Big Trucks a Big Focus for Big Three (and More)

Image courtesy FCA/Jeep
Big Trucks a Big Focus for Big Three (and More)
Image courtesy FCA/Jeep

Toyota, Ford and FCA/Jeep® all made major announcements concerning their off-road capable vehicle lines. Toyota announced that three vehicles would receive “the TRD touch” in what the company calls an “off-road initiative.” Ford announced the return of the midsize Ranger and FCA/Jeep made several huge announcements.

 

FCA/Jeep® Makes Several Announcements Including Plans to Invest Billions

Big Trucks a Big Focus for Big Three (and More)
Jeep® Gladiator
Image courtesy FCA Media

Of the three major truck brands making big announcements recently, FCA/Jeep® made the most announcements and the single biggest announcement of the year so far. FCA/Jeep® plans to invest $4.5 billion to expand several plants in Michigan. This investment is expected to create 6500 new jobs and will increase and/or move Jeep® vehicle production. It will also go towards electrification of new Jeep models.

Big Trucks a Big Focus for Big Three (and More)
Mopar Wrangler 1941
Image courtesy FCA Media

Jeep also announced that the all-new 2020 Jeep® Gladiator will compete at this year’s Every Man Challenge at the King of the Hammers desert race with Robby Gordon and Erik Miller handling driving chores.

Big Trucks a Big Focus for Big Three (and More)
Jeep® Compass Plug-In Hybrid
Image courtesy FCA Media

Jeep® introduced their E-Volution line at the Geneva Auto Show. These are electric models of the Renegade and Compass. Another Geneva reveal for Jeep® was the Wrangler Rubicon 1941, a Wrangler version designed with performance input from Mopar.

 

Toyota Affirms Commitment to Off-Road Excellence

Big Trucks a Big Focus for Big Three (and More)
Image courtesy Toyota Media

Toyota recently affirmed their dedication to continuing their dominance of the sport utility/off-road pickup segment by announcing plans to give several models a new set of “TRD treatments.” These will be both aesthetic and performance treatments. These models are the Rav4, Tacoma, and Sequoia.

The 2020 Sequoia family will receive a comprehensive TRD Pro Design and Equipment update, including an all-new audio system with Amazon Alexa, Android Auto and Apple Carplay compatibility. It’s also going to get an updated 381 HP 5.7 L V8 and standard Toyota Safety Sense. One of the off-road upgrades it will receive is a Fox Shocks high-tech suspension.

Big Trucks a Big Focus for Big Three (and More)
2020 Tacoma TRD Off-Road
Image courtesy Toyota Media

The 2020 Toyota Tacoma is also going to receive a number of TRD upgrades, including the audio package listed above and an optional eight-inch touchscreen. The Tacoma will also receive technical enhancements including Toyota’s Standard Panoramic View (PVM) and Multi-Terrain Monitor (MTM) systems. Each of the various Tacoma trim options will come with their own TRD off-road updates including grille designs, lights, fog lights, 10-way power seats, Crawl Control, Hill Assist and more.

Big Trucks a Big Focus for Big Three (and More)
2020 Rav4 TRD Off-Road
Image courtesy Toyota Media

Toyota’s sporty Rav4 will also receive a number of presents from TRD. One of these is the new TRD Off-Road Suspension, which was inspired by the Toyota Rally Rav4 race team. The 2020 Rav4 will also be equipped with standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive and Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail All-Terrain tires on TRD 18-inch Flow-Formed matte black aluminum wheels. Other off-road enhancements include Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Downhill Assist Control (DAC) and a rock and dirt mode for the suspension.

 

Ford Reintroduces the Ranger FX4

Big Trucks a Big Focus for Big Three (and More)
Image courtesy Ford Media

The all-new 2019 Ford Ranger, the first Ranger since 2011, has the midsize truck world ablaze with gossip. Ford will pair its 270 HP/310 lb-ft 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine with their class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission to give the Ranger best-in-class qualities. The FX4 package includes off-road tuned shocks, Terrain Management System™ with four modes-sand, mud/ruts, normal, and grass/gravel/snow, all-terrain tires and a heavy gauge front bash plate that’s mounted directly to the frame. Another cool innovation they’re including is Trail Control™ which controls torque and braking to each wheel during low-speed trail operating. Long-time action-sports TV personality Pat Parnell said, “All you have to do is steer – picture it as off-road cruise control.”

About Mike Aguilar 332 Articles
Mike's love of cars began in the early 1970's when his father started taking him to his Chevron service station. He's done pretty much everything in the automotive aftermarket from gas station island attendant, parts counter, mechanic, and new and used sales. Mike also has experience in the amateur ranks of many of racing's sanctioning bodies.

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