•This was the headline: “Land Rover Discovery Tows 121-ton Road Train in the Australian Outback.” The deets are, an HSE Td6 (aka diesel) towed a 328-foot-long, seven-trailer semitruck, starting from a dead stop for 10 miles (the SUV is rated for 7,716 pounds). Why? Why not?
•Ford and Domino’s are collaborating on pizza research. Specifically, how positively freaked out would you be if a driverless vehicle pulled up with your pie? Also, how positively annoyed will you be if you have to walk all the way to the curb to collect it yourself?
•Did you have money on where the next-gen Nissan Frontier would be built? We sure hope it was riding on the Canton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Mississippi.
•We guess something automotive had to one day be called Platinum Reserve, so Nissan did it to the ’18 Armada edition that’s the super-est luxo-est of the Armada bunch, ringing in with an MSRP of $64,590 for the 4x4 (the regular Platinum has an MSRP of $44,010, so you can math out how much additional fancy it has).
•And…the trifecta of Nissan news is completed with the reveal of ’18 Pathfinder pricing: The four-by starts at $32,480.
• According to an Ipsos poll: “Nearly all (97 percent) Canadian drivers polled say they personally take the role of being a designated driver seriously, and this holds true even for Millennials (95 percent, up 3 points since 2014).” They did the poll for Beer Canada. True story.
•What is the ’18 Chevy Tahoe Custom? Not exactly custom, since it’s an assembly line byproduct, but it is the LS trim with the third row removed—as well as most of the options that make the price of a Tahoe add up. It has a starting price of $44,995.
•Facebook said it won’t be building cars, but will be involved with mobility efforts.
•Your seat matters—enough that J.D. Power did a ’17 Seat Quality and Satisfaction Study. Owners of new vehicles were enlisted to rate seats and seatbelts with regard to design issues or defects/malfunctions in their first 90 days of ownership. Among the top seats were the ones in the Porsche Cayenne, Ram 1500, and Toyota 4Runner.
•DriveShare by Hagerty is a service that is like the Airbnb of vintage and exotic vehicles. Don’t worry—owners are prescreened. We’ll assume the same with the potential drivers.
•Holden (think Chevy Australia) is building a diesel-powered Colorado for the new SuperUtes category of the ’19 ECB Series.
Is it True?
•The Chevy Blazer is coming back—but as a crossover?
•Same subject: GMC bailed on the idea of a Wrangler competitor and will now water it down to a crossover?
•Dyson is going to build electric cars? The same company that makes vacuums for pet hair?
•California is considering banning gas and diesel vehicles in the near-ish future?
•Despite all this talk of banning diesel vehicles, prices for used diesel vehicles is on the rise?
•Land Rovers will get new badging based on horsepower?
•More proof that the Ford Ranger Raptor is coming in 2018?
Your Government at Work
•Saudi Arabia is now allowing women to drive.
•London removed Uber’s license to drive.
•AM General’s getting orders for HMMWVs and also parts for use everywhere from Afghanistan and Ukraine to Bahrain and Kenya, a contract worth more than $550 million. This follows the announcement that the U.S. Army Contracting Command awarded the automaker a five-year, firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sale requirements contract for about 11,560 new HMMWVs, worth about $2.2 billion.
•The Federal Highway Administration has reinstated the Transportation Clean Air Rule for tracking and curbing pollution from vehicles on national highways.
What’s Happening in the Industry
•New TV: The Lund International Truck & Jeep Show is on the Velocity Network. It’s all about the events, builds, and parts. Or if none of that appeals, then it’s all about the food, folks, and fun.
•Looks like the Advanced Auto Service & Tire Centers in Phoenix are going to be bought by Pep Boys.
•Roush has added the Raptor to its performance lineup, which includes a Fox 3.0 suspension system and 20-inch rims. It departed from the Roush lineup in 2014.
•Also a Raptor: Shelby American will make a limited number of the ’18 Shelby Raptor truck (500, if you must know), with a special dose of 75 more horsepower and 100 lb-ft of torque, plus handling and appearance tweaks.
•Soybean oil-based rubber compound is being used by Goodyear for creating a tread compound that could deal with changes in temperature. This is the first commercial use of the soybean oil as a compound.
•AAMCO will be opening 18 new service centers around the U.S.
•After claims of various trademark and copyright infringement and patent violations—and U.S. Marshals storming the ’16 SEMA Show—courts found in favor of Omix-ADA/Rugged Ridge and agreed with their claims of said violations by off-shore companies. Terms of the settlement will not be made public.
•Also winning: Fab Fours, also for a patent and trademark infringement suit, for its Grumper bumper/grille.
