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Kia Is Currently Developing A Pickup Truck

 

kia pickup truck

Kia’s chief operating officer Damien Meredith confirmed that Kia will have its own pickup truck, following the footsteps of the Hyundai Santa Cruz concept pickup. The development of the Kia pickup truck is now underway with Meredith saying it will probably debut between 2022 and 2023. This is the same schedule that the Hyundai set for the Santa Cruz.

According to an interview on CarsGuide, the South Korean automaker is planning for a dual-cab, single-cab for the pickup truck. That also includes a dual cab with diesel and petrol options. In Australia, Kia’s executives are confident that this utility vehicle will do well in their market. In a country with a high percentage of sales in the segment, Meredith believed Kia can take a huge chunk of the market there; about 8 to 10 percent market share.

He didn’t reveal anything more about the new Kia pickup but if it will be available to the US market, we doubt very much it will take all its variants with it. Most probably, Kia will only offer the truck with gas engines. The powertrains will be shared with the Santa Cruz, but to distinguish itself from its South Korean cousin, Kia will use a different engine, transmission, and chassis calibration.

The renowned Kia-Hyundai new family of Smartstream will also be likely used in the pickup trucks from both companies.

Both pickup trucks will be compact in size. Kia’s, however, might belong to the smaller segment because Santa Cruz will be sharing its underpinnings with the next-generation Tucson, which is a compact crossover. The Santa Cruz and the upcoming Kia pickup truck will compete in the midsize trucks market, though some may prefer the larger body of the Santa Cruz.

As for the Kia pickup truck, try to imagine it being like the Subaru Baja and the first-generation Ford Ranger. It’ll be nothing like the Honda Ridgeline and Chevrolet Colorado.

 

Daimler Plans to Drop the Mercedes-Benz X-Class Pickup from the Production Line

Mercedes-Benz Concept X-CLASS / Artipelag / Stockholm 2016

Daimler AG, the parent of Mercedes-Benz, earlier warned investors about a slump in its profits in 2019. As a way to prevent further losses, the company is planning to focus on its key products and drop some of its underperforming models in the market. With the low sales of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, it has become a target in the automaker’s streamlining efforts.

The future of the X-Class now looks bleak despite the warm welcome it received from critics during its unveiling. Based on a report by Automotive News Europe, the Mercedes pickup truck has been struggling in the market. Only 16,700 units were delivered to customers since its rollout in dealerships. The figures also failed to generate enough income for the luxury brand. As a result, insiders revealed that the production of the model might be halted by its maker soon.

Another key issue in the X-Class is its pricing. The pickup’s starting price is at €37,294, and the V6-equipped variant begins at €48,790. The numbers are way too steep compared to its competitors such as the Volkswagen Amarok, Ford Ranger and even the Nissan Navara, which it shares a platform with.

The X-Class recalls plaguing Mercedes could play a role in the axing of the pickup too. The first was a software problem in the tire monitoring system of the auto. The next involved the braking system of the vehicle.

Although the information is yet to be confirmed, the problems surrounding the Renault Nissan Alliance partnership with Daimler could also be put into the table during the evaluation process. Previously, the same source claimed that Ola Källenius, the new CEO of Daimler, no longer plans to renew the said cooperation. Instead, he plans on focusing on the company’s partnership with rival BMW.

Mercedes was keen on expanding the X-Class range by introducing a V6-powered version of the unit. A V8-engined variant was put into consideration as well. However, with the unfortunate developments surrounding the product, all plans might be scrapped for good.

GM Is Planning An Electric Pickup Truck

 

gm pickup truck

We might have just heard the first true plan from GM to come up with an electric pickup truck. During the company’s quarterly earnings call, GM CEO Mary Barra said they intend to create an all-electric future that has a complete range of electric vehicles, including full-size pickups.

The last we’ve heard, GM is merely “considering” the possibility of engineering an electric pickup truck, as well as a number of SUVs. When asked about the plans, Barra formerly said “stay tuned” in reference to the probability of GM creating a pickup truck that will compete with Tesla’s truck.

Barra’s statement now is a bit more specific than all the things we heard from GM’s official statements. Although still in line with the company’s generic and vague statements about an all-electric pickup truck, the GM CEO said the company believes that an EV future is where the company should be heading.

