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RPM: 4x4 And Auto News And Rumors

Posted in News on April 25, 2018
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Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturers


Photography: GM

Photography: GM

That’s Interesting

•Vincentric’s Best Value in America award-winners? Ford for truck brand and its Expedition for large SUV, and the Toyota 4Runner for midsize SUV. Pickups were the F-150, Tacoma, Chevy Silverado 2500, and Ram 3500. You can probably figure out the categories for each of those on your own.
•Whose got one of the best interiors for 2018, if may say so itself? The Ram 1500. Wait, the 2018 model? The outgoing truck? Hmmm.
•The Jeep Compass Night Eagle debuted in Europe. Think of it as more like the Jeep Compass Gloss Black All Over. Europeans also got the Grand Cherokee S. Think of it as the Grand Cherokee Sporty Spice with Diesel.
•’19 Ram 1500 Tradesman: The work truck can be had with the 3.6L V-6 or optional 5.7L Hemi, among other worky things for vocational usage.
•Ram also created the ’19 Ram 1500 Kentucky Derby Edition. If you were hoping for a free horse or one of those big, fancy lady hats with your purchase, sorry. It’s pretty much just graphics you’ll get.
•Nerds: Lucasfilm teamed up with a few companies for promotional-related things for Solo: A Star Wars Story, including Nissan.
•Chevy is now offering the Silverado in 4, 5, and 6 chassis cab form. The 2019 model will have a 6.6L Duramax among its features.
•From the, “You Never Knew You Needed it Until You Saw It” file: Nissan’s Smokin’ Titan. The ’18 XD King Cab has a built-in smoker, double-burner stove, onboard sink, and more for your dirty tailgating and BBQ fantasy. It’s a concept truck.
Coup de grace or coup de genius? The two-door, fullsize Range Rover SV Coupe has a 5.0L V-8, “all-terrain ability,” and lots of high-endness.
•We stumbled across a YouTube channel called E for Electric. ElEctric is whErE things are going, so wE’rE gonna kEEp an EyE on this channel for JEEp and othEr brEaking nEws about all things E.
•Toyota’s Connected North America arm has partnered with Avis to add 10,000 vehicles to the rental company’s fleet of connected vehicles.
•Shell and AirFlow Truck Co. have built a Class 8 truck—called Starship Project—that’s about improving fuel economy when it comes to the transpo industry. It has a Cummins engine and carbon-fiber front end, hood, and more.
•Looks like UPS will be taking on 50 of the Workhorse electric pickups for its fleet.
•The new Volkswagen Atlas five-seater SUV will be built at the Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. Oh, and get this: VW is spending $340 mil to bring it to the market. Oh, and get this: That’s separate from the $900 mil it has already spent on the plant for production purposes. Just saying: Sounds like no need to worry about VW’s future following those diesel issues.
•From Ford is Ready.Shop.Go for online shopping, pricing comparos, financing, getting a testdrive on the books, and securing a deal. It’ll be accessible throughout the U.S. by the end of the year. Go to
•Lyft is making it easier for those in an Alzheimer’s clinical trial to get transportation. It has partnered with the Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation in providing a ride to and from research sites. The program starts in California.
•Our sibling Hot Rod magazine is teaming up with In-N-Out Burger to fest their 70th anniversaries in 2018 (yes, they both turn that old). November 17, 2018, at the Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California, is where the haps will hap.
•The ’18 Chevy Colorado ZR2, ’18 Jeep Wrangler, and ’18 Land Rover Range Rover Velar made’s list of “Must Test Drive Vehicles for 2018.”
•More than 172,000 people died in auto crashes in the last five years. The cause of 1 out of 10? Erie Insurance studied the data and determined, “being ‘generally distracted’ or ‘lost in thought’ was the number-one distraction involved in fatal crashes.”
•Hertz Asia now has Hertz Chauffeur. It’s what you think.
•Jaguar Land Rover has opened its new North American HQ in New Jersey.
•Jeep and the World Surf League are putting you in virtual reality—if you take part in Jeep Sessions: A Surfing Journey in 360°. Go to or download the app.


Is It True?

•Having constant exposure to diesel exhaust (like through your job) could mean a higher risk of ALS?
•Digital Light is new headlamp tech developed by Mercedes-Benz and is even better than LED tech? And it uses the vehicle’s sensors and cameras to make the light adapt to the driving situation?
•Will BMW build a pickup for the Australian market?
•And…is BMW going to build a high-end SUV?
•Nissan + body-on-frame + SUV + China?
•“Booth babes” at auto shows are over?


