Overall, the theme of the 2008 NAIAS was green, with all sorts of concept and production hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles on display. Chevy showed us the 2009 Silverado hybrid that was introduced a few months earlier in Los Angeles. Ford and Dodge both rolled out brand new versions of their full-size trucks, and Dodge revealed that its 2010 model year would include a new two-mode hybrid gas-electric Ram. Here are some show highlights -- with more to come.
The new Ford F-150 is a total redesign, one that Ford approached at as an opportunity, looking at every area of the truck to see where improvements were needed. Did they succeed? It looks good, but that's something we won't know for sure until the buyers weigh in with money in hand.
It still has that Ram-like appearance that Dodge truck fans are looking for, but the 2009 version of the Ram 1500 is a changed creature, inside and out, with more storage options and several new features for comfort and safety. Overall, truck sales have fallen since the housing market took a downturn, and the high price of gas hasn't helped, but sales of high-dollar trucks seems to be steady if not growing. Watch for more tweaks than ever before as manufacturers try to keep up with each other in the higher end market. Dodge is off to a good start.
Look for quite a few changes in the 2009 Dodge Ram, with more on the drawing board for 2010. The gallery will give you a close-up look at the new truck.
GM gave us another look at the 2009 Silverado Hybrid that was introduced at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show. The hybrid truck will be available as a Crew Cab in either 2WD or 4WD. GM says to look for a 40-percent gain in city fuel economy and a 25-percent gain overall when compared to a conventional Silverado. The hybrid truck's cruising range is more than 500 miles. Sound good? Then you might also want to breeze through my Silverado Hybrid Photo Gallery.
Think "convertible" when you look at the HUMMER HX concept. It's built with all sorts of removable panels -- just pop them on or off to suit what you're doing for the day. HUMMER demonstrated panel switches while the HX sat on the showroom floor in Detroit, and it looked pretty easy. Even the instrumentation can be converted -- from an offroading-friendly set to something that's more suited to highway driving. If there's enough interest, I can see something like this going into production -- toned down, but with similar features.
Take a close look at the A-BAT hybrid and you might notice some Prius body lines. Look a little deeper and you'll see the Prius technology, too. The A-BAT concept targets commuters who want the ability to haul occasional cargo, but don't need a big truck, or don't use a truck often enough to settle for poor fuel economy. This thing definitely looks flexible -- it has a midgate that folds down to increase bed length from 4 feet to 8 feet, and a roof that slides forwards to accommodate tall cargo. The truck's a concept, so Toyota doesn't have to share projected fuel economy details, but if a real-world version of the A-BAT goes to production you can bet it will get decent mileage from a tank of gas.
In December, 2007, Suzuki announced plans to produce a mid-size pickup truck at the Nissan plant in Tennessee. The new truck will be based on the Nissan Frontier and production is slated to start sometime in the fall of 2008. This little concept -- which looks like a Tonka® truck -- is most definitely not a preview of the production truck. It's the X-HEAD Concept, a vehicle that can be set up with three distinct modules to make it useful for specific needs, and it made its North American debut at the Detroit show.
We talk mostly about late model pickups here at About.com trucks, but I'd like to begin chatting with you about your projects, classic or otherwise, and get them onto the site for others to see. Let's start with this 1937 Seagrave Safety Sedan. The truck was on display at the show in Detroit, and is being renovated by the Detroit Firemen's Benevolent Fund. The truck isn't being readied for show -- the cause is important. And the truck is amazing.
The theme of the 2008 NAIAS was green, with all sorts of concept and production hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles on display. This gallery is an overview of the show, displaying trucks and cars and everything in-between. The Detroit show is huge, and all of the nitty-gritty information that's available takes awhile to sift through, so check back for more additions to this photo gallery and throughout the Trucks Web site.