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Saturday, November 11

Pickup Spot: Expensive gas, now James Inhofe and Korea - are Trucks screwed?

First, a bit of poli-sci background. James Inhofe was, until just after the mid-terms, chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Because he doesn't beleive in global warming, American drivers have cheerfully been left alone when it came to cutting down on ice cap-melting V8s. And that was pretty good...for us, not the ice caps. Screw those.

Now, James, who compared Al Gore's whale hugging, tree kissing, flick to Hitler's Mein Kompf, is gone. And a democrat is taking his place. Good for the environment, bad for big, fat, fun trucks. Are trucks in trouble? Will we still be able to highlight the quality with which we f*ck using the immense size of our truck? We'll see.

In the meantime, here's the latest in truckdom:

We've been looking forward to the H3T - based on the concept GM showed off like three years ago, before the H3 was even out (left). Now, it looks like we're getting closer to production. And the pictures just posted on AutoBlog (below) made our mouths fill with vomit, as dHummer H3T concept truckreams of our new Hummer H3T pickup fizzled away. Might as well just get a Ranger.

Jeep, meanwhile, also gave up its concept truck ambitions and settled for a bit of welding to chop down the Wrangler into a Wrangler with a pickup bed. Again, the concept - cool. The actual truck we'll be seeing soon? Well, you have to really like the front end of Wranglers (as I do) to give a crap. We've got high hopes for the extended cab. There's no room for stuff behind the seats in this one Plus, let's home a real-Jeep-style soft top is coming too. The convertible Dakotas are getting pretty old, we need a convertible truck! (SSR is not a truck)

Finally, check out what the Koreans are threatening us with now. No, it's not a brilliant white light being the last thing we all see before being vaporised. That's a different Korea. South Korea just plan to nuke America's truck industry. As opposed to Jeep and Hummer, this is the real demilitirized zone right here:

Instead of playing soldier, the concept sketches from Kia and Hyundai look like Titan-style pickups where you sit on leather watching big screens not playing G.I.Joe in a truck based on another truck based on a civilian version of an army truck.