That’s Interesting•Want a Jeep Wrangler, but really only want one if you can pay at least $178,000? Well, technically, calling the Rezvani Tank a Wrangler is only 0.00006 percent correct. It’s a “rebodied” one, and then the rest lives up to its Tank name, via standards and options: 500hp V-8, two choices of off-road packages (includes Dynatrac axles and Fox shocks), thermal/night vision, tow package, ballistic armor…and on. Read more at rezvanimotors.com.
•Volkswagen’s been doing the Baja 1000 for 50 years running—same age as the race—with Baja Bugs, aka Beetles. A fun fact you may or may not care about.
•The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration calculated U.S. fatal traffic crash data for 2016, and the numbers are up 5.6 percent since 2015. Distracted-driving fatalities are down 2.2 percent, but drunk driving is up 1.7 percent. Motorcycle deaths jumped 5.1 percent.
•Worst traffic locations? INRIX can tell you, thanks to its traffic analysis tool with the not-predictable name: Roadway Analysis. Ranking No. 1 on the locations list? If you thought Los Angeles, good on you, but it’s also kind of a trick question. Los Angeles traffic wins for “impact factor,” meaning how long and how often traffic jams occur, and it also wins for congestion costing LA drivers more than anywhere else. But New York actually has more hotspots for traffic. Although, tricked you again: LA comes back for the win, with 10 of the 25 worst hotspots in America.
•Porsche Passport—it’s a new subscription dealio for access to Porsche vehicles via an app. You’ll get to pick from as many as 22 vehicles (car to SUV), depending on if you do Launch ($2,000 per month) or Accelerate ($3,000), and you’ll have unrestricted mileage. Monthly fees include tax and registration, insurance, maintenance, and detailing. It’s kicking off in Atlanta.
•’18 Jeep Cherokee Latitude owners will have a Tech Connect Package that includes Alexa and Echo Dot.
•Ford wants you to know that independent testing done by the Michigan State Police confirmed the ’19 F-150 Police Responder is indeed the first pursuit-rated fullsize pickup. Ford already told them it was, but 32 laps done in pursuit style at a raceway were convincing.
•Who’s overconfident in their driving skills? That would be teenagers, according to a survey done by Hum by Verizon. Fifty-seven percent claimed they are just as good at driving as their parent or guardian.
•Winners at the Texas Truck Rodeo: The ’18 Ford F-150 was named Truck of Texas. Also: ’18 Ram 2500 Limited Tungsten (HD pickup First-Placer), ’18 Nissan Titan King Cab SV (best commercial vehicle), ’18 Ram 1500 Laramie Longhorn Southfork (luxury), ’17 F-150 Raptor (off-road), ’18 Nissan Titan Midnight (fullsize), ’17 Toyota Tacoma TRD PRO (midsize), ’17 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Recon (off-road utility), ’17 Renegade Desert Hawk (subcompact SUV), and ’17 Grand Cherokee Trailhawk (midsize SUV), and…can we just say everybody won something from the Texas Auto Writers Association so that we’re not here all day?
•Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick award-winners: ’17 Ford F-150 and Jeep Compass.
•Pricing for the ’18 Nissan Frontier: SV King Cab 4x4 V-6 starts at $27,860. The PRO-4X King Cab starts at $32,780.
•Come get your ’18 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Midnight and Dusk Editions. One is dark and the other is less so.
Is it True?•General Motors plans to dump gas and diesel for all-electric vehicles?
•Ford plans to dump cars for electric vehicles—and also sell only trucks and SUVs?
•Hybrid pickup from Toyota: not dead yet?
•The first UK city to ban gas and diesels will be Oxford?
• Paris has targeted 2030 for going all-electric?
•The all-new ’18 Jeep Wrangler will not have a 368hp engine?
•But the new Wrangler’s 2.0L will require premium fuel?
•Rotella Shell is helping make the pickup the Official Vehicle of the U.S.?
•Chevy Silverados will now come in Class 4 and 5, too?
•General Motors is giving $5 million to The Henry Ford (which includes a museum, research center factory tour, and more)?
•Fiat Chrysler’s Toledo Assembly Complex and the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation are pairing up to prep 2,200 workers to build the new Wrangler (including 8 hours of hands-on tech training)?
Your Government at Work•Cummins and Achates—with a $47.4 million contract—will be building the powerplant for the next gen of U.S. combat vehicles. It’s being called the Advanced Combat Engine project and will utilize the R&D done by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center.
•The California DMV used a strike team to target 36 locations in Los Angeles County that qualified as unlicensed vehicle dismantlers. Who cares if they have a license? The DMV and law enforcement do, and here’s why you should too, according to them: “Unlicensed vehicle dismantlers operate in the underground economy and do not comply with the licensing requirements. Unlicensed vehicle dismantlers also ignore environmental regulatory requirements, insurance obligations, workplace safety requirements, and avoid paying taxes. For example, vehicle fluids can seep and contaminate ground water and defective parts can be sold to unsuspecting people, creating a potential public safety hazard.” We’re sold. Book ’em, Danno.
•The Silent Utility Rover Universal Superstructure (SURUS) is from General Motors and uses tech in the form of a Hydrotec fuel cell, truck chassis, and self-driving, with the potential for use in conflict, natural disasters, and the like (i.e., military, emergency power generation, and light/medium-duty military trucks).
•A new law in California is coming in 2018: The reauthorization and reform of the OHV program (SB 249, if you need to know). This is a good thing. Said Senator Ben Allen, who authored the legislation: “The reforms signed into law today represent a fair approach that strengthens protections for natural resources and habitat that are degraded by OHV riding, while still allowing OHV enthusiasts to enjoy this recreational activity.”
