4th of July Auto News From Around The Web

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Happy 4th of July America! It’s been 232 years since we told the King of England to shove it, yet I still feel obliged to fight with every Briton I see. Now on to the news…

Mahindra's new pickup trucks.

Mahindra’s new pickup trucks for the U.S. market feature 4-cylinder diesel engines with 300 lb-ft of torque and 30 mpg. The will arrive in the U.S. this time next year.

What the *hell* is a Mahindra? – You’re going to hear a lot of people say this in the next year, and since you’re reading this you’ll know the answer. Mahindra is an Indian company that builds quite a few trucks and SUVs in India. They’re going to export a smallish pickup truck with a 4 cylinder diesel engine to the US, starting in late 2009. Cost isn’t known yet, but the consensus is the trucks will start around $20k. Fuel economy is supposed to be good too – 20-30 MPG. The engine is rumored to have 150hp and 300lb-ft of torque, and Mahindra claims they will be offering a diesel-electric hybrid option in 2010. While quality concerns and name recognition will keep this brand from selling big volumes right away, the combination of great gas mileage and low cost might be enough to entice a lot of consumers.

2009 Dodge Ram – Dodge has been trickling out information about the new Ram, but the biggest news is that the next-gen 5.7 HEMI will feature 390 HP, making it officially more powerful than the Tundra. Oh well. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s actually faster. Perhaps more interestingly, the new Ram is going to feature a 5-link coil spring rear suspension. The 5-link coil setup is supposed to ride much like a car while still providing lots of payload capability. We’re going to dive into this more later, but GM actually tried this once before back in the 1960’s…

Dodge MegaCab is done.

Dodge Dropped the “MegaCab” – Evidently, the “Mega” cab Dodge was a mega-bust. Customers didn’t care for the fact the truck wouldn’t fit in their garage. If only Dodge had figured out a way to make a big backseat in a crew cab without making the truck huge. Perhaps they should have called Toyota for advice?

We predict GM will be selling the Hummer brand in the next year. – With the new truck market falling rapidly, GM is burning through $1 billion a month in cash. In fact, they’re so strapped they’re going to have to sell off a major asset just to have enough capital to make it through the next couple of years. Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover (and they’re probably selling Volvo too) for the same reason, so it’s safe to assume GM will dump Hummer for a few billion. Chrysler is also supposedly considering selling Jeep, but we don’t think that will happen. Remember, you read it here first – GM will sell Hummer.

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