There's been a lot of speculation that some upcoming midsize and even half-ton trucks may go to some form of a unibody chassis for weight savings and fuel economy. Would you consider a unibody "truck" or would you move up to a 3/4 or 1-ton to retain a body-on-frame design, which is widely acknowledged to be easier to modify and customize?
We all know what a huge success this concept was with the humpback whale like Honda Ridgeback, I mean Ridgeline. Trucks will never regain quite their level of popularity as regular transportation devices if gas prices remain as they are. Plus, I doubt that a unibody chassis would give more than a 4 mpg boost to a truck. Most Ridgelines (and sister MDX/Pilot models) get on average 13-15mpg. Just my two scheckles.
Yeah, but percentage wise, 4 mpg is about 20 percent. May not seem like much, but when you're looking at it from the OE perspective of CAFE and everything, it adds up.
to me, a truck is body on frame. I would consider a unibody, but not a unibody truck. Weight savings and fuel economy? A truck is a truck...it doesn't have to be everything to everyone and appeal to everyone.
Well, based on some of the rumors I've heard, a lot of the next-generation compact and midsize trucks may be moving to a unibody platform. I guess the main point I'd make is...unless there's a SUBSTANTIAL weight or fuel-economy savings, I really don't see the point into choosing a unibody chassis over BOF, at least as far as trucks/SUVs. Some examples that come to mind of just the opposite are the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, vs. the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban. The VW and Porsche weigh nearly as much as the Suburban, but are substantially smaller, and have lower towing capacities. Not to mention they're not as fuel-efficient. So, if you're talking about going unibody 'cause "everybody's doing it"...big thumbs-down from me. But if it's demonstrably more efficient with minimal degradation of capability, then I'd be willing to consider it.
My van is a unibody and the 61-67 Econoline pickups were unibodies. I get 26 MPH and the van is extremely easy to work on.
Mike CookVice PresidentInland Vans Berdoo2008 Route 66 Hall of Fame Inductee
Hi Mike! Hope you had a good Thanksgiving. I know unibody vans date back to the '60s, and proved very solid and rugged. I'm talking specifically about pickups. SUVs are already well down the unibody route. While I'm still not a big fan of it, I will give Honda some credit for putting its neck out and building the Ridgeline, although it seems consumer reception to it so far has been lukewarm.
Insurance companies will push for the uni-body design. I remember in 97 I bought a 94 Z28 and my insurance was cheaper on it than the 95 Sonoma Extended Cab 2wd 4 cyl. that was my daily driver. It had nothing to do with usage - my insurance agent explained that the rate is based on the amount of damage MY vehicle will inflict on another vehicle in an accident. The truck's full frame would cause more damage to the other cars involved. What a joke! Ultimately that would make it a safer vehicle - you'd think that would be a plus.It doesn't help that the government now holds more than 51% stock in GM - that is scary! Think about the implications!
I really like it. All of these uni-body trucks look awesome! Now days everybody started making these trucks bigger and bigger. There is a truck that looks almost exactly like your drawing and has many of the features you ask for, this is Mahindra Navistar. The Navistar is now part of my family and my business. I love this truck. Great styling, cool features.