Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. There’s also just a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:
Nissan completes the Titan lineup with new King Cab models
Toyota adds TRD Sport packages to Sequoia & Tundra plus new RAV4 Adventure
Dodge celebrates 80 years of Mopar with hand-painted Challengers
Chevrolet prices the Colorado ZR2 at $40,995
Bollinger Motors sets the stage for the first electric truck
The new Ford Expedition, Elantra GT, and other news stories from the week
What’s your automotive news?
Nissan Titan King Cab
Nissan rolled into Chicago with the new Titan King Cab and Titan XD King Cab models, completing their new lineup of full-size pickups. The King Cab brings back the rear-hinged second-row doors for easy access and allows for a 6.5′ bed. It’s the Titan for those who want a bigger bed but still want the ability to carry up to five passengers if needed.
The main features of the King Cab Titan are its available six-person seating (with optional bench seats), wide-opening rear doors, and an optional rear seat delete which is ideal for commercial use where flat interior storage space is needed. Both the Titan and Titan XD King Cab come available in 4×4 and 4×2 drive and on three grade levels – S, SV, and PRO-4X.
The standard engine is that 390-horsepower 5.6-liter Endurance V8 that launched with the new Titan a few years ago, but the Titan XD King Cab also has an available 5.0-liter Cummins V8 Turbo Diesel with 310 horsepower and 555 lb.-ft. of torque.
The Titan King Cab is rated for a towing capacity of 9,420 pounds and a payload capacity of 1,640 pounds. The Titan XD King Cab however boasts up to a 12,510-pound tow rating (diesel) and up to a 2,710-pound payload capacity (gas).
Nissan’s King Cab Titans will launch this Spring. No word on pricing yet.
Toyota Tundra/Sequoia TRD Sport and RAV4 Adventure
The Chicago Auto Show has always been more of a truck show since it started and this year Toyota has three non cars to show off. New packages for the Tundra, Sequoia, and RAV4 designed for the adventurous type were announced. New grades for the Tundra and Sequoia were developed by Toyota Racing Development (TRD) for enhanced on-road performance and an Adventure grade for the RAV4 is ideal for weekend warriors.
The TRD Sport trims are available on 4×4 and 4×4 variations of the Sequoia, Tundra CrewMax, and Tundra Double Cab. New with the package is a full set of TRD-tuned Bilstein Shocks and TRD front and rear sway bars so you can terrify your family with your truck’s improved handling abilities on your way up to the mountains. Under the hood is the proven 5.7-liter i-Force V8 with 381 horsepower. It seems like they’re targeting parents who had to give up their sports car when the kids arrived, but of course we aren’t sure how much of an impact this stuff will really make yet. We’re gonna need a Nürburgring lap time to be sure.
Both the Sequoia and Tundra TRD Sport also come with some bespoke finishing touches on the exterior. The Tundras get color-keyed mirror caps and bumpers as well as a hood scoop, smoked chrome headlight bezels, a mesh grille with body color surround, a TRD Sport bedside graphic, and 20″ alloy silver sport wheels. The Sequoia gets new front grille inserts, black mirror caps, darkened tail light housings, special badging, and 20″ alloy black sport wheels. Both trucks also have plenty of TRD accessories and logos inside.
Meanwhile, the RAV4 Adventure is fully prepped to wander off the beaten path. The RAV4 for those with active lifestyles comes with front-wheel drive and an automatic limited slip differential as standard or with Dynamic Torque Control all-wheel drive. Regardless of which version you get, it’ll come with a standard Tow Prep Package that includes a larger radiator and additional engine oil and transmission fluid coolers. The RAV4 Adventure also features a slightly higher ride height and other standard features like Trailer Sway Control and Hill-Start Assist.
The Adventure trim adds its own unique styling features as well which include large overfender flares, lower body guards, black headlight bezels, black fog lamp surrounds, a roof rack, 18″ five-spoke alloy black wheels with 235/55R18 tires, and of course that sweet Adventure badging. Can’t forget that. Inside are unique interior trim panels, all-weather floor mats, special door sill protectors, and more logos.