Both GM and Amazon previously had plans to invest in startup electric carmaker Rivian months ago, but it was only Amazon that inked the deal for a $700-million round of funding. Rivian introduced both an electric pickup truck and SUV, which impressed GM and Amazon.

Earlier this month, Ford also invested heavily in Rivian. The $500-million investment is said to confirm plans for Ford and Rivian to engineer an all-electric vehicle together.

With both Ford and Amazon riding on Rivian’s coattails and with no GM in sight, it looks like the latter will stay in-house for its EV plans. Just last month, GM said it would develop a Chevrolet EV that will be manufactured at the same factory that makes the Bolt EV. The new Chevrolet EV will reportedly use an “advanced version” of the Bolt’s architecture.

GM has been reluctant to reveal any substantial details about its plan to manufacture an electric pickup truck but judging from Barra’s statements, it looks like an EV truck is definitely in the pipeline for the company.

 

New Nissan Frontier Pickup To Arrive In 2020

2017 Nissan Frontier

A new Nissan Frontier pickup is “almost finished,” Nissan senior vice president for global design Alfonso Albaisa said earlier this year. Back then, we have no idea just how near the Frontier is to being introduced or revealed. We have more details now and some of it will knock you off your feet.

According to a report on Automotive News, the new Frontier is expected to debut late in 2020 as a 2021 model. It will allegedly be based on the updated version of the current Frontier’s platform instead of the platform used on the Nissan Navara.

It is only right that Nissan starts to focus on its mid-size pickup since this segment has already become the hottest in America today. Last year, there was a 16-percent gain that resulted from more than half a million.

The Toyota Tacoma mainly dominates the market with some competition from the likes of Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. The Ford Ranger and the Jeep Gladiator are also expected to increase sales in the coming years.

Nissan’s decision to stay with the Frontier’s platform instead of the new one they used on the Navara is a puzzle. Sources apparently told Automotive News that size and cost are the main factors that contribute to the decision. The current Navara’s five-link coil-spring rear suspension setup is more expensive to produce than the leaf springs used by the current Frontier. Nissan decided to focus on the low cost of entry as a unique selling point instead of a more modern design.

It might do Nissan good to offer the Navara with four full doors and a six-foot-long bed, though that configuration would probably cost more than the current pricing.

The Japanese automaker promises the new Frontier would still get a “futuristic” styling. It will get a new 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 300 horsepower to replace the current truck’s 4.0-liter unit with only 261 horsepower. The automatic transmission will also be updated to a seven-speed stunner instead of the five-speed.

 

 

Mitsubishi to Work on the next Nissan Navara Platform

nissan navara

The next architecture of the Nissan Navara and the Renault Alaskan might come from Mitsubishi in the future. Mitsubishi Motors Corp. COO Trevor Mann revealed this in an interview last week.

According to Automotive News, Mitsubishi engineers are now developing a “commonized body-on-frame” truck platform. This will underpin the midsize pickups and sport utility vehicles of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.

The Navara and Alaskan will be sharing the same platform used by the Mitsubishi Triton. Mitsubishi was chosen by Nissan and Renault to make the platform because they see the company as having “the best pickup competence” as displayed in the Triton, which is currently enjoying strong sales in Southeast Asia.

It should be recalled that Mitsubishi joined the Renault-Nissan alliance in 2016. “Shortly after the alliance, we did a detailed technical study between the two, and we found that Mitsubishi had many advantages over the Nissan platform,” Mann stated.

Among the things Mann wanted to take advantage of during the team-up with Mitsubishi are the frame design, sourcing footprint and logistic costs. The area that he wants the company to focus on is in Southeat Asia where Mitsubishi and Nissan have a big demand for their pickups from their large customer bases.

Despite the announcement, Mann said that the platform is still years away in the US market. They are considering of putting the update on the Nissan Frontier (known as Navara in other areas) though since it has been so long since the vehicle received an overhaul in the American soil.

Bollinger Motors To Introduce B2 All-Electric Pickup Truck

bollinger motors SUV and pickup truck (8)

We are not even done ogling at the B1 all-electric sport utility truck that Bollinger Motors recently introduced and already the company is making announcements of a follow-up for the B1—an all-electric pickup truck called the B2.