Photo: EPA

Your Government at Work

•“The State of Colorado is rapidly emerging as a leader in the electric vehicle market,” said the State of Colorado in the governor’s Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan in Support of the Executive Order, Supporting Colorado’s Clean Energy Transition.
•The State Trail Authority bill in West Virginia has been successfully moving through the system as a plan to manage public trails.
•“The Obama Administration’s determination was wrong. Obama’s EPA cut the Midterm Evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality, and set the standards too high,” said Scott Pruitt, the EPA Administrator. Added the EPA, “Under the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA sets national standards for vehicle tailpipe emissions of certain pollutants. Through a CAA waiver granted by EPA, California can impose stricter standards for vehicle emissions of certain pollutants than federal requirements. The California waiver is still being reexamined by EPA under Administrator Pruitt’s leadership.”


PhotosView Slideshow

What’s Happening in the Industry

•Lincoln Electric has opened the Welding Technology & Training Center in Cleveland. Engineers and other professionals will get schooled. Literally.
•Fel-Pro is 100 years old. Also, Fel-Pro created something called “100 Stories in 100 Hours.” Think of it as a collection of the public’s greatest hits of one-hit wonders involving Fel-Pro products. If you’re inclined:
•Rockford Fosgate and have partnered. It means Rockford Fosgate will show up on that site, its social media, and so on.
•There’s now Brian Deegan–themed Deegan 38 Jeep accessories to be had at He’s a freestyle motocross rider, and these are front bumpers and skidplates, and more.
•Truck Hero is expanding in Michigan, having scooped up a 60,000-square-foot location for R&D and testing of truck and Jeep accessories.
•Dana has intro’d new axles and Spicer drivetrain goods for the Jeep Wrangler JL.
•Ivan Stewart’s got an official shop with Ironman-themed clothes and surprises. Go to


Four Wheeler App

The must-have app everyone is talking about? The Four Wheeler app. Like, everyone we know. And not just around the office. Sometimes also in the office parking lot. Often, there are emails about it, too. It’s been known to come up in staff meetings. Once at a movie theater. Twice at Shake Shack. There was also that time in a text. It’s just that good for all things related to tech, buildups, adventure, road tests, and, of course, four-wheeling. See what everyone is talking about by going to the App Store and downloading it.


“There’s another dimension out there that is completely empty without any traffic jams. So why shouldn’t we develop something in this direction? Think about Mexico or Brazil—there are cities that are overflowing and if you want to travel 20 kilometers [12 miles], it can take four hours; in the air, it only takes a few minutes.”
—Porsche’s head of global sales and marketing, Detlev von Platen, regarding Porsche stepping into the flying-car business, according to Automotive News Europe


“Education is the first step of workforce development, and New York will continue to equip our young people with the necessary tools and training for future success. This project will create a hands-on learning experience that will prepare students for college and the advanced manufacturing employment pipeline, and will continue the economic progress we've made in Western New York.”
—New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, regarding the opening of Burgard High School’s new Welding Lab and renovations made to the Machine Tool Lab and Auto Lab. The Buffalo-based school intends to offer students training using high-tech tools for jobs in the automotive industry and more.


“We had this great opportunity and we seized it. Schools have talked for a long time about how learning in rows with the teacher standing in front just isn’t giving students the skills that they need to be able to succeed in future jobs.”
—Burnsville High School’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and Pathways Kathy Funston, to Savage Pacer newspaper. The school’s automotive students work on the faculty’s vehicles for $40 per hour. At the end of the semester, the money is divided so that students can each buy something from a tool catalog.


New Mahindra Roxor

This is the Mahindra Roxor (this is not a Jeep CJ). It’s for the side-by-side market, and the UTV is steel-bodied and has a four-cylinder diesel engine mated to a five-speed manual trans. It’s based on the Thar SUV in India, but with a major overhaul for the U.S. ute market. We’ve got tons more info about the Roxor here (plus, a video):


Photography: GM

Next-Gen ’19 GMC Sierra, Sierra AT4

GMC trucks get totally overshadowed by Chevy everything, so here are GMC’s 15 minutes. The ’19 Sierra Denali and SLT have gone through a massive redesign, including some pretty, pretty, pretty cool tech. The MultiPro Tailgate is kind of the star here, with loads of functionality and various positions and a second level and standing workstation, and well…get rid of your workshop is almost GMC’s messaging. There’s also a carbon-fiber CarbonPro box, so go ahead and try to dent, scratch, or corrode it. And for trailering, check out the ProGrade system with an app. It’s all about making trailering more efficient, with a checklist, diagnostics, lighting test, tire pressure monitoring, and more. Plus, the truck now has the new Duramax 3.0L turbodiesel joining the 6.2L and 5.3L V-8s.

