Quarter-Mile Loaded Assessment
Hooking up a 6,500-pound trailer changed things up for the trucks, especially the GM trucks and the Tundra. With the extra weight on its tail, the Tundra settled down into an excellent power puller. The shift points in the transmission also changed, moving into the 3,400-3,700 rpm range at wide-open throttle, down from the mid-4,000s. This was closer to the Tundra’s low-3,600 rpm peak torque curve than the 4,300 rpm in the GM pickups. The Tundra’s 4.30 rear axle and lower combined drive ratios through all six gears helped the Tundra take off and keep its lead from start to finish. Still, the gap between the fastest and slowest of the Tundra and the GM trucks was only .36 seconds and .55 mph. We predict the GM trucks will be faster in this test in mid-2009, when GM adds a 3.73 rear axle option for the 6.2-liter V-8. This should make wide-open throttle launches easier for the GM pickups.
The Nissan Titan and Dodge Ram paired up closely again, but the loaded Titan edged out the Ram by .36 seconds and .6 mph. The Ram was never able to recover from the steep 1st/2nd gear swap.
The Ford F-150 lost its axle hop once the trailer was attached, but it also lost power. The 5.4-liter V-8 never broke the 70 mph barrier, like the other trucks did. The time gap between the F-150 and the fastest truck remained virtually the same during both runs, a constant 1.4 seconds slower than first place.
Next: Hill Climb