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RPM Automotive News - June 2014

Posted in News on April 24, 2014
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That’s Interesting
Kelley Blue Book has included the ’14 Ford Explorer on its new 5-Year Cost to Own Award list, meaning it is one with the lowest five-year ownership cost.

So is the Jeep Patriot, according to the list.

And the ’14 Jeep Cherokee and Wrangler got Kelley Blue Book’s attention for best SUVs for under $25,000. The Kia Sorento also nabbed a spot.

From May 16-18, Arizona (near Flagstaff) will be home to the Overland Expo, at Mormon Lake Lodge. It will have nearly 200 exhibitors of four-by stuff as well as seminars, classes, and a 7-acre driving course. Details at has everything XJ (and MJ), from upgrade to restoration.

A study by the Federal Highway Administration revealed that drivers actually make a point to look away from billboards. The study was meant to determine whether digital billboards take away driver attention for unsafe periods of time. As it turned out, static or digital got the same attention: less than four-tenths of a second.

The ’15 Silverado 2500 and 3500 HDs will have a CNG-capable 6.0L engine. The engine code is LC8 and it makes 360 horses and 380 lb-ft of torque on gas; on CNG, it’s 301 ponies and 333 lb-ft of torque.

The Volkswagen Beetle has been in the U.S. for 65 years now.

ALG is predicting there to be a wave of vehicle-buying incentives. Inventory is at its highest levels since around 2009.

Jeep has brought back the Altitude model for the ’14 Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and Wrangler. This is the blacked-out version. The Cherokee will run $26,995, Grand for $37,290, and Wrangler is $35,395.

In case you haven’t heard, the Ford Mustang is turning 50 in 2014. As you might guess, the car is going to be everywhere, from merchandise to … pinball? Yes, a company is creating three ponycar-themed games. Wait, pinball still exists?

Fiat and Chrysler have made it official with a new logo.

PhotosView Slideshow

Is It True?
Chicks dig black Ford trucks? says a survey revealed that women say hot men often drive black Ford trucks; the least attractive ones drive mail trucks. Pickups beat sports cars for what attractive men drive.

Speaking of Ford—the Blue Oval is plopping down $80 mil and creating 350 more jobs at its Kentucky Truck Plant because of demand for the Super Duty.

And … DMAX—maker of the Duramax diesel—will invest $60 mil to make design changes at its Ohio Diesel Engine Plant for emissions requirements? And will retain around 500 jobs at the joint venture between GM and Isuzu?

2014 Ram EcoDiesel MPG Numbers
If you buy the ’14 Ram 1500 4x4 with the 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6, you’re looking at 19 city, 27 highway. The EcoDiesel/TorqueFlite eight-speed auto trans combo is priced about $2,850 more than a similarly equipped Hemi version.

PhotosView Slideshow

Your Government At Work
There’s a new OHV park planned for in Littlerock, which is in Los Angeles County.

Don’t forget Collector Car Appreciation Day on July 11.

In Michigan, legislation is being considered to exempt historic military vehicles from the requirement that they display a license plate (unless it originally was manufactured with lighting and mounting provisions for a plate).

Word is Maryland might allow a county or municipality to put a surcharge on vehicle registrations.

The EPA has approved revised rules from the California Air Resources Board for off-highway rec vehicles like ATVs, UTVs, sand cars, and motorcycles. The evaporative emissions standards would be phased in from 2018 to 2021.

Another word: The government is probably going to require all vehicles have a chip to allow for wireless vehicle-to-vehicle communications. It would be designed to help prevent crashes, reduce congestion, and more. It would have to be on all-new vehicles by the end of 2016.

Gee, That Press Release Sounds Naughty:
“Nissan North America is also significantly increasing penetration of SiriusXM”

Ford F-150’s New Option: Snowplow
Ford has gone and done another unique thing to the ’15 F-150—and something groundbreaking for its class: a snowplow prep option. A 4x4 5.0L V-8 is all that’s required; all cab configurations/trims can opt for it. Snowplow mode is simply the push of a button, and then nonessentials are shut off so that the plow gets all the power.

What’s Happening in the Industry
Brown & Miller Racing Solutions has opened a second place—the new one in Santa Ana, California, will join the Concord, North Carolina, joint, right down to mirroring it with hose assembly, pressure testing, and parts. Check it out at

Trail-Gear has acquired Longfield Super Axles.

And the MSD Performance Group (you know it was MSD, Edge, Superchips, and others) has been acquired by Hot Rod Brands.

Nissan Frontier Diesel Runner
Well, there you have it: a Nissan with a diesel has arrived—but not the Titan with a 5.0L, as you might have expected. That’s still coming in 2015. But first comes the Frontier Diesel Runner with a 2.8L Cummins that makes about 200 horses and 350 lb-ft of torque. It’s based on the Desert Runner 4x2 and is a concept vehicle at this point; a look into whether the public wants diesel. A little late to ponder, what with the Titan coming, but to clarify: We want.

The All-New Four Wheeler App and
Go to the iTunes store. Get the Four Wheeler app. Read the content and learn things. Then read the content and learn things from our sister magazines, such as Jp and 4-Wheel & Off-Road, in the same location.

Random Photo We Dug
The Chrysler Truck Assembly Plant doing Willys pickup interiors, late 1940s.

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