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RPM: 4x4 and Auto News and Rumors

Posted in News on February 21, 2018
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Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturers

1.

That’s Interesting

•Land Rover turns 70 years old in 2018, so the automaker chose to celebrate the milestone by restoring an original Land Rover. Actually, it is the original, the one used to launch the vehicle at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show. No one knew where “Launch Land Rover” disappeared to for the longest time, which seems both irresponsible and creepy. But then they found it. In a garden. It’s being called as “historically important as ‘Huey,’ the original production Land Rover”—aka Hue 166. The restoration will include fixing up the removable rear tub, a feature that never made it to mass production.
•ALG’s 2018 Residual Value Awards go to: Toyota, for the Tundra and Tacoma in fullsize and midsize pickup categories, respectively, as well as to the Sequoia for fullsize utility. The Land Rover Range Rover took premium fullsize utility, while the premium midsize utility second-row seating went to the Range Rover Sport. The Discovery took the premium midsize three-row edition. The Jeep Wrangler topped the off-road utility column.
•Let’s also talk “Best Family Cars of 2018,” as decided by Kelley Blue Book: The three-rowers were Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition.
The Detroit News Readers’ Choice Awards from the 2018 Detroit Auto Show included Baddest Off-Road Vehicle category, won by the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
•Oh, let’s give out some more awards, this time the Loyalty Awards from IHS Markit. GM won overall loyalty to manufacturer, while Ford won the same, but for make. Now, some real specific categories: Jeep won Highest Conquest Percentage and Toyota got Ethnic Market Loyalty to Make. Random other winners included the Land Rover Range Rover for luxury fullsize SUV, Wrangler for compact SUV, Grand Cherokee for midsize SUV, Ford F-series for 3/4- and 1-ton pickup, Ram 1500 for 1/2-ton, and GMC Yukon Denali XL for fullsize SUV.
•Just one more: Edmunds.com held the Consumer Electronics Show Tech Driven Awards. Audi was named Most Innovative Automaker of the Year, while the Most Innovative Truck went to the ’18 Ford F-150.
•Psych. Now, one more award: Fiat Chrysler festing itself by giving its Mack Avenue Engine Plant a silver award in the World Class Manufacturing “methodology.” If you’re saying, hold on, didn’t the plant win the bronze for this, like, 1.5 years ago? Yes. And why do you know this?
•’19 Jeep Cherokee—new hood, new fascia, new available hands-free liftgate, new wheels. Also: a new 2.0L inline-four that makes 270 horses and 295 lb-ft of torque.
•If you’re on the prowl for where to find all the SRT and Mopar racing action, go to dodge.com/en/dodge-garage. Event info, news, photos, downloads, and merch can be had.
•Amazon’s Alexa (shhh, she’ll hear you) will be included in some Toyota and Lexus models.
•The e-Palette Concept Vehicle from Toyota is a totally automated, battery-electric vehicle and already has partnerships with Uber and Pizza Hut. It’s a mobility-is-coming thing.
•Le Mall in Jeddah hosted the first car show for women in Saudi Arabia. A ban has been lifted on no female drivers.
•Seen on udacity.com: nanodegree program in Flying Cars and Autonomous Flight.
•Ford will add Waze to its Sync AppLink for the Sync 3 touchscreen.
•Toyota and Mazda’s new joint-manufacturing plant in the U.S. will be located in Huntsville, Alabama. Sorry that we forgot to drumroll.
•The Jeep Grand Cherokee S has hit Europe. It’s “sports-inspired,” so that means a “sporty interpretation,” “sports suspension,” “sporty look,” and “sporty character.”
•The Land Rover Defender is getting a Works V-8 edition. It’s the fastest to bear the name Defender, with 399 horses and 380 lb-ft of torque.
•Self-parking slippers now exist in the ProPILOT Park Ryokan in Japan. The ryokan (essentially an inn) features Nissan’s autonomous parking tech of the same name, which powers tables and floor cushions for guests. And those aforementioned slippers.

2.

Is it True?

