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RPM Automotive News - April 2014

Posted in News on February 28, 2014
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That’s Interesting
Our sister pub Motor Trend hailed the Ram 1500 the ’14 Truck of the Year.

The Business Insider via Kelly Blue Book sorted out the best-selling vehicle in every state. The Ford F-series ruled the day nearly everywhere (first place in more than 30 states), although Hawaii was partial to the Toyota Tacoma.

A survey by that the most annoying drivers people know are their spouse, followed by friend, mother, and father. Among the habits? Tailgating, driving too fast, talking on the phone while driving, getting lost, and merging too slowly. Come to think of it, we hate your spouse now, too.

Who wants an electric/hybrid? Not truck buyers, according to findings from Phoenix Marketing International’s Automotive Practice. Those looking for luxo SUVs and non-luxo cars are most likely to consider buying one.

Kelly Blue Book’s ’14 Best Resale Value Awards. Best Brands: Lexus and Toyota. Top 10 models included: Toyota FJ Cruiser, 4Runner, Tundra, and Tacoma, Jeep Wrangler, Chevy Silverado 1500.

By the time you read this, Ford will have built its first CNG/LPG-capable ’14 F-150.

“Despite new entries from our competitors, truck consumers continue to vote us No. 1—day in and day out—with their checkbooks.”
—Doug Scott, Ford Truck Group marketing manager.

The F-Series is destined to have it highest yearly sales total since 2006.

Is It True?

Land Rover Defender pickup? In three years?

A Tesla pickup?

Chevy Colorado ZR2?

20 percent of 2,000 people polled by www.carinsurance.comsaid they would buy an autonomous vehicle if it meant they never had to drive again?

Light-duty-vehicle fuel consumption is down 11 percent since 2004? According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute?

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The All-New Four Wheeler App and
There’s a new .0 version of the Four Wheeler app available through the iTunes store. Not only has it been redesigned, but so has, which now has a sick amount of content at your fingertips, including from our off-road sister pubs, such as 4-Wheel & Off-Road. Build, wrench, and have dirty fantasies about building and wrenching through the endless supply of vehicle porn.

New Vehicles: Jeep, Chevy, Volkswagen, Toyota, and Land Rover
The ’14 Jeep Wrangler Willys is a throwback to the early CJ and is based on the Wrangler Sport. It’s got badging as well as…well, you might not see much throwback, actually, so stick with the badging and decals, which include a circa-then tailgate decal that reads “4 Wheel Drive.” It’ll have an MSRP starting at $25,795.

You’ll also want to keep your eyes peeled for the ’15 Chevy Colorado. The midsize pickup will have a 193hp 2.5L four-cylinder as the standard engine, although a 302hp 3.6L V-6 is available. A 2.8L four-cylinder Duramax diesel is expected about a year after the truck’s debut. Both gas engines are mated to a six-speed auto, although the 2.5L can be had with a six-speed manual. Payload/trailering capacity is expected to be more than 6,700 pounds. WT, LT, and Z71 trims will be available, and there are extended cab and crew cab models, varying in 5- to 6-foot lengths. Coil-over strut front suspension, electric power steering, and a boxed frame like the Silverado are among other notables.

The Volkswagen Touareg X is X-rated in the sense that the X stands for 10—10 years a model. There will be 1,000 available, featuring the TDI Lux trim. It’s $56,170 and has Moab wheels, X badging, and a 3.0L V-6 TDI worth 240 horses and 406 lb-ft of torque.

The ’14 FJ Cruiser Trail Teams Ultimate Edition—only 2,500 will be built, and it also is relevant for marking the end of the next-gen FJ, which will be euthanized at the end of the 2014 model year. Note the heritage-y front grille. It also has a special TRD suspension and skidplate,

And lastly, Range Rover has unveiled the Land Rover Long Wheelbase, which features increased rear legroom by 7.3 inches. The SUV will be available around March. Range Rover hasn’t offered a long-wheelbase ride in about 20 years.

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What’s Happening In The Industry
You will now get Factory Protection Plus for your late-model truck when you buy an eligible Zone Offroad Products lift kit. It’s a limited lifetime warranty coupled with FMVSS compliance testing and a five-year/60,000-mile supplemental drivetrain warranty. It’s free. Learn more at

Pinnacle Shield is offering the first wheel damage protection package for if you curb it or cause other cosmetic damage. Info is at

Mickey Thompson Tires and Wheels nabbed two ’13 SEMA Global Media Awards. It has to do with specialty equipment manufacturers recognized for having appeal to consumers outside the U.S. The Deegan 38 mud-terrain and SideBiter II wheel were given the accolades.

The Rugged Ridge Trail Access Program has been launched by Omix-ADA (by way of its Rugged Ridge brand), which will provide grants to nonprofits to aid in keeping trails on public land open, education, and litigation. Grants will be worth up to $5,000; apply at

Your Government At Work
The U.S. Treasury sold the last of its shares of GM stock.

The U.S. is going to help China with setting tougher emissions standards.

Random Photo We Dug
Kirobo is a robot. It went into outer space. It spoke. That makes it the first robot in space to speak. Toyota was the mastermind behind the robot’s voice-recognition software. In case you wondered, its first word was “on.” OK, the sentence it said in Japanese started with “on.” But technically, we are correct.

The new BFGoodrich all-terrains? We saw ’em at the Baja 1000.

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