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02.17.2015
Top Five Truck Rumors

The automotive industry is full of rumors and speculations. Some of these rumors come and go quickly, while others seem to go on and on for years. And yes, sometimes they actually come true. Here are a five of the hottest rumors from the truck world at the moment. Do you think these will ever happen?

Toyota Tacoma Diesel

5. Toyota Will Offer a Diesel Tacoma
We know there are a lot of people who love diesel pickups. However, no manufacturer has offered diesel pickup smaller than a Ram 1500 for in years for the North American market. There have been rumors about a Toyota Tacoma diesel for a while; we’ve even speculated on in it in the past. However, the latest crop of rumors is now suggesting this won’t happen, at least for 2016. According to The Torque Report, there won’t be a diesel in the new-for-2016 Tacoma. In the article, Toyota points to costs associated with emissions control. Will it ever happen? Only Toyota knows.

Toyota Pickup with Bushwacker Extend-A-Fender Flares

4. The Compact Pickup Is Coming Back
In the 1980s and 1990s, Chevrolet, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Toyota all offered compact pickups. Good on gas and easy to drive, these trucks were great for many buyers. However, tastes change and small pickups have fallen out of favor. (Then again, they’re hard to be popular if no one is selling them.) The smallest trucks out there now are mid-sized Tacomas and Colorados, but they’re hardly the compact pickups of yesteryear. Despite the spike in gas prices a few years ago, manufacturers haven’t got back to small trucks. And now with gas prices being fairly low, perhaps there isn’t truly a market anymore.

rancho-jk8-jeep-pickup

3. Jeep Will Build a Pickup
The last time Jeep offered a pickup was its Comanche (MJ), which ceased production in 1992. Of course, there was also the Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler, which was made until 1986. Jeep has shown concepts, offered the JK8 conversion through its Mopar division, but has not said its making a Wrangler-based pickup—or any other vehicle with a bed—for that matter. Luckily, for those that have to have a Jeep pickup, there is the aforementioned JK8 as well as companies, such as AEV, which offers its amazing Brute.

2017-jeep-wrangler-concept-art

2. The Next Jeep Wrangler Will Have IFS
The Jeep Wrangler is selling like crazy; they can hardly build them fast enough, and will be a tough act to follow. Any time the beloved Wrangler gets changed, people worry it’ll lose its character and stray from its roots. When the next Wrangler debuts as a 2017 model, is it possible the vehicle would have an independent front suspension and stray from the beloved solid axle setup? Here’s the deal: Solid axles are heavy, and heavy mean lower fuel economy. Plus, IFS allows for a more comfortable ride and better on-road handling. Some race vehicles at the King of The Hammers are using IFS (and even fully independent suspension systems!). However, the solid axle setup has been a feature that makes the Wrangler one of the most off-road capable vehicles on sale today and is love by millions of Jeep fans world wide. There was some good news for solid-axle fans yesterday, too.

New Ford Bronco

1. Ford Will Offer a New Bronco
Ford stopped Bronco production in 1996 (we still offer flares for them, however). Then at the 2004 New York International Auto Show, the company showed off a retro Bronco concept, and ever since then there’s been wild speculation that the iconic nameplate is coming back. Having seen that ’04 concept in person, it is definitely awesome. And with the success of Ford’s high-performance Raptor as well as its anticipated 2015 F-150, we’ve seen unofficial Bronco renderings with bits of both vehicles (see above). With the popularity of car-based crossovers and a total lack of two-door SUVs on the U.S. market (sans the Jeep Wrangler), it is unlikely will see a Bronco anytime soon—at least not the Bronco off-road enthusiasts might have in mind. We do think the above rendering is pretty awesome, nonetheless.