A recent meeting with the guys over the Bollinger Motors revealed to Autoblog that they plan on making the B2 based on what they learned through the development of the B1, the company’s first hardcore, off-road work vehicle. Bollinger Motors plans to harness the lessons from making the B1, including what people love about it and how capable it is, and put them into action in the new B2.

Both vehicles will share the same all-electric, all-wheel-drive system that packs a 120-kWh battery pack, powering a pair of electric motors. They also have the same trick hydropneumatic suspension and in-wheel portal gear hubs. The last one will provide a serious ground clearance for both vehicles.

Robert Bollinger, Bollinger Motors founder, CEO and designer, said that the new B2 plans to incorporate “everything that we’ve learned in making the B1, and takes it in an exciting new direction.” The plan has always been to start off the Bollinger Motors’ lineup with the B1 and the B2 but now that the data from testing the B1 prototype is available, it has become easier for Bollinger Motors to start the development of the B2.

“ We can put all of that engineering knowledge into our final four-door B1 and B2 vehicles. It’s the pickup I always wanted and something crazy better than what’s available on the market today,” Bollinger stated.

The difference between the two all-electric trucks is the B2’s proper pickup bed, which is reportedly 49 inches wide by 69 inches long. When the tailgate at the back is flipped down, the bed can accommodate about 72 full sheets of plywood with the rear glass open.

Seeing as the B2 has been classified as a Class 3 truck, this means that the gross vehicle weight rating will be 10,001 pounds and a payload of 5,000 pounds.

Bollinger Motors plans to build the B2 on the same assembly line as the B1 truck in 2020. More details should come in the next months.

2019 GMC Sierra Denali Is Heading To Dealerships

2019 GMC Sierra Denali (1)

GMC is entering the future with its updated lineup of pickup trucks that carry new features and technologies. The 2019 GMC Sierra Denali is now arriving in dealerships, ushering in a new era for the Sierra 1500 trucks.

The Sierra 1500 has grown in every dimension for the 2019 model year. According to reports, the truck now has a longer wheelbase and a longer body in crew cab form. To differentiate itself from the Silverado, which are also arriving in showrooms this week, the Sierra 1500 features a different grille, a new tailgate that can be configured into six different positions, and a new carbon fiber pickup box.

The Denali models will include exclusive upgrades such as a bolder front fascia with massive amounts of chrome, adaptive ride control for better body control, and genuine open-pore ash wood trim and dark-finish aluminum inside the cabin. Other significant changes are the heated and ventilated seats, the heads-up display, the 8-inch touchscreen, the rear camera mirror display, and the standard 20-inch aluminum wheels or available 22-inch wheels.

The Denali will be available in crew cab configuration and options for either a rear-wheel or a four-wheel drive. The standard model would come with a 5.3-liter V8 engine paired to an eight-speed automatic. The four-wheel-drive models will come with an option of a 6.2-liter V8 engine that can deliver 420 horsepower and pair with a 10-speed automatic. There are also plans to have a 3.0-liter turbodiesel engine paired with a 10-speed automatic in the Sierra lineup.

The Denali will be the top premium pickup in the Sierra lineup. The two-wheel-drive Denali starts at $54,700 plus a $1,495 destination charge.

The Sierra happens to be a big seller for the GMC. At the end of the second quarter, GMC sold about 100,874 Sierra pickups, up by 1.7 percent from the same period last year.

Europe Is Finally Getting The Ford Ranger Raptor

2018 ford ranger raptor (1)

Ford is making the Ranger Raptor available in Europe by 2019. The announcement was made through the Gamescon video game show as the pickup truck will also make its video game debut in Forza Horizon 4.

Just like its Asian market counterpart, the Ranger Raptor will use a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter diesel four-cylinder engine that can produce 210 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. Pairing this engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission, the turbochargers can operate in a sequential pattern with the smaller unit operating at lower revs and the larger unit taking the higher rpm band.

The transmission is programmed in such a way that the driver can override the system anytime via the paddle shifters. The chassis, in particular, has been tuned for off-road performance and it also features Fox shocks with Positive Sensitive Damping.

For better handling, the Ford Ranger Raptor is finished with BF Goodrich all-terrain tires on 17-inch wheels. These come standard with a front skid plate made of high-strength steel. There are six modes that the Ranger Raptor can be driven such as Normal, Sport, Grass/Gravel/Snow, Mud/Sand, Rock, and Baja for high-speed off-road driving.

