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RPM Automotive News - December 2013

Posted in News on October 16, 2013 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Manufacturers

That’s Interesting
Ford is offering an option for the ’14 F-150: the ability for the 3.6L V-6 to run on compressed natural gas.

Speaking of Ford, Team Ford Racing will be running a South Africa-based Ford Ranger in the Dakar Rally, taking place in January 2014 in South America.

Land Rover is testing an electric Defender 110 pickup, hoping to explore the idea of an all-terrain electric vehicle, a first for the company. Amendments include the Hill Descent Control being matched to the regenerative braking, and Terrain Response prepped for electric drive. Eight hours of low-speed off-road use is the talk.

The ’14 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel towing info is in: The 3.0L diesel’s towing capacity is rated at 9,200 pounds.

Wait, what? Mercedes-Benz Vision Golf Cart is the name of the Mercedes-Benz golf cart of the future. That’s not the scary part, this is: it has a “Sensual-Purity design philosophy.”

There’s a book called “Secrets to a Creative Mind: Become the Master of Your Mind.” Not to be confused with master of your domain. Any hoot, it was written by a guy named David Nutting, who’s said to be the designer of the first Jeep Wagoneer.

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is planning a complete interior and exterior redo, the first significant update in 20 years.

The Chevy Bow-Tie badge is 100 years old.

Kia has produced its one-millionth vehicle in the U.S., a ’14 Sorento.

Mopar has more than 100 accessories already available for the ’14 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Kelley Blue Book has named the 10 best luxury SUVs for 2013. First place went to the Land Rover Range Rover, followed by the Mercedes-Benz GL, and Porsche Cayenne. The rest of the list you’ll care even less about.

Rent a Hertz vehicle and know that the fleet is now completely non-smoking. As in, you can’t light up. We didn’t mean previously on fire.

Question: Imagination Library Literacy? Headline: Nissan To Help Mississippi Preschoolers With $400,000 Contribution To Dolly Parton Imagination Library Literacy Program.

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Is It True?
The top three SUVs in America right now are the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Chevy Equinox?

That luxury Bentley SUV would hit UK dealerships (and maybe beyond) in 2016? And is that drawing below supposed to tell us anything?

www.autopartswarehouse.com did the math and learned that when it came to the most purchased auto parts online, the radiator was number one?

2014 Jeep Cherokee SRT?
What do a professor from the University of Miami School of Business Administration and collaborators from Yale School of Public Health have in common? Could it be a grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to identify possible links between cancer risk and homes near heavy vehicle traffic?

44 percent of shoppers surveyed said they needed only one test drive before making a decision, and 49 percent needed just 30 minutes or less to thoroughly test for something they’ll likely drive for a zillion years? Says www.autotrader.com?

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Random Quote:
“The key selling point of electric vehicles is you’re going to save money at the pump. So when you have a sticker price starting at $35,000 or $40,000 in the case of the Volt, they just don’t present themselves as a tremendous value.”
— Alec Gutierrez, auto analyst for Kelley Blue Book to Bloomberg

Random Photo We Dug
It’s Henry Ford’s 150th birthday. Here’s a pic of him driving the 20-millionth Model A. So important a milestone was the 150th that Detroit made July 30, 2013, Henry Ford Day—his birthday. Well, not the 2013 part.

First Look: Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon
Here’s a peek—literally, just a peek—at the upcoming Colorado and Canyon downsize pickups, which are due to go into production in 2014.

What’s Happening In The Industry
Check out the Quaker State sweepstakes, “Defy My Ride,” which gives you a chance to win a modified ’72 Corvette as well as other prizes like a gas card from Shell. Enter at www.quakerstate.com by October 31.

BDS Suspension and Zone Offroad have announced that when it came to ensuring compliance of aftermarket products with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard regarding electronic stability control systems, the company’s suspension kits meet the newest standards.

Greg Henderson is holding a fundraiser for his son Liam, who was severely injured and nearly died nearly two years ago. It will take place October 12 at Rocks and Valleys Off Road Park. Greg has been building a Jeep TJ, but modified as a recovery vehicle based on a Brute for the cause (Greg has been head fabricator and tech for AEV for many years), which will be auctioned off; the raffle ticket sales will begin that day. Sponsors include Poison Spyder, Benchmade, and ARB. For more info on raffle tickets and to follow the buildup, head to www.facebook.com/greg.henderson.790 and www.babyliam.org.

Fourwheeler.com: Check Out What’s New
Last month we unveiled an all-new www.fourwheeler.com, which nabbed the royal title of “Four Wheeler Network” and now is also hosting content from our sister magazines, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, Jp, Mud Life, 4Wheel Drive & Sport Utility, and Off-Road. Creating your own profile, uploading photos and video, and much more are part of the new website. Take a look and let us know what you think!

Are These the Most Embarrassing Vehicles?
www.carinsurance.com did a survey to find out the vehicles Americans would least like to be seen in. At the top of the list was the Smart ForTwo (“deemed too girly” and “tries too hard”). The Hummer H2 was in Third Place (“women really don’t like the H2”), while the Volkswagen New Beetle was in Fifth. The Pontiac Aztek is always ensured a spot on any worst/bad/sucks-out-loud list, and it landed in the eight spot here. Other fails with those surveyed? Vehicles that are purple, bright yellow, or orange. When it came to most embarrassing type of vehicle, large SUVs grabbed 11 percent of the pie.

Your Government At Work
GM has chopped $5,000 off the price of the all-electric Chevy Volt so that it can continue to sell pickups out the wazoo. It has to do with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ): sell more pickups than compacts (read: mpg vs. mpg), there will be a fine. It’s kind of a carbon footprint thing and a mileage limit. In 2025, those CAFÉ standards will increase, meaning selling more hybrids will become crucial to balance out the popularity of any automaker’s truck and SUV sales. For example, according to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Mercedes-Benz recently had to pay the U.S. government $16.3 million in penalties because having petite, fuel-efficient models in the lineup hasn’t been a priority.

Sounds like those federally mandated backup cameras in new vehicles have been delayed; the rollout will now likely begin in early 2017.

If Top Truck Challenge Becomes an Action Movie, Who Should Play the Four Wheeler Staff?
All good action movies have a roving reporter...so which Hollywood actors (or actresses) should play the Four Wheeler editors in the TTC summer blockbuster, and why? Come on over to Four Wheeler’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fourwheelermag) and tell us! Here are our picks:

Brubaker: Bruce Willis. Like in the movie Red. We both don’t have much hair left on our head and we aren’t all that funny. However, I asked my wife and boys who should play me in a TTC movie and they unanimously said Danny DeVito. What the heck? This is puzzling to me. I’m taller than he is.

Cappa: Mr. Roark from Fantasy Island, of course! Obviously Tattoo could play Ali. Ken, ehh, maybe he could be some wealthy farmer looking to go on a TTC fantasy adventure that involves bugs, poison oak, and quicksand on an island where Chevy S-10s and International Scouts are actually reliable.

Mansour: The only person I could think of was the guy that played Mr. Bean, so I decided to ask my wife. She said Hugh Jackman or possibly Jeff Gordon, since people in the South seem to link me to his likeness....

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