What’s Happening in the Industry•Yokohama’s Mississippi plant has 2,000 more trees than you thought it had yesterday. The planting of them was part of the company’s Forever Forest project that started in 2007. The trees are helping to absorb carbon dioxide, and the company has planted 500,000 trees globally as part of the project.
•Do not fret anymore about whether UCLA Athletics and the Rose Bowl have an Official Tire. They do. It’s Toyo.
•Hankook Tire’s first U.S. manufacturing plant has officially opened its doors. It’s located in Tennessee.
•There’s a new tire-installation feature via eBay Motors. You can pair tires with an installer in your area. Tires will get shipped directly to the shop for installation.
•Truck Hero is acquiring Omix-ADA.
•Weld Racing has acquired Forgestar Performance Wheels.
•Project Barbour: A ’95 Heritage Edition Defender 90 that has been commissioned by Orvis via a partnership between East Coast Defender and Barbour North America in an effort to promo the new Land Rover Defender Collection that’s available only through Orvis. Want to win it or other cool prizes? Enter the sweepstakes here: orvis.com/defendersweeps. It ends June 22, 2018.
Four Wheeler AppFour Wheeler has an app. Download it. Tell us what you find. We mean, if you have time, because the Four Wheeler app will henceforth consume all your time.
“We are extremely excited to partner with one of the most iconic automotive companies in the world. This is a fantastic brand fit for two community-minded global brands that are dedicated to the Motor City and we look forward to working with the Jeep brand to engage NBA fans and provide exciting basketball and entertainment experiences.”
—Charlie Metzger, Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer of the Detroit Pistons, regarding the deal that makes Jeep the Exclusive Domestic Vehicle Partner of the NBA team. And, yes, “Exclusive Domestic Vehicle Partner” is also what you should be calling your trail spotter in these politically correct times.
“In conjunction with Dutch design brand Droog, a state-of-the-art sweat-sensing technology coating called SOAK has been integrated into a Nissan Juke crossover. By applying it to the Juke’s steering wheel and front seats, the result is a simple yet effective alert system to warn drivers that they need to drink more water. The SOAK coating works in a very simple way, changing color when it’s in contact with perspiration—for example, on a person’s hands or clothes after exercise. When dehydrated the SOAK coating turns yellow; when rehydrated it turns blue.”
—Statement from Nissan. A study that found dehydrated drivers (aka, drinking only a sip of water per hour) have the equivalent number of driving errors—drifting, delayed braking—as someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent, so Nissan did this in response.
Mercedes-AMG G 65 Final Edition (Yes, That’s its Real Name)Production of the Mercedes-AMG G 65 is coming to an end, and its farewell is about as unique as things get: Only 65 versions of the Final Edition will be available around the world. That nets you a legacy SUV with a 630hp 6.0L V-12 and all the off-road features it became known for (climbing, fording, and wheeling abilities). You’ll pay nothing extra for the hearse-like model name. The OG G arrived on the scene in 1979.
The TJ Cruiser is Not a Jeep TJThere’s a new concept vehicle in our midst: the Toyota TJ Cruiser. But don’t confuse it with a Jeep Wrangler TJ. Sure, it’s utility like a Wrangler, but in the sense of cargo van meets SUV. And it’s a toolbox like a Wrangler, but in the sense of the T means “toolbox.” The J? That would be “joy” (Toyota said, “the joy of visiting various places by car,” but we only see it as “toolbox joy”). Cool items? The coating on the fenders, roof, and hood is scratch-resistant (and even dirt-resistant; now, that’s joy), and the passenger seat flips up for storage space, while the interior is roomy enough for transporting stuff almost 10 feet long.
’18 Chevy Silverado and Colorado Centennial EditionChevy is marking 100 years of its trucks by offering a Centennial Edition of the Silverado and Colorado. This includes a heritage-style Bow Tie emblem front and rear, door badges, Centennial Blue paint, and spray-in bedliner, also with the emblem. It’s available for the LTZ Z71 Crew Cab Silverado and Z71 Crew and extended cab Colorado.
Pickups are $100,000—Just Ask the ’18 Ford Super Duty Limited$94,455. That’s how much it’ll set you back to get a new Ford F-series Super Duty Unlimited if you go highest of the high end when it comes to Ford pickups. The target crowd for the Limited is those who want brawn and chest hair coupled with mani-pedis and comfort Poodles. As in: towing capacity of more than 30,000 pounds (as Ford points out, the weight of an F-35 fighter plane) and 6.7L Power Stroke coupled with leather seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel, armrests, and instrument panel; a special suede headliner and wood trim; panoramic moonroof; and heated/ventilated seats. The Limited starts at $80,835 for the F-250 4x4 and tops out at $94,455 if you pencil-in every option box.
MTODOnDemand This Month
Catch these shows on motortrendondemand.com
Jan 5 Put Up or Shut Up, Episode 7
Jan 10 Ignition, Episode 187
Jan 12 Dirt Every Day, Episode 72
Jan 15 Hot Rod Garage, Episode 61
Jan 17 Head 2 Head, Episode 97
Jan 22 Roadkill, Episode 74
Jan 26 Junkyard Gold, Episode 4
Jan 29 Roadkill Garage, Episode 26
Jan 31 Engine Masters, Episode 31
Feb 2 Put Up or Shut Up, Episode 8
Feb 5 Roadkill, Episode 75
Feb 7 Ignition, Episode 188
Feb 9 Dirt Every Day, Episode 73
Feb 12 Hot Rod Garage, Episode 62
Feb 14 Head 2 Head, Episode 98
Feb 19 Roadkill, Episode 76
Feb 21 Forbidden Drives, Episode 2
Feb 23 Junkyard Gold, Episode 5
Feb 26 Roadkill Garage, Episode 27
Feb 28 Engine Masters, Episode 32
Mar 2 Put Up or Shut Up, Episode 9