Truck Highlights from the North American International Auto Show

Jan. 14, 2015 By Josh Burns

As a town known for automobiles and a rich musical history, Detroit served as the perfect backdrop for an invasion of all things trucks. It was as if this year’s North American International Auto Show was a truck fan’s version of a modern-day Motley Crue rock video, with Tommy Lee beating the skins, Mick Mars thrashing into his guitar, Nikki Six thumping his bass and Vince Neil clutching the microphone… but instead of wailing out “Girls, Girls, Girls,” he screams “Trucks, Trucks, Trucks!”

That scenario may paint a ridiculous image, but this year’s show was pretty much over the top when comes to trucks – and in a very good way! Just like the outrageous fun of hair-rock bands of the ‘80s, this year’s NAIAS was just pure fun for the truck enthusiast. Nearly every truck manufacturer was rocking some new hardware at this year’s show. There was even a late addition to the bill from Hyundai. Here’s a quick look at some of the truck highlights from NAIAS. To paraphrase the classic Kiss song, we had to lose our mind in Detroit Rock City.

Ram 1500 Rebel
After a number of big announcements on the first media day at the 2015 NAIAS, Ram dropped some big news with the addition of its 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel. The Rebel will essentially fit into Ram’s lineup as another trim offering in 1500 line. It features an extra 1 inch of lift thanks to new settings on Ram’s air suspension system. The new 1500 Rebel also gets additional ground clearance thanks to its 33-inch Toyo Open Country A/T II all-terrain tires. Specially tuned Bilstein shocks are found on each corner to soak up the bumps off road while providing great on-road handling as well. The truck will also boast a best-in-class 10.3 inches of ground clearance.

Inside and out, Ram went to great lengths to give the Rebel its own look and feel. A blacked-out front end and bumper helps highlight the silver RAM lettering on the grille, and a blacked-out RAM is found dead center on the tailgate. Unique red-and-black stitching and materials adorn the cabin, along with Rebel logos and a Toyo tire-tread design found on the two front seats.

Although Ram also announced an improvement in the highway fuel economy of the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, the new 1500 Rebel was the show stopper for Ram.

More on 2015 Ram 1500 Rebel

2016 Titan XD
Nissan pulled the cover off its long-anticipated Titan redesign, and in the process we learned there will actually be two Titan platforms in 2016: one a traditional half-ton, and the other a beefier XD model with the optional Cummins diesel. Nissan has teased its new 5.0-liter Cummins V8 turbo plenty, but we hadn’t heard any performance figures until the Detroit show. The new Cummins diesel, which will only be available on the Titan XD, is rated to produce 310 horsepower and 555 lb.-ft. of torque, with Nissan saying that the XD will offer a towing capacity of more than 12,000 pounds and a maximum payload capacity of 2,000 pounds.

The new Titan XD is Nissan’s attempt to offer a truck that straddles that line between half-ton and 3/4-ton pickup. Nissan didn't quote fuel economy figures or pricing for the truck and likely won’t be for some time, but the company says it is designed to offer the fuel-efficiency and affordability of a half-ton truck. Nissan only unveiled its new flagship Titan XD in Detroit, and company representatives did tell us it’ll still be at least a few months before we see the non-XD 2016 Titan.

More 2016 Nissan Titan XD

Next Page... Truck Highlights from the 2015 NAIAS Newsletter
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