What New Trucks to Expect at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show? [Op/Ed]

2017 gmc sierra 3500 dually prototype detroit auto show
2017 GMC Sierra 3500 Dually prototype

2015 has been an exciting year for pickup truck people everywhere. The 2015 Detroit Auto Show was loaded with new production and concept pickups. Many of them already went on sale: Nissan Titan XD, Ram Rebel and Toyota Tacoma. Well, the Titan XD will start arriving at dealership within the next two weeks.

Is the excitement over? What can we expect from the 2016 Detroit Auto Show for the 2017 model year and beyond? It’s time to take a thorough look at the latest news and pull it together into one post. This list has not been confirmed by the manufacturers, as all of them prefer to hold their cards close to the chest. This is a prediction made by TFLtruck.com.

2017 Chevy Silverado HD / GMC Sierra HD

TFLtruck photographers have been seeing camouflaged prototypes of the GM heavy duty trucks for close to two years. Clearly, Chevrolet and GMC are serious and committed to the next generation of their heavy haulers. Ram HD currently holds the lead on the torque output with 900 lb-ft from the 6.7L I6 Cummins. Will the 2017 Silverado HD and Sierra HD trump competition with over 900 “torques” from the 6.6L V8 Duramax?

2018 Ford Ranger Concept

2015 ford ranger midsize pickup truck first official images
Ford Ranger

Ford made an announcement about the United Auto Workers (UAW) agreement to start producing the Ford Ranger in 2018. The midsize truck segment has been recently rejuvenated and continues to grow its footprint. Ford has been known to show concept versions of trucks and car about two years before they go on sale. The 2016 Detroit Auto Show is a great opportunity to make a splash with the concept of the next generation Ford Ranger. Also, keep your eyes open for a Ford Bronco concept, that will share chassis and components with the Ranger.

2017 Honda Ridgeline

HPD Ridgeline Baja Desert Race Truck | 2015 SEMA
Honda Ridgeline Baja Desert Racer

The chances are really good that Honda will show the next generation Ridgeline pickup truck in Detroit next month. It will share the power train and many components with the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot. It will also share front-end styling with the crossover. It is said to have a more conventionally designed truck bed.

2018 Jeep Wrangler Pickup Concept

jeep wrangler concept pickup truck 2018
2005 Jeep Gladiator concept

Jeep made an announcement about the upcoming next-generation of the iconic Jeep Wrangler. Part of the announcement has to do with a pickup variant of the Wrangler. Considering the recent success of the Chevy Colorado, GMC Canyon, Toyota Tacoma, and the possibility of the new Ford Ranger; it may make soon business case for Jeep to produce a midsize pickup truck that is focused on off-road capability. What will Jeep call the new truck? It may be called Gladiator, but it may also have another name.

2017 Nissan Frontier

2016 Nissan navara np300 driving off-road
2016 Nissan Navara NP300

The current Nissan Frontier has been neglected within a highly competitive landscape. It would serve Nissan to release an upgrade to their midsize truck. The Frontier has a loyal customer base and good capability. Nissan should be able to leverage the updated 2016 Navara pickup truck design and bring it as the next Frontier for the United States. There is also the hope that the 2.8L I4 Cummins diesel engine will also make its way into the Frontier.

2017 Nissan Titan Light Duty

2016, nissan, titan
2016 Nissan Titan XD

We all know about the 2016 Titan XD. This is Nissan’s entry into the space somewhere between the light duty 1500 and heavy duty 2500 truck classes. However, Nissan has made a public statement that a light duty version of the new Titan is also coming, and coming within a few months. The light duty version will have a lighter frame, hood and front-end design changes, and a choice of V8 or V6 gasoline engines. The 5.0L Cummins V8 will not be offered in the light duty application, as such the hood line can be lowered and still accept the gasoline engines. It would make sense for Nissan to show the new truck in Detroit.

(Side Note: there are also rumors of the next generation Nissan Armada, based on the Titan XD.)

2017 Ram Small Pickup

Fiat Toro
Fiat Toro

There is no indication from Ram that they will enter the midsize or the compact truck segments in the United States. However, the Fiat Toro made a recent debut in Europe, and heavily camouflaged prototypes that look a lot like the Fiat Toro have been spotted testing on this side of the pond. If Ram makes a move into this space, they will be very careful to meet the demands of city dwellers who desire a small pickup truck. Small size, fuel efficiency, versatility, and low price of entry are big considerations here.

2017 Toyota Tundra Diesel

cummins 5.0 liter v8 turbo diesel

This prediction is not rooted in any official information from Toyota. However, two facts are clear. Cummins does not have an exclusive contract with Nissan or any other company for the use of the 5.0L V8 turbo-diesel. It means that Toyota could potentially use the engine in the Tundra. Also, Tundra sales have not shown much growth over the last year (-0.2.% for the year). When Toyota redesigned the Tundra for the 2014 model year, it left the power train as it was in the previous version. This may be a good time to bring new power to the truck and make it more efficient in the process.

TFLtruck will be at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show, and we will be first to report trucks news to you. We will see if these predictions hold any water.