THE NEXT WAVE OF 4X4 JUNK FROM THE DETROIT AUTO SHOW
…We have to say though, the new F-Truck does look pretty good.
A couple of months back the North American International (commonly shortened to ‘Detroit’, because who could be arsed saying all that every time?) Motor Show was held in Detroit Michigan (makes sense now) in the USA. In the past this show has held some huge reveals and concepts in the automotive world and this year… well, nothing much happened actually.
Toyota gave us a sneak peak at its new beige cardigan, sorry, Camry; and crossover vehicles too ungainly to be called station wagons and too anaemic to be used for any sort of serious off-roading (not that there’s anything wrong with that) abounded. Nissan updated its Qashqai, Audi launched its Q8 hybrid and Infiniti launched its annoyingly-similar-sounding-to-the-Audi QX50 – yet another SUV only this one has been churched-up with something Infiniti refers to as ‘Pro Pilot’. Nope, not a personal organiser or even a video game; it’s essentially a self-driving feature which appeals to most 4WDers about as much as developing an engine knock on a Sunday arvo when you’re due at work first thing the next morning.
Hope was found in the form of the 2018 F-150 that was on display, and Ford has been kicking some serious goals with us off-roaders over the past decade or so. The PX-series Rangers, the beastly-but-oh-so-beautiful F-250-350 ‘trucks’, the Everest – all solid runs on the board and giving a well-respected tip of the cap to the over-engineered 4X4s of yester-decade.
That hope couldn’t have drained out of us quicker than if we were Bob Hawke’s beer as we heard the specs. Ford’s top-selling (in the US, at least) all-aluminium workhorse has had a 3.0L turbo-diesel stuck in it, a first for the light-duty ‘truck’; and a whole array of electrickery that seems to be pervading every single new vehicle on the planet. Kind of cool I guess; but seeing as it’s highly unlikely to make its way down to this neck of the world, not exactly getting us out of our seats and punching the air in triumph.
It seems the trend of everything getting smaller, more complicated and more difficult to modify continues. Once again we find ourselves yearning for a Tundra-spec HiLux, or a big V8 turbo-diesel Holden Colorado… at this point I’d settle for a larger dual-cab from anyone to take on Toyota’s legendary 70 Series. Sigh. Maybe next year?