Truck Trend's leading editor Mark Williams was recently asked what where his five favorite trucks that stood out at the 2007 SEMA show. This is what he had to say…
Toyota Tundra Dually
If any truck at the show was a harbinger of things to come, this was it. Toyota is known for how tightly they control their concept vehicles; in fact, in a lot of cases, you can't even call their vehicle "concepts" because that could imply an expectation that it could happen. Everything we heard about the making of this truck made it sound over-the-top, but after seeing it in person, it seems like a no brainer. With the Tundra basically being a dressed up ¾-ton truck in ½-ton garb, why not jump straight into 1-ton-land—or even a 1 1/2-ton truck to compete with the other big truck warriors from Ford, Chevy, and Dodge. Maybe it won't have a Hino 8.0-liter I-6 or Ferrari interior but this should come.
Deberti Ford F-450
By far the most fun truck at the show, with so much splash-factor we almost didn't know whether it was actually a truck. A heavy-duty F-450 converted to front-wheel drive in order to drop the bed floor down through the rear axle? It's almost blasphemy! Until you see what that gives you—a huge cargo bed able to swallow large playtoys with a tiny ramp angle. Wow! This is the kind of thing that'll resonate in the heavy-duty pickup category for years to come. We may not see it for the next ten years, but we predict you'll see something offered by an OE that effectively does the same thing by 2017.
GMC Sierra Denali HD
With so much wild-and-craziness at the show, the more realistic trucks are bound to get lost in the fray. But one GM vehicle that stood out, mainly because there were at least two GMC reps stationed at the truck at all time gauging interest, was the "concept" Sierra HD 2500 Denali. GMC is having great success with the half-ton Sierra Denalis so this seems like a lock, especially since other heavy-duty trucks in the segment are making big profits for their brands. Owners that use a $50,000 trailer, sometime to haul cargo worth ten times that, aren't going to bat an eye at spending $50,000 for their tow vehicle. Expect it to be on a conventional HD platform with all the regular driveline and powertrain options. No doubt the interior to be top notch. Leave it to GM to toss in a real future model in with all the other sexed-up concept trucks.
Chevy Suburban 4.5-ltier diesel
Also falling into the Looks-real-but-not-yet category, the Suburban HD held a prime location in the GM booth this year and gave some observant passer-bys something to gawk at. It's no secret that GM is coming out with a smaller Duramax V-8, slated to make its way into all sorts of pickup truck and SUV applications in the near future. But this was the first time we've been able to see it in a real engine compartment and see some real horsepower and torque numbers. The spec plaque said the 4.5-liter turbodiesel is rated at 310-horsepower and 520 lb-ft of torque. That sounds a little low to us but this will surely make all the SUV buyers who like to tow very happy. It's been quite a few years since GM offered a fullsize SUV with a diesel and this will fill a nice void, and help with average fuel economy numbers as well.
Ford Adrenaline Sport Trac
Call me crazy but I have a soft spot in my heart for the Sport Trac. I can still remember with the Adrenaline concept debutted at the LA Auto almost 15 years ago when people that would be the next generation Ranger. In fact, it became the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, which was founded off the Explorer platform but fitted with a plastic molded "shorty" pickup bed in the back. This offered a quick way to get four fullsize doors onto a pickup right before the foor-door craze swept the U.S. pickup market. And now, Ford is bringing back the Adrenaline name on the Sport Trac and giving it a more street-truck look. Somehow it all works. It's lowered, has a V-8, you can get AWD, and the wheel and pipe accents make the truck look the best its ever looked.
By Mark Williams
Photos By Melissa Spiering