Jeep News & Rumors
•The game Call of Duty: Black Ops features a Jeep, and rumor is there will be a Wrangler Call of Duty edition.
•'11 Patriot: new fascias, body-colored grille, interior redo, and available 17-inch rims among the changes. The 4x4 ride height is up an inch. Yeah, that helps with the cred.
•'11 Grand: nominee for 2011 North American Car/Truck of the Year.
•'96 Grand: Didn't make the National Insurance Crime Bureau's Hot Wheels list of most stolen vehicles for 2009 like it did in 2008. Slacker.
•South Africa, meet the Wrangler Mountain. WM, meet SA. This model will be "the first in a new range of such unique customised [sic] Jeep vehicles that we will be launching into the South African market over the next couple of years," said Guy Franken, head of marketing and corporate affairs.
•The KUKA Systems manufacturing operation in Toledo, Ohio, produced its 500,000th Wrangler body. Chances are good that as you're reading this, they've made more.
•There's a new SEMA award, aptly named "SEMA Award." Three categories are defined by the award: Hottest Car, Hottest Truck, and Hottest 4x4-SUV. We agree, "Hottest" is so '80s. But we can forgive since the new Grand Cherokee is a contender for most trend-setting vehicle.
•VP Joe Biden stopped by the Jeep Wrangler's house (Toledo Assembly Complex). It had to do with him praising suppliers for being important to the automotive industry.
•Will the new Grand's SRT8 lose the center exhaust for side exit?
•Will there be an electric Jeep based off the electric Fiat 500?
•Truecar.com says that if you're shopping for a new vehicle, keeping an eye on how long a particular model sits on the dealer lots will help you with negotiations (aka how desperate they are to unload it for a steal). Among the SUVs Truecar.com says are least in demand? The '10 Compass (averaging 91 days), '10 Grand (112 days), and '10 Commander (142 days).
•Let's keep the negativity coming: As part of its used-vehicle shopping advice, CBS moneywatch.com compiled which to avoid. Name-checked in the small used-SUV category? The '07 Wrangler. The site referenced tranny, electrical, and brake problems, as well as the price tag from dealers.
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"We may be the smallest of the three in Detroit, but we're not the dumbest."
-Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Chrysler, according to Bloomberg
•The Drummond Island Off-Road Club has received a $4,000 grant from BFGoodrich as part of the Outstanding Trails program. The money will be put toward conservation and preserving the Drummond Island trail system.
•Get money back-Warn is offering a rebate on select lights and winches purchased between October 1 and December 31. Head to warn.com to get the form and find out how much money is headed back into your pocket.
•Snap-on is 90.
•Bosch's Light 'Em Up Dyno app for iPhone and iPod Touch-think of it as a portable dynamometer, capable of measuring acceleration, Gs, and ponies.
•King Shocks can now be had at 4 Wheel Parts Wholesalers, 4WD.com and Transamerican Wholesale.
•Mopar has introduced EVTS, a vehicle tracking system with options such as 2 4/7 emergency assistance, concierge, theft notification, and the ability to set speed and distance restrictions if your kid is behind the wheel (or, say, you're suspicious of your hubby). Three levels are available; the gold level includes online vehicle tracking (again, suspicious of hubby).
•Become part of the United Four Wheel Drive Associations Great Outdoors Initiative, giving a voice to the 4x4 community. Head to ufwda.org/smf and look for more Great Outdoors info in the forum area.
•Borla has acquired TWM Induction (manufacturer of intake and other engine products).
•Truck-Lite is now all over Facebook and Twitter, including a special tab on its FB site that allows you to access new product info.
•Did someone say, "downsize Ram"?
•Rancho's All Dialed In program equals free Rancho MyRIDE wireless tuning. It's for purchases made from participating retailers between October 1 and December 31. To learn the details, head to gorancho.com.
•Mojave Desert Outpost Campground-you can find it in Lanfair Valley, California, as part of the Mojave National Preserve. With private flat land as part of the property, you'll be able to RV or tent.
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"I'd rather have other capable Jeep models available that could expand the 'Cult' following. Simply stamping a Jeep logo on a non-Jeep vehicle isn't cutting it for me and it's damaging to the brand. Why not just sell it under the Fiat name?"-Editor Cappa replying to Jpmagazine.com users in his blog, "Time to Get Pissed? New Fiat Jeep," after sketches surfaced of what some were calling future Jeeps.
•Hoffsome! David Hasselhoff or K.I.T.T. can now be the voice of your GPS. If you've got Garmin or TomTom, head to navtones.com.
•Hmm, the Bump app/website allows users to connect via the usual formats as well as...through the license plate. At the site, you plug in your phone number or plate (which then turns into an @bump.com e-mail address), and people can then "bump" you all sorts of messages, such as you left your lights on or you drive like an a-hole. Nope, nothing can go wrong with this.
•The EPA's Clean Air Act has turned 40.
•Speaking of the EPA, it and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration want to add a letter grade to the window sticker of new vehicles. The grade would be based on the vehicle's ratings for greenhouse emissions, fuel economy, and smog-makin' pollutants, with A+ being best, D being worst. Rejected for being too difficult for the public to understand was the idea of a thumbs-up, sideways, or down.
•This month's useless fact to say at cocktail parties: AAA and Kurgo surveyed dog owners and found that one in five let their dog sit in their lap while driving.
•Insurance.com, 20 major metropolitan cities, and a survey about drunk driving. What do you get? The "Drunk Driving Hot Spots," as the site calls 'em. In first place was San Diego, California.
•For the Prius in Japan, Toyota is now offering an optional humming sound, since people have complained about the silence of the motor. This just in: Libraries will now pipe in a humming sound for people who complain about the silence in the library.
•What's next, women will become gold-chainers? Leasetrader.com has found that more women than men on its website under the age of 30 are now piloting a luxo vehicle, such as an Audi TT or Jaguar XK. That's 51.2 percent, up from 42.6 percent in 2005.
•And thank goodness for those ladies, because according to Kiplinger, overall, people under 30 are driving less. Car sharing services and mass transit are on the rise. The kids these days are more interested in buying computers and software than vehicles.
•The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's research from a survey given in 2008 to 6,999 respondents age 16 and older revealed that about one in five Americans drove within two hours of drinking alcohol in the past year. Eight percent of the population that's 16 and older has ridden with a driver they thought might have consumed too much liquor to drive safely. We'd say 100 percent of that 8 percent are idiots.
•Myfoxdetroit.com investigated allegations that some workers at the Jefferson North Plant-where the '11 Grand is built-were smokin' and drinkin' during their breaks. Fail.
•A CDC study found that for a one-year period, medical care and productivity losses related to injuries stemming from car accidents was more than $99 billion.
•UPI reports that at least 20 dealerships are under investigation for violating rules set up in cash-for-clunkers. Apparently up to $94 mil in rebates might not count because of "improper documentation."
•A Nevada gubernatorial candidate wants people to pay to speed, and sees it as a way to generate revenue for the state. So for example, you pay $25, and for 24 hours, you could go up to 90 mph on designated highways.
Things To Do With Your Jeep
•December 31-January 1: Fire and Ice New Year's Run and Bonfire, Superlift ORV Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas, orvpark.com
•January 22-23: 16th Annual Truckhaven Challenge, California Off-Road Vehicle Association, Ocotillo Wells SVRA, California, corva.org
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