Global Ford Ranger Caught!
Will it or won't it? That seems to be the question: Will the new global Ranger, which is being engineered in Australia, be available in the U.S.? Ford's current stance seems to indicate that it will not reenter the compact truck segment when the current Ranger is put out to pasture in 2011, but will instead rely on a 3.7L V-6-powered version of the F-150. We think that this is a huge mistake, especially considering how big the F-150 has grown to be and that the compact/midsize truck segment is just crying for new and innovative products. Some of us just want a small pickup.
Rams Will Always Be Dodges?
We recently reported that Ram was becoming its own brand, on par with Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler. What we didn't know was whether they would be dropping the Dodge name. After chatting with Ram executives at the North American International Auto Show, it appears that while Ram will be marketed and sold under the Ram brand, they will still keep the Dodge name attached to them, as evidenced by all of the 2010 Rams we have seen with Dodge badges and logos. So continue to enjoy your Rams-your Dodge Rams.
Members of Toyota's 4Runner team recently came to Four Wheeler's new headquarters in El Segundo, California, to take delivery of the 2010 Four Wheeler of the Year award. Four Wheeler Editor Douglas McColloch handed the award off to Toyota Corporate Marketing Manager Kevin Higgins.
Wrangler Is Most Significant 4x4 of the Decade
Have you been keeping up with our editorial blogs at blogs.fourwheeler.com? If not, then we should let you know that we have chosen the Jeep Wrangler as the best and most significant 4x4 of the decade.
Department of Corrections
In our February 2010 Pickup Truck of the Year story, we mistakenly wrote that our 2010 Ram 2500 tester was equipped with an open rear differential. This is incorrect, as our tester was equipped with a rear limited-slip differential.
Could Scorpio Come to the US?
Setbacks and delays have plagued the launch of Mahindra's TR20 and TR40 pickup in America, but that doesn't mean there aren't plans to expand its U.S. lineup in the near future. We hear that the pickup could be on sale by the time you read this and that there are plans to sell the Scorpio SUV by the end of the year. We expect the powertrain to be the same as the one announced for the pickup, meaning the 2.2L mHawk four-cylinder turbodiesel backed by a six-speed automatic transmission.
-Could the Raptor line be expanded beyond the SuperCab and upcoming Crew Cab models? We have heard rumblings that there may be a regular cab Raptor in the plans.
-Borg-Warner has been selected to provide Torque-On-Demand (TOD) and part-time transfer cases to all Ram 4x4s.
-Ford posted a profit of $2.7 billion for 2009.
Land Use Notes
Wisconsin Military Vehicles
SAN-supported legislation has been introduced in Wisconsin to provide for the registration of former military vehicles. The bills are the result of the negative response by enthusiast groups to a Wisconsin Department of Transportation proposal to restrict the registration of these vehicles. Collectors emphasize that these historic vehicles are used, in part, to educate the general public about military history and heritage and are, therefore, valuable treasures that should be maintained and protected.
The legislation defines a former military vehicle to include vehicles that were manufactured for use in any country's military force, so long as they are maintained to accurately represent their military design and markings. The designation would include military vehicles designed both for off- and on-road use, including trailers. The bills would allow former military vehicles to be registered and operated in a manner similar to antique vehicles registered in the state.
The SAN is opposing a proposed bill to designate more than 600,000 acres of land in Montana as wilderness. The legislation threatens to close several popular trails and recreation areas since no motorized activity is permitted in wilderness. The bill's sponsor is willing to reevaluate the measure in order to address off-road community concerns. Provisions in the bill to establish special motorized recreation areas in Montana would be beneficial to off-road enthusiasts.
The California Desert Protection Act of 2010 has been introduced in Congress. The bill represents a mixed bag of legislation for off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts and off-road fans. In addition to creating two national monuments in the California deserts and closing more than 1 million acres of land, the bill will add more than 250,000 acres of wilderness in five Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Study Areas to the current wilderness inventory.
A positive is that it will also release 126,000 acres of land in the Cady and Soda Mountains that was previously a Wilderness Study Area, thereby allowing OHV access. Importantly, the bill also creates five "Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Areas," totaling 344,480 acres of land, including approximately 180,000 acres in Johnson Valley. However, this is a compromise measure, which will turn over much of Johnson Valley, including many popular current OHV areas, to the Department of the Navy for the study of an expansion of the Twenty-Nine Palms Marine base.