Tierra Del Sol, New Maserati, Jeep iPad App, and More!
• And in this corner, the contender for Worst Model Name Ever: the Maserati Kubang. It will be the Grand-based SUV, not the name of another Ricky Martin song.
• And in this corner, the contender for the Say What? Award: the Kubang will be built in Detroit?
• Is Chrysler going to buy the Jeep-y Israeli AIL Storm 3 (Sufa 3)? It’s a vehicle used by the Israel Defense Forces and is based on the J8. According to ynetnews.com, Chrysler manufactures the components but can’t assemble the vehicle; those lines are in Israel, Egypt, and Venezuela. Chrysler likes the Israeli plant. The site also noted that if it goes as planned, this will be the first time a foreign manufacturer will market an Israeli-made vehicle abroad.
• A Grand Cherokee “interior concept” was created. Jeep gave it blue leather seats and “careful interior details.” Way to acknowledge the haphazard previous interior work, Jeep.
• There’s a free iPad app from iTunes for the new Grand. You can take a 360-degree look-see, customize, watch commercials (commercials: well worth the $500 investment in an iPad), look at product stuff, see interviews, check out videos, and more.
• We’d written about the upcoming Bantam Heritage Jeep Festival in these pages, and now it is a … pastcoming. The event’s parade featured 1,106 Jeeps, which makes it eligible for consideration by the Guinness Book of World Records. The crowd was about 35,000 deep, and owners/spectators came from as far away as India, Iceland, and Australia.
• NHTSA is poking around 200,000 ’04-’05 Libertys to look into some complaints of lower control-arm failure.
• Tierra Del Sol, TDS, Desert Safari—call the Four Wheel Drive Club of San Diego’s event what you will, but make sure it involves the number 50; it has reached that annual anniversary. And pardon me? Did you just say there might be a special-edition TDS Jeep?
• Oh, Florida, it’s good to see you again. This time you’ve given us a 27-year-old dude who outfitted his Jeep with a turret and multiple PVC tubes. My Fox DC reported that police said his plan was to ignite mass quantities of fireworks at the National Mall as a statement over problems he had with the banking industry. We get it—our branch still doesn’t have Saturday hours either.
• NASA and racecars? They have nothing else to do around there now that space programs are dead. They’ve created an interactive online program so that you can check out all the contributions NASA has made to racing, like fire-resistant materials, improvements to brakes, and special paints. There’s also info on partnerships between the automotive industry and NASA. Head to www.nasa.gov/r2r.
• Forbes named America’s Fastest Roads. Included were northbound Arizona State Route 79 between Saguaro National Park and Phoenix, Oklahoma State Highway 33 in both directions (just northwest of Oklahoma City), California State Route 73, both ways between Moulton Parkway and Bear Street, and Eastbound MI-5 Michigan Highway going into Detroit from the I-275/I-96 interchange to Telegraph Road.
• UK insurance company Diamond did a study of 2,000 parents and learned that one in four British children get carsick. Wusses.
• Kettering University and Chrysler have partnered on a co-op program in which students will alternate between work and school terms every three months.
• Motor Village: Remember it as the shiny, new all-Chrysler-brands, Chrysler-owned dealership that came to Los Angeles this time last year as the Next Great Dealership Thing? Hold off on a birthday gift. Looks like Chrysler will be trying to unload it to avoid disciplinary action by the DMV for violating state franchise laws.
• You now can download a gospel version of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” performed by the choir Selected of God from iTunes. Chrysler partnered with Eight Mile Style, a publisher of Eminem compositions, and publishing proceeds will be donated to three local Detroit charities.
• The FBI’s 2010 Uniform Crime Report noted a 7.2-percent decrease in auto theft compared with 2009.
Quote Without Story
“It is too late in Wrangler’s product cycle to add a pickup. The 2015 or 2016 timeframe makes more sense. That’s when we’ll refresh the Wrangler.” —Jeep CEO Mike Manley to Automotive News