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March 2011 Dispatch: Jeep News

Posted in News on March 1, 2011
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Jeep News & Rumors
•The Wrangler Call of Duty: Black Ops edition has been declassified-it's based on the Rubicon, and is, shockingly, black, with COD:BO graphics on the roof and front quarter-panels.

COD front.

If the Wrangler is such a gaming nerd, why can't we remember the D&D edition?

COD rear.

•WTOL11 out of Toledo says that Ohio Representative Edna Brown is gunning for a Jeep pickup to be made at the Toledo plant.

•Not for North America (yet?): Turbodiesel for the Liberty/Cherokee, Wrangler, and Wrangler Limited. It's a 2.8L worth 200 horses and 302 lb-ft of torque for the Wranglers with the six-speed manual, 339 lb-ft with the five-speed automatic. The Liberty/Cherokee is worth 200 hp; torque is the same as the Wranglers'. Meanwhile, the Compass and Patriot will get a 2.2L turbodiesel that makes 163 hp (16 percent more than the 2.0L it replaces) and 236 lb-ft of torque (a 3-percent increase).

•No more going with the Flo? Looks like the mobile-TV FloTV is dunzo.

•Now entering the 2010 Automotive Hall of Fame: Francois Castaing. Wikipedia reminds you that he did product engineering and development at AMC, and was behind the birth of the Cherokee in a major way.

•Did someone out there ask for Mopar accessories for the '11 Grand? There are now 60 of them, from wheels and chrome to trailer stuff and seat covers, plus something representing every letter of the alphabet in between.

No. 47.

•The J8 has been going through some pretty intense ballistics and other kinds of testing. As Jeep Government & Military Sales explained on its Facebook page, "Using an innovative new hot-formed pressed armor system JGMS has developed an armored variant of the militarized J8 Utility Vehicle. Mirroring the precise contours of the original body, the Armored J8 fits comfortably into any urban environment, whilst significantly fewer armored panels result in reduced penetration risk through welds and joints, as well as a higher payload capacity."

JGMS's J8 testing.

Quote Without Story

"I don't want people talking on phones, having them up to their ear, or texting while they're driving"
-U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, to Automotive News. He really, really wants a ban on all hands-free communication while driving.

Auto Graphs
•If you're a chick and your Jeep breaks down, no need to flash anything (anymore) to get someone to help you. A survey by Kwik Fit Insurance found that more than 69 percent of people would stop to help a female with a broken-down vehicle, while only 45 percent would help a man.

They know where the dipstick is?

•Speaking of chicks on the road, the Telegraph reports that in a section of Spain, women of the night are now required to wear reflective safety vests so that drivers can see them, or else they'll have to pay a fine.

• is making up phrases: Automotive tourism is what it's calling the act of people traveling outside their own region to get a vehicle they've shopped for online. The site says about 38 percent of lease transactions between two people don't happen in the same region; that was 31 percent five years ago.

•Speaking of car buying, Brand Week noted that a report done by AARP Media Sales and J.D. Power and Associates discovered that 62 percent of new vehicle sales are the handiwork of people over 50. Two years ago, it was 50 percent. And come to think of it, we rarely see some hot coed in a hybrid. That would be because 73 percent of those sales are to the over-50 crowd.

He's got new-car smell.

•Yet another survey and/or report: is an online used-car retailer in the UK, and research revealed that 1 in 10 female drivers never check their vehicle's oil level. Fourteen percent of women never check the tire pressure, and slightly more than that pay someone to check the coolant.

•You know those cough-drop-sized smart cars? Things just got a tiny bit more disturbing for the disturbingly tiny car: A Hello Kitty vehicle wrap is now available for the Smart fortwo model.

Hell no, kitty.

•The dream passenger for Britain's male drivers? Singer Katy Perry, says a poll by MPH, the Prestige and Performance Motor Show. In a Lamborghini Gallardo, in case you wondered.

•That person driving like an idiot in front of you? Probably tweeting or updating their Facebook status with info about what they had for breakfast. RAC has found that 39 percent of those surveyed for the 2010 RAC Report on Motoring admitted to being distracted by calls, texts, and social media while driving. And 21 percent said they were checking Facebook or Twitter while behind the wheel. How the top five distractions break down: email, Google Maps, music, photos, and Facebook.

This Month's Edition of "We Don't Know How This Announcement Ends"

"Chevrolet crowns 'The Best Dad Band in Texas'"

Reader Quote Without A Story*
(*As seen on the Jp magazine Facebook page.)

Industry News
•A grant of $4,000 was awarded by BFGoodrich Tires to the Piston's Wild Motorsports Club. Money will go toward designing a trail system and getting the Yacolt Burn State Forest's Yacolt Burn open to off-highway use. Yacolt Burn was named one of the 2010 Outstanding Trails by BFG, along with United Four Wheel Drive Associations and Tread Lightly!.

Giant check, or tiny people?

•Free online education: The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association is offering an e-course to help people understand the safety behind operating an off-highway vehicle. It's the recreational kind of OHV, given that ROHVA is sponsored by Arctic Cat, BRP, Polaris, and Yamaha.

•Union for Concerned Scientists named Honda the greenest automaker, while Chrysler was "dirtiest." The Union of Bored Magazine Editors is moving on....

•SoCal Jeep dealers, Back Country 4x4, and the National Forest Association Off-Highway Vehicle Volunteer Program have united to start the Jeep Patrol Trail Care Adventure Program. It's meant to get you out there wheeling in the San Bernardino National Forest, but also to help take care of the area and trails so that they'll stay open.

•General Tire has not only the title sponsorship of the '11 Jeepspeed Challenge, but is the spec tire, too.

• bought Kelley Blue Book.

•Industrial Metal Supply, a full-line metals service center, has opened a new walk-in store in Irvine, California. As the company explains, "This flagship store represents IMS's commitment to 'metal made easy,' encompassing 12,000 square feet of dedicated sales space and 18,000 square feet of warehouse space that will hold the company's expansive selection of metals."

Book 'Em
Cool new book to check out? Life Is a Highway ( is a compilation of articles, stories, and excerpts about owning a vehicle, road trips, racing, the police, and much more, written by some of the biggest names not in the automotive industry- which makes it kinda neat: Stephen King, J. Edgar Hoover (yup, that one), The Onion, and Hunter S. Thompson, although there are indeed some familiar names who are indeed known for time behind the wheel, like Jay Leno. And there's even an old-timey Car and Driver review of the CJ-7, answering the question, "What's it like to drive a Jeep?" That answer is, "As loud and clear a message as you can send: 'I am tough and I am strong and you better not mess with me or I'll take the crease out of your candy-ass little BMW.'"

Read is good.

Things To Do With Your Jeep
•January 8: Tread Lightly! Tread Trainer Clinic hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, California,
•January 22: Getting Started Off-Road Driving hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, California,
•January 23: Advanced Beginner Off-Road Driving hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, California,
•February 5: Rock Driving Skills Clinic hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Johnson Valley, Lucerne, California,
•February 12: Getting Started Off-Road Driving hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, California,
•February 19: Sand Driving Clinic hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Oceano Dunes, Pismo, California,
•February 23-26: Chile Challenge hosted by Las Cruces Four Wheel Drive Club, Robledo Mountains, Las Cruces, New Mexico,
•February 26: Winch & Recovery Clinic hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, California,
•March 4-6: 49th Annual Desert Safari hosted by Tierra Del Sol, Truckhaven Hills area of North Ocotillo Wells SVRA, California, or

Your Jeep, with things to do.

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