Half Ton Diesel Update

Published in the June 2008 Issue June 2008
May 17 Thunder in Muncie Gaston, IN
May 31-June 01 Indiana Diesel Nationals Indianapolis, IN
June 7 Challenge of Power Union Grove, WI
June 21 Champagne Pull Champagne, IL
June 28 South GA Motorsports Park GA
July 5 Angola Pull Angola, IN
July 19 Bandimere Speedway Littleton, CO (Pending)
July 26 Show Me Pull Owensville, MO
August 16 Utah Diesel Nationals Salt Lake City, UT
August 30 Clay City Clay City, KY
September 13 Washington Cour House Pull Washington, OH
September 20 Southwestern Internationals Drags Tucson, AZ
September 27 Shelbyville Shelbyville, KY
October 11-12 Texas Baytown, TX

Ford has released info on its light-duty half-ton diesel, slated for the refreshed F150 as soon as 2009. The F150 diesel will feature a 4.4L V8 engine. Based on the European Range Rover's 3.6L V7, the 4.4L will be designed to meet 2010 EPA diesel standards and should produce close to 325 horsepower and 520 lb-ft or torque.

While it may not beat Ford to the punch by getting to market first, GM is also on the brink of releasing a half-ton based diesel light-duty pickup. More information is available on the mini Duramax than Ford's 4.4L, like that it will be a 4.5L Isuzu-built Daramax engine with major differences between it and the 6.6L Duramax. The exhaust and intake ports have been reversed to put the turbo closer to the exhaust manifold for reduced turbo lag. The turbo sits in the V8's valley near the front of the engine instead of tucked away on the back of the motor. Emissions will also meet EPA 2010 standards. Expect to see the 4.5L Duramax in the GMT900 half-ton pickups and Hummer H2 as soon as late 2009.

Though nothing has been released yet, rumors abound that Dodge will have a half-ton Cummins (most likely) powered pickup on the market shortly after Ford and GM.

Toyota has a 4.5L diesel V8, which is offered in overseas models of the redesigned Land Cruiser. The common rail twin-turbo engine builds 286 horsepower and 479 lb-ft or torque. While it would be a decent diesel power plant for the Tundra and Sequoia, it's unlikely that the engine will be offered in U.S. models anytime soon (we'd still like to see development of the 8.1L Hino six-cylinder engine that was in the concept Tundra diesel vehicle at the 2007 SEMA show)..

No word on Nissan, although Honda has announced a line of new diesel engines for stateside vehicles, and the Ridgeline would fit that bill (although the jury's still out on whether the Ridgeline officially qualifies as a truck.).

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