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August 2011 RPM - Off-Road Truck News

Posted in News on August 1, 2011
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Jeep Unleashes SRT8 Grand Cherokee
The fastest Jeep is getting redesigned for 2012. Unveiled at Easter Jeep Safari in Moab and in New York at the auto show simultaneously, Jeep’s all-wheel-drive Grand Cherokee SRT8 now has even more muscle, thanks to the new 6.4L Hemi V-8. The ’12 Grand Cherokee SRT8 has 465 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque and can hit 60 mph in 4.8 seconds with a governed top speed of 155 mph. Other new features include Selec-Trac active ride control, active exhaust and cylinder deactivation. With an improvement of 13 percent in fuel economy, the SRT8 now has a 450-mile range. Stay tuned for a complete test in an upcoming issue of Four Wheeler.

Built for the Long Haul
Looking for the ultimate in towing and hauling capability, but not willing to step up to a Class 6 truck? Ram may have an answer for you in the form of its Long-Hauler concept. Powered by the 6.7L Cummins I-6 turbodiesel with 305 horsepower and 610 lb-ft of torque and backed by a six-speed automatic, the Ram Long-Hauler is based on a Class 5 Ram 5500 medium-duty chassis cab with a 197.4-inch wheelbase. The Long-Hauler has been upfitted with an 8-foot box and an auxiliary fuel tank worth an extra 110 gallons, for a total fuel capacity of 162 gallons. With that much fuel capacity, a 2,000-mile range shouldn’t be a problem. On those long hauls, occupants are treated to a Mega Cab trimmed with the Laramie Longhorn package and features adjustable footrests, tray tables, refrigerator, and Wi-Fi. A Kelderman self-leveling air bag suspension helps to support the 37,500-pound GCWR.

EcoBoost Proves To Be Popular Option
With higher fuel prices creating the need for better fuel economy in trucks, Ford has carved out a little niche with its EcoBoost turbocharged V-6 in the F-150. As of this writing, Ford says that the EcoBoost option is checked 36 percent of the time by F-150 buyers. The EcoBoost offers a 4x4 fuel label rating of 15 city/21 highway and puts out 365 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, compared to the 14 city/19 highway and 360 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of the 5.0L V-8 that is also offered.

Quick Hits
-> Ram has renamed its entry-level ”Adventurer” package to “Express.”
-> We expect to see the next-generation Land Rover Defender concept sometime in 2013 with a production vehicle being released sometime around the 2015 model year.
-> Still waiting for the Grand Cherokee CRD to return to the U.S.? Well, you won’t have to wait long, as it will be here before 2013.

Wrangler Adds Mojave Edition
Building on the success of three special-edition Wrangler vehicles produced last year, Jeep has introduced the Mojave special edition for 2011. Paying tribute to the well-known and rugged western Mojave Trail, Jeep’s Wrangler Mojave features a unique desert theme inside and out. Based on the Wrangler Sport model, the Mojave’s exterior features include a body-color hardtop and fender flares, “Mojave” and lizard decals on the hood and rear, and the Sahara model’s side steps. Jeep Wrangler Mojave also offers the aggressive Rubicon wheel and tire package. Finishing touches on the exterior include a black fuel filler door and taillamp guards. Inside, Wrangler Mojave’s seats are dark saddle leather with a lizard logo embossed on the front seats. Unique driftwood surrounds the vents, front-passenger grab handle, steering-wheel spokes and door-handle inserts. Mopar tread pattern slush mats and overhead grab handles complete the Mojave package. The new ’11 Jeep Wrangler Mojave is available in Sahara Tan, Bright White, and Black.

Outstanding Announcement
The power is in the hands of the people with BFGoodrich Tires’ 2011 Outstanding Trails program. Two of the three 2011 trails were selected by BFGoodrich Tires, in conjunction with Tread Lightly! and United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA), and are the Interlake Trail 19 located in Lynnville, Indiana, and Morrison Jeep Trail in Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming. Enthusiasts will select the third trail by casting their vote at The winning trail will receive a $4,000 grant on behalf of BFGoodrich Tires for trail conservation and maintenance efforts. The four trails up for vote are:
• Golden Spike Trail, Moab, Utah—supported by Red Rock 4-Wheelers
• Dusy-Ershim OHV Route in Sanger, California—supported by Four Wheel Drive Club of Fresno
• Blanca Peak Trail in Blanca, Colorado—supported by Creeper Jeepers Gang
• Mirror Lake Trail in Sierra National Forest, California—supported by Lock and Low 4-Wheel Drive Club

Legislative Notes
Oregon Bill To Limit Suspension/Tire Alterations Dies
A SEMA-opposed bill that would have severely limited vehicle suspension, body lift and wheel/tire alterations died without committee consideration. Specifically, H.B. 3147 sought to ban vehicles whose bumpers were elevated more than 3 inches over the original manufactured bumper clearance. Among other things, the bill discriminated against hobbyists by leaving it solely to the vehicle manufacturers to choose bumper heights. The bill also would have forced owners of modified vehicles to spend large sums of money to reinstall original components and would have banned useful alterations that provide adequate clearance for on- off-road capability and accommodate heavy loads, larger tires, improved suspension and water-fording capability. Finally, the measure provided for a fine of up to $360 per offense for vehicles that exceed the 3-inch clearance requirement.

Utah “Vintage Vehicles” Bill Signed Into Law
SEMA-supported legislation to allow vehicles 30 years old and older to be classified as “vintage vehicles” was signed into law by Utah Governor Gary Herbert. Under previous law, Utah reserved the “vintage vehicle” class only to vehicles 40 years old and older. Under the new law, “vintage vehicles” 30 to 40 years old would be charged a $45 annual registration fee. When the vehicle reaches 40 years of age, the registrant would pay a one-time $40 fee. Vintage vehicles are exempted from annual emissions and safety inspections. Utah exempts vehicles manufactured prior to 1968 from emissions inspections. Vehicles manufactured after that date must be registered as “vintage vehicles” or “customs” to qualify for this exemption.

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