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December 2012 RPM Off-Road Industry News

2013 Ford Raptor
Tori Tellem | Writer
Posted November 1, 2012

2013 Raptor, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and SRT

That’s Interesting
Harris Interactive brings us the results of a poll with the following headline: “Three in Four Owners Fear In-Car Connectivity Technology Is Too Distracting and Dangerous.”

The J.D. Power and Associates’ “2012 U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study” (aka APEAL) found that “27 percent of new-vehicle buyers who replaced a vehicle downsized, meaning they purchased a new vehicle in a smaller segment than the vehicle they replaced. In contrast, only 13 percent of buyers upsized, while 60 percent purchased a new vehicle in the same segment as their previous vehicle.” Vehicles being traded in are on average six years old. While Porsche was the highest-ranking nameplate, Ram was one that had the highest year-over-year improvement. Suzuki was at the bottom of the list. Jeep had only five brands separating it from Suzuki.

GM appears to be developing vehicle ESP. Not stability ESP, but that mind-reading voodoo thing. The technology would be able to detect street walkers (it’s OK to call pedestrians that, right?) and bicyclists when visibility is bad and before the driver doesn’t not not see them due to being in blind spots or blocked by a vehicle. It would be based mainly on Wi-Fi Direct. You see, “wireless pedestrian detection” is a goal of the automaker. We think that means “non-robot detection,” but could be wrong.

Chrysler trademarked a new name and badge: EcoDiesel 3.0L. Expect it on the Jeep Grand Cherokee before any others.

2013 Ford Raptor Changes
The Ford F-150 SVT Raptor gets some new goods for 2013, but the coolest is beadlock-convertible wheels, allowing you to convert them from traditional wheel to beadlock in a jiffy. Ford says you simply, “Unbolt the standard outer decorative ring, dismount the tire from its regular position, and then remount the tire in the lock-enabled position with the available beadlock ring kit from Ford Racing.” The Blue Oval filed for a patent on this deal.

See Silverado Run
Here’s your first look at the next-gen Chevy Silverado going through the paces at the automaker’s proving grounds.

Is It True?
With the next-gen Wrangler will there come a pickup version? And not just some kit?

More than 236,000 auto-related jobs have been added since the recession in 2009?

Is the new Ram 2500 HD going to resemble the 3500-and-up HDs in terms of super-robust underbody components?

More speaking of new things, will the Nissan Frontier also see some physical changes for 2013, like a new tailgate? Would we mention this if we didn’t think so?

AAA thinks more than 8 million vehicles will have start-stop systems by 2017?

Gee, That Press Release Sounds Naughty:
“General Motors definition of customer experience is expanding to include what happens before, during, and after the sale.”

2013 Ram 1500 Outdoorsman
For the new model year, both Quad and Crew cabs are available for the 1500 and in two bed lengths (5 feet, 7 inches and 6 feet, 4 inches).

Help Build a Domino’s Delivery Vehicle
There’s a five-stage competition going on with Domino’s, but bummer for you it’s not an eating contest. The company is asking the public to help with its Ultimate Delivery Vehicle Project, which will be done in phases. More than $50,000 in prizes will be handed out. The schedule goes through February 2013, and while the design portion is already complete, you can participate in packaging, interior, surfacing, and rendering. Go to to submit your ideas and designs.

What’s Happening In The Industry
There’s a new website (so, we’re still on board this “Internet” thing, eh?) featuring OEM parts catalogs and aftermarket parts and accessories. The OEM stuff is ’70-present. You can search by VIN or year/make/model, or just keyword/part number. On the aftermarket side, you’ll spot companies like JC Whitney and K&N. Visit for more.

The Jeep Liberty will have ended production by the time you read this. Its replacement will use the same platform as the ’13 Dodge Dart (that’s encouraging—not), and have a new 3.2L V-6 and nine-speed trans.

Volkswagen and Porsche are officially a couple. Or whatever version of “couple” means “one.” They’ll work together on models.

New Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8s: Alpine and Vapor editions. As you might have guessed, white and black versions. You know the drill: special badges, wheels, and the like.

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