We start with the battle of the trucks with Dodge, oops, Ram, showing off the Rebel that is aimed directly at the new Ford Raptor, that was displayed earlier in the show.
Ram said the truck will be available with the big Hemi V8, a cool 5.7 liter, or the 3.6 liter V6 both matched to an eight speed transmission. There is a new grille and a Rebel logo on the tailgate to make sure everyone knows that this is a new truck. It will ride on 33-inch all terrain Toyo tires and likely have the long list of available options including skid plates and tow hooks for those who will go off road. Ram said it is targeted at those who like the Power Wagon but want something less expensive. Carrying the rugged theme to the interior, the fabric covered seats are embossed with the Toyo tire tread. The Rebel hits showrooms later this year. Prices will be announced later.
Look at the front end design of the new Ford Raptor and the word understated does not come to mind. It has a high strength steel frame and the aluminum alloy body introduced on the F-150. It will be powered by a new 3.5-liter Ecoboost engine mated to a ten speed transmission. Ford said only that it will have more power than the current 6.2-liter V8 that is rated at 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque. Of course there is 4-wheel drive with a new torque on demand transfer case. There are six preset modes for the truck depending on terrain and driving conditions including a Baja Mode for high speed desert running and a Rock Mode for low speed rock crawling. The new Raptor will be built at the Dearborn Michigan plant and will go on sales in the fall of 2016. It’s one mean looking truck.
Completely on the other end of the spectrum, is the Chevy Bolt. No, that is not a misprint. Chevy one day will have both a Volt and a Bolt. Right now it is an all-electric concept that one day will hit the market with a range of more than 200 miles. “Chevrolet believes electrification is a pillar of future transportation and needs to be affordable for a wider segment of customers,” said CEO Mary Barra. Might she have been addressing Tesla? It is a light weight design that will accommodate four passengers and will incorporate technology that enables the driver to exit the vehicle and tell the Bolt concept to park itself. Once errands are completed, the Bolt can be summoned to return to the owner’s location. Let’s see if that makes it to the final rendition! It could be in showrooms in 2017 with estimates of a $30K price tag with tax credits. “Bolt breaks the barrier on range anxiety,” said one GM official.
With considerably more get up and go is the 2016 Lexus GS F sedan with a 5.0-liter V8 with 467 horsepower at a lofty 7,100 rpm and peak torque of 389 lb-ft at 4,800 to 5,600 rpm mated to an eight speed automatic with manual shift capabilities. There will be three operating modes – Standard, Slalom that emphasizes nimble steering response and agility, and Track that emphasizes control during high speed circuit operation. “The new GS F will offer drivers a very balanced sedan with genuine dual personality, equally adept at trimming lap times and the commute back home,” said the maker. No word on prices yet.
Launching in the third quarter is the return of the midsize Lincoln MKX sport utility with a 3.7-liter, 300 horsepower V6 under the hood with a 2.7-liter Ecoboost V6 also offered.