Buyers of the '11 Jeep Wrangler will benefit from a much-needed interior refreshening, along with a couple of other notable updates, such as redesigned hardtops with larger window openings and a body-color option on Sahara models. The significantly upgraded and now quieter interior boasts higher quality materials, more storage, and a console-mounted 110-volt outlet, as well as locker and sway-bar disconnect switches that are placed higher up on the dash. The steering wheel is now shared with the Grand Cherokee and has steering wheel controls to operate various vehicle functions. Changes to the MyGIG media system include streaming Bluetooth audio, a new USB interface, and for the first time, the Wrangler will offer heated power mirrors. Other detail touches include "Since 1941" being embossed on the passenger-side grab handle. Running gear is carried over until 2012, when the 3.6L Pentastar V-6 replaces the current 3.8L V-6.
TRX4 Goes Outdoors
Ram has announced that the TRX4 off-road package has been renamed on all Ram 1500s as the Outdoorsman. And for the first time, the heavy-duty trucks get the same dedicated off-road package as the 1/2-ton. Rather than catering to wheelers, Ram is targeting the Outdoorsman models as a package for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you check off the Outdoorsman package on the 1500 or HD trucks, you'll get standard trailer towing and lighting upgrades, as well as skidplates and all-terrain tires, along with a limited-slip differential and two-tone paint. The Ram Box is optional on the 1500 models and can be upgraded with the new Ram Box Holster option to securely carry either long guns or fishing rods.
Toyota Revises Tow Ratings
Without any changes, the '11 Toyota Tundra is now rated to tow less than its 2010 counterpart. Toyota is one of the first manufacturers to begin certifying its trucks using a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) towing standard known as J2807, or "Performance Requirements for Determining Tow Vehicle Gross Combination Weight Ratings and Trailer Weight Ratings." Starting in 2013, all manufacturers are required to switch to this standard so that consumers can directly compare tow ratings from each manufacturer. What this means is a more realistic picture of truck capability for consumers. As for the Tundra, the biggest change comes for the four-wheel drive 5.7L CrewMax, which is down 1,100 pounds to 9,000. Four-wheel-drive regular cabs will only see a 400-pound change to 10,100, while Double Cabs will now be rated at 500 pounds less, or 9,800 pounds.
T|X Your Taco
Available on a limited basis, the new Toyota T|X and T|X Pro Packages can be added to a Tacoma V-6 Access Cab or V6 Double Cab on both 4x2 PreRunner and 4x4s equipped with the TRD Off-Road Package. The T|X Package gives the Tacoma a more sinister look with TRD 16-inch black alloy bead-lock wheels and 265/70R16 BFGoodrich Rugged Trail tires. Black tube side steps, a stainless-steel exhaust tip, and unique exterior graphics give the T|X the look of a custom truck, but at a special value. The MSRP of the T|X Package is $1,699, a savings of $754 compared to the package items ordered as separate options. The T|X Pro Package adds a TRD cat-back performance exhaust system to give the V-6 a throatier sound and a bit more power, and carries an MSRP of $1,699, representing a savings of $720 versus the package contents added as separate accessories. Both T|X and T|X Pro packages are covered under the three-year/36,000-mile comprehensive vehicle limited warranty.
FAST-Aid to the Rescue
In August 2010, our tight-knit wheeling community suffered a tragedy when a race truck went off course at the Mojave Desert Racing California 200, killing eight spectators and injuring many more. FAST-Aid-a non-profit organization geared towards providing financial, educational, and personal assistance to injured racers, support teams, and their families and ensures that the necessary support is in place to complete a thorough recovery and rehabilitation from motor sports racing incidents-immediately stepped in and organized a relief fund to help victims of the tragedy. As of this writing, FAST-Aid, with the help of countless individuals, as well as corporate donors, such as Mango Racing and 4-Wheel Parts, have raised over $100,000. The funds will be used to help in funeral costs, medical bills, expenses that need to be paid as a result of lost work, and to help set up trust funds for the children on the tragedy. FAST-Aid also assists those directly involved by helping to arrange counseling to prevent possible Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other long-term psychological effects of this tragic accident. To donate specifically to help the California 200 casualties, please go to www.fast-aid.org/california-200.html. One hundred percent of the funds received will be applied to assisting their families in this difficult time and donations are tax-deductible.