Five trucks to get ex­cited about

Montreal Gazette - - MINIPAGE - Driv­ DEREK MCNAUGHTON

Last year was def­i­nitely the year of the truck, and 2019 is shap­ing up to be the year of the HD truck. In 2018, GM and Ram led the way with their all-new half-tons, and Ford in­tro­duced a new diesel en­gine in the F-150. But 2019 brings on the big bears, a full suite of HD trucks from Ram and GM, as well as two new trucks from Ford and one that’s over­due for an up­date from Toy­ota. Here are the six most highly an­tic­i­pated trucks com­ing next year.

RAM HD 2500/3500

Spy shots of com­pletely undis­guised 2020 Ram HD models sur­faced re­cently, sug­gest­ing the truck is ready for its grand de­but at the North Amer­i­can In­ter­na­tional Auto Show in De­troit in Jan­uary. On sale since 2010, the de­sign of cur­rent Ram HD trucks is al­most a decade old, al­though they got a facelift in 2014. The 2020 Ram HDs ap­pear to have many of the same good looks as the 2019 Ram 1500 trucks. En­gine specs are still un­con­firmed, but cur­rent models in­clude a 383-horse­power 5.7-litre Hemi V8, a 410-hp 6.4 L, and a 6.7-L Cum­mins tur­bod­iesel in-line six rated at 385 hp and 930 lb-ft of torque.


Only months after GM’s half-ton trucks hit the mar­ket, the heavy duty three-quar­ter-ton ver­sions ap­pear ready for full re­veals in De­troit. The new HD trucks are true work trucks, used pri­mar­ily for haul­ing and tow­ing. First up is the Chevro­let Sil­ver­ado HD, to be fol­lowed by the GMC Sierra HD, which is yet to be re­vealed. Like the Sil­ver­ado 1500, the HD gets some ex­tra legroom on crew cab models and a taller seat­ing po­si­tion. Unique (and handy) “bed­steps” in front of the rear wheels join those in the rear bumper. Two new pow­er­trains are on the books: an all-new gaso­line en­gine with di­rect in­jec­tion mated to a six-speed trans­mis­sion, and the Du­ra­max tur­bod­iesel V8 with 910 lb-ft of torque paired to an all-new Al­li­son 10-speed trans­mis­sion.


This year’s model is a carry-over year for the Toy­ota Tun­dra, a truck that hasn’t seen a real gen­er­a­tional change since 2007. Even though Tun­dra sales have re­mained con­sis­tent fol­low­ing a re­fresh in 2014, GM, Ford and Ram have all in­tro­duced new tech­nol­ogy in new trucks. Deal­ers have sug­gested 2020 is the year for an ex­ten­sive makeover for the full-sized Tun­dra. Ex­pect a new Tun­dra to get Toy­ota’s D -4S fuel-in­jec­tion sys­tem, which uses di­rect and port fuel in­jec­tion.


Ar­riv­ing in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2019, the 2020 Jeep Gla­di­a­tor will be pow­ered by ei­ther a 285hp Pen­tas­tar V6 or FCA’s 3.0-L EcoDiesel V6 later in the year. And, like its Wran­gler Ru­bi­con sib­ling, the Gla­di­a­tor will be a true off-roader, avail­able with 33-inch off-road tires, Dana 44 axles, TruLok elec­tric front- and rear-axle lock­ers, a Trac-Lok lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial, and an elec­tronic sway-bar dis­con­nect sys­tem. It also has true mid-size truck ca­pa­bil­ity, able to tow 3,475 kg (7,661 lbs) and carry 725 kg (1,600 lbs) in a five-foot bed..


Sched­uled to make its de­but in De­troit in Jan­uary, the all-new, sixth-gen­er­a­tion 2020 Ford Bronco awak­ens from a 20-year hi­ber­na­tion in the mid­dle of a Michi­gan win­ter to warm the hearts of many who have waited a long time for the sto­ried SUV. As with the GT that was kept a com­plete se­cret un­til the day of its re­veal, Ford has been mum with de­tails other than con­fir­ma­tion that the Bronco will, like the Jeep Wran­gler, be avail­able with ei­ther two or four doors. Ford has also said there will be a hy­brid op­tion.

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