Power Horizon: New Trucks & SUVs for 2015 — And Beyond

Ram 1500 Rebel (c) Perry SternNew Trucks and SUVs
Today’s trucks and sport-utility vehicles share humble roots as hard-working vehicles that have evolved to offer consumers everyday utility, high-end luxury and peak performance. In the 1990s truck and SUV popularity skyrocketed beyond mere utility, and they continue their streak into 2015 and beyond. Combine a recovering economy, declining gas prices and a desire to fill every possible market niche and you get automakers eager to unleash all kinds of new trucks and SUVs to ardent consumers. Let’s see what’s on the horizon.

2016 Audi Q7 (c) Perry Stern2016 Audi Q7
Audi’s next-generation 7-passenger SUV debuted at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, revealing new exterior and interior designs. The Q7 retains similar exterior dimensions but with more headroom, shoulder room and legroom inside. The interior features clean, simple lines with less buttons and more technology controls, including a modular infotainment system and Audi virtual cockpit. Offered with standard quattro all-wheel drive, the 2016 Q7 will be powered by either a new 3.0-liter V6 TDI clean diesel or a 3.0-liter TFSI gas engine when it goes on sale in the first quarter of 2016. Pricing will be announced later.

Ford F-150 Raptor (c) Perry SternFord F-150 Raptor
Modeled after desert-racing off-road trucks and designed to be the ultimate high-performance off-road pickup, the second-generation Ford F-150 Raptor is 6 inches wider than a standard F-150. Underpinned by an all-new high-strength steel frame unique to Raptor, the body is made of military-grade aluminum alloy to save more than 500 pounds. The Raptor features a new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that produces more power than the outgoing 6.2-liter V8. It has a 10-speed automatic transmission, paddle shifters, FOX Racing Shox and 4-wheel drive with a new torque-on-demand transfer case. Although pricing is not available yet, Raptor goes on sale in the fall of 2016.

2016 Lincoln MKX (c) Perry Stern2016 Lincoln MKX
Lincoln’s new exterior design language translates to the midsize MKX crossover with a complementary flowing interior design. Push-button gear selection allows the instrument panel to flow into the center console with dual-tier storage. A new optional 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 engine will deliver more than 330 horsepower and 370 lb-ft of torque; a 300-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 is standard. Front-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel drive optional; new Revel audio systems are available. MKX pricing will be announced later; it goes on sale in the fall of 2015.

Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe (c) Perry SternMercedes-Benz GLE63 AMG Coupe 
Powered by a 577-horsepower AMG 5.5-liter V8 biturbo engine, the Mercedes-Benz GLE63 AMG Coupe is a new 4-door coupe SUV aimed directly at the BMW X6 M. High-performance ride and handling are delivered with AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with active roll stabilization ACTIVE CURVE SYSTEM and the Sports Direct-Steer system. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission offers five transmission modes, with power delivered through 4MATIC all-wheel drive with rear-biased power distribution. Following the GLE Coupe will be the GLE 4-door with a traditional SUV roofline, replacing the M-Class. The first GLEs go on sale later this year.

2016 Nissan TITAN (c) Perry Stern2016 Nissan TITAN
A new full-size pickup that debuted in Detroit, the 2016 Nissan TITAN XD is powered by a new Cummins 5.0L V8 Turbo Diesel rated at 310 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque. The TITAN XD will offer an available maximum towing capacity of more than 12,000 pounds and an available gooseneck hitch integrated into the frame. Additional available equipment includes RearView Monitor with Trailer Guides, Around View Monitor with Moving Object Detection and a Trailer Light Check. The TITAN XD is the first in a new generation of TITAN models. It goes on sale late 2015. Details of the full TITAN lineup will also be announced later this year.

2015 Ram 1500 Rebel (c) Perry Stern2015 Ram 1500 Rebel
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently unwrapped the Rebel, a new off-road package for the full-size Ram 1500 pickup. Debuting at the Detroit Auto Show, Rebel features a distinctive grille with billet silver RAM lettering, exclusive air suspension with raised ride height, new 17-inch aluminum wheels with 33-inch Toyo Open Country A/T all-terrain tires, skid plates, tow hooks and Power Wagon wheel arch moldings. Rebel is available with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 in either 2-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive, or with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 in 4-wheel drive only. Rebel goes on sale in the second half of 2015 with pricing to be announced later.

2016 Toyota Tacoma (c) Perry Stern2016 Toyota Tacoma
Toyota Tacoma has been the best-selling midsize truck for the last ten years. The new  Tacoma adds high-strength steel to the frame,  improving rigidity and strength. Ultra-high-strength steel gets added to the body shell using a new hot stamping process to reduce weight. The new Tacoma will be powered by either a 2.7-liter 4-cylinder engine or an all-new 3.5-liter Atkinson cycle V6 with Toyota’s D-4S technology, featuring both direct and port fuel injection. Two-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive are offered among five different trim levels: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road and Limited. The 2016 Tacoma goes on sale later this year.

Volvo S60 Cross Country (c) Perry SternVolvo S60 Cross Country
Following the recent introduction of the V60 Cross Country wagon, Volvo introduced the S60 Cross Country sedan at the Detroit Auto Show. Since its introduction in 1997, the V70 Cross Country has been Volvo’s all-wheel drive wagon with increased ride height and all-road capability. The S60 Cross Country shares the 2.5-inch increased ride height, all-wheel drive and design cues with the V60 Cross Country wagon. Powered by a 250-horsepower turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, the S60 Cross Country offers both 18-inch and 19-inch wheels with higher profile tires. The S60 Cross Country will be available in the second quarter of 2015.

Volvo XC90 R-Design (c) Perry SternVolvo XC90 R-Design
The Volvo XC90 R-Design is the newest version of the all-new XC90, aimed at the enthusiast driver looking for a dynamic appearance and sporty performance. Powered by a choice of E-Drive powertrains offering up to 400 horsepower, the XC90 R-Design includes a revised grille, more aggressive front valance, matte silver mirrors and revised rear valance. At the Detroit Auto Show, the XC90 R-Design was finished in an aggressive matte blue. Inside this special XC90 are R-Design sport seats finished in Nubuck textile and perforated leather. The XC90 R-Design will be available in the second quarter of 2015.

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