You’ll need some serious towing capacity to afford the increasingly luxurious pickups hitting dealerships.
Are luxury pickup prices headed into six-figure range? It certainly looks like it.
With General Motors reportedly considering a Chevrolet Silverado pickup with a price tag of more than $100,000, we’re entering a new phase in America’s love affair with pickups.
Sure, you can still get a Nissan Frontier midsize for less than $20,000 – in part because it hasn’t been redesigned in 14 years. And GM and Fiat Chrysler are competing for market share at the low-end of the spectrum, which could involve discounts.
But if you want a brand-new full-size pickup with all the bells and whistles, the price can easily top $40,000, $50,000, even $60,000.
The average transaction price for the best-selling vehicle in America, the Ford F-series pickup, was $47,454 in the first quarter.
Here are four factors driving the luxury pickup trend:
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1. Special editions
The Detroit Three automakers have moved far beyond their standard-issue pickup lineup, and they charge a premium for these special editions.
Models include the Ram Laramie Longhorn, the Ford F-150 King Ranch and the Chevrolet Silverado High Country. These models can include exterior design flourishes or flexed powertrains.
It’s the Silverado High Country that could soon be offered for more than $100,000.
2. Sumptuous interiors
Designers are packing luxury features into the interior of pickups, such as premium leather, upholstery stitching and advanced infotainment systems.
All of those additions are inflating prices, which averaged $45,260 in the first five months of 2019, according to J.D. Power.
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3. Heavy-duty pickups
Heavy-duty pickups are already close to $100,000 in some cases. Ford’s 2018 F-450 Super Duty Limited pickup debuted at the State Fair of Texas in 2017 with a price tag of $94,455.
That vehicle could tow more than 30,000 pounds.
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4. Electric models
And you thought internal combustion engine or diesel pickups were pricey.
Tesla is expected to reveal its long-awaited electric pickup later this summer. With the company’s ultra-luxury vehicles easily topping $100,000, could the Tesla pickup do the same?
Musk said in June that the vehicle will “look like it came out of a sci-fi movie” with towing capacity that is “designed to meet or exceed” the Ford F-150.
“I think it’s the coolest car I’ve seen. Not everyone may share that opinion,” Musk said.
Another upstart automaker is also planning an electric pickup: Rivian.
Even Ford is planning an electric version of the F-150.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.