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August 2013 Drivelines - 4x4 News

Posted in News on June 16, 2013
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Photographers: Manufacturers

Shelby Builds A Raptor
If the 411 hp coming from the stock Raptor pickup just isn’t enough power, Shelby American can build you a Raptor that puts out 575 horses. The company carrying on Carroll Shelby’s work with Cobras and specially modified Mustangs is now assembling a limited number of Raptors with an emissions-legal Whipple supercharger on top of the 6.2L V-8, plus a Shelby Stinger exhaust system, Shelby graphics, a custom interior, and a number of tire-and-wheel options. The Shelby package adds nearly $18,000 to the cost of the Raptor; throw on the tires and wheels and you’re in for another $3,400. Visit for more info.

Shelby American can build a Raptor that puts out 575 horses

New Limited Edition Raptor
Ford, too, is tweaking the Raptor, though not as extensively as Shelby. New for 2014 is the Raptor Special Edition, featuring Ruby Red Metallic paint and fresh box-side graphics on the outside and new seat upholstery with red bolsters and black inserts on the inside. (You can get the Special Edition in Tuxedo Black paint too.) Mechanically this Raptor is unchanged from the standard model. Look for the Raptor Special Edition on sale this fall.

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GM Announces Power, Pricing, Fuel Economy for ’14 Pickups
The first of the ’14 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500 pickups to go on sale this spring will be crew cabs powered by the new 5.3L EcoTec3 V-8. GM is rating that engine at 355 hp at 5,600 rpm and 383 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm, with more than 300 lb-ft of torque available from 2,000 to 5,600 rpm. The maximum tow rating for that engine will be 11,500 pounds (in a double-cab 2WD model), though we assume the 4WD tow ratings will be lower.

The 4x4 pickups powered by the 5.3 will be rated at 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined. That is best-in-class fuel economy when compared to the V-8s in competing 4x4 pickups (and even Ford’s EcoBoost V-6).

Regular- and double-cab models will go on sale in the summer and fall, as will the truck’s other engines, the standard 4.3L V-6 and optional 6.2L V-8, both based on the same EcoTec3 architecture as the 5.3. Power and fuel economy data for those two engines will be released later this year.

What will they cost? Only the base prices were released, and these are for V-6 powered trucks that won’t be available at first. (Yeah, we’re confused too.) For Chevrolet, the Silverado 1500 2WD will start at $24,585 for a regular cab, $28,610 for a double cab, and $32,710 for a crew cab (including $995 destination charge). We were not able to get corresponding base prices for 4x4 models at the time of publication.

We did get that from GMC, however. For 2WDs, the regular/double/crew cab base prices are $25,085, $29,110, and $33,210, respectively. The 4x4 versions will cost $29,025, $33,090 and $36,360. So you can probably estimate that the same $3,000-$4,000 premium will be added to Chevy’s 4x4 base prices.

This Just In
• The 2013 winners of the Outstanding Trails Program, presented by BFGoodrich, Tread Lightly!, and the United Four Wheel Drive Associations, are the Dutch John Trail at the Uwharrie National Forest in Troy, North Carolina; Kansas Rocks Recreation Park in Mapleton, Kansas; and Truckhaven in Salton Sea, California. During the year, BFG will be at club events associated with these trails to present a $4,000 grant to each local club to assist in the preservation of trail access.

• Chrysler is recalling some 7,000 ’13 Ram HD models, many still on dealer lots, due to an engine cover for the Cummins diesel that “has less heat resistance than intended,” says the official release from Chrysler. According to Automotive News, one of the shields caused an underhood fire in a Ram 3500 during testing at the Chelsea Proving Grounds.

• Sport Truck USA has acquired JKS Manufacturing. JKS developed the original sway bar quick-disconnect system and specializes in manufacturing suspension products for Jeep vehicles. Sport Truck USA is the parent company of BDS Suspension, Zone Off-road Products, and 4x4 Posi-Lok.

• FullDroopTV is a new television show about building prerunners and other off-road vehicles. It airs weekly on the Dish Network and DirecTV, and then episodes are loaded onto and YouTube.

• Hyundai is considering introducing a pickup truck to the U.S. market, according to Automotive News. Hyundai dealers, who are having a lot of success with coupes, sedans, and crossovers, are asking for a pickup to augment their lineup. No word yet as to whether it will be a compact or fullsize truck, or whether it will be for the U.S. only.

• We thought the people at Honda were joking when they announced that an onboard vacuum would be available on the latest model of the Odyssey minivan. They weren’t. So we weren’t quite sure what was going on when Honda unveiled a “HondaHair” attachment for the vacuum—“the perfect complement to the do-it-yourself mobile haircut movement”—until we spotted the April 1 dateline on the press release.

Durango Upgraded for 2014
Dodge’s three-row SUV gets many of the same upgrades for the ’14 model year as the Grand Cherokee does, including an eight-speed automatic transmission that Dodge says will improve the Durango’s fuel economy by up to nine percent. The front and rear fasciae have been restyled, with LED lights available at both ends. Inside, the Durango can be fitted with an 8.4-inch touchscreen to control Chrysler’s latest version of the Uconnect infotainment system.

Why do we care? A careful reading of the Durango’s specs revealed the MP 3022 transfer case, available behind the 5.7L Hemi, with full-time AWD and a lockable, 2.72 low-range ratio. It may not be “trail rated,” but it could be a viable alternative to the Grand if you prefer the Durango’s styling.

Jeep Museum
Our friends at Willys-Overland Motors report that the city of Toledo, Ohio, “is finally getting serious about building a Jeep museum and an associated off-road trail park.” Toledo, of course, was the home of Willys manufacturing since well before the Jeep was developed. This photo, from Chrysler’s archive, shows the Jeep’s final assembly line in Toledo in 1964.

