•It’s open now: the Mopar Parts Distribution Center in Romulus, Michigan, aka metro Detroit.
•If you find yourself at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California, you might find yourself at the new Porsche Design concept store, where there will be basic info about the brand’s vehicles and products (apparel, eyewear, fragrance, and other things that do not come to mind when you think Porsche). What you won’t find: Porsches. No testdrives nor sales here.
•GM is adding Marketplace to some of its Chevy and GMC vehicles. This is a commerce platform for buying food, drink, fuel, hotel, and more using the in-vehicle touchscreen.
•“The First Super Sport Utility Vehicle”—that’s Lamborghini, self-branding its Urus SUV. Or SSUV if you’re cowtailing to Lambo.
•A U.S.-based Volkswagen exec has been sentenced to seven years in prison and a hefty six-figure fine after admitting he had knowledge regarding the illegal software used in the diesel-emission debacle.
•Already another list of best auto tech for 2018. This one’s from Autotrader, and it includes autonomous driving features, steering collision avoidance, and wireless charging (bit.ly/2phDwAi).
•11 million: That’s how many vehicles to date have been produced at GM’s Arlington Assembly Plant in Texas since it opened in 1954. No. 11,000,000 was an ’18 Chevy Tahoe RST.
•Who’s building the first megawatt-scale carbonate fuel-cell power generation plant with hydrogen fueling station due in 2020? Toyota. It’s great for the Port of Los Angeles. It’s less great for your mouth due to all the words.
•2018. GMC. Yukon. Denali. Ultimate Black Edition. As you’re correctly guessing, stuff is black.
•Nissan built an ’18 Titan AT-M6 to coincide with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. We’re on the fence here, so what do you think? We want to say it’s cool, but we kinda don’t normally get behind things with “hydro-dip graphics to mimic a walker’s leg joints” nor a “massive megacaliber cannon affixed to its back.” Oh, wait—that part we do.
•Volkswagen intends to bring a new electric SUV in compact size to the market by 2020. Said car-looking SUV will be based on the I.D. CROZZ concept that the automaker debuted in 2017.
•Pickup theft is on the rise in Quebec, Canada, according to stats from the Insurance Bureau of Canada. But SUVs aren’t being left out. Among the 10 most-stolen vehicles were the ’15-‘16 Toyota 4Runner, ’15-’16 Toyota Tundra, ’16 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and ’03 and ’06 Ford F-250 four-by.
•Kelley Blue Book’s 2018 Best Buy award for fullsize SUV? Ford Expedition. The Blue Oval’s F-150 nabbed the pickup category.
•Newsweek called Toyota one of the world’s greenest companies.
•Pricing the ’18 Nissan Titan means starting at $39,160 for the SV King Cab 4x4 and reaching an MSRP of $56,050 for the Platinum Crew Cab 4x4. The XD gas models start at $38,720 for the Single Cab 4x4, while diesel ranges from the S King Cab 4x4 at $43,840 to $57,440 for the diesel SL Crew Cab.
•Alarms.org put together Driver-Friendly States 2018, which includes lists for everything from fuel to ownership costs. Like, Maine has the lowest car insurance rates, while South Dakota took top spot for being a state with the shortest average commute time (16.9 minutes sounds lengthy, but it takes us an hour to go 20 minutes in our town, so it sounds good to us).
Is It True?
•Apple got a patent for its future autonomous tech, which will include an element of virtual reality?
•The Kia Sorento will drop its turbocharged engine in 2019 and plop in a diesel soon?
•GM is going with carbon-fiber beds for its next-gen pickups?
•The Bow Tie will also be adding external airbags for pedestrians?
•Porsche is designing yachts now? Super luxury ones priced at $16 million?
•A fancy luxo tower residence in New York City will offer private parking spaces…to the tune of $550,000 each?
•GM’s autonomous vehicle R&D failed when the test car stopped driving after it got confused and stopped when it came up behind a parked taco-based food truck? (Although, can you find a human who hasn’t also done so?)
•Nissan has developed brain-to-vehicle (B2V) tech, with the idea that vehicles will be able to interpret signals from your brain while you drive, including predicting your next move and putting driver-assist systems into go-mode? And there’s nothing creepy happening here, right?
•Also about brain-thinking-vehicle-thinking: Nissan wants to bring back the Xterra?
Your Government at Work
•Yosemite National Park in California became the first U.S. National Park to make a permanent addition of Proterra zero-emission buses to its shuttle fleet.
•What became effective January 1, 2018, was that thousands of miles of state forest roads in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan became available for ORV use to off-road vehicles, thanks to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. It’s about 6,300 miles of roads we’re talking about.
•Sounds like China will prevent the sale of 553 models—including from Chevy—which it said don’t meet fuel-consumption standards.
What’s Happening in the Industry
•Hitting the 5-0 is DieHard, and its five decades are being celebrated by a first: selling products on amazon.com. Jump-starters will start; tires and batteries will come.
•What’s 337 feet long and inflatable? That would be the new hanger Goodyear has, well, inflated for the home base of the Wingfoot Two blimp. It’s located in Southern California.
•Line-X has partnered with ValuGard to make undercoating and rust prevention available at some Line-X locations in the U.S. and Canada.
•Hella is opening a new tech center in Michigan.
•Winner of the Kepner-Tregoe 2017 Process Achievement Award in a Single and Team Use category went to Truck Hero.
•Permatex and Polimotor have joined forces to develop the Polimotor 2 engine, which will utilize fiber-reinforced parts rather than metal in an effort to reduce weight. This would be to help with horsepower and fuel-efficiency improvements.
•Continental’s ATE Brake Parts is back in the North American market.
