THIS JUST IN
INDUSTRY SOURCES REPORT Getrag is developing a manual transmission for the upcoming Ford Bronco that could have as many as seven speeds. Whether that means it will have an ultralow First for crawling or a more highway- (and emissions-) friendly overdrive is unclear. Autoweek pointed out in its story about the transmission that Ford Executive VP Jim Farley said Ford wants “to give people true off-road vehicles that are comfortable at higher speeds, on two-track trails, and do well in deep sand on the beach,” not necessarily better the Wrangler Rubicon in the rocks.
SUPPLIERS TALKING WITH Automotive News say the new Ram midsize pickup will be a traditional body-on-frame truck, not a Fiat-based unibody, and it will be built in the same Toledo plant as the upcoming Wrangler-based pickup. There was no word on how much, if any, componentry the Jeep and Ram trucks might share.
FORD IS ISSUING A RECALL for approximately 2 million select 2015-2018 Ford F-150 regular cab and SuperCrew vehicles in North America for driver and front passenger seat belt pretensioners. Ford has found that some front seat belt pretensioners can generate excessive sparks when they deploy. When sufficient sparks are present, gases exhausted inside the lower portion of the B-pillar by the pretensioners may ignite, causing components behind the B-pillar, such as insulation and carpet, to catch fire. Ford says it is aware of 17 reports of smoke or fire in the U.S., but no accidents or injuries resulted.
INFO ABOUT FORD’S REVISED Super Duty, expected in 2019 as a 2020 model, is leaking to the public. A report from SEMA indicated the truck will be facelifted to look like the current F-150 and will likely get a new, 7.0L V-8 to replace the 6.8L V-10.