The outdoorsy RAV4 Adventure and the agile(ish) Tundra and Sequoia TRD Sport all arrive at dealerships this September. Pricing info isn’t available yet.
Mopar ’17 Dodge Challenger
One of FCA’s most iconic names is turning 80 this year and that’s earned it a special edition. Mopar, Chrysler’s Motor Parts division, has played a huge role to enthusiasts of the brand as I’m sure you’re all aware. For the special occasion, Dodge has chosen to celebrate with a super limited run of HEMI-powered Challengers, as I’m sure Mopar fans would approve of.
The Dodge Challengers in question start off as Challenger R/T 392s featuring the 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with 485 horsepower and 475 lb.-ft. of torque. Sitting on top of that beautiful Hemi is a Shaker Hood package by Mopar. The Hemi also breathes through the same headlamp air catcher system and cold air intake as the Hellcat. Strut tower braces provide some improved handling and four-piston Brembo brakes provide the stopping power.
What the special edition adds is a full list of Mopar accessories and two beautiful hand-painted color schemes. These Challengers are available in a pair of two-tone custom color options: Contusion Blue and Billet Silver, each with hand-painted Pitch Black upper portions courtesy of the Mopar Custom Shop. They’re both gorgeous colors made more striking with the two-tone, but sadly only 80 examples of each will be available (160 Mopar ’17 editions in total).
Other exterior details include a special hand-painted Mopar 392 logo, Pitch Black exterior accents to match the paint, black Mopar badging on the spoiler, and 20″ aluminum wheels featuring semi-gloss accents. It also borrows the black exhaust tips from the Hellcat.
Inside, it seems nothing was changed besides custom embroidery on their upgraded sports seats. Of course, it does have a serialized plaque but it’s only under the hood. Buyers will also be presented with a special owner’s kit which includes a Mopar welcome letter, “birth certificate” (with vehicle specifications, date of manufacture, and proprietary vehicle number), hand-signed Mopar ’17 rendering from the FCA US LLC Product Design Office, special Mopar ’17 booklet, customized acrylic memorabilia showpiece, Mopar valve stem caps(!!!), and various other Mopar-branded items.
Want in? Each of these 160 cars will be sold in the US and Canada start at $55,790 excluding taxes, destination fees, and insane dealership markups. They’ll be arriving at select dealerships early Q2 2017.
[Source: Dodge via Autoweek]
Chevrolet’s most advanced off-roader ever, the Colorado ZR2, gets a starting price of $40,995. This is the truck that was designed to go where few other trucks can with race car suspension technology and available diesel power. Standard features include front and rear-locking electronic differentials, Multimatic Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve dampers, off-road rocker protection and raised bumpers for more ground clearance, aluminum skid plates, 31″ Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac off-road tires, and so much more that you can read about here. Not bad for $40,995.
Have you heard of Bollinger Motors? If not, that’s exactly what the American electric truck startup is looking to address. This week they launched a new website and several social media channels to introduce themselves to the world. They’ve been around since 2014 and have the goal of introducing the world’s first all-electric on and off-road sport utility truck. They don’t have much to share at the moment since development is still well underway, but you can follow along on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube when they can start revealing things. They also have a LinkedIn account but nobody likes that place. They want a truck ready by the end of this year, so follow along if you want to see their progress.
[Source: Bollinger Motors]
Our other news stories from the week
This week we’re trying something a little different with the news. Bigger stories will be covered within a day or two of their release in their own posts so we can bring you stories that matter in a more timely fashion rather than waiting till the end of the week for everything.
This week, for example, we had the awesome 475-horsepower Dodge Durango SRT, the hilariously extravagant Mercedes-Maybach G650 Landaulet, the actual all-new Ford Expedition, and the neat little Hyundai Elantra GT and GT Sport.
This new strategy will let us bring the more interesting stories to you more quickly while also making room in this Friday news recap for other stories. I’ll link back to the other stuff we cover as well so you won’t miss anything.
What’s your automotive news?
That’s all I’ve got for you this week, so now it’s your turn. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments.
Have a good weekend.
[Image © 2017 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]