•Hennessey is putting the HPE VelociRaptor 6x6 into production. For just $349,000, you get a Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew, an engine upgrade worth 605 horses, 6x6 locking rear axles plus other aftermarket add-ons/swaps. Go to hennesseyperformance.com to stare and order.
Four Wheeler App
We’re far enough into 2018 for us to check on how your New Year’s resolutions are going. As for ours, we definitely gave up cookies on January 1. On January 2, we gave up giving up cookies. We’re going to assume you’re making better progress with your resolution to ’wheel more, finally finish that project that’s collecting dust in your garage, or compete some other auto-theme self-promise. And Four Wheeler is here to help keep you in line via our Four Wheeler app, available from the App Store. You’ll find building ideas, see new products, read up on great trails, and so much more that’ll keep you inspired. Send cookies for gratitude.
“We filled that whole space with tens of thousands of leaves using children and their skills of sweeping and raking. We created this temporary example of how the neighborhood could be safer.”
—Dave Meslin to CBC News out of Toronto, Canada, regarding how he and other residents tried to redesign their local intersection themselves to cause traffic to slow down
“It would strategically be the wrong thing. That car defines the Land Rover brand and the Range Rover family; it is really the epitome of that line, and to dethrone that would not be the right move.”
— Joe Eberhardt, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover North America, to Automotive News Europe, regarding going with an even more luxo model than the $200,000-plus SVAutobiography
’18 Chevy Silverado 3500HD NHRA Safety Safari and GMC Sierra All Mountain Concept Vehicles and ’19 Chevy Silverado
A diesel-powered support vehicle that acts as first responder and safety hero? That’s the idea behind the NHRA Safety Safari concept Silverado that Chevy built. The ’18 truck features the 6.6L Duramax and is how Chevy imagines a support vehicle could be with onboard fire-suppression system, rescue equipment, strobe lighting, shovels, jacks, and more.
Meanwhile, over at GMC, it was a concept that leaned a bit more toward how heroes don’t have to wear capes and sometimes go on vacation, like to fancy Vail, Colorado. The ’18 Sierra 2500HD All Mountain was envisioned as a “one-of-a-kind snow-climbing machine” that could handle extreme weather and steep mountains. Hence, those tires (Mattracks), underbody LEDs, snowboard racks, and lightbar. The Duramax makes an appearance here too.
And, finally, a truck that’s not in concept form but is the real, breathing deal: the ’19 Chevy Silverado 1500. Only a few tidbits were available as we went to press, including the big one: the available Trailboss package, which will include the Z71 package coupled with a 2-inch suspension (with a warranty from Chevy).
’18 Ford Super Duty—More Horsepower, More Torque, More Towing
If we got a dollar for every time Ford announced that the Super Duty was “America’s most powerful, most capable heavy-duty pickup,” we’d probably get a dollar every year. But the truck does keep getting improvements annually to all allow those brags. Case in point: The ’18 Super Duty has an upgraded 6.7L Power Stroke diesel for 450 horses and 935 lb-ft of torque (both of those are up by 10 over 2017 numbers), plus 21,000-pound conventional hitch towing, 7,630-pound payload capacity, and 34,000-pound gooseneck towing (which Ford says is a 1,500-pound improvement on the F-450 4x2—speaking of 4x2s, the F-450 gets one in Crew Cab form for 2018).
Troy Myers, 1966-2017
There are things that are painful to write, and this is one of them. The four-wheeling community lost one of our own on December 14, 2017, with the passing of Troy Myers. Troy opened the Attica, Indiana, Badlands Off-Road Park in 1995. Among many other things he was an accomplished rockcrawler, mechanic, and fabricator. Over the years, Four Wheeler teamed with Troy and the Badlands Off-Road Park for many projects and events. We will miss Troy dearly, but we, as well as many others he impacted in his usual, positive way, will count ourselves fortunate that we could call him our friend. Troy is survived by an extended family and his wife of 31 years, Lisa. —Ken Brubaker
Catch these shows on motortrendondemand.com
|Mar 9||Dirt Every Day, Episode 74|
|Mar 12||Hot Rod Garage, Episode 63|
|Mar 14||Head 2 Head, Episode 99|
|Mar 19||Roadkill, Episode 78|
|Mar 23||Junkyard Gold, Episode 6|
|Mar 26||Roadkill Garage, Episode 28|
|Mar 28||Engine Masters, Episode 33|
|Mar 30||Put Up or Shut Up, Episode 10|
|Apr 2||Roadkill, Episode 79|
|Apr 4||Ignition, Episode 190|
|Apr 6||Dirt Every Day, Episode 75|
|Apr 9||Hot Rod Garage, Episode 64|
|Apr 11||Head 2 Head, Episode 100|
|Apr 16||Roadkill, Episode 80|
|Apr 20||Junkyard Gold, Episode 7|
|Apr 23||Roadkill Garage, Episode 29|
|Apr 25||Engine Masters, Episode 34|
|Apr 27||Put Up or Shut Up, Episode 11|
|Apr 30||Roadkill, Episode 81|
|May 2||Ignittion, Episode 191|
|May 4||Dirt Every Day, Episode 76|
|May 7||Hot Rod Garage, Episode 65|
|May 9||Head 2 Head, Episode 101|
|May 14||Roadkill, Episode 82|
|May 21||Roadkill Garage, Episode 30|
|May 23||Engine Masters, Episode 35|
|May 25||Put Up or Shut Up, Episode 12|
|May 28||Roadkill, Episode 83|
|May 30||Ignition, Episode 192|
Schedule Key: Original Programs
* The program information provided is subject to change.