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This Week I'm Like a Detroit Duo: Work Less, Party Harder On Someone Else's $

Oddly enough, the huge American novelties this week did not include something cool from Stellantis. Maybe, unlike Ford and GM, they were all off on a summer tour alongside Jeep and Juventus FC.
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Whether you love American football or soccer, everyone understands automotive brands and sporting giants tend to mix well for the marketing figures, so there is nothing spectacular about Jeep and Juventus FC’s sponsorship. Unlike what happened at General Motors and Ford, where everything is on the edge of an off-road dune or the brink of electric performance.

Let me explain it away. The start of the week kicked off, big time, with the online introduction of the eagerly anticipated 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R and the full detail disclosure about the goodies of a new 2024 Chevy Blazer EV family of Ultium mid-size crossover SUV models. And, in my opinion, there are positive and negative aspects regarding this polar opposite Detroit duo – as well as some ‘read-between-the-lines’ marketing disasters.

Because the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R, with its supercharged V8 engine, was the first to appear from behind the OEM curtain, I will start with this dune-bashing and rock-crawling pickup truck. While the Blue Oval has wrapped this cool-looking 5.2-liter Predator with all sorts of off-road-defying ribbons, two main figures might break this eagerly-awaited truck which supposedly has enough pent-up demand to reach the Moon ahead of NASA.

First, why on Earth did they stop the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500-sourced V8 engine at “just” 700 hp when the older 2022 Ram Trucks 1500 TRX has a little more to brag about?! Yeah, there are just a couple of foals in between them, but the Predator engine is perfectly capable of blowing muscle car heads off at 760 hp.

So, why didn’t they just slap a 705-hp badge of honor and be done with it? Seriously, were they afraid of some high-performance pickup truck horsepower wars, or something? Well, I cannot wrap my mind around this, but it gets worse.

See the Ram online configurator and you will immediately notice that a 2022 TRX kicks off at a surging MSRP of $78,890. And this is where Ford should have come with the 2023 Raptor R underneath them. Instead, they dumbfounded eager customers with a $109k+ starting quotation to the point that virtual automotive artists started joking this truck can only haul bars of gold from now on

Meanwhile, GM made good on its promise to reveal more about the third component of the new Chevrolet Ultium family, presenting the fine print about the 2024 Chevy Blazer EV after we previously only knew the looks of the Silverado and Equinox EVs. Boy, did they miss an opportunity here, as well? The diehard K5 Blazer fans will never accept this as a proper spiritual successor, but GM should understand there is an entire ocean of potential clients that do not care about the unfulfilled K5-Wrangler-Bronco potential!

And they have a lot of 2024 Blazer EV to show for it. Starting with the “around” (their word, not mine) $45k 1LT starting price (available Q1 next year), which is sensible for a brand-new mid-size crossover SUV with zero emissions. And continuing with the fact that jumping over the 2LT ($47,595, on sale this summer) to the cool RS will get anyone a world of choice for “around” $51,995.

I do not even care about the first electric performance SS ($65,995, 557 horsepower, 290-mile/467 km range) and the impact it will have on vintage SS fans – just look at the poor Camaro and understand that GM had to do something. Instead, the real star of the show will be the RS trim option, which has the highest 320-mile (515 km) range and the option to go front-wheel-drive, AWD, or RWD! Now that is how you work less and party harder...



 
 
 
 
 

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