That’s Interesting•What’s so 2015? Mazda and Ford. What’s so 2016? Mazda and Isuzu. It’ll likely result in a pickup for Mazda based on an Isuzu model.
•To be clear, the upcoming Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be their own vehicles, not trim levels of the Grand Cherokee. They will be built off the Grand platform, but not be Grands.
•Take a gander at the Nissan Pathfinder—it looks different for 2017, including under the hood, wherein rests a new 3.5L V-6 that makes 284 horses. Towing capacity jumps to 6,000 pounds.
•The newest inductees into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame are a couple names you probably know and a couple you know more about from their work. They are: racer Larry Ragland, off-road photographer Jim Ober, racer Bud Feldkamp, land-use advocate Don Amador, and racing org leader Tracy Valenta.
•Volkswagen has debuted vw.com/es/, the Spanish version of vw.com. The content is in Spanish, and the live chat is with a Spanish-speaking dealer or rep.
•Fiat Chrysler is investing $1.48 billion into the Sterling Heights Assembly Plant. That’s going to be where the next-gen Ram 1500 will be built.
•Nissan awarded $2,500 grants to 10 Mississippi college students as part of the Nissan Titans of Tomorrow Scholarship, which focuses on the children of full-time Nissan employees in Mississippi.
Is It True?•Ford is going to make components from tequila? Or specifically, form a partnership with Jose Cuervo to look into the potential use of agave plants for sustainable bioplastic materials for things like wiring harnesses?
•How many drivers did AAA “rescue” in 2015? A record-setting 32 million drivers, and for more battery, tire, and key problems than ever?
•Mazda still wants to bring clean diesels to the U.S.?
•And Volkswagen is going to stop bringing clean diesels to the U.S.?
•Is a billionaire trying to bring the Land Rover Defender classic back to life?
•And is Land Rover developing self-driving vehicles for off-road use? And will you please raise your hand if you’d trust your truck as your spotter?
•A new diesel for the ’18 Mercedes G-Wagen?
•Norway is going to build underwater bridges (like tubes) to deal with land traffic?
Your Government At Work•California has begun testing its pilot program of mileage-based fees versus a gas tax for drivers.
•U.S. Special Operations Command has given Battelle the contract to build armored and unarmored vehicles. What makes this interesting is that they will be high tech with protection, technology, and so on, but will maintain the OEM look, be it Land Cruiser, Ford, or Hilux.
•Seems China has put a ban on autonomous vehicle testing.
•A public lands initiative has been introduced in Utah that would finalize the land-use designations of more than 18 million acres and would include the creation of motorized-vehicle sections.
•The U.S. House of Reps passed legislation that would reopen Clear Creek via the Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act in San Benito and Fresno counties in California, including for off-road vehicles.
What’s Happening In The Industry•You know lighting company Baja Designs? It has been acquired by Bestop.
•Mile Marker, the maker of winches and other rescue components, has been acquired as well. HRH Boca is the new owner, although Mile Marker will keep its name. The new plan includes product development.
•Store No. 75 is now open for 4 Wheel Parts. It’s in Richmond, Virginia.
Four Wheeler AppHave you downloaded our Four Wheeler app yet from the iTunes App Store? The word of mouth is insane, and now we’re all memes and pop-ups. And the app is so bigly, no one is Brexiting or FourWheelerexiting, nor is anyone getting Zika from the app. Plus, the articles are in-depth and have not been texicated and are definitely lit and high key.
2017 Ford Super Duty Gets Highest Tow Ratings YetHere’s a number for you: 32,400 pounds. That’s the max gooseneck tow rating of the ’17 Ford F-450 Super Duty, while fifth-wheel towing will now be up to 27,500 pounds. Conventional towing has gone up to 21,000 pounds. For the F-250 equipped with the trailer tow package, and the F-350 single rear wheel, their conventional towing will be at 18,000 pounds. And the maximum GCWR for truck and trailer will be 41,800 pounds.
A Book To ReadThe Drive, Custom Cars and Their Builders is a nice walk through the history of trends and cool ideas in automotive customizing. There are loads of photos, profiles of builders, and more about vehicle projects and the people behind them. Read more at gestalten.com/thedrive-en.
Nissan Titan Single Cab Model: First Time EverThe ’17 Nissan Titan will make its own history—for the first time, there will a single-cab version. Available engines will be the Cummins 5.0L V-8 and 5.6L Endurance V-8 for the XD, while the straight-up single cab will start with the 5.6L. The Titan single cab will have a wheelbase of 139.8 inches—same as the crew cab and XD single cab—while the XD crew cab will be 151.6 inches.
9.“Never say never. We’re watching the space closely.”—BMW Australia’s Managing Director Marc Werner to motoring.com.au, regarding a potential BMW pickup, especially since Mercedes-Benz is thinking about adding one in 2018.
“I can tell you that no one incident will derail the Department of Transportation and NHTSA from its mission to improve safety on the roads by pursuing new lifesaving technologies. I strongly believe that DOT and NHTSA are well positioned to very soon unveil strong highly automated vehicle guidance that will lay the path to the safe deployment of lifesaving technologies. That guidance, which as [Department of Transportation] Secretary [Anthony] Foxx said yesterday, is being reviewed, tweaked, and perfected as we speak.”—Mark Rosekind, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"We're obviously hoping to continue the success of the next-generation Wrangler. We've pushed this vehicle forward in many areas—fuel economy being one of them, and that's going to help us in many of the international markets."—Mike Manley, head of Jeep, to Automotive News.