Ford enjoyed great success with the EcoBoost V-6 engines in its F-150 pickups and that has General Motors working overtime to buff the image of its new V-6 in the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra – as well claims about the fuel economy of the new 5.3-litre V-8 in GM’s new rigs.
Consumers, meanwhile, are being bombarded with claims and counter-claims not just between GM and Ford, but also from Chrysler’s Ram brand and even the Toyota Tundra and Nissan Titan.
GM, for its part, says crew cab versions of its new 2014 pickups powered by the 5.3-litre V-8 and mated to a six-speed automatic transmission are better than the base V-8 pickups of Ford and Chrysler. The 5.3-litre V-8 isn’t GM’s most fuel-thrifty engine in the new 2014 pickups, but it’s a V-8 and, in the world of pickups, many buyers still care about the number of cylinders and displacement. Winning on V-8 fuel economy still matters. A lot.
“These are the trucks that most customers actually buy and drive,” says Jeff Luke, the chief engineer of GM’s pickups.
Except, of course, Ford sells more V-6 pickups now than V-8s. EcoBoost has done that for Ford. And people say their Ram V-6 is a gem and their V-8 is a horse. And on and on.
We know this: pickups deliver profits that drive Detroit’s auto makers forward. No one will give any ground, at least not without a fierce fight. And the punches are flying now, with many more hay-makers to come.