Not long after GM said that its new 6.6L Duramax diesel V-8 would produce 397 hp and 765 lb-ft of peak torque-thus edging by Ford's new 6.7L Power Stroke diesel-Ford engineers announced that software upgrades for the 'Stroke would raise its output to an even 400 hp and 800 lb-ft. Better still, these upgrades would be available free of charge to customers who have already purchased '11 Super Duty trucks with the less-powerful diesel.
Diesel Horsepower War Heats Up-Again!
The upgrade program began in August and will run for a year; Super Duty owners can have the reprogramming done at their local Ford dealership.
Ford wasn't forthcoming with exactly what changed with the software upgrade, but a press release from the company noted that the results from a 250,000-mile durability test "opened the door" for the Super Duty's increased capability. What that probably means is that the engineers initially took a conservative approach in tuning the truck to make sure it would live for a quarter-million miles or so. Once the engine passed that test, they were free to turn up the wick a bit for better numbers.
So far there's been no response by The General, but you can assume its engine designers were equally conservative with the Duramax's initial power ratings, so there could be more power available with the right ECU tuning. We're sure, too, that aftermarket tuners are already hard at work doing the same thing.
eBay Wants Your Opinions
You know the kind of discussions you have around the campfire or over beers: Who makes the best truck? Which trail is toughest? Is Megan Fox hot or not? Well, now you can have those conversations and more online, thanks to eBay Motors. Starting in August, the website launched its Peoples Picks Survey, giving enthusiasts the opportunity to express their opinions to the entire eBay community. Opinion polling will be conducted in 10 categories, and voters are encouraged to continue their discussions using their favorite social media, such as the forums on our very own www.4wheeloffroad.com. Check out the action at www.vote.ebaymotors.com.
Local Motors Open House
Local Motors, the innovative manufacturing company in which car owners and enthusiasts will gather to build their own Rally Fighter vehicles, held an open house this summer at its Phoenix facility. The event drew some 400 people to tour the microfactory and watch a Rally Fighter make some demonstration drives.
You can learn more about Local Motors and its plan for collaborative vehicle manufacturing at www.local-motors.com.
Editor Péwé Inducted Into Hall Of Fame
Among the five inductees to the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame for 2010 is our own fearless leader, Rick Péwé. "Singling out Rick Péwé's most significant impact on off-roading is difficult as his contributions reach into virtually all aspects of the sport," noted the committee. "The one overriding aspect of his contributions probably involves his nature of grounded teaching that has made him an influencer of trends and a motivator of passion in each of the positions he has held within the industry. From being a 4x4 counterman to owning his own shop to working alongside magazine editors and ultimately becoming the Editor-in-Chief of Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, Rick has always quietly taught his 'children' (who now number in the tens of thousands) in the ways of proper 'wheeling. The influence of his teaching has affected trail-ride Jeep style and function, has helped create several 4x4 competitions, and has been a call to action for magazine readers and advertisers to become more involved in making off-road vehicles more pure and more functional."
Rick finds himself in some pretty good company this year. Other 2010 nominees for the Hall of Fame include KC HiLites founder Peter K. Brown, pioneering land-use advocate Eugene "Gene" Chappie, Baja Off Road Tours owner Chris Haines, and legendary off-road racer Johnny Johnson.
For more information about the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame, visit www.ormhof.org.