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  • September 2011 Power Bits - Diesel Industry News

September 2011 Power Bits - Diesel Industry News

GMC, Panamera Diesel, Mahindra Pickup, and More!

Tori Tellem
Sep 1, 2011
Ram Long-Hauler
You know the nice thing about concept trucks? Many make it to real-world production. And “many” translates to, what, 85 percent? We have zero facts, statistics, or pie charts (or even any pie in front of us) to back up that number, but it feels right to say—especially when it comes to the likelihood of a real-world Ram Long-Hauler. This truck is based on the Class 5 Ram 5500 chassis cab converted to a Mega Cab passenger compartment with an 8-foot box. Got that? This construction helped make way for a mid-ship fuel tank, a second frame-mounted tank, and a third bed-mounted tank, for fuel capacity of 170 gallons. That, coupled with a 6.7L High-Output Cummins worth up to 800 lb-ft of twist has got to mean you can cross the globe approximately three times without refueling. Again, we are without facts or stats—but it feels correct to print that.
Photo 2/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits ram Long Hauler Front Three Quarter
The Long-Hauler’s 650-lb-ft 6.7L engine is hooked to an Aisin six-speed auto transmission, and the transfer case flirts with a dualie Dana 110 axle with 4.88 gearing. The truck’s Kelderman air suspension package features a self-leveling capability, as well as a rear kneeling option to make hitching up to trailers easy. The truck’s other figures include a curb weight of 9,300 pounds, 37,500-pound GCWR, height of 79.1 inches, overall length of 24 feet, and a 197.4-inch wheelbase.
Photo 3/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits ram Long Hauler Rear Three Quarter
You can check out the Long-Hauler as it hits the show circuit at these locales:
July/August: Rodeo circuit
8/31 - 9/02: Farm Progress Show, Decatur, Illinois
9/13 - 9/15: Husker Harvest, Grand Island, Nebraska
9/19: NTEA New Product Conference, Dearborn, Michigan
10/18 - 10/20: Sunbelt Expo, Moultrie, Georgia
11/29 - 12/1: National RV Show, Louisville, Kentucky
Rumor of the Moment:
Nissan Titan (truck), Cummins (engine expertise), Department of Energy ($$): Trifecta of genius behind a 2.8L four-cylinder diesel being tested in the pickup. You can read all about it on page 114.
Photo 4/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits nissan Titan Logo
“And this July, we’re finalizing new fuel-efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks for the first time in our history. And that could actually end up saving us something like 500 billion barrels of oil— huge amounts of oil—because heavy trucks use so much.”
—President Obama
’02 F-350 with 1,020,000-Plus Miles
Gary Muller is a Ford retiree who now tows large RVs to buyers with his ’02 Super Duty. He bought it new with the 7.3L Power Stroke and averages 600 to 800 miles most days and has hit 48 states and seven provinces in Canada. Gary says he manages to swing nearly 20 mpg when delivering the RVs by avoiding quick accelerations and starts and stops, parking the truck if weather is creating too much drag, and hovering around 2,000 rpm and 60 to 62 mph. He’s changed the oil more than 100 times during ownership and the tires have been replaced 10 times.
Photo 5/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits gary Muller
100 Sprinter Van Dealerships
You know how the economy is in the toilet and such? That would be the reason why we’re taking a moment to celebrate something like another dealership opening, because that’s great news, people. Mercedes-Benz USA now has its 100th M-B Sprinter Van dealership—it was only a year ago that M-B USA began offering the Sprinter Van line through some M-B dealers. If you’re behind on your Sprinter trivia, it’s a van with a 3.0L V-6 BlueTEC available in five models, including cargo, passenger, and crew van.
Photo 6/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits mercedes Sprinter
Crash Costs
Ever wondered about the costs of deaths from vehicle crashes? No? Feel free to begin…now. The Center For Disease Control (CDC) looked at a one-year period and determined that crash-related deaths in the United States resulted in about $41 billion in medical and work-loss costs. Half that number is attributed to only 10 states; the highest being California ($4.16 billion), followed by Texas, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, Illinois, Ohio, and Tennessee.
Photo 7/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits accident Scene
Mahindra Dealers are Peeved …Really Peeved
Ah, the pickup that keeps breaking hearts. Automotive News reported that some prospective Mahindra dealers are joining a lawsuit and taking their case to state officials. The lawsuit filed is pushing for a class-action status to represent the nearly 350 dealers who signed up for United States franchises. The dealers have been sitting on pins and needles for three years awaiting the India-built diesel pickup.
Photo 8/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits mahindra Truck
“I love to see high-tech machinery like this. I stand there and people explain it to me and I pretend like I know what they’re talking about. But it looked outstanding.”
—President Obama again, this time to workers when he visited the Allison Transmission HQ in Indiana
Rumor of the Moment:
Porsche Panamera diesel heating up. In a country not called the United States, the Panamera diesel received a six-banger rated at 250 hp and about 406 lb-ft of torque.
Photo 9/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits porsche Diesel Engine
Grand, But Not Jeep Grand
The new Mercedes-Benz GL-Class Grand Edition is, as you’d guess, a limited edition, with fancy wheels, paint, interior trim, and a unique front end, among other style cues. It will be available with the usual M-B engine suspects, including the 3.0L V-6 diesel, while special badging appears in various spots, including on the “centre” console—that spelling is your first hint that it’s not yet a U.S. edition.
Photo 10/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits mercedes Benz Gl Class
GMC vs. Chevy: There Is a Diff
You remember GMC—it’s the fancy-pants sibling of Chevy. Or is it? Hard to tell who is wearing those pants these days, and GM’s president of North America, Mark Reuss, says it’s not just our imagination. Sure, there are more features and such on the GMC, but that hasn’t been enough of a variant to justify the bigger bucks. The plan is to leverage the strong Denali to help GMC get back on P-track (that’s premium track).
Photo 11/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits gmc Front Grill
Airbag of the Future?
TRW is calling it “bag in roof”—it’s a new airbag system that could one day replace the passenger versions usually based within the instrument panel. By dumping that design, the roof version could help reduce the development costs of the dashboard fairly significantly, since there wouldn’t need to be a “door” to open upon deployment.
Photo 12/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits trw Airbag
Diesel Bits Diesel Bits Diesel Bits
The 2011 Michigan Green Leaders in the Big Business category included Detroit Diesel.
Fan of truck jumps? Tanner Faust (pictured) set a jumping distance record for a four-wheeler while warming up the crowd at the Indy 500. He went 332 feet. The previous record was 301 feet.
Photo 13/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits tanner Faust
It seems to be official: Letter grades denoting fuel efficiency on window stickers won’t happen.
Will Fiat supply diesel engines to Suzuki?
Ford is building its first transmission plant in China. All part of its plans for world domination—or as Ford puts it, “aggressive growth plan in the world’s largest auto market.”
Watch for UPS to test five prototypes from Utilimaster/Isuzu, each featuring a 150hp Isuzu four-banger. The hope is the vehicles can handle workhorse duty.
If you’ve never considered a VW Passat, now might be the time. Its starting price is $7,000 less than the previous model. And there’s the 2.0L diesel option, which is why we bring it up.
Photo 14/14   |   september 2011 Power Bits vw Passats
As we went to press, Renault was facing a diesel-engine shortage in France.

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