Jeep News & Rumors
• Did you say you wanted to know which vehicles spent the longest time sitting on the dealer lot last year? Making the TrueCar list of 2011 vehicles with the longest days in inventory was the Wrangler Unlimited, with 204 days. For perspective, the Infiniti G37 convertible won/lost the title with 262 days. Meanwhile, the Toyota RAV4 was 10 days. Hey, you asked.
• Custom Grand Cherokee SRT8s were handed over to Scuderia Ferrari Formula One drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. They had special red interiors, the Italian flag under the rear spoiler, and other unique design cues for the “Ferrari ambassadors.” You might be thinking, “So why aren’t they getting custom Ferraris?” That would be because the SRT8 model’s arrival in Europe begins in May. Duh.
• What is 18 months, standard engine, Grand Cherokee? That’s right, the Pentastar V-6, which first launched in the ’10 Grand that long ago, and has already reached the milestone of one millionth assembled.
• Lookie here: Jeep sales are on the rise. We mean in Europe. Like, they rose 61.8 percent in 2011 as compared to 2010. Sales were up 117.6 percent in Italy. Can’t you just say up 100 percent? How can something be more than 100 percent? Sales are up completely-and-a-half stuff? Nonsense. We didn’t major in math, by the way.
• Plans for that new compact Jeep seem to be on hold, at least until 2014.
• Every year, Hagerty (it handles classic-car insurance) has valuations experts decide which mass-produced vehicles with an MSRP of less than $100,000 will eventually become collectible. The sexier way to put that is, hey, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 made the 2012 Hagerty Hot List! Just be sure not to take it out of the packaging, or it becomes worthless.
• The Liberty is getting probed, and not in the good way—the investigation into oops-style airbag deployment widened and may lead to a recall of some ’02 to ’03 models.
• The California New Car Dealers Association’s California Auto Outlook, 4th Quarter 2011 revealed Jeep vehicle registrations were up in that state, with a 35.8 percent change from 2010 to 2011. Of the top five in the midsize SUV category, the Grand Cherokee’s regs landed it in fourth place.
• Redo of website alert: The Walter P. Chrysler Museum site (wpchryslermuseum.org) got a bit easier to use and view. There’s an online community, more images, tons of Chrysler history, and other goods.
• Watch for a new Dick Cepek wheel to arrive sometime around June. The Torque Gun Metal wheel will be like the Torque wheel design, but in a new Gun Metal finish.
• Chevy is adding Ecologic environmental labeling to its vehicles in the U.S. to let buyers see manufacturing, driving, and recycling benefits related to its models. You know, the benefits unrelated to printing out the labels and the subsequent throwing away of the labels.
• The eBay Motors app just hit version 1.4.0; with that comes upgrades, like a new search feature. Use the vehicle finder to snap a photo of a vehicle and then find it on eBay. That’s right, no typing needed, you lazy among us.
• Summit Racing Equipment has added loads of chassis and suspension products, including Currie, Skyjacker, and King Shocks.
• Master-Pull has a limited-edition green winch rope, with a portion of proceeds being donated to the Johnson Valley defense fund set up by the California Motorized Recreation Council. It’s about keeping public lands open, specifically the Johnson Valley OHV area, home to the Hammer trails and the King of the Hammers event. Go to masterpull.com. Now.
• Superchips (aka Powerteq now) is an official sponsor/official programmer of the AreaBFE off-road park near Moab, Utah.
• Nitto Tire has launched driving-line.com, an original-content channel with stuff like profile pieces on racers and automotive destinations all over the world.
• Mopar has turned 75 years old.
• Lincoln has turned 90 years old. No, we mean the brand. The other Lincoln would be highly inaccurate.
Quote Without Story
“Finalizing the solution for how to build Jeep [in Russia] is exactly where we are now.”
—Mike Manley, President and CEO of Jeep, according to Automotive News.
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• Put it on your calendar: The third annual Collector Car Appreciation Day is July 13. The SEMA Action Network (semasan.com) will have details on events happening across the U.S.
• Luxo-Ram alert: The Ram Laramie Limited is a new model in the line that will be mostly about full-leather, special appointments, chrome, no badging, and dollar signs. You read that right—for the extra Benjamins, you lose the Ram and Hemi or Cummins pride for a “clean street truck look.” Ram’s words.
• A poll by Continental Tires showed that three quarters of those drivers asked would not like a celebrity to be with them on a driving adventure. Madonna was mentioned.
• There’s an outfit called Kaggle that has released data about vehicles with the highest risk of defects. Those would be convertibles and coupes, and red and purple vehicles. Orange had the least risk.
• The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has a campaign called Check Your Number, all about getting Californians to stop changing their dang oil every 3,000 miles unless specified in the owner’s manual to do so.
Some New Jeeps
First up, meet the concept Grand Cherokee that is definitely headed for production. Now, it’s never a good sign when press materials start off describing a new Jeep by boasting an “exterior with distinct, aggressive flair,” right? But then you probably sort of gathered that from the pics. Based on the Laredo X package, the concept has 20-inch rims and chrome-y everything. A little too street for you? You probably also won’t like the fact that the Jeep will be named by someone in the public, maybe even by that dude right next to you (condolences if that’s your wife). The name will be announced in May. Brace yourself.
We told you elsewhere on these pages about Mopar turning 75, and so drawing the short straw on the occasion, some of the team members had to build this red True North Compass. There’s a lot of matte black. You could call it the theme. Not much to say beyond that, other than it also sports a 2-inch lift from Rocky Road Suspensions, more audio upgrades than you care about, and some Mopar stuff, like a bright pedal kit and door-sill guards.
Reader Quote Without Story*
*As seen on Jp’s Facebook page
This Month’s Edition of “We Don’t Know How This Anouncement Ends”
“Subaru ‘Dog Tested. Dog Approved.’ campaign returns with a new pack of dogs and new canine social capabilities.”
Things To Do With Your Jeep
• May 3-7: Lone Star Jeep Club’s Spring Run, Superlift ORV Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas, orvpark.com
• May 5: 6th Annual Mawl Crawl hosted by Bluegrass 4x4 Club, Henderson, Kentucky, bluegrass4x4.com • May 12: Basic & Advanced Winching hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, California, 4x4training.com
• May 19: Getting Started Off-Road Driving hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, California, 4x4training.com
• May 20: Advanced Beginner Off-Road Driving hosted by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, California, 4x4training.com
• May 24-28: Sam’s Offroad Customer Appreciation Run, Superlift ORV Park, Hot Springs, Arkansas, orvpark.com
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