Ford ruled the headlines recently with the announcement of a baby Raptor, which can’t quite growl like the mamma monster with its twin-turbo V6, but it’s getting there little yelps and burps from a four-cylinder diesel.

News of the 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor is welcome indeed, because mid-size pick-up trucks are tremendously fun vehicles to own. You never realise how much you need a pick-up until you own one and suddenly start making up all sorts of excuses to use it — “Honey, I think I need to go back and buy just one more tonne of polished driveway gravel…”

 

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Trucks in general are on the up and of course the Ford F-150 still plods along as the best-selling vehicle in the US.

Speaking of the land of baseball, hot dogs and apple pie, there’s been more development in America on the trucking front. Both Chevrolet and Chrysler scrambled to make some newsworthy trucks right after Detroit rival Ford announced the Ranger Raptor earlier, and really, in some cases, we use the term newsworthy very loosely.

For example let’s start with the Chevrolet Traverse RS. Of course, Chevrolet’s RS tag dates back decades and stands for Rally Sport. Putting that badge on a truck, or more accurately, a family crossover, is really a case of the marketing people clutching at straws. But clutch they did and they’re not letting go — the Traverse RS has 20in wheels, a bunch of blacked-out trim, a lot of black leather, a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine pushing out over 250 horsepower, and a price tag of around Dh160K in the States.

Chrysler, or rather Dodge, answered Ford’s Ranger Raptor taunt a bit more fittingly than Chevrolet. Dodge dropped the details of the new 2019 Durango SRT which boasts authentic carbon fibre instead of fake carbon fibre they’ll have you know, and the familiar V8 Hemi engine producing 475 authentic horsepower for a quarter-mile time of 12.9 authentic seconds. Also, stripes…

Third and last is a truck shown off by Ram, the brand having modified a 1500 Mopar edition model with a 2.0in lift kit, dome wide wheel arch extensions, off-road beadlock-capable wheels and some running boards to go as well. They just did it to show what you can do when you delve deep into Mopar’s parts catalogue, and the result is pretty nifty but it’s still no baby Raptor.

Either way it’s a good time to be into trucks at the moment. 

 

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