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DALLAS  |  MORE Arrow
DALLAS Arrow

The State Fair of Texas: Food, Football, Trucks, and Big Tex

Another part of the State Fair of Texas that's almost as huge as iconic Big Tex is the manufacturer's truck display.

The Texas State Fair officially opened its gates this past weekend, so that means roughly 3-4 million visitors will be making their annual visit to historic Fair Park to see everyone’s favorite Texan, Big Tex.  Big Tex epitomizes everything Texas from his 95-gallon cowboy hat to his 33-foot-long belt and his 1949 Lucchese-design size-96 boots.


But as much as Big Tex is a State Fair icon, there is another part of the Fair that is almost as big; and that would be the annual manufacturer truck display which is currently 175,000 square feet of outdoor space. That space would be much larger if the manufacturers had their way, considering the way they routinely discuss how important the Texas truck market is to their success. Ford Truck Group Marketing Manager Doug Scott stated that 17% of their F series is sold in Texas, so you can see why manufacturers typically wait until the State Fair of Texas to release new editions or concept trucks they are thinking of building.


RAM Rebel Concept


To start off media day at the State Fair of Texas, Jim Morrison, head of Ram North America, unveiled Ram’s newest concept, the Ram Rebel TRX ½ ton truck. With 575hp of supercharged V-8 Hemi horsepower, this concept 4x4 truck will create sky-high rooster tails similar to those produced by homemade rail racers you see in the swamps or deserts. The Ram engineers did a yeoman's job putting this concept truck together in a very short time specifically for the State Fair show.


RAM-Rebel-TRX-Concept

The Ram Rebel TRX concept truck is a 100mph off-road ½-ton; so get in, sit down, and hang on.

RAM-Rebel-TRX-Concept

The supercharged 6.2L HEMI® V-8 with 575 hp is the most powerful factory-engineered half-ton pickup ever.


Since the Rebel doesn't make the full 707 Hemi horsepower of the Charger or Challenger, technically you really can’t call the TRX a Hellcat truck, but the 6.2L V-8 Hemi cranks out enough horsepower and torque that you will want to put on the 6-point harness seat belt. Besides, Dodge is a sister company; and using the Hellcat name would be like stealing your older brother's nickname – and that is not cool.


For the very first time, the Ram engineers have matched up the TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission to the V-8 Hemi power plant which provided a pretty entertaining promotional video for this 4x4 brainchild. The engineers were also able to add another 4” of wheel travel to the four corners of the truck which added roughly 40% more clearance. Then add 37” tires, cast your fear aside, and easily fly over surface obstacles at 100+mph. To offset the higher center of gravity, the engineers did increase the overall footprint of the TRX by 6” to reduce concern about rollover in high speed corners.


RAM Rebel TRX Concept

Engineers thought it best to include a 6-point harness seat belt for those 100+mph off-road rides.

RAM Rebel TRX Concept

The mad scientists responsible for creating the TRX beast back in their undisclosed lab.


Tap the brakes, though, the TRX is only a concept for now. I said earlier there were a number of journalists at the reveal ready to christen this Ram the “Hellcat” for dirt; but if this Rebel is actually produced, I believe it will have no problem creating its own legacy and glory within the off-road community because it is truly a Rebel with Guts.



Ford Raptor


The long-anticipated arrival of the second generation Ford Raptor on dealer's lots is almost here. But if you are still trying to convince your accountant you need one of these monster F150s, you need to get to the State Fair because once the Raptor is personally viewed, your accountant will agree you need one.


Ford first showcased the lighter, more powerful, 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost Raptor in Dallas at the 2015 DFW Auto Show. This V-6 is similar to the V-6 EcoBoost in the 2016 Mustang except that the engineers back at the lab were able to squeeze out another 39 horses and 76lbs of torque, specifically for the Raptor. That little extra translates to a 21% improvement on the torque-to-weight ratio for the Raptor. So whatever you throw at the 2017 Raptor, it is likely up to the challenge.


Raptor also has the new advanced 10-speed transmission which provides more low-end torque for those axle-deep mudding trips because of the closer ratio between gears. Add to that the Ford-patented hydraulic control system, and you have a 4x4 that can optimize power bands and shift points on Baja runs or the open road. Oh, by the way, did I mention the Raptor is the first truck to offer paddle shifters as well?


2017 Ford F150 Raptor

The Ford Raptor has a new advanced 10-speed transmission which provides more low-end torque.

2017 Ford F150 Raptor

Six different preset driving modes are at your fingertips and can be adjusted on the fly.


For those that prefer living all four seasons of the year, Ford has come up with a Terrain Management System™ for the Raptor. You will have six different preset driving modes (Normal, Street, Weather, Mud and Sand, Baja, and Rock) that are at your fingertips and can be adjusted on the fly. This allows for the proper overall truck setting for the proper drive conditions.


The Ford F-150 is the most-patented truck in Ford history. One of the most visible patents on the 150s, is the high-strength military-grade aluminum alloy that is used in place of steel for the body. By using the high-grade aluminum, the engineers were able to transfer some of that weight from the body to the fully-boxed steel frame to increase the overall strength and durability of the Raptor.


When all is said and done, the 2017 Raptor is almost 500 pounds lighter than the 2014 model. So not only will the Raptor skip across the dessert, mud, or rocks with ease, but you will also experience a 36% increase in your fuel economy according to Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group marketing manager. That daily drive to work just got cheaper.


Back when the first Raptor was displayed at the DFW Auto Show, Tony Greco program manager for the Raptor, boasted that the Raptor was tough, smart, and capable, half passion and half obsession. Now that the new second generation Raptor is in production mode and delivering to dealers this month, it is easy to see why Tony was proud of what all the engineers had accomplished.


Nissan Titan


Fred Diaz, Division Vice President and General Manager of Nissan's North America Trucks and Light Commercial Vehicles, unveiled a new special appearance package for the Titan, specifically designed for the Texas truck buyer. It is called the Texas Titan, and it was described as the perfect representation of Texas attitude - big horsepower, big torque, huge capabilities. The dedicated Texas-only package will be available to both 4x4 or 4x2 buyers in the half-ton and XD Titan crew-cab models. These special Titans will only be available for purchase at Nissan dealerships located in the state of Texas.


TITAN XD was named 'Texas Truck of the Year' last fall by the Texas Auto Writers Association so it's fitting to acknowledge the Lone Star State with this special vehicle, said Diaz.


2017 Nissan Titan

The Ford Raptor has a new advanced 10-speed transmission which provides more low-end torque.

2017 Nissan Titan

Six different preset driving modes are at your fingertips and can be adjusted on the fly.


When you walk up to the truck the first thing you will notice is the custom grille that has an inner and outer chrome finish. There will also be metallic-finish kick plates, chrome exhaust finishers and Texas badged floor mats.


In addition, Diaz also announced that every every Texas TITAN comes with America's best truck warranty. It will feature bumper-to-bumper coverage of 5-years/100,000-miles, which, as he stated is an extra 2 years and 64k of warranty.


Nissan is also sponsoring free parking for any truck owner that is visiting the State Fair of Texas no matter what manufacture or model you drive. The free parking lot is located at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Ash Lane, two blocks west of the front gate. The lot has bigger spaces specifically designed for trucks.


See additional information below or visit:

State Fair of Texas

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