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  • Sport Truck News - January 2005

Sport Truck News - January 2005

Joe Pettitt
Jan 1, 2005
Photo 2/9   |   edge Diesel Performance Products Dodge Ram dodge Ram
Edge Products' Pro Stock Diesel Drag Truck Is Shooting for 6-Second e.t.'s
On Friday the 13th of August, Edge Products debuted a Pro Stock diesel-powered drag truck at its Weekend on the Edge event at Rocky Mountain Raceway near Salt Lake City. With the paint barely dry, the truck wowed the crowd with a few test-and-tune passes.
Battling near-100-degree-F heat, the Edge Products Ram, dubbed the Wolverine, piloted by Keith Lockliear, practiced a couple of impressive launches, then the truck was parked in the pits. But when it returned to the Christmas tree at sundown, the truck's characteristic diesel-rattle-at-idle quickly gave way to the jet-engine sounds of its exotic turbo system spooling up before it ripped a 1.32-second 60-foot time, on its way to what should've been a low single-digit e.t. Unfortunately, said our man on the scene, the engine produced so much boost, it removed the intake hose from the turbo housing before mid-track. But still, the truck coasted to an e.t. of, get this, 11.03 seconds at 91 mph.
This top-secret project was conceptualized in early 2003 by Edge Products. Edge Products manufactures diesel fuel-management computer upgrades and "chips" for performance- and power-minded sport truck enthusiasts and, judging from this effort, the company seems to know diesels.
"Our goal was to produce the fastest, most powerful diesel race vehicle ever seen," says Edge CEO Paul Lehman. "Most people said that the sheer weight and mass of a diesel engine - about 1,100 pounds - would keep the truck from getting anywhere near Pro Stock-type times. We accepted this challenge."
We're set up to capture a full-force quarter-mile pass on this tube-frame chassis truck, fabricated by famous NHRA car builder Jerry Bickel, as soon as the crew figures out how to contain the pressure. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, the box on the right contains the dope on this dope diesel drag-racing sport truck.
Edge Products Wolverine Pro Stock Diesel Drag Truck
Project goal: Build the world's quickest diesel-powered vehicle
Est. hp: 1,100+
Est. torque: 2,500+ lb-ft
Target e.t.: 6.50 sec
Best 0-60 (launch) time: 1.32 sec
Vehicle: Jerry Bickel Race Cars-built custom tube-frame fullsize drag truck
Body: fiberglass fullsize Dodge Ram short bed
Paint scheme: designed by Greg Ozubko
Painter: Jerry Bickel Race Cars
Paint: House of Kolor
Engine: Edge/Diesel Dynamics highly modified '04 Dodge Cummins 5.9L dieselAspiration: turbocharged (boost level classified)
Max. EGT: 1,450 degreesSafety equipment: shroud harness, parachute, Halon onboard fire-suppressant
Steering: Jerry Bickel
Suspension: Bickel/Koni coilover shocks
Brakes: Strange steel-vented discs
Tires: front, Goodyear 26x4.5/15; rear, Goodyear Pro Mod 34.5x17.0/16
Wheels: front, Weld 15x3.5" Aluma Star; rear, Weld 16x16" Aluma Star Double Bead-Loc
Wet weight: too heavy to lift
Edge Wolverine Race Team:
Keith Lockliear, driver
Lenny, head engineer
Mike Cary
Lewis "Dale Jr." Hilliard
Joe Donnelly
Cord Reynolds
Cade Reynolds
Photo 3/9   |   edge Diesel Performance Products Dodge Ram 2006 Honda Sut
Exposed: '06 Honda SUT
Honda's Pilot-based SUT concept, shown at the 2004 NAIAS, makes a near-production appearance in these exclusive photos. Using a unibody, a first for a regular production truck (the Baja excluded), Honda's SUT shows surprisingly minor changes from the show truck. Door handles, headlamps, taillamps, and mirrors show detail changes; the bumpers and hood are revised somewhat more. But the basic architecture remains intact, with the concept's wheel flares, door dimples, and unique sloping bed surround all making it to production. Unfortunately, the aluminum exhaust tips didn't.
Sources are telling us that the SUT will officially be named Havasu when it makes its official debut at the 2005 NAIAS in January, but other names are still under consideration, including Rockline and Ridgeline.
