Elsewhere in this issue, Fred Williams will tell you about the hottest new 4x4 accessories he found at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Drivelines was at SEMA, too, and here are some of the cool trucks and other stuff we spotted there.
Ford SVT Raptor
There has been so much said, written, and blogged about Ford's Raptor-a Baja-ready race truck you can buy at a Ford dealership-that it was exciting to finally see one in the flesh, so to speak. SVT's F-150 variant is 7 inches wider than a standard F-truck, and its suspension revisions include new upper and lower front control arms (that allow 11 inches of travel) and Fox Racing internal bypass shocks. The Raptor rides on 35-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires that have been reworked by BFG with a softer tread compound for grip and a firmer carcass to improve lateral stiffness. The truck will be powered by the 5.4L Triton V-8 at launch (320 hp and 390 lb-ft), though a 6.2L, 400hp V-8 will be available later. This is the big-block engine project that had been nicknamed Hurricane and later Boss by Ford but was reportedly cancelled when gas prices spiked last year. The SVT Raptor will go on sale this summer.
Tacoma V-8 Incross Concept
This Tacoma concept was much more subtle than the two on the next page, but significant nonetheless. If its proportions look different, that's because the Access Cab has been backed by a Double Cab's short box, and the whole thing sits on a shorter frame. Under the hood is what Toyota says is its first use of the i-Force 4.7L V-8 in a Tacoma. The 271hp engine is fitted with TRD headers and a custom dual exhaust. Now that gas prices are getting realistic again, maybe it's time for a V-8 Tacoma from the factory.
Bigfoot Chevy Silverado
Huh? Why is "Bigfoot," traditionally a Blue Oval name, being used for a Chevy? To demonstrate that Midwest Four Wheel Drive near St. Louis, home to the Bigfoot monster trucks, can do "just about anything you want," said the guys sitting next to the truck. In this case we're talking about a custom solid-axle driveline with a divorced GM transfer case and rear steering, a four-link/coilover suspension system with 30-plus inches of lift, and a Duramax diesel equipped to run nitrous oxide.
Hummer H3T Weekend Warrior
According to GM, this Hummer concept demonstrates how the H3T's capability and functionality can be improved "with just a few weekends in the garage." Underhood, the 5.3L V-8 in this Alpha model received new cylinder heads, a hotter cam, and custom exhaust, all worth nearly 70 hp. The chassis sports Light Racing JounceShocks and 2-inch-diameter Rod Hall Racing piggyback reservoir-type performance shocks, while each corner mounts a 20-inch Hummer wheel and a 35-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/A. The KTM 450 SX-F dirt bike in the bed is caged with a Hummer bed extender and the H3T's cargo management system.
Sport Chassis P4XL
XL is right. This was the biggest "pickup" we saw at the SEMA Show, and we tried to photograph it with people around to give you a sense of its massive scale. The P4XL is built from a Freightliner M2 106 business-class chassis fitted with an all-wheel-drive system, an 8.3L Cummins diesel, and an Allison automatic transmission. In-cab electronics include a Premiere Audio Environment by Pioneer, DirecTV satellite, and Autonet mobile wireless Internet, plus a Sony PlayStation and headrest monitors.
Bushwacker ZJ Project
What are those things sticking out from that Jeep's front fenders? Horizontal curb feelers? Directional CB antennae? Nope. Paintball guns. Your spotter will love 'em.
Sitting behind the fully independent Tacoma (right) was this Retro concept, an '80s throwback complete with period-correct cream paint, strobe graphics, smiley KC HiLites on top of a double-hoop bed bar, and-you guessed it-a solid front axle. Actually, both of the truck's axles and its transfer case were donated by a Land Cruiser and fitted to the Tacoma by the Toyota Motorsports technical group.
'70 Ford F-100 Explorer
As something of a counterpoint to the muscular Raptor, elsewhere in the Ford booth was this immaculate F-100, an unrestored example from National Parts Depot with just 19 miles on the odometer. It was purchased with the intent of being a museum piece, so the truck was heavily optioned with the upscale Explorer Special package (Explorer Green paint, plaid upholstery, mag-style wheels), power accessories, and air conditioning. The truck's 215hp 360ci V-8 was mated to a C6 automatic transmission and a 9-inch rear axle. A real time capsule.