Top 4 Truck Trends from the Chicago Auto Show

Top 4 Truck Trends from
the Chicago Auto Show

by TODD STOLARSKI | Feb 24, 2015

This week, BuiltWorlds had the chance to visit the 2015 Chicago Auto Show. As we bask in the afterglow of the biggest and baddest show yet, let's take a look at what may be rolling on to job sites in the coming months, and the trends driving them.

1 - Goodbye to Gasoline

More so than ever before, automakers have had their focus on fuel efficiency. As evidenced by this year’s trend in fuel, there are several ways to get to the sustainable promiseland. With their 2016 Ram series, Dodge debuted the new V-6 EcoDiesel engine. Chevy built tough on its Duramax Turbo-Diesel, and Toyota announced it will now offer a Cummins Diesel engine on its 2016 Tundra. GMC’s Sierra HD models can be run on compressed natural gas. For years, Ford’s F-150 has been running on an EcoBoost engine and there have been whispers of an upcoming hybrid model in the works as well. One thing is for certain, though, heavy trucks are finally aiming for less reliance on gasoline with more emphasis on sustainability.

2 - Special Editions

It seems every auto-maker and their brother now claims to have a unique offering that attempts to differentiate itself not only from its from competitors but from its own traditional fare. At CAS, Ford unleashed its new F-150 Raptor, Dodge rolled out its Ram Rebel, and Chevy went dark with a sinister-looking Silverado Midnight edition. These were among the glut of high-end special editions debuted for 2015 featuring color schemes and equipment not available on its off-the-lot brethren.

     If Batman had a truck, he would probably trade it in for the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition. 

     If Batman had a truck, he would probably trade it in for the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado Midnight Edition. 

3 - Lighter, Better, Faster, Stronger

We’re still waiting to see if Ford’s move from steel to aluminum last year will set the standard in body construction moving forward. But under the hood, it cannot be denied that auto-makers have decided that lighter is better. The key here has been the move from a stock V-8 engine down to a turbocharged V-6. GM, Ford, and Dodge now all boast smaller and lighter engines which still generate a similar amount of power.

4 - Connectivity onSite

As technology becomes further integrated into all aspects of the job site, automakers now know you need your truck to double as your mobile office, too. More than ever before, they have redesigned cab interiors to embrace this reality. Nearly all of these high-end, light duty trucks now offer an embedded touchscreen tablet interface. Specifically, the GMC Sierra offers 5 USB ports and a SD card slot; the Chevy Silverado has a 4-G LTE built-in Wi-Fi hotspot; and the Ford F-150 features a rear 360-degree camera and an infocenter with larger buttons for people wearing gloves (or those of us with chubby digits). With a further union of technology and the construction site, these incremental upgrades are useful and welcome. But, it's just a matter of time before all these features becomes standard on the road to the super pickup of tomorrow.

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