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RPM Automotive News - April 2015

Posted in News on March 12, 2015
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That’s Interesting
Ford Asia Pacific took to to show off the new Ford Ranger, but is it? It’s probably the model we won’t get in the U.S. Probably.

Ford is touting its new F-150’s fuel economy. If you were to get a 4x2 with the 2.7L EcoBoost, you’d be looking at an estimated 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway.

Hey, Blue Oval, more you: Kelley Blue Book named its winners of 2015 Best Buy Awards, and the Ford F-150 was the overall winner. The acceptance speech, if there were one, would have likely credited the aluminum body and EcoBoost, plus a friendly price tag. KBB also named the ’15 Chevy Tahoe in the fullsize SUV/crossover category.

Shop-Click-Drive has turned a year old. It’s the online shopping tool for Chevy and GMC vehicles. You can buy or lease through it. Head to for more shopping, clicking, and driving.

While you’re over at the tubey site, search for “Nissan Titan Truckumentary” series and watch videos with talking heads, who will give you the scoop on the next-generation Titan.

Bridgestone has opened its first giant off-road radial tire plant, located in South Carolina. The massive rubber will be for heavy-haul trucks used for mining and aggregates.

If you want a Ram ProMaster City van, it starts at $23,130.

Check out the non-U.S., not-written-in-English website It’s a 4x4-themed site, with loads of wheeling photo action from events you’ve never heard of and ones you have. You can always use an online translator if you need to know the words.

Random Quote:
“Thank God I was able to acquire Jeep and retain some of those Hummer people.”
—Dealer Joe Serra to Ad Age, discussing when GM dumped the Hummer brand and he lost more than 1,000 customers as a result

Is It True?
Eight-speed automatic transmission in the all-new Jeep Wrangler, like what’s in the Grand Cherokee and Ram 1500? And there’s still talk of no more solid axles?

Cyber hackers might just target our traffic lights and GPS?’s surveying found that 69 percent of those polled had buyer’s remorse after getting a vehicle?

Are we going to see gas prices head south of $2 per gallon in 2015?

Apple CarPlay, the hands-free way to use an iPhone, will start showing up in some new vehicles, like Ferraris and Hyundais, in 2015?

What’s Happening In The Industry
Bushwacker handed its Founder’s Award to Josh Ellison, which is a tip of the hat to the builder of the best truck or SUV at the SEMA Show. This was the inaugural award, and Josh won $1,500 and a trophy for his ’14 Ford F-350 crew cab.

Speaking of the SEMA Show, Rugged Ridge gave away a Jeep during that event. The custom ’14 Wrangler went to Jody S. of Idaho, and it’s said to be worth more than $45,000. It has Rugged Ridge’s Summit restyling package, an XHD modular bumper, and more.

American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) and Filson have teamed up again on a vehicle. Last time, it was a limited-edition AEV Filson Edition Brute Double Cab. This time, it’s an AEV Filson Edition Wrangler. It’s based on AEV’s JK350 package, which includes the front bumper, heat-reduction hood, and 31⁄2-inch DualSport SC suspension system. A 5.7L or 6.4L Hemi is available. It starts around $64,000. Learn more at

2016 Ford Explorer
Next summer is when the new Ford Explorer hits dealerships, but for now, we can tell you that the 25-year-old SUV gets a new optional 2.3L four-cylinder EcoBoost, replacing the 2.0L EcoBoost. It’s said to be worth close to 270 horses and 300 lb-ft of torque. The standard mill will be the naturally aspirated 3.5L V-6. A new fancy Explorer is on tap for the lineup, called Platinum, and it and the Explorer Sport get a twin-turbo 3.5L V-6 worth about 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of twist. The Explorer also got suspension improvements, a retuned chassis, and a new look.

Your Government At Work
Could it become a law that if you don’t deal with your vehicle’s safety recall notice, you won’t be able to renew the registration?

The Arizona attorney general has filed a lawsuit against GM that claims, “the automaker had defrauded the state’s consumers of an estimated $3 billion,” according to Automotive News. That’s said to be based on value losses suffered by owners and that GM “manufactured and sold millions of vehicles that were not safe, including hundreds of thousands in Arizona.”

Will the French government ban diesel vehicles?

Book Quote:
“Gentlemen, we must outbuild Hitler.”
—Quote from The Arsenal of Democracy by A.J. Baime, a book about how the automotive industry and Detroit helped build planes to fight World War II

What Are You Doing, Kia?
This is an X-Men-inspired X-Car Kia Sorento. Why, you ask? Kia released a video in mid-December “showing [tennis champion] Rafael Nadal teaming up with the X-Men and taking on the Sentinels—the robotic antagonists from the latest film in the X-Men franchise—who are threatening the Australian Open 2015. To save the first Grand Slam tournament of the year, the X-Men and Nadal are helped by a ‘Kia X-Car’, which leads the attack against the Sentinels,” sort of explained the automaker about the Wolverine-ish look. So…why, you ask?

Random Photo We Dug
This is an old Ford assembly line photo, but what we dig even more is that it’s one of the 32,000-plus historical automotive photos now available through the Detroit Public Library for junkies like you and us. The Nathan Lazarnick Collection is the source behind many of the images of autos, auto shows, and manufacturing plants from the first quarter of the 20th century. Head to The digital collections will continue to be updated.

Four Wheeler App
Download the Four Wheeler app from the App Store in iTunes. You’ll get: Tech. Trucks. Tips. Tools. Tricks. Tons more.

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