Toyota has broken ground on its new North American headquarters in Plano, Texas. It should be done late 2016 or early 2017.
While we’re at it, Toyota made close to 2 million vehicles in 2014.
Porsche has built its 600,000th Cayenne. Also, the new Cayenne S E-Hybrid is a plug-in worth 416 horses.
The ’15 Jeep Wrangler scored two Best Resale Value awards from Kelley Blue Book: It ranked in the Top 10 and compact SUV/crossover, while the Wrangler Unlimited grabbed the Top 10 and also midsize SUV/crossover. Over at GM, the Chevy Suburban, Colorado, and Silverado scored Top 10 spots.
While we’re at it, the Jeep Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel was named Green Car Journal’s 2015 Green SUV of the Year.
And Jeep’s goal of 1 million global sales in 2014 came in at 1,017,019. That’s up 39 percent over the previous year and a new Jeep record.
On two ’15 Cadillac models, the front seats are capable of massaging the driver and passenger. GM’s duh-dar disclaimer: “While the seat is unable to provide the same experience as a trained practitioner…”
Ram now offers the 1500 EcoDiesel HFE, the High Fuel Efficiency model. It gets a whopping 29 mpg highway.
Land Rover recreated the production line that existed when it made its first 4x4 in 1948, right after World War II. It’s being called Defender Celebration Line. It will be open for visitors to see at the Solihull plant in the United Kingdom.
There’s a monochrome appearance package for the ’15 Chevy Silverado. The Midnight Edition is based off the Silverado Z71 and basically everything is black: front end, moldings, wheels, badging, and Bow Ties. Meanwhile, the GMC Sierra Elevation goes with a monochromatic look as well, with four color options and everything to match. And the GMC Canyon Nightfall is all black.
The ’15 Ford F-150 was named North American Truck of the Year. Consumer Reports has completed its Annual New-Car Value Rankings, which takes into consideration pricing, fuel economy, comfort, and more. Bests included the Nissan Frontier SV, while worsts included the Jeep Cherokee Latitude and Wrangler Unlimited Sahara, GMC Yukon SLT, Mercedes-Benz GL350 BlueTec, and Toyota Tacoma V-6.
Richard Petty Driving Experience and Zero1 Desert Adventures Powered by RZR are teaming up to provide excursions through the Mojave Desert on a ’15 Polaris RZR XP1000 EPS. The packages start at $199 and can be anywhere from two hours to a half-day. Learn more at drivepetty.com/drive/zero1.
2016 Nissan Titan XD
Here’s your first real look at the ’16 Nissan Titan XD, featuring the Cummins 5.0L V-8. About that long-awaited engine: It’s said to make 310 horses and 555 lb-ft of torque, and it will shoot the truck to a max towing capacity of 12,000 pounds. The Titan XD will arrive in dealerships later this year.
Is it True?
Bentley will name its SUV Bentayga?
Verizon and Google are both entering the car business? In the OnStar-ish (Verizon) and auto-insurance-comparos (Google) ways?
Hyundai wants to get in the pickup market? And that’s why it unveiled a concept truck called HCD-15 Santa Cruz?
Every Land Rover will get a diesel option in the future?
A Jeep Wrangler hybrid?
“The basic idea behind the Renegade is to include everything that’s interesting and fun about the Wrangler, and to put it in a package that is more ‘acceptable’ because we know the Wrangler is not for everyone.”
—Mark Allen, director of design for Jeep, according to Fox News Latino
Off-Road-Ready Ram 1500 Rebel
Meet the ’15 Ram 1500 Rebel. It features an off-road package (full disclosure: Ram calls it a “off-road-style package”), an air-suspension system with a 1-inch factory suspension lift, Bilstein shocks, a softer rear stabilizer bar, and a new tire for Rams, the 33-inch Toyo Open Country A/Ts. The truck is available with either the 3.6L Pentastar or 5.7L Hemi, and a 3.92 axle ratio is available with the Pentastar for the first time. The Rebel comes as a crew cab, with the 5-foot, 7-inch bed length.
What’s Happening In The Industry
Pro Comp’s Xtreme MT2 is available in size 40x13.50R17, making the MT2 radial lineup in sizes 31-40-inch diameters.
There’s an app free for iPhone and iPad from Miller, which gives you the fundamentals for TIG, MIG, or stick welding.
The American Bantam Jeep story is going Hollywood. A TV mini-series will air, with 50 percent of the revenues from the series going to nonprofit veteran and off-road groups, such as BlueRibbon Coalition. Friend of Four Wheeler Del Albright even makes an appearance. Go here for am early look: youtube.com/watch?v=MJf0eFQrjxQ
Your Government at Work
The 6th annual Collector Car Appreciation Day across the U.S. will be July 10, 2015.
New Hampshire is pondering a bill that would give trucks more than 25 years old status as Antique Motor Vehicles.
Hawaii is considering lowering annual vehicle registration fees by $20.
North Dakota is back to wondering whether restricting modifying vehicles—say, suspension or steering—is a good idea.
All-New 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor
The Ford F-150 Raptor got a total redo, which includes more high-strength steel in its foundation than the previous Raptor. The truck is 6 inches wider than the regular F-150, and has new BFG All-Terrain KO2 rubber. There’s another first: dual exhaust for spent gases from the second-gen 3.5L EcoBoost V-6, which is more potent and fuel-efficient than the current 6.2L V-8. The 3.5L is mated to a 10-speed trans. There’s also a new transfer case.
2016 Toyota Tacoma
Do you remember when the Tacoma debuted? Spoiler: 1964. The ’16 Tacoma features a 2.7L four-cylinder and new 3.5L Atkinson-cycle V-6, with direct and port fuel injection. A new six-speed is mated to both. There’s also an available manual six-speed for the V-6. Multi-Terrain Select allows for setting the system to loose rock, mud, or sand for maximum traction. Five trims will be offered: SR, SR5, TRD Sport, TRD Off-Road, and Limited.
Four Wheeler App
Go to the iTunes store. Get Four Wheeler on your mobile device. Read features, tech, products, tips, and more. Let’s back up—first, get a mobile device. Then, go to the iTunes store.
Department of Corrections
In our Feb. ’15 story, “Import Fighter,” we had an error regarding the ’15 Chevy Colorado. There’s indeed a 4x4 Colorado/2.5L four-cylinder combo available as an extended cab configuration.