As this issue goes to print, we’re not that far into 2018, but the Big Three are already gearing up for 2019 with new models and equipment. Here’s what we know at press time.
Chevrolet has introduced the all-new 2019 Silverado that is bigger (up to 3.9 inches in wheelbase, 1.6 inches overall), yet lighter than its predecessor by up to 450 pounds, thanks to the use of mixed materials and advanced manufacturing processes, according to the company. It is available in eight trim levels and six engine/transmission combos, including new 5.3- and 6.0-liter V-8s, and a first-ever 3.0-liter inline-six turbo-diesel. The latter two engines will be paired with a new Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic transmission. A new Trailboss trim level, available on Custom and LT models, includes Z71 off-road equipment plus a factory 2-inch suspension lift, Rancho off-road shocks, a locking rear differential, skid plates and unique 18-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in 33-inch all-terrain rubber.
Ford announced that its best-selling F-150 will be available with a new 3.0-liter Power Stroke diesel this spring. Offering best-in-class diesel 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque, the new engine is matched with a 10-speed automatic transmission and is targeted to return an EPA-estimated fuel-economy rating of 30 mpg highway. In other Ford news, the midsize Ranger is back for 2019 with an all-new exterior design, high-strength steel frame and a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine backed by a class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission. An available FX4 Off-Road Package adds skid plates, upgraded tires, off-road-tuned shocks/suspension and other features.
Ram has unveiled an all-new 1500 for 2019 boasting some pretty impressive features, among them an available eTorque “mild hybrid” system that replaces the traditional alternator with a belt-driven motor generator unit and a suitcase-size 48-volt battery pack. The system enables a seamless start/stop function, short-duration torque (up to 90 lb-ft to the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 and up to 130 lb-ft to the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8), and regenerative braking. In addition to a stronger frame, bigger brakes, Frequency Response Damping (FRD) shocks and electric power steering, the new Ram has a maximum payload of 2,300 pounds and a tow rating of 12,750 pounds. Lighter than the outgoing model, the new 1500 is claimed to be the most aerodynamic in its class.
With so many new models and powertrains available, the latest domestic truck lineup truly offers something for everyone.