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January 2010 Dispatch - Jeep News & Rumors

Posted in News on January 1, 2010
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CJ-3B-Inspired Icon Dog
New out of Icon 4x4 is The Dog, which the company says was inspired by the 3B. It has designed the chassis based on 2x4-inch mandrel-bent steel rails, and the vehicle features coilover suspension and a 200-plus-horsepower GM Ecotec 2.4L engine mated to an Aisin-Warner AX15 transmission. An NP231 T-case, modified Wrangler Rubicon axles, locking diffs, and variable-ratio power steering are also included. While 31-inch tires are standard, 33s will be optional. "Will be"? Yup, it's for reals, kids. Production will begin in early 2010, and The Dog will start around $50,000 in turnkey format. When The Dog becomes available in kit form, it'll likely run between $15,000-$27,000. Also planned? An electric four-by model with a variable crawl ratio.

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Jeep News & Rumors
•Is an SUV coming from Alfa Romeo that will be based on the '11 Grand Cherokee?

•Bad news for your '96 Cherokee or Grand Cherokee-and you better chain yourself to yours if you still have it. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau's Hot Wheels 2009 study about auto thefts, those models were number seven in the list of top 10 most stolen vehicles in the nation for 2008.

•Have a DVD collection? Then here's a must-add: the Jeep owner's manual for the '10 model year! It will now come in DVD format and be accompanied by a printed user guide with commonly needed info, such as how to jump-start and change tires and why it's time to get rid of your VCR.

•Some vintage Jeep commercials can be found at, including the one about the Levi-tastic CJ-5. Because "Levi seats, outta sight."

Auto Graphs
•Angry Neighbors with Paintball Guns is a group in Durham, North Carolina, that has posted signs alerting speeders that if they don't slow down, they might get shot at with a paintball gun, reports So far it's unclear whether it's just a threat or will become reality. This is in reaction to the city no longer funding the PACE Car program, which was to help prevent speeding.

•"To prevent the spread of the H1N1 flu epidemic and other contagious diseases, a speedy cleanup is necessary," Recycling Fund Management Board Director Lin Chien-huei told the Taipai Times. The EPA is holding a raffle to get people to turn in flood-damaged vehicles from Typhoon Morakot so that the vehicles don't end up in the auto-parts market and to avoid abandonment or being disposed of improperly.

•Time magazine has reported that "Scientists are finding a new man-made threat to the ozone layer, nitrous oxide." It's based on a study published by Science. As the article pointed out, "N2O is likely to prove much more difficult than CFCs to phase out...N2O is all around us, tied intimately to our industrial way of life."

Industry News
•The '10 Dodge Ram HD will now come in crew-cab form. New model: Laramie Mega Cab 3500 4x4.

•Ford's all-new '11 Super Duty will feature new engines, including the Ford-designed, -engineered, and -built 6.7L Power Stroke diesel and a new 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift six-speed auto trans.

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•The Global Engine Manufacturing Alliance between Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai is now a lot less global. Mitsu and Hyundai have sold their interests to Chrysler.

•Speaking of They're Just Not That Into You, Nissan and Chrysler are ending a couple of joint projects that included Chrysler providing Nissan with a fullsize pickup in 2011, and Nissan giving Chrysler a small vehicle for 2010.

•Look for more Chrysler models to show up in Europe, thanks to the whole Fiatsco.

•'s an all-new site from BFGoodrich that's dedicated to all there is about driving. What's in it for you? You can create a driver profile, upload videos and photos, share destination info, get trail coordinates, see other people's uploaded videos and photos, read their destination info, get their trail coordinates, and talk shop.

•Here's one about a guy named Roy Wireman, who has developed a new twin cluster gear manual trans (like what's in an 18-wheeler). He says his design doubles the torque capacity and can accommodate synchromesh gear synchronizers. He built the prototype based on a Richmond street five-speed-which has a 450 lb-ft torque rating, but Roy says his is ready for 900 lb-ft. He also promised it's adaptable in place of most conventional manual trannies, including the Tremec T56 Magnum six-speed: "The Magnum carries a 700 lb-ft rating, which jumps to 1,400 with my twin cluster design!" Look for more on this in Jp in the future.

You Have a Small Package?
AutoPacific conducted a study that claims American consumers desire fuel-efficient cars, but don't want to drive something much smaller than what they currently have. The study was called Small Cars in the USA-Planning for the Coming Boom, and surveyed more than 32,000 new car and light-truck buyers. Among the least shocking revelations? "This survey shows that present owners of the smallest cars like the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, and Chevrolet Aveo want more power and acceleration, more technology, and more cargo room next time they buy," explained George Peterson, AutoPacific's president.

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Cash for Clunkers Boosts Truck, SUV Sales
Oops. The master plan was for people to turn in "gas guzzlers" for more "fuel-efficient" cars, but the Associated Press reports that for those $3,500-$4,500 rebates, the better-gas-mileage-than-the-trade-in protocol for cars was at least 4 mpg, while people buying SUVs and pickups needed only a 2 mpg improvement. So, the CARS/clunker program sold 16,330 Chevy Silverados, 16,263 Ford F-150s, and 15 Hummer H3Ts. Those numbers include two- and four-wheel drive and various engines. There were 15,013 Prius models sold. The U.S. transportation secretary has called the program "wildly successful" and said there were nearly 700,000 "car sales."

"Moparized" Liberty and Wrangler
"Right after Dodge Ram, Jeep Wrangler is our most accessorized vehicle," said Pietro Gorlier, who is president and chief executive officer of Mopar Service, Parts and Customer Care. "We're going to ignore the chrome part," he said after that. So, running with that argument, Pietro and his team "Moparized" (really, it's their word, not ours) a Wrangler Unlimited and Liberty for the International Motorshow in Frankfurt, Germany. Jeep claims that Wrangler owners spend about $325 on Mopar stuff. And one more fun fact: Mopar distributes close to 280,000 parts and accessories to more than 90 countries.

Things to Do With Your Jeep
January 9: Tread Lightly Tread Trainer Clinic hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA near Gorman, CA,

January 10: 4WD Spotting Skills Clinic hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA near Gorman, CA,

January 23-24: Beginning Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA near Gorman, CA,

January 25- 26: Getting Started Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA near Gorman, CA,

January 30: Rocks Skills Clinic hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Calico near Barstow or Johnson Valley near Lucerne Valley, CA,

January 31: Picking Lines hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Calico near Barstow or Johnson Valley near Lucerne Valley, CA,

January 30-31: AMVCC 19th annual Papago Military Vehicle Show, Phoenix, AZ,

February 24-27: Chile Challenge hosted by Las Cruces Four Wheel Drive Club, Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds, Las Cruces, NM,

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