We've assembled a collection of photos from trucks released at the recent auto shows, including the Honda SUT pickup truck concept; Jeep Rescue, Jeep Treo, and Jeep Wrangler; Mitsubishi concept truck, and Nissan Actic Sport/Utility concept. Check them out here in our virtual photo album on the following pages.
Remember, you can click on any image on the following pages to see an enlargement.
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Despite denials, rumors that Honda is developing its own version of a pickup truck were to be believed. In Detroit, Honda unveiled the SUT (sport/utility truck) concept, demonstrating its unique take on the pickup market. The development focus was the "active dad," translating into a family-focused vehicle that emphasizes car-like characteristics yet boasts truck-grade toughness for weekend adventuring. The unibody truck has seating for five, along with a five-foot cargo bed for toys like ATVs. The SUT is powered by a VTEC V-6, with output estimated to be in the 240- to 260-horsepower range. Ride and handling are aided by a fully independent suspension. On the safety front, the SUT concept features vehicle stability assist, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, and four-wheel ABS. Bed bonus points awarded for exterior speakers. SUT production at the Alliston, Ontario, plant will begin in 2005. Click here to Watch the Honda SUT Video!
Designed to be a rugged search-and-rescue vehicle in the most extreme situations and unforgiving conditions, Chrysler says its five-seat Rescue concept is the ultimate execution of a Jeep off-road vehicle. Powered by a Cummins Diesel, the Jeep Rescue's primary mission is rescue capability, and its list of high-tech rescue and safety equipment includes: AC electric power (10 kW) generation in the field; 3-D topographical mapping software and topographical navigation system; under-chassis, point-of-view cameras for avoiding danger in its path; passive, infrared cameras for search and rescue; satellite telephone, VHF radio, and digital video recorder with satellite transmission; high-tech lighting; and front and back remote-control winches. Built to survive anything in its way, Rescue rides on an 80-inch wide chassis with 123-inch wheelbase and 37-inch run-flat tires, and the front hydropneumatic suspension combines with the heavy-duty link-coil rear suspension to give the Rescue solid footing on all types of terrain. Forget the St. Bernard; bring on the Jeep Rescue!
Jeep's futuristic Treo concept makes its domestic debut in Detroit, as what must be the strangest vehicle to ever wear the "Jeep" moniker. Looking past the, um, imaginative styling, there are some interesting ideas at play. The pickup trucklet is built on a fuel cell platform, with an electric powertrain providing full-time all-wheel drive. This platform can adapt various alternative powertrain systems, allowing the three-seat Treo to be a rolling science experiment. By-wire steering column, pedals, and instrumentation shift as a unit from side to side to allow instant adaptability for either left- or right-hand drive. On the styling front, the Treo applies rugged elements to an urban commuter, with exposed tires on 19-inch wheels pushed to the very corners, bolted-on body panels, oversized tow hooks, boot tread texture on sill plate, and obligatory seven-slot vertical grille.
2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
The long-rumored Jeep "Scrambler" was unveiled with other Chrysler convertibles as the Wrangler Unlimited. This 2004.5 model measures 15 inches longer than a typical Wrangler. The added length is split, with 13 inches more cargo space and two more inches of rear legroom, creating a more functional, more livable all-terrain sport/ute. This long-wheelbase model promises improved on-road ride quality, while retaining the legendary Jeep off-road prowess, as engineers were keen to retain a 20-degree minimum breakover angle. Powered by a 4.0-liter/190-horse inline-six, the Unlimited boasts a 3500-lb towing capacity, besting the regular Wrangler by 1500 lbs. The larger Jeep has a large cloth top for foul weather and security that features a large 45x23-inch center flap to create a massive sunroof. The only one of the vehicles in this gallery you can actually buy, it is scheduled to reach dealerships in April.
Mitsubishi Sport Truck
With the unveiling of its four-passenger Sport Truck concept, Mitsubishi has revealed its belief that a pickup truck can be both functional and fun to drive. Designed to appeal to urban customers who are always on the move, the Sport Truck Concept's exterior styling is sporty yet rugged. Developed on Dodge's next-gen Dakota platform, the heart of the Sport Truck Concept beats with a powerful V-8 engine mated to an electronically controlled five-speed automatic transmission. The transmission features a dial-type shifter knob which, rotated into the D+ mode, allows for sporty paddle shifting through controls mounted on the steering wheel. Beyond the practical utility of a truck, the concept also features a four-wheel independent suspension and 22-inch custom alloy wheels for the sophisticated ride and performance more commonly associated with sport sedans. Large "barn-style" side doors open outwards to provide maximum access to an interior finished with chic, modern materials, and outfitted with an assortment of high-tech gadgetry and infinitely variable LED lighting.
Nissan says its Actic concept is a "content rich" design exercise created at its design center in La Jolla, California, conceived as an entry-level vehicle for "lives in transition" as buyers move from single to "married with small children" status. Quietly displayed in a corner of the Nissan booth, the Actic portends of a crossover vehicle expected to be added to both the Nissan and Infiniti lines. The sleek, silver Actic features flowing body lines, a "cross trainer"-style 20-inch wheel and tire design, and a matching trailer with inflatable walls that converts to a sleeping space for three. With no B-pillar to interfere, Actic's wide doors slide open for easy access; the front doors move forward and the rear doors backwards, like an elevator's, creating generous access for passengers and cargo. Actic comes to life through a 100-gigabyte key fob that stores data about the needs and personality of its owner, not just standard audio and HVAC preferences but also e-mail and navi settings, as well as content that governs and affects mood and ambience. An Actic-inspired vehicle is expected to slot beneath the Murano and FX35 in 2006 or 2007.