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May 2013 Dispatch - Industry News

Posted in News on May 1, 2013 Comment (0)
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May 2013 Dispatch - Industry News
Photographers: The Manufacturers

Jeep News & Rumors
Jeep is headed to India. It’s a first. The Wrangler and Grand Cherokee will begin being imported by the end of the year.

As we went to press, the reserve had not yet been met for an ’07 Wrangler with a 420hp 6.1L Hemi owned by Andre Agassi. Yes, that tennis guy. You know another? The eBay Motors listing claims nearly $80,000 in mods. The bidding was at $39,450.

Jeep sales were up 13 percent in 2012. In fact, the Patriot had its best sales in December since 2007. What, it was the go-to stocking stuffer? But we do understand the Grand Cherokee stocking stuffer—its December sales were the best since 2005.

The Wrangler Unlimited Moab won our sister mag Four Wheeler’s ’13 Four Wheeler of the Year competition. It narrowly beat out all the other models, and the nail-biter was anyone’s game until the last day of testing and…wait, what? Oh, sorry, only two vehicles were entered. The other was the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk. OK, then.

Coming June 14-16, the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival at Cooper’s Lake Campground in Butler, Pennsylvania. It’s the third annual event.

Industry News
Cummins has built the two-millionth diesel for Ram. The 6.7L six-banger will go on display, not be used in a truck. Cummins and Chrysler began their partnership in 1988.

Many Rams have this.

Kelly Young, a 4Wheel Drive Hardware employee and avid four-wheeler, has been actively raising awareness and money for cancer research, including through Jeep shows and events. In 2012, $13,522.80 was raised, and in the past four years, a total of $58,814.80 has been donated to the American Cancer Society.

Left to right: La Dawn Whitman of the American Cancer Society, Greg Adler, President of TransAmerican Auto Parts, and Kelly Young. Center: big check.

Ford Racing Performance Parts has made available the RPP Aluminator XS crate engine, previously only available if someone also bought a Mustang Cobra Jet. The 5.0L can make more than 500hp and is worth 7,700 rpm. Meanwhile, the Aluminator 46X Stroker short-block is compatible with two-, three-, or four-valve cylinder heads used on a modular V-8. There are others. Go to fordracingparts.com.

In 2012, Chrysler had its best December sales in five years.

Spicer has a free new iPad app that has a driveline angle calculator, driveshaft RPM calculator, library of service manuals, parts catalogs, and more. Get it at the iTunes App Store.

Sad news: Bobby Long of Longfield Super Axles has passed away.

SEMA Action Network, Off-Road Business Association, and others have successfully lobbied the U.S. Congress to guarantee OHV access to Johnson Valley, California. A provision was added to the ’13 Defense Authorization Act, requiring the U.S. Marines to figure out how to share the area without taking ownership of the land.

Baja Designs is the official lighting sponsor of Jeepspeed 2013.

Auto Graphs
Mazda is bringing the Skyactiv-D 2.2L diesel engine to the United States in 2013. Mazda becomes the first Japanese automaker to go diesel there, er...here.

Another diesel thingy: There’s chatter that the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500s will get a light-duty diesel thingy.

Is Nissan really shifting its attention to hybrids? Like, 15+ models over the next few years?

The Pope has a new Popemobile. It’s a Mercedes M-Class. Due to its unique Pope-y features, is it more like a P-Class? And then he’s P-Diddy? And for making fun of the Pope’s ride, we’re going to P-hell?

Pimp my (Pope’s) ride.

Bill Ford nabbed at auction the oldest surviving production Ford, a 1903 Model A. To celebrate the 150th b-day of Henry Ford, there’s also an official site: henryford150.com.

Mopar is using tablet technology to make getting serviced a quicker experience. Wait…we meant the service lane at the dealership. The new wiADVISOR (aka, “wireless service advisor”) checks you in and immediately gives vehicle service history, a profile on you, factory-required maintenance, and so on; this is across the U.S. dealer network. Gone will be the days of forms or service guys writing down your license plate while you wait.

What Mopar service advisors now look like.

First Look: ’14 Grand Cherokee, Patriot, and Compass
And…there it is, finally: the new 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6! It’s estimated to offer 30 mpg and a driving range of more than 730 miles, while providing 240 horses and 420 lb-ft of torque. It’s hooked to the new eight-speed transmission (which is also linked to the 3.6L V-6 and 5.7L V-8, which both see improved mpg as a result). A new Eco Mode for the Grand is also focused on mpg, keeping an eye on the trans shifting for extra efficiency. Eco Mode activates the Quadra-Lift air suspension, setting it to Aero Ride Height and lowering it when speeds remain around 52 mph and beyond.

Grand, front.

The Grand’s towing capacity has been given a 24-percent increase to 7,400 pounds, while other changes include a lower crawl ratio—44.1:1—and new steering wheel paddle shifters for when using the Electronic Range Select and Selec-Speed Control while off road. The Grand will offer Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II, as well as the optional Quadra-Lift and Selec-Terrain.

Grand, rear.

Meanwhile, the SRT also received upgrades for 2014, including an eight-speed trans and that Eco Mode, meaning you can get actual fuel economy from an SRT. The SRT side of things also meant retuning the Selec-Track for more rear-wheel torque, while also adding launch control for better on-the-nose acceleration. There’s a new electronic T-handle shifter on the center console that’s separate from the Selec-Track setup; pick Drive or Sport mode without changing the suspension, torque-split, or stability-control settings. The T-handle also houses the launch button.

Grand SRT.

If you’re looking closely, you may have noticed for the first time the Grand has the headlamp washers in the housing, rather than on the bumper. Looking even closer, you may have spotted that the badging lost any reference to eight cylinders. Barely looking, you may have noticed the new styling, such as to the grille and an aerodynamically friendlier rear spoiler.

Models are Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit.

The ’14 Compass will have for the first time a six-speed PowerTech auto trans. It’s lifetime-sealed—no trans dipstick nor are filter and fluid changes needed with normal driving. Sport, Latitude, and Limited are the available models. A five-speed manual is standard for the Sport although the new trans is optional. The other two models have it standard. And the CVT2L is the second-generation continuously variable trans, for models with Freedom Drive II. Fuel economy has improved on the Compass; up to 30 mpg is feasible.

Compass.

Insert Patriot where Compass is written, and you have the new-for-2014 changes for that Jeep, too.

Patriot.

Reader Quote Without Story*
*As seen on Jp’s Facebook page

Monster Truck Jeep
What happens when you light candles, turn on some Usher, get some sexy tractor tires, and introduce a CJ-7 to a Fiat Panda 4x4? This. The Panda Monster Truck, as it’s being called, was a concept created by Fiat, Mercurio Cinematografica, and others. It will appear in a TV commercial unlikely to air in the U.S., so watch for it on YouTube.

Girl with Jeep. Really.

Jp Staff Gets Naked
Want to learn more about the people who put together your favorite Jeep magazine? Agreed, you don’t. But some of you have been asking questions, so in each issue, we’ll answer those, no matter how weird they—and you—are. Send your question to jpeditor@sorc.com with the subject line “I Need to Know.” We were going to make that subject line “Get Naked,” but we have enough of those already in our spam folder.

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