Wow, talk about when worlds collide! In the last few years, things have certainly changed quite a bit in the automotive world. We went from large-displacement V8s with ever-increasing horsepower levels dominating the field to electric motivation from just about every auto manufacturer out there. When EVs first went mainstream, it was basically just Tesla with one car in a few different specs showing what could be possible.
Now, there are several companies throwing their hats into the arena, including the Big Three and more obscure startups like Rivian. If you’ve never heard of Rivian, it’s OK, because up to about a year ago, neither has your author. Rivian is currently marketing the R1T; a crew cab, all-wheel drive electric pickup with very unique styling and plenty of comfort and convenience features.
While RAM and Ford aren’t quite there yet, in the EV game, their current performance offerings aren’t exactly lacking, either. The longest-running model here is the Ford Raptor, packing a twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost engine and well over 400hp. That power level sounds pedestrian these days, but our host from Hagerty tells us that there’s a V8-powered Raptor R on the way.
For the Mopar crowd, the Hellcat-powered RAM TRX (a play on T-Rex, and an intended snub at the Raptor) brings with it 702hp and a lot of attitude. It’s the perfect combination of muscle truck and offroader; offering truckloads of both characteristics. Of course this comes with a hefty price of nearly $100,000, much like the aforementioned R1T.
Hagerty takes all three of these trucks and pits them against each other in the standing quarter-mile. With a Ford, Chrysler and Rivian present, what’s notably not present is an entry from General Motors. With the hardware already in place, one would think GM would grab an LT4 (650hp) or LT5 (755hp) out of its Chevrolet Performance inventory (or production facilities) and place it between the frame rails of a Silverado. But with the LT5 being completely phased out, and LT4s currently relegated to Camaro ZL1 and CT5-V Blackwing use, I guess they can’t fulfill that production need.
However, you can’t ignore one important fact; GM is the one that started the [modern] performance truck movement. Namely, the GMC Syclone. We’ve covered this truck many, many times before in AutoCentric Media and sister site GMEFI Magazine, but every time we get an opportunity to do so, we jump on it. Sure, the 454SS was already around, but it couldn’t quite match up with it, and then Ford brought the OG SVT-tuned F-150 to the party with the first-gen Lightning. Hagerty only put the Syclone up against the Raptor, but considering its age, it holds its own against the Ford in the 1320.’ The video is probably one of the best we’ve seen from Hagerty, with its awesome editing a dialogue. If you have a few, be sure to check it out.
Our takeaway from this clip is this:
1.) GM needs to get its head on straight and offer a real performance pickup again.
2.) They need to rematch these trucks once the Raptor R hits the streets.
3.) EVs have come a long way in the last decade, but how long will the batteries last in the Rivian? We point out that the Sylcone has been roaming the streets for over 30 years. Will we still see 2022 Rivian R1Ts doing the same in 2052? Many will say that it’s highly unlikely, due to the life of the batteries.