Not for Us
We’ve heard for a while that the Detroit Three are getting out of the small truck market—in the U.S., anyway. Overseas is a different story. Small trucks are a mainstay in other parts of the world, and Chevy and Ford are ramping up two new compacts for those markets.
Chevrolet unveiled a concept truck at the Bangkok Auto Show that, the automaker says, “previews the next-generation Colorado midsize pickup truck.” Why Bangkok? Thailand is the world’s largest market for midsize pickups, according to GM. The show truck features an extended-cab body sitting on a high-stance AWD chassis and 20-inch wheels. Power comes from a 2.8L turbodiesel engine. Strip away the big rims and fancy body panels and you’re left with “the basic proportions and form” of the next-generation Colorado, said a GM exec. We asked GM about the possibility of this truck coming to the U.S. and got the expected “announced as overseas only at this time” response.
The mule you see dripping with jungle ooze is the next-generation Ranger, which also made its public debut in Bangkok. Ford is proud of the work it has done to the truck’s drivetrain and suspension, giving it ground clearance of up to 91⁄2 inches and a fording depth of nearly 3 feet. Power options consist of one gas and two diesel engines, the largest of which is a 3.2L five-banger that makes 197 hp and nearly 350 lb-ft of torque.
Call us crazy, but we think Chevy and Ford could sell more than a few of these in the States, especially with a clean-diesel option. Don’t you?
American Gazelles Finish Second Overall
Rod Hall Racing’s Emily Miller and co-pilot Armelle Medard finished a strong Second Place overall at the 21st running of the Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles in southern Morocco. The nine-day rally is unlike other endurance races not only because it’s open to women only but also because the competitors are not allowed to use GPS or other modern technology to navigate the Saharan desert.
“We competed in a stock H3 with no modifications, so it was truly a test of vehicle management as a driver,” said Miller. “My co-pilot was spot on with the traditional dead reckoning navigation. Many times she used the sun to keep us on target.”
This was Miller’s third Gazelle rally. Another American team, made up of first-timers (and sisters) Amy Lerner and Tricia Reina, finished 52nd overall after battling vehicle problems and illness.
Ram & Mopar Sponsor TORC
Chrysler’s Ram Truck and Mopar brands are sponsoring The Off-Road Championship (TORC) series in 2011. The sponsorship will see five Pro-class drivers behind the wheel of a Ram truck during the 14-race series. The computer rendering you see here shows the livery going on the Traxxas Racing team Rams, which will be driven by off-road racing veteran Rob MacCachren and Formula Drift champion Sam Hubinette.
Sponsorship means that Ram is the “official” truck of TORC. A Ram truck outfitted with the Ram Runner conversion kit will act as the series’ pace vehicle. The Ram Runner was among the vehicles Chrysler brought to Moab; it features a 4-inch prerunner-style suspension kit, fiberglass front fenders and bed sides, and BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains.
MacCachren Wins San Felipe 250
For as long as Rob MacCachren has been racing off-road (his record includes 175 event wins and 20 championships), he has never won a SCORE Trophy Truck race as the driver of record. Until now. Wheeling a Rockstar-sponsored F-150 with co-driver Cisco Bio, MacCachren powered through the MasterCraft Safety Tecate SCORE San Felipe 250 with an average speed of 58.68 mph, giving him the Trophy Truck class win and the overall victory. And not just overall in the four-wheeled divisions. MacCachren’s time beat everyone, bikes included. It wasn’t an easy victory, as he fought with Jesse Jones, last year’s San Felipe winner and the 2010 Trophy Truck champion, throughout the day and nipped Jones at the finish by just 44 seconds.
• July 2-3: Wheeling for Freedom, Twisted Trails Off-Road Park, Copemish, MI. Info: 231.651.9548, www.twistedtrailsoffroadpark.com
• July 2-4: JeepSkool, NE Ohio. Info: www.jeepskool.com
• July 8-10: 4Wheel Jamboree Nationals, Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, Bloomsburg, PA. Info: www.familyevents.com
• July 10: Mud bogs by the Tri County Four Wheelers, Elkton, OH (near Lisbon). Info: 330.501.7316, 330.386.3264, 330.692.0948
• July 14-16: Killington Jeep Jamboree, Killington, VT. Info: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
• July 14-16: Northwoods Mole Lake Jeep Jamboree, Mole Lake, WI. Info: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
• July 14-17: Crawl for the Cure at the Iron Range OHV Park north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. Info: www.ironrangeoffroad.com, www.crawl4cure.org
• July 15-16: Ultra4 American Rocksports Challenge, Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, UT. Info: www.kingofthehammers.com, www.millermotorsportspark.com
• July 15-17: Offroad Jamboree by the IOK Four Wheelers at the Gravelrama site, Cleves, OH. Info: www.gravelrama.com, www.iokrock.com
• July 16: Getting Started Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• July 16: Sand drags (under the lights) by the Tri County Four Wheelers, Elkton, OH (near Lisbon). Info: 330.941.9376, 330.277-3851
• July 17: Advanced Beginner Off-Road Driving Clinic, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• July 17-19: Crawl for Christ off-road event, Black Mountain Off Road Adventure Area, Harlan, KY, by the United Christian Off Road Alliance. Info: crawl4christ.com
• July 23: Wine Safari, Southern California, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• July 23-24: Deep Woods Extreme 4x4 Truck Show & Rock Crawl Competition, Gunstock Mountain Resort, Gilford NH. Info: www.deepwoodsextreme.com
• July 24: Mud bogs by the Tri County Four Wheelers, Elkton, OH (near Lisbon). Info: 330.501.7316, 330.386.3264, 330.692.0948
• July 26: Night Run held at Kansas Rocks Recreation Park, Mapleton, KS. Info: www.ksrockspark.com
• July 30: Sand Driving Clinic, Oceano Dunes, Pismo, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• July 30-31: Iron Range Offroad driving school, Iron Range OHV Park north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. Info: www.ironrangeoffroad.com
• July 30-31: Midnight Special desert race, Primm, NV. Info: www.snoreracing.net
• July 30-31: Trail rides at the Apple Valley Farms Off Road Park, Chetek, WI. Info: www.rpm4x4.com
• Note: If you have a 4WD event you want us to publicize, please send the date, location, a description of the event, and contact info—phone numbers and/or email/website address—to Calendar, 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; fax 310.531.9368; email email@example.com. Please submit your info at least four months in advance of the event due to our press lead times.