This issue is our annual ode to the OEM community, namely through extensive truck and SUV testing. While the Truck of the Year results may not surprise many readers, the SUV of the Year winner might surprise you. Trust us, when we tallied the numbers, no one was more astonished than myself. Anyway, I will not give away the results. You will simply have to search within these pages to determine exactly which one won the ever-prestigious 2008 Truckin' Truck and SUV of the Year awards.
This year provided new challenges for road-test and Staff Editor Mark Halvorsen. Mark wanted the tests to be different from prior years, so after exhaustive study and research (alright over a lunch one day), he devised the perfect plan for the road trip. Several days were spent getting the ever-popular seat-of-the-pants driving impressions, then the remainder of the time was spent getting empirical data, such as 1/4-mile drag-strip numbers. Also, there was the new added element, every truck was sent to a chassis dyno shop to determine if the actual peak horsepower and torque ratings were accurate. To our surprise, there were slight variations. Keep in mind, the numbers provided by the automotive manufacturers are achieved at the crankshaft, while we were recording numbers derived from the rear wheels. However, getting out our old trusty Auto Math Handbook, there is an equation that takes this into account to accurately gauge crank horsepower and torque. Again, the studies were somewhat interesting. Our story better explains this. We also have video up on or Truckin' website, www.truckinweb.com, as well, so all our readers can see what the testing was like and under what conditions it was conducted.
Also, as of this writing, the entire automotive enthusiast world is either finishing up on SEMA projects or making final preparations to attend the show in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. While the show isn't open to the general public, it really is a show of all our aftermarket and OEM auto peers. It is also where our editors will gain valuable insights into the ways of the future in aftermarket automotive trends. I am sure this year will be no exception. But, you will have to wait on this until we actually get to the show and report back in the next issue.