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May 2011 Dispatch: Jeep News

Posted in News on May 1, 2011
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Jeep News & Rumors
•It's here: 2011 means Jeep's 70th anniversary.

Like this, but not at all.

•In about two years, brace yourself for the triumphant return of an SUV called Grand Wagoneer.

•In about two years, brace yourself for the triumphant return of that being a high-end seven-seater SUV not called Commander.

•Pickup or not to pickup? That is the lingering question over at Jeep. One is coming, but there's less urgency than, say, a redo of a seven-seat SUV that no one wanted the first time around.

It should be here in our lifetime.

•The Toledo Blade reported that Jeep has registered the name Wrangler Arctic.

•Remember a couple months ago we told you about the not-for-North-America Compass and Patriot getting a 2.2L turbodiesel? There are whispers of a now-for-North-America version of that 163hp mill for the Compass.

•While we're talking about engines, the Hemi isn't going anywhere.

•Carmax.com noticed that the top 10 vehicle searches for 2010 included the Wrangler at No. 5.

•Mopar parts and service department open on Saturdays in North America? Thank you.

•The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crashed stuff again. This time it was to get an idea of bumper compatibility between cars and SUVs. The result of the testing? Sit down, it's quite the shocker: "SUV bumpers that don't line up with those on cars can lead to huge repair bills in what should be minor collisions in stop-and-go traffic." Oh, guess you could have remained standing. Anyway, they mismatched the bumpers of a Patriot with a Dodge Caliber and let the Patriot ram the Caliber at 10 mph. The Jeep sustained $1,415 in damage, while the Caliber's was $3,095.

Before the test.

•That same institute also found time to name the 2011 Top Safety Picks, and there were 66 of them, including the Grand Cherokee. To grab that award, a vehicle must be skilled at protecting occupants in front, side, rear, and rollover crashes based on the IIHS's crash ratings, as well as have an available electronic stability control.

New Anniversary Jeeps
As we mentioned in News & Rumors, this year marks Jeep's big 7-0, and kicking off the celebration are a bowl of Chex Party Mix and a special anniversary edition of every model in the lineup. Each Jeep will be available in a special paint called Bronze Star (wait, isn't eighth anniversary bronze?), as well as Bright Silver and Black skin choices. Special wheels, badging, logos, Berber floormats, and other unique features that you'll spot only if you buy one are part of the anniversary package.

Turn your back on the 70th.

Industry News
•Jeep may be 70, but Chevy is also hovering in old-fart territory. November 1911 was when the brand was founded. The first Chevy was a Series C Classic Six.

'16 Chevy 460 Touring.

•American Racing is presenting sponsor (and ATX Series is the spec wheel) of the 2011 General Tire Jeepspeed Challenge (the sponsorship will last three years).

•In 2010, competitive rockcrawler Team 311 donated $15,902 to the American Cancer Society.

•Best sellers of 2010? Ford F-series, Chevy Silverado, and Ram. Those rankings are No. 1, 2, and 10, in case you're keeping score at home.

•TrueCar.com took a stab at sorting out which vehicle categories were the fastest and slowest sellers in dealer inventory at the end of 2010. For example, vans were on average 120 days on the lot, subcompact cars at 76 days, and small trucks at 58 days. The briefest time spent was 38 days for midsize SUVs, 39 days for small SUVs, and 40 days for large SUVs. The minivan was next, followed by large SUVs and trucks, leaving us to wonder, SUVs and pickups are dead? Maybe not, doomsayers.

You like it, you really like it.

•In case you care: The elephant motor from the '60s is back. The Mopar 426 aluminum Hemi Gen III crate engine is worth 540 horses and 530 lb-ft of torque, with an MSRP of $13,675.

The elephant in the room.

•OnStar will now be available for non-GM vehicles (as well as older GMs).

•Bosch Group: It's the 125th anniversary. It was 1886 when Robert Bosch got the ball rolling with his Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.

Bosch shift supervisors, 1905.

Reader Quote Without Story
(as seen on the Jp magazine Facebook page)

Auto Graphs
•Online car retailer Autoquake did a survey and found that 54 percent of those polled had bumped the uglies in a vehicle. Men (28 percent) thought car whoopee was great, while only 18 percent of women felt that way. In fact, 31 percent of women thought it was flat-out wrong.

They're gonna do it now.

•On a related note? CBS 21 out of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, reported a blow-up doll in the road was the cause of a crash on Route 34. A driver thought it was a person. (And no, to answer your question regarding that last part, the brand of this life-like doll was not listed.)

•Researchers at Newcastle University found that 31 percent of drivers "were easily bored and therefore more likely to seek excitement by taking driving risks."

