Truck Power Vs. Car Power - Sway Control
Truck Power Ratings
In today’s automotive media universe, it’s all about creating sensationalistic headlines to get the clicks. And with such models as the 707hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat, the 650hp Corvette Z06, and the just-announced ’16 Cadillac CTS-V with 640 hp, there’s no shortage of high-horse hardware on the market. Pickup trucks, the modern-day beasts of burden, don’t get nearly the attention or headlines of those high-potency steeds. However, if you look at the sales numbers, pickups are some of the best-selling vehicles in the country, so their significance is indisputable.
""Just try towing 8,000 pounds with a Challenger Hellcat.”"
In their respective context, the numbers generated by today’s trucks are no less impressive than those high-powered quasi-exotics. Consider the 30,000-plus-pound towing capacity offered by the Ram 3500 and Ford F-450, not to mention the 850-plus lb-ft torque rating generated by their diesel engines. On a more modest scale, the combination of 28 highway mpg and a 9,200-pound max towing capacity on the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel is an achievement that would have been unthinkable a decade ago.
One of the truck engineers for the Detroit Three once told me that engineering for trucks was fundamentally about “doing more with less.” This is perfectly embodied by the new F-150. Sure, the main driver behind its transition to an aluminum body was fuel economy, but the weight savings also translated to higher towing and payload ratings, two of the primary tasks trucks are called upon beyond point A to B commuting.
And the innovation and improvement is likely to continue. The ’16 GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado diesel could set a new standard in the midsize segment with the prospect of more than 7,000 pounds of towing capability with a 30-plus-mpg EPA highway rating. And if you thought eight gears were a lot for a truck transmission, get ready for 10-speed automatics coming in the next few years, which promise even greater fuel economy than the impressive figures being delivered by today’s models.
Even though today’s trucks may not be generating the eye-popping horsepower, lateral Gs, and 0-60 and quarter-mile times of the performance cars, their performance for their intended purposes is no less impressive. Just try towing 8,000 pounds with a Challenger Hellcat or loading down a Z06 with 2,000 pounds in its rear hatch. My hat’s off to the engineers designing today’s trucks, giving us more efficient and more capable options than we’ve ever had before.