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RPM Automotive News - December 2014

Posted in News on October 21, 2014
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That’s Interesting

Ford has raised the price on the F-150. The 2015 XL will start at $26,615, while the XLT will open at $31,890. The base models are up over last year’s models by about $395.

More Ford: The new 2.7L EcoBoost performance numbers are in. For the 2015 F-150, you’re looking at towing capacity of 8,500 pounds, 325 horses, and 375 lb-ft of torque.

No more base-model Porsche Cayenne. The SUV will now have the diesel model as its base, which starts at $62,695. If you’re wondering how expensive the Cayenne can get, consider the Turbo model: $114,595.

Let’s look at fatality rates courtesy of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute: Individual fatality rates per distance driven and per population were what were on the table for all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on numbers from 2012 (last time available) and 2005 (there was a peak). The District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Minnesota had the lowest fatality rates per 1 billion miles. The highest were in West Virginia, South Carolina, and Montana. Per 100,000 people, the lowest were District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and New York, while highest were North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.

Thinking of survival and your bug-out plan/vehicle? The book Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family has sections on firearms and batteries, as well as transportation, including a checklist of things to carry in your 4x4, what should be in your emergency kit, how to make knots for towing or securing stuff on the roof, how to abandon your vehicle, worst-case scenarios, and more. The book also covers everything else you could or should be worrying about.

The Sun Sentinel out of Florida did a story about a guy committing identity theft. What made the story disturbing was his mug shot: The Bentley logo was tattooed between his eyes.

Four Star Freightliner is launching a diesel-tech training program. It’s to help plant and grow future diesel techs for its five dealerships in the Southeast. It has teamed up with the Diesel and Heavy Equipment Mechanics program at the Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Opp, Alabama.

How do you feel about the topic of self-driving cars? Well, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute hasn’t asked you, but they did ask people in the U.S., Australia, and the U.K. It seems 57 percent of those surveyed like the technology and are expecting great things from it. More than 70 percent thought there’d be fewer crashes. But, three-fourths of Americans are starting to wonder whether humans might be better performers, while two-thirds of Brits and Australians are thinking along those lines, too. More than three-fourths of those participating are very or moderately thinking about the consequences of system or equipment failure.

Is It True?

A Chevy Colorado Ford Raptor?

Bill Ford thinks the future will mean automakers will call themselves “personal-mobility companies”?

GM is planning for more light trucks with diesels in the near future?

And GM is already talking 10-speed auto transmission by 2017?

Your Government At Work

NHTSA is discussing standardizing sidewall tire ID codes, making them a consistent, across-the-board 13 numbers. Retreads would get seven numbers. It would be for easy recognition in recalls.

How Much a Toyota TRD Pro Will Cost You

The new Pro Series from Toyota is upon us, and we’ve got pricing info. Looking for a Tacoma TRD Pro? It’ll start at $35,525 for the Access Cab with a 4.0L and six-speed manual and go up to $37,415 for a Double Cab with a five-speed auto. The 4Runner Pro will set you back $41,110. Tundra TRD Pro pricing is still a secret. The Pro Series points to an off-road emphasis, including TRD Bilstein shocks, TRD-tuned front springs, and other unique features.

Random quote:

“I just got a tour of a lab where automakers and government researchers team up to create new technologies that help cars communicate with the world around them and with each other. They can tell you if an oncoming vehicle is about to run a red light, or if a car is coming around a blind corner, or if a detour would help you save time and gas. And I got to test all this in a simulator. It was sort of like Knight Rider. I have to say, though, it was a little disorienting -- I haven’t driven in about six years. And I’m going down the highway, and I think I had a little bit of a lead foot -- I was starting to hit 90.”

-- President Barack Obama

GM’s New Transmission

Chevy and GMC are going to have a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Look for it on the 2015 Silverado, Sierra, Yukon Denali, and Yukon XL Denali when there’s a 6.2L EcoTec3 V-8 under the hood. Its official name is Hydra-Matic 8L90. It’s the same size and weight as the like-named Hydra-Matic 6L80 six-speed auto trans.

Four Wheeler App

Do you like four wheeling? Travel? Tech? Vehicles? Products? Tests? Great writing and photography? Go to iTunes and get the Four Wheelerapp. You’ll get all that and much more.

What’s Happening In The Industry

Pull-A-Part has bought McAllen Texas Used Auto Parts and Hildago U-Pull-It Used Auto Parts.

The Zippo-owned W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery has hit a massive milestone: 125 years old.

Miller Electric Manufacturing has given its Build with Blue promo a redo. You’ll be eligible for a mail-in rebate and an extra $100, $250, or $500 more in Miller or Hobart products when you buy qualifying Miller equipment through January 31, 2015. Learn more at

TN-Red Kap has a brand ambassador. It’s Mike Ness of Social Distortion. TN-Reed Kap makes automotive apparel.

Bosch has launched a website called choosetherightinjector.comfor…choosing the right injector.

Are you on Twitter and Instagram? So is ACDelco.

Rancho is sponsoring Tread Lightly!, the org that protects trails and recreational use.

Ford vs. Ram

Ford is talking lawsuit. It wants Ram to stop saying “best in class” regarding its pickups and towing. Ford says its F-450 4x4 Crew Cab can tow 31,200 pounds. Ram’s 3500 4x2 Regular Cab tops out at 30,000 pounds, thereby, according to Ford, making its own truck the best in class. What has become issues are things like how each figures payload and which class said trucks are in.

Gee, That Press Release Sounds Naughty:

“The Hybrid Shop Becomes a Certified ‘Female Friendly’ Auto Repair Facility”

Did You Know?, Wonders Ford

Ford has a bunch of videos up on YouTube called “Did You Know?” based on the 1990s FCN TV network’s show of the same name. It walked people through Ford history on TV, and now it can do that for you on modern technology (yeah, TV isn’t so modern anymore, is it?). It was hosted by Ford’s corporate historian, Bob Kreipke, who covered historical facts and tidbits and stories, including about Henry Ford, milestones, plants, and cars. You can find it through postings by fordvideo1 (or

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