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4x4 and Automotive News and Rumors

Posted in News on March 1, 2017 Comment (0)
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1.

That’s Interesting

•Answer: 40 years. Question: How long has the Ford F-series now been America’s best-selling truck? Answer: 40yearstough.com. Question: A website that fests the F-series.
•Nissan has an online store built around its X-Trail SUV. The Nissan Xtreme Collection has five products “aimed at recreating extreme environments anywhere, such as a rock to enjoy bouldering at home or water drums to recreate a waterfall.” Amazon Japan has them at amazon.co.jp.
•The Canadian Automobile Association’s Grinding to a Halt, Evaluating Canada’s Worst Bottlenecks is a study of traffic congestion, and Toronto scored 10 bottlenecks in the list of the Top 20. Shoutout to Montreal, with five.
•Most Wanted Fullsize Truck award from edmunds.com? The Ford F-150.
•Ford has added ExxonMobil’s Speedpass+ app to its SYNC AppLink. You can now pay for fuel through the app as well as search for participating Exxons and Mobils.
•Fiat Chrysler is making a $1 billion investment in its plants in Michigan and Ohio. Also, the south plant in the Toledo Assembly Complex will build the all-new Jeep pickup.
•Polaris has a division called Polaris Defense, and that group got an order from the U.S. Marine Corps for 144 four-seater MRZR-D4s for the utility task vehicle program.
•GM has begun testing autonomous vehicles on public roads.
•Wal-Mart is partnering with carsaver.com; kiosks will start popping up at Wal-Marts, where you can shop, then make an appointment at a local dealership.
•The Chrysler Portal concept vehicle uses facial recognition to identify who is in the vehicle and will then switch to the preferred settings, including temp and music.
•The Nissan Titan won our sister Truck Trend’s 2017 Pickup Truck of the Year.
•Off-road racer, Andy Cohen, has passed away.
•The Walter P. Chrysler Museum has closed down.
•Eco-Hearse—Leverton & Sons said it has the UK’s first fully electric hearse. It’s a Nissan Leaf. The funeral directors are enviro-friendly…they offer coffins made of biodegradable materials.
•The U.S. EPA is alleging that Fiat Chrysler may have VW’d, as in possibly used defeat devices for passing emissions testing and has issued a notice of violation. The California Air Resources Board has also issued one. Under the microscope are ’17 Grand Cherokees and Ram 1500s with the EcoDiesel.

2.

Is It True?

•Ford Bronco, 2020, global vehicle, and built at Michigan Assembly Plant?
•Lyft cofounders think they’ve unlocked the solution to ending traffic: Specific streets and highways marked as smart lanes? And use would have a fee unless you’re carpooling, according to a piece they wrote for medium.com?
•Land Rover hit a record-breaking year in 2016 for U.S. sales, besting 2015’s record?
•Has Amazon started getting patents related to self-driving tech?
•Ram’s delaying the redesign of its heavy-duty trucks to save some cash?
•The new Jeep Grand Cherokee will have an Alfa Romeo Giulia platform?
•Is Fiat Chrysler adding around 400 dealerships in the U.S.?
•Paris is banning almost all diesel cars made before 2000?

3.

