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June 2011 RPM - Off-Road Truck News

Posted in News on June 1, 2011
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Grand Cherokee Diesel:Coming to U.S.?
Jeep has finally taken the wraps off of the diesel-powered Grand Cherokee CRD in Europe. The oil-burning version of the Grand will feature an all-new 3.0L DOHC turbodiesel V-6 engine that is more powerful, more fuel -efficient and produces lower emissions than its predecessor. Built by VM Motori and developed together with Fiat Powertrain, a company of Fiat S.p.a., the new 3.0L turbodiesel engine produces 241 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 406 lb-ft of torque at 1,800 rpm. According to Jeep, this translates to 10 percent more power and eight percent more torque than the engine it replaces. So will the diesel Grand come to America? Currently there are no plans for it, though the diesel Grand is not out of the question if a business case can be made. It also doesn’t hurt that the diesel Grand Cherokee CRD is manufactured here in the U.S. alongside other U.S.- and international-spec Grands.

Colorado’s Second Coming
While Ford has decided to deny Americans its latest T6 global Ranger, GM is preparing to offer a next-generation Colorado, and presumably Canyon, to the U.S. market. Sources say that the new truck’s development is on track for a 2013 debut as a 2014 model-year vehicle. The Colorado, which will be built on GM’s GMT700 platform, will remain body-on-frame and will hopefully receive new powertrains. Other trucks expected by 2014 are Toyota’s next-generation Tacoma and Nissan’s Frontier. Dodge’s unibody Dakota replacement may also be available in that time frame.

BFG Announces New Tire Line
BFGoodrich Tires recently introduced the Rugged Terrain T/A tire, the newest entry in BFG’s light-truck tire lineup. The Rugged Terrain T/A tire is designed for light-truck and sport-utility vehicle drivers looking to upgrade to a tire with aggressive off-road looks combined with low rolling resistance, reduced noise and year-round traction. The tire is offered in 36 sizes ranging from 15 to 20 inches in diameter, including LRE-rated sizes to provide drivers with additional load-carrying capacity. The Rugged Terrain is BFG’s answer to the hybrid tire categorya tire with off-road looks and a smooth ride on-road. The addition of the Rugged Terrain T/A tire fills this void in the brand’s portfolio and increases the BFGoodrich brand’s light truck market coverage to 97 percent in the P-metric and 95 percent in the LT-metric categories. A combination of tread design and compound development resulted in a 30-percent improvement over the Rugged Trail T/A in wet weather performance. The BFGoodrich Rugged Terrain T/A tire is also loaded with innovative tread design features that make it one of the most capable and versatile tires available. Super high-tensile steel cables and stiff tread blocks allow a 50,000-mile Manufacturer’s Limited Tread Life Warranty. Look for a full review in an upcoming issue.

Falken To Race 2012 KOH
Falken Tire has begun preparations for the 2012 King of the Hammers by enlisting the support of American Rock Rods to build an Ultra 4 Series race vehicle. Falken Tire’s Off Road program set out last year to begin building its name in a new category for the brand. Heavily focused on its new WildPeak A/T tire line and with the company’s well-equipped Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Falken participated in multiple events across the country including Tierra Del Sol, Moab Easter Jeep Safari, and capped off 2010 as the presenting sponsor of Off Road Evolution’s JK Experience. Having recently announced the expansion of the new WildPeak A/T line to include several 37-inch tire options, Falken is excited that racing in the 2012 King of the Hammers race is the next step in the evolution of their program. FW

Quick Hits

  • Word on the street is that Ram will not offer a hybrid version of the current pickup.
  • Don’t get your hopes up about that 30 mpg Mahindra pickup. Results are back from the EPA and they are 19 mpg city and 21 mpg highway.
  • Mopar’s RamRunner kit will now be equipped with auxiliary clearance lighting to make the conversion street-legal.

Legislative Notes
Oregon Bill Threatens Wheelers
SEMA is opposing a bill in the Oregon legislature that would severely limit vehicle suspension, body lift and wheel/tire alterations. Specifically, the measure would ban vehicles whose bumpers are elevated more than 3 inches over the original manufactured bumper clearance. Identical legislation was last introduced in Oregon in 2001. Among other things, the bill discriminates against hobbyists and aftermarket parts makers by leaving it solely to the vehicle manufacturers to choose bumper heights; would force owners of modified vehicles to spend large sums of money to reinstall original components; and would ban useful alterations that provide adequate clearance for on/off-road capability and accommodate heavy loads, larger tires, improved suspension and water-fording capability. The bill would also impose a fine of up to $360 per offense for vehicles that exceed the 3-inch clearance requirement.

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