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News Briefs: GM, Ford, Toyota, Tires

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

From Bravada to Rainier
General Motors will transfer the Oldsmobile Bravada SUV to its Buick division, as it phases out Oldsmobile. Towing enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that the SUV, to be renamed Buick Rainier, will be available with a 5.3-liter V-8 engine rated at 285 hp. The Rainier should be available at dealerships later this year.

New Ford Diesel?
Strong rumors from Detroit indicate that Ford may be developing a new diesel engine for light-truck use. It is said to be a 4.5-liter V-6 engine built by Navistar, the same company that builds the Power Stroke Diesel V-8 for Ford. Look for it in the 2007 model year in an SUV or a midsize pickup.

Toyota 4Runner V-8
Trailerists will be glad to hear that the 2003 Toyota 4Runner SUV will be available with a V-8 as its top option. It will be a 4.7 liter rated at 240 hp, which is also used in the Tundra pickup. In addition, a unique new four-wheel-drive system willdirect power diagonally for maximum traction.

Tire-Pressure Monitors
Over the next five years, automakers will be able to choose which type of tire-pressure monitoring system to use on all vehicles. Some will use direct sensors in each tire, while others may use the wheel-speed sensors already part of the anti-lock brake system to detect low tires. The federal government originally recommended the use of direct-pressure sensing by 2007.

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