Jeep News & Rumors
•It's official: The new Pentastar V-6 is in production and will replace seven existing V-6s. The '11 Grand Cherokee gets it first.
•Twitter.com/jeep. Not enough characters left to say more than that.
•Jeep recall: the '10 Grand Cherokee and Commander for what could be an improperly manufactured rear track bar. What's worse than the recall news? Learning that Jeeps affected totaled 3,498. As in, sold.
•The Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index is an annual look at the brands that can brag about having loyal customers. For automotive, Hyundai ranked first; Jeep was 14. Autos weren't the only category studied: Coors Light and Budweiser captured the top spots for light and regular beer, respectively, while Domino's ranked numero uno in pizza.
•"Supplier constraint"-that's what Automotive News claims a memo to dealers used as the explanation for why they should be pushing the soft-top Wrangler versus the hard-topper. Due to a switch in suppliers-and the new one not being able to supply them fast enough to keep up with demand-hardtop Wranglers are tough to find.
•But wait, this just in: Colored factory hardtops-think body-colored-are probably coming soon.
•Dow Jones is reporting that Fiat will produce nine Fiat and Chrysler models by 2016 in a joint venture with Russian peer Sollers, and it will include a Jeep model (or two) for the Russian market.
•Insure.com ranked the Wrangler X as the fifth least expensive '10 vehicle to insure. The Patriot Sport was No. 13 on the list of the cheap top 20.
•As of March, 33 states had raised the speed limit to 70 mph or higher on some sections of highway. The national maximum speed limit was repealed by Congress in 1995.
•Chrysler's Certified Preowned Vehicle program (CPOV) has launched a website: certifiedpreowned.chrysler.com. It has Jeep (and Ram and Chrysler) inventory and special features for finding a vehicle.
•Out of the UK: The Special Order Programme (their funky spelling) allows people to "bespoke" their Wrangler in a bazillion color (er, colour), trim, and engine combos. Bespoke means custom made.
•Ford and GM diesel power numbers are finally in: The new 6.7L V-8 Power Stroke makes 390 hp at 2,800 rpm and 735 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm (and is B20 capable), while GM's new 6.6L Duramax puts out 397 hp at 3,000 rpm and 765 lb-ft of torque at 1,600 rpm (and is B20 capable).
•Wait, we have Ram news, too: Word is that the two-mode hybrid Ram is dead, but a plug-in electric version of the pickup will be built for a special fleet.
•Wait, we have more Ram news: Ram Truck will hold a 26-state, 50-venue Sportsman's Tour geared toward hunters, boaters, and fisherman and the heavy-duty pickups through October.
•Wait, we have even more Ram news: There's also a 14-state, 33-venue Ram Heavy Duty Tour to focus on commercial truck buyers for the HD models. It runs through August.
•The BFGoodrich Outstanding Trails program is celebrating its fifth anniversary.
•Mycenterforce.com has been updated to include both Centerforce and user (meaning you) videos. You'll find racing, shop tours, clutch tips, and more on the video side of things, plus you can also post questions and make comments.
•Team 311's Crawl to Cure Cancer program was able to donate $14,371 in 2009 to the American Cancer Society, thanks to the goodwill of fellow Jeep enthusiasts and support from 4Wheel Drive Hardware.
•The Tribune Chronicle has reported that Denman Tire has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, liquidating all its assets to repay creditors. Denman makes the Ground Hawg.
•The Colorado Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs and the Ute Pass Iron Goats are raffling off a '98 Cherokee Sport with tons of aftermarket parts. You can buy a ticket and get more info at hightrails.org.
•Until October 31, 2010, Yukon Gear & Axle is offering an "unconditional" warranty on Grizzly lockers for the first year, covering the replacement of the Grizzly unit and associated parts that may be damaged, including associated labor, up to $2,000.