•Is Ford being sued by Super Duty owners over alleged diesel emissions being up to 50 times the legal limit?
•Has a town in New Jersey put a measure into place that bans nonresident vehicles during peak hours to avoid a massive problem created by Waze’s routing? And disobeying means a $200 fine?
•Is Fiat Chrysler putting $1 billion into the Warren Truck Assembly Plant to make way for the next generation of Ram HD?
•And…was 2017 a record year for Ram pickup sales—in Canada?
•Is Toyota planning to introduce all-electric vehicles, starting with China and working their way to the U.S.—including a pickup?
•And…is Ferrari going with an all-electric SUV?
•Is the Toyota FJ Cruiser coming back because of the all-new Jeep Wrangler?
•A two-door Range Rover?
•Is 2019 going to be all about GM offering a self-driving ride-hailing service—and the vehicles will not have any manual controls like pedals nor a steering wheel? Is that you we hear self-screaming?
•Is California going to ban the sale of new gas- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040?
•Will Bentley take its new 600hp Bentayga SUV on the grueling Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this summer?
•Volkswagen tested diesel fumes on monkeys?

3.

Your Government at Work

•Workhorse applied for a loan from the Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program—in the amount of $250 million. “Workhorse has received letters of intent to purchase more than 5,000 W-15s, which we believe demonstrates that fleets are eager to incorporate range-extended electric pickup trucks. We are designing our W-15 to be the most economical, the greenest, and the safest electric pickup in America’s automotive market today,” said the automaker’s CEO and president, Stephen Burns.
•HB101 has been filed, which would require emissions testing of diesel vehicles in Utah County, which is a nonattainment area, defined by the EPA as, “a geographic area that does not meet one or more of the federal air quality standards.”

4.

What’s Happening in the Industry

•The Champion battery line is expanding—in the sense of, moving beyond SoCal and being available nationwide.
•Daystar Products acquired Hard Core Tuning. Those in the know, know. We mean, by “know” that it can also be called HCT.
•Omix-ADA has teamed up with the Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer to build a ’17 Jeep Wrangler Hurst Commando Edition based on the ’71 model. The Jeep will go on the road for appearances, and then will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to the foundation. Learn more at omix-ada.com or hatcherfoundation.org.
•Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative is celebrating anniversary 10. It has spent a decade supporting outdoor enthusiasts with the protection and improvement of public land, and to date, more than $3.5 million in funding and equipment has assisted with that goal. Here’s a tribute video (we didn’t make it, despite how that sounded): yamahaoai.com/10yearsofoai.
•Valvoline is on the list of “Best Places to Work in Kentucky” in the large company category by the trio of Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Society of Human Resources Management, and Best Companies Group.
•The 2018 Michelin Challenge Design “Mobility/Utility/Flexibility—Designing for the Next Global Revolution” featured concepts on a global scale, with winners and finalists from the U.S., Poland, South Korea, the UK, Saudi Arabia, and more locales. “The biggest surprise was the interest in pickups, or open-bedded vehicles, from so many unexpected places and how designers saw the opportunity for such vehicles to meet the needs in their respective countries or regions,” said VP of OE Marketing for Michelin North America Thom Roach. “Given the surprising growth in SUV and CUV categories around the world, it will be very interesting to see if pickups and open-bedded vehicles also grow well beyond the traditional markets.” The winning entry was from Josh Sandrock of California for Volkswagen Type 10 Pick Up.

5.

Four Wheeler App

Four Wheeler has an app, available from the App Store. We can think of no greater way to prove that we are ready for the future than by having an app—because our articles and tech being available to you 24/7, and with new information constantly being added, is pretty futuristic. Being ready for the future also means being prepared for flying vehicles, driverless vehicles, self-thinking vehicles, windowless vehicles, robot vehicles, or…even…angry, villainous, uprising vehicles. So, being a part of the future means our app will also be bringing the same sorts of articles and tech tips for building those vehicles, too. Or, possibly, how to…unbuild them.

6.

“I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y. Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost 5 years. Am dying to build it.”
—Elon Musk via Twitter

7.

“As soon as he opened the door, I got scared. So I pulled out the pellet gun and pointed it to his head.”
—9-year-old Larry Larimore to WTHR News, regarding thwarting a carjacking of his dad’s Ram pickup—with Larry still inside

8.

