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RPM Automotive News - February 2014

Posted in News on December 25, 2013
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That’s Interesting
There’s a ’14 Special Service Dodge Durango for police and fire departments, as well as fleet. Heavy-duty stuff is on it, including battery, brakes, alternator, water pump, engine oil cooler, and load-leveling suspension. did a survey that revealed that when you loan your vehicle to someone, they’re gonna get all up in your bidnez. Seems 63 percent will open the glovebox or console, and half of the nosy admitted to have found things like photos, liquor, medicine, and guns. Men were guilty of looking 76 percent of the time, while women rang in at 44 percent.

Ford has installed its 500,000th 6.7L Power Stroke into a ’14 Super Duty F-350.

And by the way, the ’15 Super Duty will have the second-gen 6.7L Power Stroke, plus more towing capacity. The numbers for both are still under lock and key, but look for in excess of the 400hp and 800 lb-ft of torque it already makes, thanks to a bigger turbocharger.

Toyota has launched the Automated Highway Driving Assist, a fancy way of saying, yes, more driving technology has been introduced to help people who can’t drive drive. This one has “cooperative-adaptive” cruise control and “lane trace control.” You can probably sort out the definition of both.

Broadcom, which does wired and wireless communications, pointed to analysts, who are saying that by 2025, you can expect every vehicle to be connected, that 30 billion devices should be wirelessly connected by 2020, and Bluetooth will continue to be the standard connection with mobile devices. is a website for checking VINs and vehicle history reports before you buy.

Nissan has joined Apple to launch iTunes Radio.

The Texas Auto Writers Association has called the ’14 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor the Off-Road Truck of Texas. The SUV of Texas was the ’14 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The truck of Texas was the Ram 1500. The best powertrain (of Texas?) was the 3.0L EcoDiesel.

Yahoo Autos borrowed some info from the study, “Commuting in America 2013: The National Report on Commuting Trends and Patterns.” It found there are seven main reasons people are starting to go vehicle-free, like skipping buying a new vehicle when their old one takes a dive as well as they can walk or bike everywhere, public transportation is easy, and weather is good where they live.

September 2013: The Ram pickup ranked as the fourth best-selling vehicle that month, while the Chevy Silverado came in second. The Ford F-series was number one.

GM has teamed up with Capital One and Master Card to intro a card that will give 5 percent earnings toward a new GM product.

The ’14 Toyota Land Cruiser has interior and exterior enhancements.

Is It True?
Eye integration starting with some GM products? As in, use Siri Eyes Free through Chevy’s MyLink, and you can speak your demands?

The Ford Police Interceptor utility with EcoBoost snagged the title of best 0-60 time in the Michigan State Police testing.

The Chevy Tahoe was worth 30 percent of fullsize SUVs sold in Texas in 2013 (as we went to press in October)?

High demand for SUVs in Russia means Ford will produce the Edge and EcoSport there? And is the EcoSport coming to the U.S.?

A survey by found that the fave foods to eat while driving are candy bars and French fries? Cuz they can be eaten one-handed?

Third-row seat theft is becoming an epidemic?

Nissan Xterra, RIP?

Weird Tire Technology— What’s the Oddest in Your Opinion?
Colored tires, airless tires, self-healing, orange oil infused, tires that smoke in color, herb scented...there’s been weird tire technology out there. What’s the weirdest you’ve seen, or what’s some oddball thing you’d like to see? Here are the weirdest we’ve seen or what we’d like to see. Come on over to Four Wheeler’s Facebook page ( and tell us your thoughts!

Brubaker: I was driving the ’14 Land Rover Range Rover Sport recently and the Terrain Response 2 system gave me inspiration for a similar system for tires. I’d call it the Select-O-Tread and it would be a lever (rotary knob for those who like that sort of thing) that allowed one to choose between different tire treads. Of course, these are magical tires that can morph into any tread pattern. No more wishing you’d of bought those aggressive mud tires when the trail gets gooey. Just put the Select-O-Tread into “Mud Tire” mode. For the trip home, select “Pavement Tire” mode. Naturally, there would be a setting for each type of obstacle or terrain. I’d like that. And a purple hedgehog.

Cappa: I really hate tires with gimmicks. I mean, am I supposed to believe that a tread in the shape of skulls or fire is supposed to provide the best possible traction in a given terrain? We have the technology to design and test a tread block on a computer, and this is what companies come up with? Ugh….

Mansour: I like the idea of a self-healing tire. Sort of the Wolverine of tires. I don’t carry a spare in my trail rigs, so a tire that could mend itself after getting a cut in sidewall would be great! I’m also completely against airless tire technology for the sole reason that I collected decorative valve-stem covers when I was a kid and it would be an injustice to children across the globe to take away such a cherished novelty item.

Your Government At Work
Wisconsin passed legislation to allow for more rights for owners of historic military vehicles for minor modifications.

Massachusetts is toying with banning sales of aftermarket exhaust—anything that increases the sound.

In Nevada, motorcyclists and bicyclists can now legally run a stoplight if it’s safe. It’s because they don’t always activate the sensors to change the signal to green.

The New The Tech, Vehicles, and Photos Quadrupled
Do you dread having to drive on a new trail? No! You get excited about the new opportunities, the cool stuff you’ll see, and the things you’ll learn about your vehicle. Think of the new in the same way. New and full of super coolness. It’s now the “Four Wheeler Network,” which means you’ll find tons of tech and other content from our magazine as well as our sister magazines, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, Jp, Mud Life, 4Wheel Drive & Sport Utility, and Off-Road.

What’s Happening In The Industry
Miller Electric has extended its Build with Blue rebate offer. It’s now good through March 31. Miller Electric is also offering “We Build Championships” video at

The ARB Air Locker is getting a new logo. And a new warranty.

To test its new JK Brute Double Cab, American Expedition Vehicles headed from Missoula, Montana, to the Rubicon Trail in California to test the hybrid pickup. The company even brought along some of its international dealers—Japan, South Africa, Germany, and Canada—to partake in the Rubicon’s many challenges.

The AOA 2013 Midyear Accessories Trend Report revealed what you people are buying in the accessories department. Number one by volume? Floor mats. The list also included alarms, window tint, step bars, hitches and accessories, and body side moldings. In terms of revenue, protection protects brought in the most cash, followed by alarms and upholstery. Profit-wise? The same top three. Dealer packages also made the top 10 list.

Flowmaster turned 30 in 2013.

Random Quote:
“We are looking at, for this generation, a more off-road variant.”
— Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for GM trucks, according to Automotive News, regarding a possible off-road version of the Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon

Four Wheeler App 2.0
There have been some improvements to the Four Wheeler app, including a redesign, ease at previewing an issue, the ability to visit the website within the app, and a special tab highlighting special issues and best sellers. Get the app through the iTunes store.

Sneak Peek of New Mopars
The annual SEMA Show in Vegas will see the debut of a few interesting Mopar-themed vehicles that we’ll show you more of in the next issue. Here’s your first look at a sketch of one of the secret machines.

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