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August 2012 RPM Off-Road Truck News

Posted in News on August 1, 2012
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That’s Interesting
Polk did some analyzing and analyzed this: 35 percent of hybrid vehicle owners went with a hybrid again in 2011. Excluding the Toyota Prius, loyalty drops to less than 25 percent. We think we forgot the word “only” there.

200,000—that’s the magic number of miles those surveyed by Kelton Research thought a vehicle should get to before being retired. “Old” was determined to be 147,000 miles. Sorry to those of you banking on 146,000.

AOL Autos did a story on a survey about women’s feet. There was more to it than that—it said women are driving in high heels. It found that 40 percent of the females surveyed wear ‘em while driving. That can’t be good. Sexy, but not good.

Now let’s talk about men: compiled a list of the 10 models with the highest proportion of male buyers. Sure, Ferrari made the cut. As did the GMC Sierra and the Ford F-Series.

More male versus female: A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that teen girls are twice as likely as teen boys to use their phone or other electronic devices while driving.

Is wheeling a particular trail on your bucket list? How about a modification or owning a certain 4x4? My Bucketlist ( is brought to you by, where you can note your goals, and then the social-networking app will connect you to friends and family and even others with similar goals to help you git ’er done.

“We used to go into the [mileage] gunfight in that segment armed with a knife. We’re coming back with a bazooka.”
—A Jeep official to Automotive News, regarding the new downsize SUV

Top Destination Cities
Curious about the top 50 destination cities in the U.S. in 2011? Ask U-Haul! Say what? It apparently puts out the annual “U-Haul National Migration Trend Report,” based on moving data. Last year, Houston was number one (that’s three years in a row), with Orlando, Florida, Las Vegas, Chicago, and San Antonio closing up the top 5.

Is It True?
Will the new Liberty be called Liberty? Or be called Cherokee? So, it’ll be one of those names?

More Jeep: Possible names of the production-ready Grand Cherokee concept are Altitude, Midnight, and, um, Obsidan? The question being, Obsidan? Jeep went with Altitude.

The GMC Canyon might remain among the living?

Will Groupon soon be a major source for auto-buying coupons?

Flying Cars a Reality, Zombies Next
You may already be aware of the street-legal plane Terrafugia has been working on and have figured, “Right, that’ll happen.” Oh, it’s happened. And is happening. The Transition completed its first flight in March, reaching an altitude of 1,400 feet and lasting 8 minutes while hovering around the Plattsburgh International Airport in New York (but looks to be legal for take off and landing at many public airports; it is street legal at highway speeds in all 50 states). Six phases of flight-testing are still in progress to work out kinks and to demonstrate compliance to Light Sport Aircraft standards. The two-seater runs/flies on unleaded fuel; the wings fold up in about a blink’s time. The expectation is that delivery to customers will happen within the next year. Pricing is likely to be around $279,000.

PhotosView Slideshow

2013 Ram 1500
We’ll run down just the hit list of the all-new Ram pickup.

New engine: 305hp and 407 lb-ft of torque 3.6L Pentastar V-6

New transmission: TorqueFlite 8 eight-speed automatic (with dash-mounted rotary e-shift setup. The trans is standard with V-6, optional with Hemi)

Stop-start: Shuts off the engine when you’re at a full stop

New interior

New exterior

Available air suspension: normal, aero (to go lower, 1.1 inch), off-road 1 (lifts 1.2 inch), off-road 2 (2-inch lift), park mode (lowers 2 inches)

What’s Happening In The Industry
BFGoodrich, Tread Lightly!, and United Four Wheel Drive Associations have named some Outstanding Trails for 2012, with a nod to Blanca Peak in Blanca, Colorado; Mirror Lake in Sierra National Forest in California; and Bents and Dents in Mount Olive, Alabama. Nabbing the title means Outstanding bragging rights, but also a $4,000 grant to the associated off-road clubs for conservation efforts and trail preservation.

Currie Enterprises is moving from Anaheim, California, to Corona, California. The reason? In life, people move on. Also, it’s a new state-of-the-art joint.

Hurry! The DynoMax Power Surge can score you a $75 mail-in rebate (aka prepaid debit card) for the purchase of a qualifying exhaust system; the promo runs until June 30. Go to

Bosch has produced its 75 millionth common-rail diesel system. Wait—we bet it’s now up to 75 million and one. Two. Three.

Mopar has available an in-vehicle wireless charging kit. It’s for the new Dodge Dart first and runs $199.99. Start saving your pennies.

Goodyear is working with NASA on the Spring Tire, a concept for exploring hardcore terrain, like, you know, the moon, but also places on Earth that no one can get to without ending up with a flat along the way.

Cummins now offers a smartphone app at the Apple App Store. They say that it allows “job-seeking candidates the ability to interact with 3D versions of the latest engine technologies and search for a new career with the company.” We dig the idea of 3D engine technologies, but kinda don’t need a job.

Miller Owners Club—it’s from Miller Electric Mfg. and has videos, tips, how-tos, and more. If you’re into welding, go to there:

SVU: Special Vehicles Unit
There are some special packages/trims/models now available from which to personalize/tacky-fy/upgrade. They are:

GMC Yukon, Yukon XL, and Sierra Heritage Edition: Badges with the original GMC logo from 1912 (get it, heritage?), and a new Heritage Blue shade (as well as other pigments).

Ram Lone Star: The ’12 1500 model can be had in 10th Anniversary Lone Star skin. The 10th anniversary refers to original Ram Lone Star, birthed for Texas only. Most notable (or do we mean noticeable?) are the Texas/Lone Star logos inside.

Jeep Altitude: The limited-edition Grand Cherokee, Patriot, and Compass models have a blacked-out look.

Ford Explorer Sport: Performance version of the SUV. Twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5L V-6, making about 350 horses.

Your Government At Work
There’s a bill moving through the government by Los Angeles assemblyman, Mike Gatto, that’s trying to bring back the black/yellow and blue/yellow California license plates, making them an option for enthusiasts. Yes, please.

More electronics coming—brake override systems might become mandated equipment. You know, to prevent the bouts of unintended acceleration that seemingly stopped happening.

E15—gasoline with 15 percent ethanol. The EPA has approved the first applications for registration of ethanol for making this.

In 2010, production, sales, service, and use of vehicles equaled $91.5 billion for state government tax revenues and somewhere north of $43 billion to the fed government tax revenues. Those stats are from the Center for Automotive Research. Put into English, that means the auto industry represents 13 percent of all state government tax revenues.

As we went to press, legislation aimed at exempting motor vehicles prior to the 1981 model year from the emissions inspection requirement was granted reconsideration after failing to be approved by a Senate Transportation and Housing Committee vote. Visit the SEMA Action Network at to see what action you can take.

Special Service Dodge Durango—it’s built for law enforcement and the fire department, and includes a beefy brake package, a high-output 220-amp alternator, and a heavy-duty battery, water pump, and oil cooler. There’s also a customizable rear cargo area (and third-row-seating delete).

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