•My Plates has reported that after the first auction of license plates in Texas, the approximately $138,000 brought in will subtract about $78,000 for the state general revenue fund. The most expensive plate sold went for $15,000, reading FERRARI. COWBOYS was second, with a bid of $11,500. GOHORNS and RANGERS came in third and fourth, respectively. Since you're probably wondering, GIDDY UP sold for $2,500.

•You wanna drive in Beijing? There's a license-plate lottery for that; only 240,000 new car registrations will be allowed, and drivers can own only one car. If you guessed it's because of smog and congestion, you should become a professional guesser.

•Colorado. Hit and run. Driver fled scene. New-car smell blamed on how the driver allegedly lost consciousness before the accident.

•Will rearview cameras soon become mandated on all vehicles with up to a 10,000-pound GVWR?

•Twitter.com/getyourcarback-that belongs to the Seattle police department, which now tweets info on stolen vehicles.

Compass, No Grand, No Compass, Whatever
We live in a time when people don't take responsibility for their actions, so we're pretty pleased to see Jeep fully embrace its own copycat actions of the Grand for the '11 Compass, starting first and foremost by giving it the tagline "a 'Grand' new Jeep Compass." If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, well, then, Jeep should be flattered by its imitation. Beyond a new hood, fenders, fascia, headlamps, and grille, the baby Grand also has a retuned suspension and the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package, featuring the Trail Rated stamp and second-gen continuously variable transaxle.

Grand-lite.

This Month in Random Jeep History
•May 1, 1954: American Motors Corp. is created via the merger of Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson Motor Car Company.

•May 3, 1962: A press release announces the "service simplicity" of the Willys Motors 140hp Tornado-OHC six-cylinder engine that appeared in five Jeep models. Fewer valvetrain components would make "valve adjustment less frequent than on other engines."

The OHC design was "a highlight."

•May 1964: An original WWII Jeep was presented for permanent exhibit in the Smithsonian's "new" museum of history and science. California congressman Charles Gubser had contacted the Smithsonian to find out why there was no Jeep on display. According to an article in The Telegram out of Adrian, Michigan, the Defense Department found one in an Army depot in Korea; it had likely served in both WWII and Korea.

Things to Do With Your Jeep
•April 2: Getting Started Off-Road Driving hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, California, 4x4training.com

Do with your Jeep things.

•April 3: Advanced Beginner Off-Road Driving hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, California, 4x4training.com

•April 14: North Rim Grand Canyon Parashant hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Parashant NM, St. George, Utah, 4x4training.com

•April 18: Easter Safari for First Timers hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Moab, Utah, 4x4training.com

•April 19: Quadratec BBQ night during the Easter Safari, Moab area high school athletic fields from 4-8 p.m., Moab, Utah, quadratec.com

•May 7: Spring Crawl Competition, Kansas Rocks Recreation Park, Mapleton, Kansas, ksrockspark.com

•May 14-15: Iron Range Offroad Driving School, Iron Range ORV Park, north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, ironrangeoffroad.com

•May 14: Getting Started Off-Road Driving hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, California, 4x4training.com

•May 15: Advanced Beginner Off-Road Driving hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, California, 4x4training.com

•May 21: Basic & Advanced Winching hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, California, 4x4training.com

•May 21: Off-Road 101 Course, Kansas Rocks Recreation Park, Mapleton, Kansas, ksrockspark.com

•May 21: Night Run, Kansas Rocks Recreation Park, Mapleton, Kansas, ksrockspark.com

•May 29: Memorial Weekend Mud Bog for Hospice & Palliative Care hosted by Sodbusters O.R.C., South Bend, Indiana, sodbustersoffroad.com

•April 30-May 1: Big Dogs Ice Breaker hosted by Big Dogs Offroad, Gore, Virginia, bigdogsoffroad.com

•June 11-12: Iron Range Offroad Driving School, Iron Range ORV Park, north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, ironrangeoffroad.com

•June 25-26: Iron Range Offroad Driving School Class Reunion, Iron Range ORV Park, north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, ironrangeoffroad.com

•July 8-9: 29th Annual Arthritis Car Show hosted by Central Ohio Arthritis Foundation, Metro Center, Dublin, Ohio, arthritisautoshow.com

•July 8-10: 60th Annual Auburn Jeep Club Invitational Main Trip hosted by Auburn Jeep Club, The Rubicon in California, auburnjeepclub.com

•July 14-17: Crawl for the Cure/Iron Range Offroad Driving School, Iron Range ORV Park, north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, crawl4cure.org

•July 26: Night Run, Kansas Rocks Recreation Park, Mapleton, Kansas, ksrockspark.com

•July 30-31: Iron Range Offroad Driving School, Iron Range ORV Park, north of Minneapolis and St. Paul, ironrangeoffroad.com

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