And worthy of an extra 15 minutes is the ’19 Sierra AT4—it has a 2-inch factory-installed suspension lift, off-road–tuned shocks, locking rear diff, 18- or 20-inch rims, all-terrain or mud-terrain rubber, plus the bonus of a darker exterior appearance to set it apart from its siblings.


New Jeeps from Mopar Performance

We love concept-Jeep season (aka Moab season), and Jeep/Mopar didn’t (mostly) disappoint with the new crop of possibilities that toyed with our emotions (we’re looking at you, Wagoneer Roadtrip and Sandstorm), but also managed to sometimes barely make the needle move (is that another Jeepster?). Here’s a quickie on the seven new contenders for possible future production. You can find a full roundup and loads of details here:

Wagoneer Roadtrip
•A real Wagoneer that got stretched.
•Dana axles, four-link suspension, and a boxed frame.

•It’s about Baja racing.
•High-clearance tube bumpers, carbon-fiber hood, and movement of axle real estate forward and back, front and back, respectively.

•Dumping weight was Job 1.
•Jobs 2-15 included increasing the ride height over a stocker, carbon-fibering within an inch of its life, and some shortening (22 inches might be more than “some”).

•There’s always one Jeep concept that gets thrown under the city bus—as in, it’s referred to as a Jeep that’s perfect for both dirt and city. Meet this year’s victim of that label.
•Build your own urbanite with Jeep Performance Parts.

•It’s what scientists call Jeep Performance Parts immersion therapy.
•Hey, are those never-before-seen fascias?

•It’s also what scientists call Jeep Performance Parts immersion therapy.
•Not a lot of overtime hours on this rig, we guess, since Jeep said, “A satin-carbon finish on the wheels is the sole conceptual touch on the Nacho concept.”

•It’s a Rubicon Jeepster. Actually: It’s a Rubicon that might have met a Jeepster’s blind stylist.
•’66 Jeepster in theme—and in paint execution—with a chopped top, custom windshield, and half-doors.

MT Stuff

June 08 Auto Mundial
June 08 DTM Championship, Lausitzring
June 08 Motorsport Mundial
June 09 LIVE! TCR Europe Series, Spa, Belgium
June 10 LIVE! TCR Europe Series, Spa, Belgium
June 11 Ferrari Challenge Europe, Misano
June 13 Mobil 1 The Grid, Program 9
June 13 Junkyard Gold, Ep. 9
June 14 FIA World Rallycross, Norway
June 15 Auto Mundial
June 15 Motorsport Mundial
June 16 LIVE! Virgin Australia Supercars, Darwin
June 17 LIVE! Virgin Australia Supercars, Darwin
June 17 Roadkill, Ep. 78
June 18 Roadkill Garage, Ep. 32
June 20 China GT Championship, Shanghai, China
June 20 Engine Masters, Ep. 35
June 21 DTM Championship, Hungaroring
June 22 Auto Mundial
June 22 Motorsport Mundial
June 23 LIVE! DTM Championship, Norisring
June 23 LIVE! FIA Formula 3 Championship, Norisring
June 23 LIVE! GT4 European Series, Misano
June 23 LIVE! VLN Endurance Championship - Round 3, Nürburgring
June 24 LIVE! FIA Formula 3 Championship, Norisring
June 24 LIVE! GT4 European Series, Misano
June 25 Dirt Every Day, Ep. 78
June 27 Mobil 1 The Grid, Program 10
June 27 Ignition, Ep. 193
June 28 British Touring Car Championship, Oulton Park
June 29 Auto Mundial
June 29 Motorsport Mundial
July 02 Hot Rod Garage, Ep. 65
July 04 Head 2 Head, Ep. 104
July 05 LIVE! 24H Proto Series, 3X3H, Portimao, Portugal - Qualifying
July 05 FIA World Rallycross, Sweden

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