America's most beloved segment will hot up in 2022.
Naming the trucks we're looking forward to the most in 2022 seems a bit futile following the most significant truck introduction of all in 2021. Yup, the Rivian R1T is quite possibly the most crucial vehicle launched since the Tesla Model S.
It's well established by now that America loves trucks. The three top-selling vehicles are all trucks, and as much as certain people are still in denial, the switch to electric power is inevitable. Timelines have been set, the government is spending billions on charging stations, and consumer buy-in increases by the year.
Being the first out of the gate is a massive achievement, considering Rivian didn't even exist ten years ago. That first R1T rolling off the factory floor was a gigantic slap in the faces of Ford, Ram, Chevrolet, and Tesla.
Still, some fantastic beasts are coming in 2022, and most of them are still powered by good, old-fashioned, tiny, controlled explosions.
Ram launched the 700-hp 1500 TRX, an overpowered truck built for jumping over stuff.
Ford looked over and thought, "Hey, that's our thing."
That's the reason we're getting the Raptor R, plain and simple. Ram threw a gauntlet down and Ford responded with a mighty V8-powered Raptor. We're betting Ford will give the R model-specific exterior features, including a loud set of tailpipes.
As for the V8, we don't know much. If we had to dream, we'd hope for a slightly detuned version of the Mustang Shelby GT500's V8. It produces 760 hp, but the Raptor R only needs around 710 to beat the TRX in the numbers game.
We already spent some time behind the wheel earlier this year, and the all-new Tundra is a giant step in the right direction. The old-school naturally aspirated V8 has been dropped in favor of a new twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. It produces more power yet uses way less gas. The driving experience is also much smoother, thanks to a new 10-speed gearbox and a hugely refined suspension setup.
The styling might not be to everyone's liking, but the interior is stunning. For once, the Tundra has all of the modern features and can easily go toe-to-toe with the best out there.
Ford may be slightly late to the party, but when you look at the F-150 Lightning, you realize why it took such a long time to develop. Instead of rushing to be the first off the line, Ford ensured that its EV pickup would live up to the standard set by the top-selling vehicle in the USA.
The Lightning is a workhorse, capable of carrying 2,000 pounds in its bed and towing 10,000 lbs. It can also take another 400 lbs of luggage in the frunk, with four electric outputs for powering anything requiring up to 2.4 kilowatts.
Ford set the Lightning apart from other F-150s by giving it an LED strip that runs across the car's front end, which seems to be a standard feature on all electric trucks. The interior is also modern and equipped with every feature an owner could want.
The top-spec Platinum comes with 563 horsepower, 775 lb-ft of torque, and a 300-mile range. A full charge from a standard home socket takes eight hours, while fast charging takes it from 15 to 80% in 40 minutes.
Chevrolet is a bit late to the go-faster, jumping-over-stuff truck segment with the Silverado ZR2, but at least it's here.
Like the F-150 Raptor, it comes with a powerful engine and an overhauled suspension that can take a solid hit.
The recent pricing reveal is a bit of a concern, however. We knew about the naturally aspirated 420-hp V8, which was perfectly fine under the assumption that it would be cheaper than the Raptor. But a source recently revealed that the ZR2 would start at $65k, which is around $1,000 more.
The Chevy has a more impressive set of off-road-related figures and its more admirable infotainment system. Also, we won't make a judgment call until we've driven the thing. Who knows? It may wipe the floor with the Raptor and the TRX, based purely on how it handles.
Let's be honest about the previous ICE Hummer. It was a bit of a symbol for unnecessary excess, and it was a horrible car. Why torture yourself that way just to make a statement? We thought GM closed the book on Hummer and never expected the brand to make a comeback, least of all as an EV.
The EV version is still an excessive car. It's powered by three electric motors producing 1,000 hp and 11,500 lb-ft of torque. GMC claims it can drive over 350 miles on a single charge.
Our favorite figure is the curb weight, however. This truck weighs 9,046 lbs yet can hit 60 mph in three seconds. President Biden recently got a taste of the power, and it seems like this truck has plenty to give. We hope it has good brakes as well. The thought of 9,000 lbs hitting 60 mph in three seconds scares us silly.
We haven't heard from Bollinger in a while, so we're not entirely sure whether this one will happen, but the B2 looks promising. What we do know is coming is a new Jeep Gladiator Tornado, a truck with a new top-secret engine. We're also looking forward to the Ford Ranger, but we've been told to expect it to only arrive at showrooms in mid-2023. Still, that could be an earlier date than the long-awaited Tesla Cybertruck, but at least we have little gems like the Hyundai Santa Cruz, Ford Maverick, and the GMC Terrain. A refreshed Nissan Frontier and a 10th Anniversary Edition of the Ram 1500 are also expected to arrive next year. The F-150 may be America's favorite truck today, but that could easily change tomorrow. With all these choices, you'd have to be silly not to consider all options.
The new Ford Ranger looks like a stunning compact pickup, and we can totally see why it cost Ford $1 billion.
It will launch with an entirely new line-up of engines, including a powerful turbocharged V6 diesel. The new Ranger also looks good, and the interior seems to be quite luxurious. We're also excited about the possibility of a Ranger Raptor finally coming to the USA.
The only problem is that Ford is focusing on the Ranger's biggest markets first. Countries like Thailand, Australia, and South Africa will start manufacturing the new Ranger long before America.
The local assembly line in Michigan will only be ready in mid-2023, but would we have to wait that long? The Ranger plant in South Africa builds left-hand-drive models, so they might as well send some over here...
Probably not. The Cybertruck was supposed to arrive this year, but less than 48 hours are left.
Will it arrive next year, or ever for that matter? Well, let's put it this way: The factory that's supposed to build it is still being built. And that's before you even get to the outrageous styling that can't possibly pass any safety legislation. And Elon keeps changing fundamental things about the car on Twitter, which you can't engineer overnight.
The more important question is this: Does the Cybertruck even matter anymore. Given Ford and Rivian's progress, the Cybertruck seems irrelevant.
We hope Tesla proves us wrong.