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RPM: 4x4 Automotive News And Rumors

Posted in News on February 28, 2017
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Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturers


That’s Interesting

•Audi’s new vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) tech, called Traffic Light Information, is the first V2I from a manufacturer in the U.S., and it’s launching in select ’17 models for use in Las Vegas. Real-time info displays about traffic lights, such as time remaining before the signal changes, for driver ease.
•Volvo’s not going need a biggest boat because it’s about to have the biggest bus in the world. It’ll be called Gran Artic 300 and seat up to 300. The biarticulated-chassis bus will be 98-feet long.
•The Chevy Silverado and Colorado should start arriving in China this year.
•The must-have auto tech for 2017? says things like self-driving capabilities, adaptive suspension, apps that remind you about service/maintenance, and electric drivetrain.
•Chevy and GMC are partnering with Power Solutions International to offer HD pickups and fullsize vans with 6.0L V-8 CNG- and LPG-capable engines.
• analyzed all-terrain vehicles and said the global market is expanding and predicts growth to continue, including in the U.S. and Canada, where they’re being used more often in combat operations.
•Sears Auto has intro’d the DieHard maintenance and assessment plans. DieHard Edge is covered maintenance (36 months or 45,000 miles) with three options: the basic, premium, or elite plan. And DieHard 360º Vehicle Assessment is a 120-point inspection available at Sears Auto Center and is handy for buying or selling a vehicle.
•GM has opened a company store at its HQ in downtown Detroit. Branded merchandise is on hand. Learn more at
•The Motown Museum is expanding, and Ford is one of the lead donors in the $50 mil project.
•Rolls-Royce released camo’d pics of its Project Cullinan SUV. It’s still going through R&D testing.
•Are you skipping the seven hours of sleep recommended by about an hour or two? You’re doubling your risk for an auto crash, says research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
• reported that an Isuzu Axiom was being ticketed for four days for parking violations, all the while the driver was deceased in the front seat.
•Sounds like Toyota is considering switching its emphasis to pickups and SUVs versus cars.
•Croove? A car-sharing service brought to you by Mercedes-Benz.
•GM is investing $552 million in manufacturing facilities in New York (Tonawanda, Lockport, and Rochester) and Ohio (Parma).
•Workhorse Group is developing the W-15, a new 1/2-ton pickup that’ll have an electric drivetrain.


Is It True?

•Athens, Madrid, Mexico City, and Paris are going to ban diesel vehicles by 2025?
•The all-new super spendy ($140,000?) Jeep Wagoneer might not be happening?
•And the redesigned Ram HD might be delayed?
•Is an all-new Blazer on GM’s new to-do list?
•About 1,500 U.S. patents were granted to Ford employees from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2016?


Your Government At Work

•You know those low bridges in New York City? They just got a reprieve from trucks barreling into them. A $4.8-million over-height vehicle-detection system has been installed on the Hutchinson River Parkway and Grand Central Parkway. Large commercial truck and tractor trailers are prohibited due to said low-clearance issues, but this system is designed to use infrared beams to spot offenders and send a message alert on an electronic sign to the driver as well as notify the Department of Transportation’s Joint Traffic Management Center via alert and video, which can then dispatch police if necessary.
•Ohio’s making a $15-million investment to create the state’s first “smart road”—it’s a 35-mile section of U.S. Route 33 in Central Ohio and is part of the Smart Mobility Corridor. Advanced highway technology will be installed. Think autonomous and connected vehicles.
•While speaking of self-driving, the California DMV yanked the registrations of 16 autonomous vehicles owned by Uber, which didn’t have proper permits for the test vehicles.
•A partial settlement over Volkswagen’s 3.0L diesel engine has been reached. According to the U.S. EPA, “the settlement requires Volkswagen to pay $225 million to fund projects across the country that will reduce emissions of NOx where the 3.0L vehicles were, are, or will be operated. This funding is intended to fully mitigate the past and future NOx emissions from the 3.0L vehicles. That money will be placed in the same mitigation trust to be established under the partial settlement for the 2.0L vehicles. This $225 million is in addition to the $2.7 billion that Volkswagen is required to pay into that trust under the prior settlement.”


Photography: Courtesy of Jeep Jamboree USA

What’s Happening In The Industry

•Rancho and the Jeep Jamboree USA have made it official. Again. The suspension and shock company will be Official Sponsor of the 2017 Jeep Jamboree USA program. This means participants will have access to product giveaways, contests, and other Rancho-y things. Head to to find an event to attend.
•Among the Top 100 workplaces in Michigan, according to Detroit Free Press? Air Lift Company.


Four Wheeler App

Everything is an app now. We even noted in this very RPM that reminders about servicing your truck is the new trendy app. But the trendiest of the trendy remains Four Wheeler, with an app that gives you full-everything access—truck features, project builds, tech up the yin-yang, info about new products, event coverage, adventure logs…are apps even big enough for all that Four Wheeler offers? Guess we’ll find out. Go to the Apple Store to get it.


1987 Nissan Patrol Paris-Dakar Rally Car is Back, Kind of

If you haven’t thought about the ’87 Nissan Patrol Fanta Limon Paris-Dakar rally car in 30 years, that sounds about right. At the time, it won the diesel category of the famous race and was the first car to finish in the race’s overall Top 10. And then car No. 211 retired and went to a museum in Spain (no one knows where No. 212 is). With the 30th anniversary of the event, a team of Nissan European Technical Center engineers took the rust bucket and completely restored it, then took it back to the sand dunes in the North African desert to make it feel old. You can watch more about it at


Electrifed F-150 Coming from Ford

An F-150 hybrid and full-electric SUV are among the EVs coming from Ford. The SUV is expected in 2020, with a predicted range of 300 miles. That same year, a hybrid F-150 should arrive. In case you wondered, another iconic Blue Oval vehicle getting the EV treatment will be the Mustang.


“Gov. [Rick] Snyder signed Senate Bill 995, which allows operation of autonomous vehicles on Michigan roads where before only testing of these vehicles by manufacturers was permitted. All safety requirements that pertain to the testing of autonomous vehicles will apply to autonomous vehicle operation. The bill will allow for automated vehicle platoons, where vehicles travel together at electronically coordinated speeds, and authorizes on-demand autonomous vehicle networks. Additionally, the legislation creates the Michigan Council on Future Mobility within the Michigan Department of Transportation to make future recommendations on statewide policy recommendations that will keep Michigan ahead of the curve on regulatory issues that could impede new development. The bill is now PA 332 of 2016.”—Press release from Governor Snyder’s office


Random Photo We Dug

OK, we guess it’s record-worthy: The Guinness World Record for World’s Largest Flag Pulled by a Moving Vehicle went to a ’17 Ford F-450 for hauling a 4,124-square-foot U.S. flag four laps at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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