharging. GM uses it on Cadillac, and I would love to see a GTDI version of the Pentastar.

My thoughts and predictions for Detroit:

What we know:
2016 Toyota Tacoma - At this point we've already seen it. I am surprised and disappointed. I thought for sure the Taco would align its looks with the 4Runner. We should know a lot about the specs of the vehicle by Monday.

2016 Nissan Titan - They need a hit to get back into the half-ton game. The ISV is one hell of a start though. I hope they are able to make a decent looking front end and grill. This truck already has the best silhouette in the class. Keep the truck looking sporty and I think they'll be on their way. We should know a lot of details on this truck Monday too.

Random thoughts:

GM: With the class leading Taco coming out at this show, I expect GM to counter and try to focus attention on their new twins. Last year LA got the Chevy, Detroit got the GMC. This year LA got the ZR2, perhaps Detroit we will see a Canyon Denali (30% of all GMCs sold are Denali models. It makes too much sense to not to have a Canyon version). Detroit could see the production model of the ZR2 too. I think it's too soon for that though.

Ford: Ford is going to push the new F-150 hard. The media hasn't taken kind to it yet. One way to fix that and steal the show from Nissan is to announce the 2016 Raptor. I think they will hold off the Super Duty for the purpose of pushing the F-150 into the limelight.

FCA: This teaser has me stumped. History says it will be another Ram 1500 model dedicated to adventures, but I have a feeling this might be different. A few months back we say spy shots of a NA spec Strada mule. Another possibility is that FCA is going to bring a Jeep version of the Ram 1500 to market. Fiat is known for trying to platform out vehicles across several brands.

Other: I would not be shocked to hear or see something from VW. We know they are introducing a SUV that will be built at the Chattanooga plant. If the SUV is frame on body (long shot but a possibility considering it will class against the 4Runner and Xterra) then a truck version could be in the mix. I don't think any of the Chinese are ready, we would have heard something by now from them. Honda could come out of the shadows. I think they are going to wait for Texas, or possibly next year.


GM with it's midsize twins could also "introduce" the 2.8 diesel. This makes sense and it would be very easy as GM already manufactures the Colorado platform with the 2.8 diesel.

If this comes out and is competitive in pricing to an equivalent 1/2 ton full size it will become a very popular pickup.

I'd suspect 32 mpg highway cycle.

I'd also expect Nissan to show off it's new Frontier, hopefully with the multi-link coil rear suspension and the 2.8 Cummins ISF. Nissan has already run this engine in the current Titan and returned 28mpg.

This definitely would steal the show from even a Raptor.

I would like to see if the new chassis on the Ford is up to taking the beating off road. So, maybe a toned down Raptor would be more plausible.

Toyota and the Taco I'm not to sure about. Toyota could release the next Taco with the new Hilux chassis/suspension, drivetrain, better NVH levels, etc. This would make sense.

It would be odd though. It would be essentially a new pickup with an old body and new panels.

As I've mentioned Ford expended a lot of expensive resources gambling on the 2015 F-150 and possibly some very competitive pickups are coming along.

This might move Ford further down the ladder. Remember the Ford is quite radical. It could take several years for the 2015 to gain enough traction to be where it once was.

@beebe--I agree a true compact truck would generate interest even if it was in concept only. An aluminum Super Duty would draw a lot of attention, which is very possible due to all the increased sitings of them across the country which would make one inclined to believe that it will be revealed soon.

@Jeff S,
I believe the showing of the aluminium SD will generate some interest.

I'm also interested to see if Toyota can give a clue on the next Tundra as well.

But, I do think Nissan will have the Titan and Frontier. Nissan have been secretive with the Titan, not like Ford who always releases snippets of information or those so called arranged spy photographs.

I personally do care that most overload their 1/2 ton trucks because it is a safety issue. Ford and GM have shown that you can get decent empty performance without sacrificing capacity.

