Hi All: A few updates as the spring of 2017 wears on. I will be attending the Shell Eco-Marathon in Detroit between Thursday April 27th and Sunday April 30th, 2017. To get there, I will be first transporting a 2017 RAM 2500 HD with the 6.4L V8 between San Diego and Denver as it is needed out there for the Colorado and surrounding states based Journalists hands. 2017 RAM 2500 HD Preview A RAM 2500 HD ready to tow a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Float in NY City. With a 2017 Nissan Titan and its 5.6L Advance V8 gas engine scheduled for next week, this 2017 RAM 2500 HD in RWD format should be a good comparison. I am actually expecting the Titan's V8 gas engine to outperform the 5.0L V8 Cummins turbo diesel given the poor results that drivetrain provided last year. Of course the RAM is a much more durable HD work platform given its 3/4-Ton underpinnings and design. RAM has not let us down on the efficiency front with the 3.6L V6 Pentastar (Ram Goes To War And Lets Loose A NUKE – As in 25 mpgUS highway! and 2013 RAM 1500 HFE Arrives Soon), 3.0L V6 EcoDiesel (2014 RAM 1500 EcoDiesel Heads West), or 6.7L Cummins I6 (RAM HD with the Cummins Targets Death Valley). The 6.4L V8 with its own brand of efficiency measures may shine too. The RAM 2500 HD we will be driving is the same truck that took part in the PUTC shootout a few weeks ago and I posted the other day. Our efficiency numbers and accuracy should be a better comparison although their Nissan Titan was the XD variant with the 5.6L V8 mated to a 7-speed AT under the hood and cab during the PUTC testing. A good write-up by Mark Williams nonetheless. 2017 Ford Super Duty ¾ Ton Work Truck Challenge, Bests RAM, Chevrolet and Nissan Given PUTCs use of the RAM 2500 HD loaded and unloaded over a short 111 mile highway stint, I will derive an accurate aFCD offset and surely achieve much higher results over the two day, 1,100 mile drive. Before leaving however, I will complete the steady states and use the offset from the actual drive to graph it after the fact. It should be a good comparison to the 3.93 rear end equipped 2017 Titan with the 5.6L Advanced engine in the std. cab 1/2 ton. On the efficiency front that is. Since we are talking 3.4-ton, the 2500 HD frame uses high-strength 50,000 psi steel, including eight separate roll-formed cross-members, hydroformed main rails and fully boxed rear rails for optimal strength, rigidity, and low mass. The rear of the frame includes fully boxed rear rails and a factory-installed rear axle cross-member with provisions for fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches. Body-to-frame hydro-mounts help to improve ride quality. RAM 2500 Drivetrain in Detail In detail, the RAM 2500 HD equipped w/ the 410 hp and 429 lb.-ft. of torque 6.4L Hemi mated to the std. HD 6-speed AT and 4.10 rear end is a segment leader in a number of areas. Its Payload and Towing cap of 3,990 and 16,320 lbs. respectively are simply over the top as expected for the 3/4 Ton class. The Ram 2500 with the 6.4L Hemi V8 gas engine can also be equipped with a dual-alternator system which combines a 220 and base 160-amp unit for 380 amps of total output. Our truck is equipped with an upgraded but single 180-amp unit. The 2017 Ram HD also features the Ram Active Air intake system. When the intake system senses extreme heat, it draws cooler air from the front of the vehicle. It also engages at high altitudes - the 11,158 ft elevation of the Eisenhower tunnel on I-70 we will be passing though comes to mind - for superior throttle response in low oxygen environments. When conditions are wet from snow, ice or water-fording, the system pulls air from an under-hood inlet, clear from snow packing and water. And finally, because of the RAM 2500 HD's 6.4L V8 includes 4-cylinder deactivation technology, it should help with the drive uphill between San Diego and Denver although the optional and installed on this RAM HDs 4.10 rear ratio will probably hurt the overall somewhat. With the optional on our truck P275/70R18s, the 4.10 rear end still allows a reasonable 1574 RPMs (calculated) at 60 mph. We will see soon enough. Another super truck meant to complete a lot of real work. 2017 RAM 2500 HD Reg. Cab RWD Tradesman with the 8' Bed and 6.4L Hemi V8 Monroney Once in Denver, I hop on a plane to Midway in Chicago where I pick up a 2017 Toyota Prius Two Eco for the final stint to the Shell Eco-Marathon in Detroit. 2017 Toyota Prius Two Eco A short stop along the Lake Michigan shoreline in mid-winter. What is unique about this Eco-Marathon is that I will be placing the Toyota Prius Two Eco, the Prius Prime, and a Murai on the same track as the Urban Concepts and Prototype vehicles and set the bar for the High School and University teams from across North, Central and South America to target in their completely school built super cars. Toyota i-Road In addition, students will be able to take a spin in the cool as hell Toyota i-Road single person, last few miles of mobility all-electric three wheelers on the indoor track when they are not busy working on their project cars.