Your Government at Work

•Bridgestone has joined the Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck II program, and the U.S. Department of Energy will match the tiremaker’s financial investment as it engineers prototype tires with better fuel efficiency. The project is about researching and developing tech for improving heavy-truck freight performance.
•The U.S. Department of Transportation has set 10 proving-ground pilot sites for autonomous-tech testing. The designees are City of Pittsburgh and the Thomas D. Larson Pennsylvania Transportation Institute; Texas AV Proving Grounds Partnership; U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center; American Center for Mobility (ACM) at Willow Run; Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) & GoMentum Station; San Diego Association of Governments; Iowa City Area Development Group; University of Wisconsin-Madison; Central Florida Automated Vehicle Partners; and North Carolina Turnpike Authority.
•A report by the U.S. Department of Transportation—called “Conditions and Performance” report by those in the know—noted “an $836 billion backlog of unmet capital investment needs for highways and bridges” and “addressing the growing backlog while still meeting other needs as they arise over the next two decades will require $142.5 billion in combined transportation spending from state, federal, and local governments.”
•A video has been put out by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to help Pennsylvanians drive roundabouts. The state has 32 of them, with about 30 more in process or planned. Learn more penndot.gov/projectandprograms/roaddesignenvironment/roaddesign/pages/roundabouts.aspx
•Transportation Research Center is behind an all-new 540-acre SMART Center for automated and autonomous testing, and $45 million in Phase 1 funding is coming from the State of Ohio and Ohio State University.
•California’s biggest utility companies are looking to spend $1 billion on electrification things, such as stations that could charge a vehicle in 30 minutes or less, money for ridesharers who are in EVs, and residential vehicle chargers, among other technology.

4.

What’s Happening in the Industry

•Sears Auto Center has hooked up with myCarfax Service Shop. Now, the centers will have access to Carfax info. Customers will get the service for free, which translates to vehicle-specific reminders for maintenance and other service.
•Yokohama Tire is now Official Tire Sponsor of US Youth Soccer.
•Weld Racing and MOMO have merged and will offer loads of wheels, safety products, and more.

5.

Four Wheeler App

What’s Four Wheeler? Only the best magazine for off-road and 4x4 enthusiasts. What’s an app? A program you can download onto your mobile device. What happens when they get together? Four Wheeler app. Now you can have this mag on the go—all the tech, feature vehicles, how-tos, trail rides, products, news, and more info. Head to the iTunes App Store.

6.

Ford Creates Raptor Assault Program

If you own a ’17 Ford Raptor, you can take advantage of the free Raptor Assault program at the Ford Performance Racing School in Utah. It’s teaching owners to take full advantage of their Raptor via a course that spotlights the truck’s abilities on tough terrain—think rockcrawling, high-speed driving, and side hills. Trucks will be provided, but you’re stuck with the travel and hotel expenses. Learn more at raptorassault.com.

7.

Mopar Turns 80 Years Old in 2017

August 1, 1937. That was the birth of Mopar (or “motor parts”), and 2017 is a major milestone: the 80th anniversary. When it launched, Mopar had only one thing: a line of antifreeze products. It’s now in more than 150 markets, has close to 500,000 products, has distribution centers around the U.S., and has created things like the industry’s first smartphone vehicle-info app, limited-edition vehicles, and much more.

8.

“The expansion of our Jeep lineup has been and continues to be the key pillar of our strategy. Our commitment to internationalize the Jeep brand is unwavering, and with these last moves, we will finally have the capacity to successfully penetrate markets other than the U.S., which have historically been denied product due to capacity constraints. In addition, these all-new products will reach new consumers, as well as those that have been part of the Jeep tradition.”—Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne in a statement

9.

Ram 1500 Rebel Black

Special-edition alert: Ram has introduced the Rebel Black, which as you’d figure has a theme of black is the new black, like black wheels, brushguard, interior details, and more. It’s available as a crew cab.

10.

2018 Ford F-150 Gets Performance, Appearance Updates

The ’18 Ford F-150 will score a new 3.0L Power Stroke V-6 (the first-ever diesel for the F-150), in addition to the standard new 3.3L V-6 (but same horsepower and torque as the previous 3.5L), and a new second-gen 2.7L EcoBoost. Both are hooked to the 10-speed automatic. And the 5.0L V-8 also has improvements for more ponies and torque and also gains the 10-speed. Spot the new grille and other exterior tweaks.

11.

Random Photo We Dug

“Drove this beauty, an Alfa Romeo Matta. There are only about 2,000 built between 1952 and1954. Much better than the Fiat Campagnola but also much more expensive! That’s why they only have made 2,000. First and Second gears not synchronized. Lots of fun.”—Martin Brink from Holland

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