Bluetec Jeep Grand Cherokee ConceptRevealed at the North American Auto Show in Detroit, the new Bluetec Jeep Grand Cherokee concept is said to offer the cleanest diesel powertrain in its class. Bluetec technology was developed by DaimlerChrysler and will be capable of producing the cleanest diesel vehicles in the world and have the potential to meet the most stringent emissions regulations in all 50 U.S. states, as well as worldwide. The reduced emissions are achieved through use of a completely modern and efficient diesel base engine equipped with an oxidizing catalytic converter, a diesel particulate filter, and an innovative system for reducing nitrogen oxide emissions that converts nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and water vapor by adding ammonia as a reducing agent in the catalytic converter. Bluetec technology will be shared within the DaimlerChrysler brand to improve fuel economy by an average of 30 percent while reducing carbon dioxide emissions an average of 20 percent over similar gasoline-powered vehicles.
W.E.Rock 2006 Season Underway
The promoters of the World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship Series (W.E.ROCK) announced the 2006 schedule, which includes Eastern and Western regional events as well as a Grand National Championship event. The Western series got underway April 7-9 in Globe, Arizona, and will make stops in Cedar City, Utah (June 23-25), Goldendale, Washington (July 21-23), and Reno, Nevada (August (25-27). The Eastern series will feature events in Columbus, Ohio (May 5-7), Spartanburg, South Carolina (June 9-11), Jellico, Tennessee (July 14-16), and Dothan, Alabama (August 11-13). The Grand National Championship event will take place in Dallas, Texas, September 23-24.
W.E.ROCK has also announced that it is establishing a professional rockcrawler status among its competitors to further encourage competitors to portray a more professional image of the sport. Those achieving the pro status will be the focus of W.E.ROCK marketing and sponsor efforts. New W.E.ROCK-approved items for professional rockcrawling teams include driver/spotter safety helmets, a fire suit and neck roll pad for the driver and team apparel for the spotter, a remote engine shutoff system, and full duplex communication devices.
For more information about the World Extreme Rock Crawling Championship Series, check out: www.we-rock.cc.
Ford Develops Flexible-Fuel F-150 And Ethanol-Fueled Escape Hybrid
Ford has been exploring gasoline-saving technologies for quite some time with various concept vehicles and production flexible-fuel passenger cars, but the company is now stepping up to the plate to offer a flexible-fuel-capable F-150 pickup. Production of the Ford F-150 FFV began in December 2005 at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant, and the new vehicles are already available at Ford dealerships. The F-150 FFV uses a 5.4L V-8 engine equipped with flexible-fuel technology, which allows the vehicle to operate on gasoline or ethanol blends up to E85 - a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Ethanol is a renewable fuel that is made in America, primarily using corn grown in the Midwest. The fuel is generally less expensive than regular unleaded gasoline and aids in reducing the nation's dependency on foreign oil while supporting the U.S. job market. The Ford F-150 FFVs are said to offer the same functionality as gasoline-powered F-150s, as well as equal horsepower and torque. The vehicles will also be produced at Ford's Dearborn Truck and Norfolk Assembly Plants.
Also recently unveiled is the Ford Escape Hybrid E85 research vehicle, which produces 25 percent less carbon dioxide than the gasoline-fueled Escape Hybrid, introduced in 2004. The vehicle mates two petroleum-saving technologies - hybrid electric power and flexible-fuel capability. Ford intends to release several new hybrids in the coming years in an effort to further address the ever-changing global energy climate.
Maxxis Tires is further expanding its service to its non-English-speaking customers by offering a French language version of its website, www.maxxis.com. The company already offers versions of the site in Spanish and Portuguese. The language features can be accessed using a drop-down box on the home page, which will reveal several areas of the website in the preferred language with descriptions of Maxxis tires such as the Trepador, Creepy Crawler, and Bighorn tread designs. For more information, check out www.maxxis.com.
Toyota Tops 15 Million in North America
After 20 years of manufacturing automobiles and light trucks in North America, Toyota recently achieved the milestone of producing its 15 millionth vehicle. Toyota maintains 12 vehicle-manufacturing, powertrain, and components facilities in the United States and Canada. The company first began manufacturing vehicles in North America in 1986 in a joint venture with GM at New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. in Fremont, California. By 1988, Toyota had opened plants in Kentucky and Canada and further expanded in 1999 and again in 2004. The Kentucky plant has been one of Toyota's biggest producers, having turned out 6.39 million vehicles to date. Toyota's North American-produced vehicles include a variety of passenger cars, as well as the Sequoia, Tacoma, and Tundra.
Bridgestone/Firestone Buy & Try
Bridgestone/Firestone Tire Sales Company launched a new incentive program in February to ease the tire-buying process for its customers. The Buy & Try 30-Day Guarantee allows consumers to receive a refund if they are not completely satisfied with the performance of the Bridgestone/Firestone tires they selected. The company offers a variety of popular tire designs for many SUV and light-truck applications, including the Bridgestone Dueler A/T, the Firestone Destination M/T and A/T, and the Dayton Timberline M/T and L/T. For more information, check out www.firestonetire.com or contact your local Bridgestone or Firestone tire dealer.
Off-Road Expo Presented By Toyota, Expands Nationwide
The well-known Off-Road Expo presented by Toyota, which has been held in Pomona, California, since 2000, is spreading across the country. The 2006 Off-Road Expo series got started in April with events in Indianapolis and Salt Lake City. It will continue with the Pomona event in October and another in Houston in November. Last year's Pomona Off-Road Expo attracted 40,000 enthusiasts with interest in off-road racing, rock crawling, and four-wheeling, as well as sand sports, motorcycles, ATVs, camping, and adventure travel. For more information, check out: www.offroadexpo.com.