Texas state fair includes truck showcase

100-year-old auto show is a hot spot for truck manufacturers to showcase new models

DALLAS — They say that everything is bigger in Texas. That’s certainly true of the 55-foot Big Tex statue that is the centerpiece of the massive Texas State Fair, and in his shadow we have a rapidly growing car truck show that will see many of the fair’s two million visitors over the next few weeks.

The Texas Auto Show isn’t new — it’s been around for more than 100 years — but its transformation into a show where automakers actually make big announcements is a new one. Unsurprisingly, Texas is a huge market for trucks, and next month the Texas Auto Writers Association will hold its annual Texas Truck Rodeo where truckmakers slug it out for the distinction of being named the Truck of Texas.

If you didn’t know, Texans are quite proud of Texas (and of trucks), and it’s perhaps no surprise that the two have come together at the State Fair. And, at the Texas State Fair media day, we had a number of announcements, special editions, and, perhaps for the first time ever, the some big reveals.

Nissan debuted its redesigned 2020 Titan pickup at the show, focusing on its Safety Shield 360 tech which includes automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beams, and a “class-exclusive” rear automatic braking. Carmakers love things that the competition doesn’t have.

The Titan is an interesting competitor to the big truck brands of Ford, GM, RAM, and, to a lesser extent, Toyota. It isn’t aimed at massive fleet buyers or those who want to tow the moon. With a V8-gas engine plowing out 400 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque and “America’s Best Truck Warranty” (written in Texas-sized letters all over the Nissan booth) at 5-years / 100,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, the Titan is worth considering if you’re looking for an everyday truck.

The 2020 Nissan Titan will be out early next year.

Then there’s Ford, which rolled out some very big numbers for the new 2020 Super Duty pickup. Literally.

The new F-450 (properly equipped, mind you) can tow a maximum of 37,000 pounds, showing that heavy-duty pickups have blown past any semblance of reasonableness with how much they can haul. You’d need a Commercial Driver’s License to get within 10,000 pounds of the maximum load, but bigger is better so here we are. This is Texas, after all.

The reworked 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 produces a “best-in-class” 475 horsepower and a world-moving 1,050 ft-lbs of torque. There’s a new 7.3-liter gas V8 too, which makes 430 horsepower and 475 ft-lbs of torque. And the 6.2-liter gas engine can be equipped for a maximum payload capacity of 7,850 pounds.

If you don’t know what all those numbers mean, don’t worry. Honestly, they don’t mean much, other than big trucks can haul big things and Ford has some of the biggest. In reality, the heavy duty trucks from Ford, Chevy/GMC, and RAM can all haul anything you’d need to haul.

Ford’s numbers just happen to be bigger. Which is better.

The rest of the announcements weren’t quite as major (or as physically large), but there’s a new RAM 1500 Limited Black Edition which is more black and more limited. The big brother Ram Heavy Duty has a new Night Edition. I love blacked-out trim levels, so these are awesome to me.

There’s a new Toyota 4Runner Venture edition, which includes a standard cargo rack on the roof for hauling stuff to the middle of nowhere, as well as black accessory and trim pieces. If you want to explore where others aren’t, this is a good choice.

And the long-awaited diesel option for the new Jeep Wrangler is finally here, with 260-horsepower and a massive 442 lb-ft of torque. That’ll get you up some rocks.

The Texas Auto Show at the Texas State Fair runs through October 20 at the state fairgrounds in Dallas.

About Jordan Golson 57 Articles
Jordan Golson is North State Journal's automotive reporter. He covers cars - both foreign and domestic - from around the globe.