As part of the museum’s initial planning, the city wants to gauge interest in such a facility. Towards that end, Willys-Overland Motors is collecting the contact information for as many Jeep clubs as it can. Jay Margolies of Willys-Overland Motors says, “Even if it’s just you and few of your friends who are Jeep enthusiasts, give me some contact info and I can keep you advised as we progress, as well as offer the organizers your input into the kinds of things you would want to see included.” Contact Willys-Overland Motors at

Desert racer Ballistic B.J. Baldwin and the folks at Monster Energy have produced an action-packed short film called #Recoil, which is available on YouTube ( Honestly, it’s short on plot—Baldwin and his Trophy Truck come to the aid of a pretty young woman whose Nissan GT-R runs out of gas in the desert—but once the helicopter cams get rolling and Baldwin grabs serious slow-mo air in his truck, who cares?

Earth Watch
• Tread Lightly! has a new look to its website ( Lori McCullough, the association’s executive director, said top priorities for revamping the website were to improve access to educational materials as well as increase store sales and member interactivity. The majority of new product offerings in the store will be Tread Lightly! branded merchandise ranging from T-shirts to aftermarket automotive accessories. The store generates revenue for Restoration for Recreation, an initiative established to help keep the outdoors open and accessible.

• In more Tread Lightly! news, Falken Tire is now the association’s “official tire.” Falken has pledged a $100 rebate on a set of WildPeak A/T tires to individuals who join Tread Lightly! at the $50 level and above. Falken will also provide a $50 rebate to any person who renews his or her existing membership at the base level of $25 and up.

• John Deere is the newest sponsor of the Tread Lightly! Restoration for Recreation initiative, in which public and private sponsors donate funds toward keeping lands open. To help offset some of the costs incurred by the U.S. Forest Service to manage OHV use in the Uhwarrie National Forest, Deere is donating cash and volunteers and John Deere dealer James River Equipment in Asheboro, North Carolina, is donating the use of heavy equipment and volunteers.

• SEMA reports that Legislation (HR 819) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to reopen Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina to OHV recreation. The bill would reverse a 2012 management plan issued by the National Park Service that banned OHV access to large portions of the seashore with a goal of protecting nesting sea turtles and birds. The legislation would reinstate a previous management strategy that better balances wildlife protections with responsible OHV access.

• Del and Stacie Albright and Area BFE announced that Team Albright has signed on as Official Landuse Ambassadors of the Area BFE Off Road Park near Moab, Utah. Team Albright will work closely with the group that established the park in 2004 to ensure that the private land remains open.

Win This Jeep!
The California Association of 4WD Clubs, in association with Poison Spyder Customs, is offering this ’13 Wrangler Sport as the prize in a raffle to benefit Cal 4 Wheel. The Lime Green Jeep is stock in the photo, but by the time it is given away at the Cal 4 Wheel convention in February it will have been customized with a Warn winch, BFGoodrich tires, and a long list of Poison Spyder parts, including bumpers, fenders, and more. Tickets are just $5, and you can get yours at

• July 5-6: Dirt Riot Mountain/Southwest Round 3 by WERock, Cortez, CO.

• July 6: Stadium Super Truck Series, Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA.

• July 6: Starting Rock Crawling Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Lucerne Valley, CA.
Info: 310.374.8047,

• July 7: Tire Repair/Hi-Lift Mini Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hawthorne, CA.
Info: 310.374.8047,

• July 13: Eldorado Reno 500 desert race by HDRA, Reno, NV.

• July 13: Getting Started Off-Road Driving Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA.
Info: 310.374.8047,

• July 13: Stadium Super Truck Series, Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX.

• July 13-14: Adventures in Off-Road Driving Level 1 instruction, by Off-Road Experience, Fernley, NV.
Info: 925.606.8301,

• July 14: Advanced Beginner Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Mojave, CA.
Info: 310.374.8047,

• July 17-20: Coal Mine Cruiser Classic by Gotham City Land Cruisers, Rausch Creek Off-Road Park, Tremont, PA.

• July 18-20: Killington Jeep Jamboree, Killington, VT.

• July 18-20: Northwoods–Mole Lake Jeep Jamboree, Crandon, WI.

• July 18-21: Crawl for the Cure, Iron Range OHV Park near Minneapolis, MN.

• July 18-21: East Coast Xterra Challenge by the North East Xterra Club, Rausch Creek Off-Road Park, Tremont, PA.

• July 19: Off-Road Night at the Iron Horse Bar & Grill, Ventura, CA.
Info: 805.477.0783,

• July 19-20: WERock West Round 3, Goldendale, WA.

• July 20: KRRP 10th anniversary celebration, Kansas Rocks, near Mapleton, KS.

• July 20: Stadium Super Truck Series, Metro Dome, Minneapolis, MN.

• July 20: Getting Started Off-Road Driving Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Borrego Springs, CA.
Info: 310.374.8047,

• July 20-21: Vehicle Preservation & Wheeling Expert Instruction, private facility in CT.

• July 21: Sand Off-Road Driving Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Borrego Springs, CA.
Info: 310.374.8047,

• July 25-28: 61st Annual Jeepers Jamboree, Rubicon Trail, Georgetown, CA.
Info: 530.333.4771,

• July 27: Starting Rock Crawling Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Lucerne Valley, CA.
Info: 310.374.8047,

• Note: If you have a 4WD event you want us to publicize, please send the date, location, a description of the event, and contact info—phone numbers and/or email/website address—to Calendar, 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; fax 310.531.9368; email Please submit your info at least four months in advance of the event due to our press lead times.

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