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4x4 and Auto News and Rumors

Posted in News on May 12, 2016
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Photographers: Courtesy of the manufactures
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That’s Interesting
•Universal Technical Institute has now been at the job of grooming humans to become future auto techs and more for five decades. That’s right, the 50th milestone.
•Caltex is making getting diesel fuel in remote regions of Australia easier by building what seems to be the world’s first transportable solar-powered retail fuel outlet.
•The pricing for the ’16 Nissan Titan XD with the 5.6L Endurance V-8 is out: The 4x4 starts at $38,290 for the S crew cab and things go as high as $55,520 for the Platinum Reserve crew cab.
•GM is acquiring Cruise Automation. In a nutshell, that means they’re now cooking with gas when it comes to autonomous-vehicle tech development.
•Toyohashi University of Technology is developing a way to give electric vehicles the ability to go unlimited miles. “The source of energy from power lines is up-converted into radio frequency (RF) by high-speed inverters implanted along tracks in the road,” TUT explained.
•If you buy the new edition of Monopoly Empire, do whatever hand gesture denotes glee over its nod to autos because the Ford Mustang is a new piece.
•The “My Jeep Story” campaign is an ode to Jeep’s 75th anniversary, and you can share your Jeep story at and also hashtag pics with #myjeepstory. The big finale will be a digital rendition of 75 stories (get it?) that resonated most about the brand.
•Mercedes-Benz USA has created a rendering of what its new digs will look like in Atlanta, which should be done in 2018. It’ll be a state-of-the-art HQ.
•Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If you’re Google, you file for that bus-detection patent for self-driving cars after your self-driving car had a low-speed accident with a bus.
•Toyota is now in the fashion business? Not really, but it’s developing a wearable device for blind and visually impaired called Project BLAID. It would go around the shoulders and help with getting around indoors and with easier identification of bathrooms, stairs, and doors.
•The TomTom Traffic Index 2016 ranked global traffic congestion, and in 2015, Mexico City ranked Number One (reminder: not a compliment). It was followed by Bangkok, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, and Moscow. You’re probably wondering about the most congested cities in North America, so: Mexico City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, and New York.

Is It True?
•A company called Sparky Automotive is trying to crowd-fund an autonomous electric bike?
•The unmanned underwater vehicles market was estimated at $2.29 billion in 2015 and will be $4 billion by 2020, as projected by a market research report?
•MIT is working on eliminating stoplights?
•Mazda is trying to turn its CX-9 into a Ford Explorer/Jeep Grand Cherokee fighter?
•A Ram Truck Hellcat HD four-by is coming?
•Milan is going to pay people to ride their bike to work?
•Mexico City is starting to ban driving due to pollution?

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Your Government at Work
•There’s a bill floating around California that would restrict the use of zinc or zinc oxide in tires (and could mean some tires are banned for exceeding whatever limit would be imposed if it becomes law).
•NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are pretty stoked to let the world know about a commitment 20 automakers made to ensure that automatic emergency braking will be standard on nearly all new vehicles by 2022. Among those committed are Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Nissan, and Toyota.
•The Third Report to Congress: Highlights from the Diesel Emission Reduction Program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency noted that more than 73,000 older diesel’d engines were replaced or given an upgrade between 2008 and 2013, as a result of the Diesel Emission Reduction Act.

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What’s Happening in the Industry
•Hellwig? Happy 70th.
•Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels will once again be a sponsor of the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series, providing Baja Pro, Baja ATZP3, and Sportsman S/T racing tires to various classes. 4 Wheel Parts has also renewed, becoming the Official Off-Road Parts Retailer.
•Frank Currie, founder of Currie Enterprises, has passed away. He’s best known for axles, but you may not also know that he served in the Air Force as an aircraft mechanic during the Korean War era, and it was 1959 when Currie Enterprises started up as a biz. The last Jeep he owned was a TJ with an LS engine.
•Tuff Stuff 4x4 and Jeepspeed are who to thank for the first Jeep Wrangler desert race truck to be build for less than $50,000, while still equipped with the big names, such as Poison Spyder, Airaid, and Yukon. This price? Kinda unheard of. This Jeep should make the race scene come August.

Four Wheeler App
You’ve probably read on these pages about the Four Wheeler app. And if so, then why aren’t you reading this on these pages of Four Wheeler magazine? It’s one-stop stalking of everything Four Wheeler, including new stuff, old stuff, archive stuff, and more stuff.

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2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk and Summit
It’s official: The Grand Cherokee has added Trailhawk, which in the Jeep gene pool first went to the Cherokee and Renegade. Its off-road ’hawk-iness comes in the form of the Quadra-Drive II system with ELSD and a unique-for-this-Jeep Quadra-Lift air suspension for more travel and articulation. And Trailhawk also means 10.8 inches of ground clearance, tires with Kevlar reinforcement, a roof rack, and the key to IDing this model in a police lineup: red tow hooks. The Grand Cherokee Summit is one we’ve talked about before, the super-luxo Jeep, with all sorts of amenities as well as a Summit California Edition appearance package for extra-fancy luxo. Both are ’17 models.

Chevy Colorado Shoreline
This is the California-friendly entry: GM has created the ’16 Chevy Colorado Shoreline, and since California is the largest midsize pickup market, the truck went all Cali-trendy in its aftermarket-related add-ons. That means, a body-colored grille, spray-in bedliner, black 18-inch rims, and black-trim door handles and mirrors. It’ll be part of the extended-cab lineup in LT trim, both in 2WD and 4WD.

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MVP Edition Ford F-150
This is the Kansas-friendly entry: Ford is making only 300 MVP edition F-150s, which will come out of the Kansas City Assembly Plant and are a nod to the Kansas City Royals baseball world championship. Special badging on the F-150 XLT base, plus a chrome package and stainless rocker panels, join the two color options—Oxford White or Blue Flame—as the MVP markings.

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Ram Yellow Rose Edition
This is the Texas-friendly entry: Ram is now offering the Yellow Rose of Texas ’16 1500 Lone Star crew cab, a model currently sold only in Texas. If it sounds like that song “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” then you scored two points, since the name of the truck is based on that diddy.

“In this week’s episode, Asha ‘The Iron Queen’ Rani (India) breaks her own record for the Heaviest Vehicle Pulled by Hair (female), hauling a London double-decker bus on the set of Lo Show dei Record in Milan, Italy.”—Statement from Guinness itself, regarding a new record-holder. The bus also had 32 passengers onboard.

“Meet London’s Pigeon Air Patrol, a flock of ‘superbirds’ measuring nitrogen dioxide in a city with some of the highest levels of air pollution in the world.”—, regarding the 10 pigeons outfitted with sensor backpacks that were tasked with checking air quality in London.

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