If Ram wants to sell record numbers of 1/2 ton crew cabs with poor capacity and the public is too stupid to notice........ good for FCA and too bad for the consumer.

I won't buy a truck unless it has at least 1,500 capacity. Ignorance does not stand as defense in a court of law and doesn't count as justification for a purchase decision. It does count as a marketing strategy.

Posted by: Lou_BC | Jan 6, 2015 2:02:01 PM

Ford is selling to fleets. So they market more capability. Fleets might think it's cheaper to buy a more capable 1/2 ton than the next 1/2 ton By passing a more expensive 3/4 Doesn't Ford have the fleet market cornered?

A typical home owner like myself uses his truck for lifestyle.
Off roading, Camping, fishing, Quading, towing my R.V. 7,400lbs. I rarely haul 1,000 lbs. My 03 Ram is rated @ 1,440lbs. payload With cast aluminum rims. Not steel rims. In 11 years I have hauled rocks once and concrete once. In stead of overloading I made two trips. I don't want my 1/2 ton to ride like a 3/4 ton or off road like a regular 3/4 ton. Again their is no free lunch. The capability means the truck is has stiffer suspension. Poor ride quality and off road capability. If I found I needed a bigger truck I would buy a 2500. That's what I plan on doing however it's for off roading, towing. Solid front axle, lockers and winch. I am getting the Power Wagon and I will be gaining in all areas vs my 03 1/2 ton. The Power Wagon rides smoother than a Ram 2500 which has more payload but hurts off road and ride quality. It's a win win for me.

For me leave the 1/2 ton a 1/2 ton. (1,000lb) If I need more capability I will buy 3/4, 1 ton etc....

If Ford has so much more capability why does their trucks sag the most?

Rams 1500 outperforms Ford 150 while towing and while loaded. with 1,000lb payload. See PUTC test. Isn't that safer?
For me 1/2 tons are for homeowners. 3/4 ton and up are work trucks. How does the Ram 2500 compare against Ford's 250? See PUTC 3/4 ton test. How does the Ram 3500 compare against Ford's 350? See PUTC these trucks are for work not a 1/2 ton. Pony up and buy the right tool for the job. Lets all be safe out there right Lou?

Posted by: HEMI V8 | Jan 11, 2015 2:25:50 PM

Ram will be previewing a decent off-road truck on Tuesday. Embargo will be lifted at 12:01am on Tuesday.

So, do you still think 1,000 lbs payload is plenty in a half ton even though it would mean that you would more than likely be over your payload pulling your 7,400 lb RV in the best case scenario, and an average US family size and weight?

Posted by: 48419845 | Jan 11, 2015 3:39:09 PM

Absolutely! That's why I am going with a 3/4 ton Power Wagon. Not every one needs to pull 7,400lbs of trailer. Mine is very heavy for it's size. All wood frame not aluminum inside and the frame is heavy duty I beam for hauling toy's inside sand car quads etc.. Ram markets a 1/2 ton to pull a boat not a large R.V. that's what the 2500 or 3/4 ton is for. That is my whole point.

I do believe I was mistaken on the 1,440. I think it's actually 1,240 lbs my mistake. :(

C channel is bad for off road. Especially with a load. My friends 90's Ford 250 had cab damage from a heavy tool box in the bed and the truck would flex so bad with the c channel frame the bed would hit the cab. Not good. The c channel is cheaper and that's another reason other than add on's for fleet.

Now if Ford was so high above all other 1/2 tons how come they don't out perform them when doing truck jobs like towing and hauling?

"The reason why truck makes go to fully boxed frames is mainly for weight reasons, not added strength reasons. So the "weak noodle frames" comments are very ignorant and those that say it need to learn the differences between the two frame types."


Ford F150 vs Toyota Tundra - Frame Strength."

Only when it's suits Ford.lol


"When light-duty trucks were first produced in the United States, they were rated by their payload capacity in tons (e.g., 1⁄2-, 3⁄4- and 1-ton)."


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