Photo 4/9   |   2005 Chevy Equinox front Left View
New-Truck Review: '05 Chevrolet Equinox
Chevy's newest little sport ute is fun to drive and, judging from the reactions we got driving it, is fun to be seen in as well. We haven't had as many people follow us into parking lots to ask about the vehicle and compliment its style since we first drove the SSR.
Most of the fun is supplied by the power of a new 3.4L V-6 (LNJ) engine Chevy Powertrain developed and designed for the Equinox. Chevrolet says the Shanghai, China-built V-6 shares many components with the recently introduced 3500 V-6, and proves that a refined overhead valve engine can meet the demand for good power output, a broad torque band, and fuel and cost efficiency. Our experience with it agrees with those claims. We found it very smooth, refined, and quiet, with a wide powerband and good low-end torque.
We also found the interior to be pleasantly styled and comfortable in a modern, IKEA-ish sort of way. The dash falls away from the windshield, giving the cabin a sense of space much larger than one usually associates with compact vehicles. The designers also provided clever and stylish storage solutions in the relative small cabin space: for example, the fabric magazine/map holder cubby on the console sides as well as the folding multicompartment armrest/cupholder/storage unit of the center console.
Overall, the new ute is a great-handing piece. It drives and feels a lot like a slightly de-tuned Saturn VUE Redline, though the Equinox engine has more low-end than the Vue. We're not sure if the two share underpinnings, as the Vue is made in Tennessee and the Equinox is assembled in Canada. We had the AWD version and it is plenty grippy in the corners - flat, balanced, and predictable. It has good braking and it lots of fun to drive. It's not a hot rod, though, as it goes from 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds, but that performance is adequate for merging with freeway traffic. It does, however, stop very well, at least unloaded with one 180-pound test driver in it. We brought it down from 60-0 in just 122 feet on a cold stop. That's a better than most of the trucks we test, so check your mirrors when braking hard.
The Equinox may not spawn a custom/cult following, but it's an efficient parts getter/people mover that we think would respond well to custom styling parts, such as wheels and tires, some paint, and ride-height adjustments. We'd like to see a slammed Equinox with the wheelwells stuffed with tires and wheels, a billet grille, and some wild paint.
Magnuson Moves to New HQ
Magnuson, maker of the MagnaCharger and Radix lines of superchargers is growing so fast that it's moving to a 60,000-square-foot building Located at 1990 Knoll, Ventura, CA 93003. Fortunately, the company isn't moving far from where it's currently located, and its phone number, (805) 642-8833, will remain the same.
Small-Block Delivers Big-Block Power
GM Performance Parts Offers the ZZ383/425 Crate Engine

If you're looking for a small-block package that delivers big-block power, then you've found it. With GM's legendary Fast Burn cylinder heads and 383 ci, GM Performance Part's new ZZ383/425 crate engine (P/N 12498772) delivers incredible torque with smooth, linear delivery. You'll get 425 hp at an incredibly low 5,400 rpm, and 460 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm, making this the ideal hot street engine or off-road powerhouse.
The excellent air-handling and combustion characteristics of the Fast Burn cylinder heads combined with the ZZ383/425's 3.800-inch stroke make this engine the benchmark against which all other 383ci small-blocks should be measured. And it's tough, too. The 4340 nitrided and induction-hardened crank and unique forged PM rods see to that. The 9.1:1 compression ratio ensures that the ZZ383/425 is 92-octane pump gas-friendly.
Consumers can purchase GM performance parts, including the ZZ383/425 crate engine, from any GM dealership or authorized center. To locate the closest dealer, call (800) GM-USE-US (468-7387), or visit
Photo 8/9   |   edge Diesel Performance Products Dodge Ram nissan Trucks
The '05 Nissan Lineup
In the '04 model year, Nissan stepped up and built the Titan, a fullsize pickup worthy of winning our Sport Truck of they Year competition. The company isn't sitting still in '05, with the introduction of the all-new Pathfinder, Frontier, and Xterra (not shown). These new trucks feature a new platform, a new 4.0L V-6 engine, advanced off-road systems, and roomier interiors. We'll be putting the new Frontier to the test next month in our Sport Truck of the Year competition for '05, so until then, this primer on the new Nissans will have to.