•Bestop had partnered with the American Cancer Society (ACS) on Project Pink, which ran from November 1, 2016–July 28, 2017, offering Jeep owners a chance to win customized breast cancer awareness embroidered soft tops. The money from ticket purchases was donated directly to ACS, and Bestop then matched all donations, for a total of $6,234 to ACS.
•If you recognize Ian Johnson from Xtreme 4x4 and Xtreme Off-Road, now recognize him as the brand ambassador for Daystar Products.
•Yamaha has intro’d the totally new four-passenger ’18 Wolverine X4. The side-by-side will have an 847cc DOHC eight-valve, parallel twin-cylinder motor; a new drive-by-wire system; 10.7 inches of ground clearance; and 207mm vented disc brakes.
•Power Test is acquiring SuperFlow/Hicklin Engineering.
Four Wheeler App
Four Wheeler has an app. That’s what the kids are doing these days, app-ing. So, we had to do it too. A benefit is that it makes for easier access to all our content 24/7 from wherever you are. We certainly are big fans of holding a real magazine in our hands, but sometimes it’s sensible to leave our array of back issues at home and instead have all-access to all-Four Wheeler from our handheld devices. But we’re going to continue to do both methods. It’s really what the kids are set to do next: both-ing.
“From 2020 all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will be electrified.”
—September 2017 statement from the automaker
“The Santa Cruz crossover truck concept meets the unspoken needs of a growing Millennial lifestyle we call ‘Urban Adventurers.’”
—How Hyundai described this concept truck back in 2015. Word is that it’s officially headed for production and coming to the U.S.
Gee, That Press Release Sounds Naughty
“Thanks to PushAuto Your Toilet Time Just Got a Lot More Productive.”
Ram Special Editions: Harvest and Texas-Inspired
If you’re shopping for a new Ram for 2018, we present three more options. First up, the Harvest, with its nod toward agriculture (a nod, plus a wink of actual functional add-ons like side steps, bedliner, bumper step, and taller suspension). It can be had in all forms/configurations of Ram. The Laramie Longhorn Southfork has Longhorn trim, but with more pomp. Meanwhile, the Heavy Duty Lone Star Silver is also on the upper end of things, and will have a unique grille and lots of other chrome. Texas, those two are your scores.
Suzuki’s e-Survivor SUV
Suzuki’s new concept vehicle is the e-Survivor, or “compact SUV of the next age.” If we e-survive the next 100 years, we guess Suzuki thinks it’s gonna be a world that’s all back to the future, with the second coming of the Jimny and Vitara. Ladder frame and electric four-wheel drive are some of the known tech at this point. Also, grille familiarity.
Cummins Turbodiesel Crate Engine
The Cummins Repower crate-engine program is officially in full swing—a year after the announcement—with the release of the R2.8 turbodiesel, a 2.8L four-banger available at cumminsrepower.com. The MSRP is $8,999. It’s said to be the first in a series of engines for consumers.
Four-Door Electric SUT from Bollinger
A four-door variant of the B1 all-electric sport-ute from Bollinger Motors will also be produced and be available at the same time as the two-door (which, as we headed to press, already had 10,000 pre-orders). The multidoor version gains 6 cubic feet of cargo volume (equaling 101 cubic feet) and a wheelbase of 114 inches. What won’t be different between the two models is the 60- or 100-kWh battery options, 15.5 inches of ground clearance, adjustable suspension, and all-aluminum chassis.
MTODOnDemand This Month
Catch these shows on motortrendondemand.com
Dec 8 Auto Mundial
Dec 8 Motorsport Mundial
Dec 9 LIVE! Intercontinental Challenge Series, Sepang
Dec 11 Real Road Racing, Macau Grand Prix
Dec 11 Ultimate Adventure Week
Dec 12 SKUSA SuperNationals, Las Vegas
Dec 12 Ultimate Adventure Week
Dec 13 Head 2 Head, Episode 97
Dec 13 Ultimate Adventure Week
Dec 14 Roadkill Garage, Episode 25
Dec 14 Ultimate Adventure Week
Dec 15 Ultimate Adventure Week
Dec 19 Dirt Every Day, Episode 72
Dec 19 SKUSA SuperNationals, Las Vegas
Dec 20 FIM Freestyle MX World Championship, Oberhausen, Germany
Dec 20 GP Confidential, Post Season
Dec 21 Hot Rod Garage, Episode 60
Dec 22 Auto Mundial
Dec 22 FIM Freestyle MX World Championship, Wenzhou, China
Dec 22 Motorsport Mundial
Dec 22 Roadkill, Episode 73
Dec 26 Tuner Battle Week
Dec 27 Tuner Battle Week
Dec 28 Tuner Battle Week
Dec 29 Auto Mundial
Dec 29 Motorsport Mundial
Dec 29 Tuner Battle Week
Dec 30 Tuner Battle Week
Jan 4 Put Up or Shut Up, Episode 7