’19 Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Before we talk about anything that’s new for the ’19 Mercedes-Benz G-Class, we must first state a quote from the automaker: “The enhanced design of the G-Class follows the philosophy of Sensual Purity.” We’ll wait while you shower. Really, how do we follow that, when we know you’ll now barely hear the information about the new nine-speed automatic transmission paired to the returning 4.0L V-8 worth 416 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque, staring at a new biturbo setup? Or about the new suspension born from chatting up the AMG side of the brand, which resulted in independent suspension with double-wishbone front and rigid rear axle? Dynamic Select now has five driving modes? The automatic new G-Mode that kicks in off-road when one of the three diff locks or low range has been engaged? How, indeed.

9.

’18 Ford F-150 Makes History: It Got a Diesel!

Did you know the Ford F-150 never had a factory diesel engine in North America, like, ever? Well, what a magical time to be alive, because the ’18 edition got one, essentially a short-stack Power Stroke. The 3.0L V-6 is expected to bring home 30 mpg highway, and make 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. Having two Strokes brings the total engine options for the F-150 to a whopping six, so no one better complain that their needs are not being met. There’s some tech borrowed from the full-stack 6.7L Power Stroke design as well as from the 2.7L EcoBoost. The new mill is mated to the SelectShift 10-speed auto trans, and there’s also start-stop functionality.

10.

All-New ’19 Ram 1500—With Less and More

The Ram 1500 went and got majorly redone for the 2019 model year, with everything from a new off-road package (hello, you 1-inch lift from the factory), a new frame, a weight loss of 225 pounds, and an eTorque thing that helps with fuel efficiency, to a max trailer towing capacity of 12,750 pounds, a lighter, now-aluminum tailgate with an electronic locking mechanism, an elevated hood and tweaked roof for better aerodynamics, an air suspension, transfer case improvements, and a re-engineered rear axle. Wheels are six-lug, in case you collect wheel-lug facts. Another cool new package is the Max Tow, with a 3.92 final drive, Dana Super 60 centersection, and the aforementioned 12,750-pound towing capacity; it’s for the two-by Hemi-sporting truck.

11.

Photography: GM

’19 Chevy Silverado: New Duramax, Bigger Truck

When GM announced the new Silverado, they led with bed-time talk. So, since that’s the most important feature of the ’19 model to them, we’ll throw them that bone. The new Silverado bed proves that tie-downs are the new cupholders, with the pickup getting 12 fixed ones now capable of 500 pounds of force before bending. There’s also more cargo volume, a stronger high-grade steel floor, an available power up/down tailgate (which can be powered from the key fob), and corners at the bumpers for stepping for easier bed access. The new truck has a 3.9-inch-longer wheelbase and is 1.6 inches longer overall, while also being 450 pounds lighter. The new suspension has lighter-weight components and a redesigned rear. Engines include the new 3.0L Duramax inline-six diesel and the 5.3L and 6.2L V-8s. The Duramax and 6.2L are matched to the new Hydra-Matic 10-speed.

12.

024-auto-news-four-wheeler-2019-ford-ranger-front 025-auto-news-four-wheeler-2019-ford-ranger-rear

’19 Ford Ranger Comes to North America

Nowadays, it can be hard to tell a downsize pickup from a fullsize pickup, and definitely hard to tell a midsize pickup from a downsize pickup and a fullsize pickup. It has gotten as bad as telling apart all the Jeeps that aren’t the Wrangler at a glance. The new Ford Ranger will fall in the midsize category when it goes into production later in 2018. It’ll be stuffed with a 2.3L EcoBoost, 10-speed auto transmission, and five seats, and have a steel frame, steel bumper with integrated trail hitch, and Dana AdvanTEK independent solid axles and the available FX4 Off-Road Package with Trail Control and tuned shocks, among other beefiness.

MTOD info:

Catch these shows on motortrendondemand.com

Apr 06 Dirt Every Day, Episode 75
Apr 09 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 02 Ignition, Episode 191
May 04 Dirt Every Day, Episode 76
May 07 Hot Rod Garage, Episode 65
May 09 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
June 01 Dirt Every Day, Episode 77
June 04 Hot Rod Garage, Episode 66
June 06 Head 2 Head, Episode 102
June 11 Roadkill, Episode 84
June 18 Roadkill Garage, Episode 31
June 20 Engine Masters, Episode 36
June 25 Roadkill, Episode 85
June 27 Ignition, Episode 193
June 29 Dirt Every Day, Episode 78

* The program information provided is subject to change.

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