Titan King Cab and Titan Crew Cab
The '05 Titan basically gets a few styling tweaks to its already impressive F-Alpha truck platform, with its 305hp/379-lb-ft torque 5.6L DOHC V-8 backed with a standard five-speed automatic transmission good for a maximum towing capacity of 9,500 pounds (when properly equipped). New for the '05 Titan are the following: a standard power up/down rear window with defroster on Crew Cab models; dampened tailgate assist on all models; standard active head restraints for front driver and front passenger; brushed-aluminum interior trim on LE models; spray-in bedliner available as stand-alone option on the XE; leather-appointed bench seat available on the LE; unique wheel finish for SE models; new badging on front door reads V8 Titan; new exterior color, Red Alert, replaces Sedona; and new interior color, Steel, replaces Sand/Steel. The folks at Nissan wish to remind you that Titan was conceived, developed, styled, and engineered primarily in North America and is assembled at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Canton, Mississippi
The larger, more powerful '05 Nissan Frontier pickup shares a number of significant features with the Titan, including its suspension design, spray-in bedliner, Utili-track bed channel tie-down system, and fully boxed all-steel frame based on Titan's F-Alpha platform. The third-generation Frontier is offered in both King Cab and Crew Cab body configurations, and Nissan says the truck is designed to deliver exceptional levels of acceleration, handling and braking, towing capacity, and off-road capability. The newly designed 4.0L DOHC V-6 rated at 265 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque, which, though slightly less than the Pathfinder, still puts it at the top of the V-6-powered pickup class. It also offers a choice of two-or four-wheel drive with advanced off-road technology, including (on 4x4 models) 4-Wheel Limited-Slip (ALBS). The '05 Frontier, like previous generations, will be assembled at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. Nissan is telling us the Frontier King Cab and Frontier Crew Cab are scheduled to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in late 2004.
The '05 Nissan Armada gets about the same level of content and styling changes. Highlights include: a standard illuminated key ring; standard active head restraints for front driver and passenger and seatbelt pretensioners for the first row; unique wheel finish for SE models; "metallic" accent trim for LE and SE models; new exterior color, Red Brawn; new power liftgate added to the SE Sunroof Package; SE Upgrade Package now standard on SE models; revised Sand interior color; LE Upgrade Package now standard on LE models; and new rearview monitor added to the Technology Package.
The all-new third-generation Nissan Pathfinder features a larger interior, three-row seating, a new 4.0L V-6, and an all-new platform based on the F-Alpha platform from the fullsize Armada and fullsize Titan pickup. That means it has a rugged fully boxed all-steel frame and independent double-wishbone front and rear suspension. It also has a standard 4.0L engine rated at 270 hp and 291 lb-ft of torque. The new Pathfinder is available as a 4x2 or 4x4, with an advanced off-road traction system; offers a maximum towing capacity, when properly equipped, of 6,000 pounds; and is assembled at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. It went on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in October 2004.
The '05 Xterra follows suit, with improved off-road performance, the new 4.0L V-6, and an all-new rugged fully boxed all-steel frame, as well as new exterior styling. A key aspect of the restyle is a highly functional roof rack with a latchable lid. Inside, the '05 Xterra offers more room, especially in second-row head- and leg-room, and enhanced utility of the multiflex cargo area, including an easy-to-clean luggage area and an adjustable channel system in the cargo floor. The new Xterra will be assembled at Nissan's manufacturing facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. It is scheduled to go on sale at Nissan dealers nationwide in early 2005.
Photo 9/9   |   edge Diesel Performance Products Dodge Ram 2006 Chevy Hhr
'06 Chevrolet HHR
Another cute ute is on the way. The HHR, or Heritage High Roof, will be built on the Delta platform and will have styling cues lifted from the '49 Suburban, as well as more contemporary styling cues lifted from the SSR.
We're told that a 2.4L L850 four-cylinder engine with 170 hp powers the HHR and that it'll have a flat-load floor and flexible utility with forward-folding rear seats. Sounds like competition for PT Cruiser. Production is expected to begin summer 2005, with sales starting late in the third quarter or, at the latest, in the fourth quarter of 2005.



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