•Chicks, man: It's women who are the better drivers, according to insurance.com, which punched the numbers on more than 7 million drivers to figure out who reported more violations. That would be men, if you're not with us. The study also showed that married female drivers reported violations more often than married males, but single males reported more than single females. Men had more DUIs, while women got more speeding citations, except for cases over the speed limit, which went to men. Wait, doesn't this all balance out in the end?
•Virginia will raise the interstate speed limit from 65 to 70 mph.
•And speaking of speeding-or rather, not-a bill is making its way through the Georgia House of Reps without a problem: A fine of $75 would be handed down to drivers who hang out in the left lane and are traveling lower than the posted speed limit when someone is coming up faster from behind.
•Been looking for the Déjà Vu stripper mobile on the streets of Tampa, Florida? A supposed registration issue took it out of commission temporarily, but it's back. Happy? We bet. However, the strippers pole dancing in the back are now wearing more clothing and can no longer simulate acts. You know the kind we mean. Yes, the second and third acts of Macbeth, that's exactly what we mean.
•The U.S. Department of Transportation said that the number of overall traffic fatalities reported by the end of 2009 was the lowest since 1954, and the lowest ever recorded.
•Thinking of leasing? Then you're probably over the hill. Leasetrader.com put together some demographic data and learned that the average age is 42.4 (that's up from 36.6 10 years ago). The site noted that drivers age 50 and up have been the largest percentile increase for lease marketplace activity (which explains the rise in the average age).
•On topic: ASafeDrive is a new iPhone app to help you stick to the speed limit, including a color-changing speedo and warnings such as a sound or vibration.
•AutoMD.com conducted an online survey and found that people are putting more miles on their current vehicles-to the tune of 50,000 or more-than on their previous vehicle, and with "the majority of respondents planning to keep their vehicle until it dies."
Not A Jeep
Ram PowerWagon. Sure, it could steal thunder from Ford's '10 F-150 SVT Raptor if it went into production, and it'll be a cool truck. But why isn't this a Jeep pickup? We know the Gladiator couldn't have just been fan fiction.
Things to Do With Your Jeep
•June 4-5, Carlisle All-Ford Nationals, Carlisle Fairgrounds, Carlisle, PA, carlisleevents.com
•June 24-28, 15th Annual Rubicon Scramble, hosted by Hills Angels 4x4 Club, Rubicon Trail, near Lake Tahoe, CA, hillsangels4x4.com
•June 25-27, Carlisle All-GM Nationals, Carlisle Fairgrounds, Carlisle, PA, carlisleevents.com
•July 9-11, Carlisle All-Chrysler Nationals, Carlisle Fairgrounds, Carlisle, PA, carlisleevents.com
•July 12-18, Divide Ride 2010, hosted by Montana 4x4 Association, Jefferson County Fairgrounds, Boulder, MT, m4x4a.org, divideride.org
•July 31-August 1, Trailfest 2010, hosted by the London & Area Jeep Owners Club, Bobcaygeon, Ontario, trailfest.ca
•August 7-8, Beginning Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA, 4x4training.com
•August 9-10, Getting Started Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA, 4x4training.com
•August 12-15, 14th Rubicon Trail, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, near Lake Tahoe, CA, jeepjamboreeusa.com
•August 16-19, Rubicon Road Trip & Adventure, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Rubicon Trail, near Lake Tahoe, CA, 4x4training.com
•August 26-28, 2nd Big Horn Mountains, hosted by Jeep Jamboree USA, Dayton, WY, jeepjamboreeusa.com
•September 11, Spotting Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Calico-Barstow or Johnson Valley, near Lucerne Valley, CA, 4x4training.com
•September 12, Rock Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Calico-Barstow or Johnson Valley, near Lucerne Valley, CA, 4x4training.com
•September 17, Winching Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA, 4x4training.com
•September 18-19, Beginning Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA, 4x4training.com
•September 20-21, Getting Started Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA, 4x4training.com
•September 25, 4WD Sand Driving Clinic, hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Oceano Dunes, Pismo, CA, 4x4training.com
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