One of the central attractions at the 2016 Detroit motor show is the Nissan concept the Titan Warrior, the latest iteration of their flagship pick-up truck.
The Warrior concept is equipped with a powertrain system from the current Titan XD, which combines a 5.0-liter V8 diesel and six-speed automatic transmission.
But the Warrior is fitted with a custom suspension, and other upgrades, including new control arms, a new rear sway bar, and internal bypass reservoir shocks.
Wider fenders add six inches to the Titan’s width, but Nissan has tapered the front to accommodate redesigned headlights and taillights.
The front fascia features a big skid plate at the bottom, and the styling carries to the side sills and around the exhaust.
Throughout last year, output capacity for Toyota, Lexus, and Scion was equally divided between trucks and cars, with a slight increase in December when trucks accounted for 53 percent.
The automaker is already speeding up its Texas assembly line to build more pickups and ordering more RAV4 crossovers from Canada, while the Indiana plant is due to boost its pace by adding another 30,000 Highlander crossovers to the output in spring.
“We are moving production as rapidly as we can. We’re making a bunch of small adjustments that allow us to pick up 10,000 here, 20,000 there, 30,000 there,” Lentz explained.
However, Toyota is acting more cautiously than other automakers, having no intention to push production to unjustified levels, Lentz said.
“I can’t tell you how long gas prices will stay low. All it takes again is something getting sunk in the Straits of Hormuz, and the price of gas changes overnight. I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket.”
The RAV4 was awarded a top truck insurance rating by the IIHS and offers best in class fuel economy for an increasingly mature and ethically aware market.
Evidence of this emerging, socially-conscious market can be found in Orange County, where it is reported that residents are using their household biowaste — citrus peels, lawn clippings, and chicken bones, for example — as a clean energy source for federal trucks.
The Orange County Register reported Monday that six months ago, the Costa Mesa Sanitary District started asking residents to separate kitchen scraps and yard waste so the materials could help make fuel.
It’s the first such program in Southern California, and public response has been strong. So far, more than seven million pounds of material that would have gone to the landfill has been recycled.
Instead of heading for the trash, the scraps are trucked to a compost pile in the desert. Starting next month, they will be fed into an anaerobic digester that creates a brew that gives off biogas. That gas will be used to power the trucks that hauled the waste.
The government is helping create a market for the material. California has a goal of diverting 75 percent of waste from landfills, and the California Air Resources Board plans to consider regulations that would eliminate organic waste from landfills by 2025.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]