Inside, the Ranger Raptor will feature Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 8.0-inch touchscreen. The seats are now Raptor-specific sports seats that come upholstered in a suede-like material and leather with blue stitching.

The things that distinguish the Ranger Raptor from a regular Ranger are its unique front grille, flared composite front fenders that can accommodate longer suspension travel and oversized tires, side step boards that also prevent rock spray, and air curtains on the front fender for better air flow.

Sadly, we won’t see the Ranger Raptor on the US soil. This model was made specifically for other markets where the F-150 isn’t sold and diesel is more popular.

2019 Ford Ranger Pickup Starts At $25,395

2019 ford ranger

Following a configuration tool leak last week, Ford officially announced pricing for its 2019 Ford Ranger. The base price is priced a little higher at $25,395 compared to the leak, but it’s just a $300 difference so that should not cause a problem.

The official report from Ford revealed that there would be no regular-cab model available, which may disappoint some customers who are fans of simple trucks. Then again, the Chevy Colorado, the GMC Canyon, the Nissan Frontier, and the Toyota Tacoma are not available with a regular cab either. This decision should not come as a surprise for Ford fans.

The $25,395 price tag was for the entry-level XL with an extended cab and two-wheel drive. The old price is still available, but you will have to get the chassis cab version of the XL SuperCab, which no regular customer would be looking for. The higher trim levels, of course, are priced higher but you’ll get a lot more gorgeous specs and tech features.

Here are all the prices of the trim levels, including the destination charge: $25,395 (XL SuperCab 2WD), $29,555 (XL SuperCab 4WD), $27,615 (XL SuperCrew 2WD), $31,775 (XL SuperCrew 4WD), $29,035 (XLT SuperCab 2WD), $33,035 (XLT SuperCab 4WD), $31,210 (XLT SuperCrew 2WD), $35,210 (XLT SuperCrew 4WD), $33,305 (Lariat SuperCab 2WD), $37,305 (Lariat SuperCab 4WD), $35,480 (Lariat SuperCrew 2WD), and $39,480 (Lariat SuperCrew 4WD).

Among the current crop of small pickup trucks, the Ranger has the highest base price. The Nissan Frontier starts at $19,965, the Colorado at $21,590, the Canyon at $22,095, and the Tacoma at $24,740. All of these come with naturally aspirated four-cylinder engines. The Ranger’s base model comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder, which is the same one in the EcoBoost Mustang and the Focus RS.

For the V6 models, the Ranger is only beaten by the Colorado at $25,345. The Frontier starts at $26,195, the Canyon at $27,630, and the Tacoma at $31,365.

 

2020 GMC Sierra Denali 2500 Spy Shots Revealed New Details

GMC Sierra Denali 2500 (1)

This year has been a big one for trucks. Since the start of the year, we have seen the new 2019 Chevy Silverado, 2019 Ram 1500, 2019 Ford Ranger and the 2019 GMC Sierra. Last week, we saw the new 2018 Ford F-150 Power Stroke diesel, and the Silverado, Ram, and Sierra HD variants will soon follow. There’s even a teaser for the Silverado 2500. To add to all of that, we now have access to spy shots of the upcoming 2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Denali.

The new 2500 Denali model aims to look more than just the Silverado, just like the Sierra 1500 model. It has a new face and even with the camouflage, we can see that the new grille has roughly the size of a regulation football field (okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the drill). All of that new grille is wrapped in a sea of chrome, giving the new 2500 Denali model an aggressive look that’s perfect for its off-road capabilities.

Since the prototype taken by AutoGuide is seen in full camouflage, it’s hard to tell what else is in store for us, design-wise. We can see that the front and rear fender have significant flares, though it is also likely that these came from the covering. We’re still not sure about that. Reports have indicated that the new truck will have the MultiPro tailgate, but GMC has yet to confirm these speculations or whether there is even basis to them.

What we can expect is that the new CarbonPro carbon-fiber bed will be carried over to this new model. Other than that, it’s a wait-and-see game.

Aside from the Sierra Denali 2500, we can also expect the Sierra 3500 to arrive alongside the other heavy-duty variants. There will surely be a mix of aluminum and steel bodywork, similar to the light-duty models.

Spy Shots

Check out the spy shots of the upcoming GMC Sierra Denali 2500 in the gallery below:

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