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RPM: 4x4 And Auto News And Rumors

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


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That’s Interesting

•The mic has been dropped—the final Jeep Wrangler JK went down the line on April 27, 2018 (a white Rubicon Unlimited). Awkward…someone’s going to have to pick up the mic again to announce that Toledo Supplier Park is switching over to production of the Jeep truck that’s finally coming for 2019.
•Will the next vehicle from GM be spit out of a 3D printer? The automaker is trying on generative design software to develop lightweight components for future vehicles.
•We’re not sure what we’re more stoked about, Land Rover North America celebrating Land Rover’s 70th anniversary on World Land Rover Day while at the new U.S. HQ, or that it all turned into unofficial Four Wheeler Day, with an award ceremony for the new Discovery, which won Four Wheeler’s 2018 SUV of the Year.
•When facts are obvious before they’re facts: The Cullinan from Rolls-Royce will be the most spendy, luxo SUV you ever did see. Pricing is likely to start at $340,000. Meaning, there’s still optional equipment after $340,000. We’re so annoyed, we just now decided not to buy one.
•Some of the new items on the ’19 Ford F-150 Raptor include FOX 3.0 electronically controlled shocks, Recaro sport seats, and Trail Control, which Ford calls “like cruise control for low-speed, rugged terrain.”
•Traffic Light Information allows some Audi models to talk to traffic signals. Sure, it sounds a little like Crazy Erma, who stands in front of your local Starbucks doing the same thing, but this is likely to be a bit more effective at developing a connected infrastructure and reducing driver stress. A key feature is “time-to-green,” which tells the driver exactly how much time is left before the red light changes to green. This tech started in Vegas and has expanded to 10 cities and more than 2,500 intersections in the U.S.
•Over at Volkswagen, its Car-Net Security & Service app will gain Curfew Alert, Valet Alert (is your VW being driven without consent, and after a specified time?), and Parking Information, for finding off-street parking, including address and pricing.
•Over at Volvo, it’s all about embedding voice-controlled Google products: Assistant, Maps, Play Store, and more in the next-gen Sensus infotainment system.
•Hot Wheels turned 50 in 2018 (DOB was May 18, 1968). You might not remember this, but 1979 brought Scene Machines, a line of Hot Wheels with a slightly questionable set of instructions: Stare into the back of a van to see older men. Specifically, Captain America, The Hulk, Spider-Man, and photos of other Marvel characters.
•Did you know that there are Jeep and Ram branded playlists on Apple Music? FCA did intensive research and pie charts to create these, since “each brand has its own genre, reflecting its personality and that of its customers.” Among the Ram playlists? Lots of country music, including “Ram Rising: Buzzed-about country artists take center stage.” Among the Jeep playlists? “Off-Road Jams: Heart-pounding songs for your extreme off-road excursions.”
•Classic Centre in Essen—that would be the first Jaguar Land Rover Classic entry outside of the UK, and will offer factory service, parts, and accessories in Germany.
•The ’19 Chevy Suburban gains the RST Performance Package, with a 420hp/460 lb-ft of torque 6.2L, Hydra-Matic 10L80 ten-speed auto trans, and performance-calibrated Magnetic Ride Control. There are tons of other performance parts, too—as available options.
•Coming in October 2018: Toyota’s going to have a closed course for developing autonomous tech. Toyota Research Institute is leasing a 1.75-mile oval track at the 60-acre Michigan Technical Resource Park
•The ’19 Porsche Cayenne E-Hybrid will be buyable in early 2019, with an MSRP of $79,900, and with a 3.0L V-6 and electric motor for 455 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque.
•The newest Express Lane Service has opened in Pulaski, Virginia. Mopar celebrated 10 years of Express Lanes in 2018. Coincidence that a new joint for oil and tire changes and other inspection work opened in year 10? We think not.
The County out of Maine reported that a ’45 American LaFrance fire truck is being restored by students from the Caribou Regional Technology Center.
•There’s a Pursuit Dodge Durango. The ’18 model grows the lineup of police vehicles Dodge now offers.
•U-Haul’s migration trends report revealed Houston was the No. 1 destination city in 2017 for the ninth consecutive year. Cities next in line were Chicago, Orlando, Brooklyn, San Antonio, Las Vegas, Austin, Philadelphia, Charlotte, and Columbus.
•Why does it seem like we’re reporting on Jeep and surfing more than Jeep and future vehicles? In Jeep surfing news, the brand became the automotive partner of the World Surf League’s Founders’ Cup of Surfing.
•Ford is taking its EV and autonomous businesses to Detroit and the historic Corktown area. They’re holed up in a 45,000-square-foot renovated building.
•The ’18 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon won the Northwest Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year, Compact and Midsize Utility Vehicle, and Extreme Capability awards at the Northwest Automotive Press Association’s Mudfest. The ’19 Ram 1500 Rebel won for pickup.
•What would happen if Chevy and Shell teamed up? Probably a Chevy vehicle getting fuel from a Shell station. Probably, specifically, in-dash payment for fuel. This perk can be found within Marketplace via the Shell icon via your touchscreen. No more touching the disgusting pump to swipe your card. Now, only touching the disgusting nozzle handle. And touching the disgusting touchscreen.
•Can something be a custom truck when there’s more than one of it? If you buy the ’18 Chevy Tahoe Custom Midnight, expect there to be more than yours on the road, but even still, you’ll get a unique-to-you-owners black truck with black features, and an off-road thematic, such as steps and rough-and-tumble tires and wheels. Bonus: The third row was yanked to provide more cargo room. It has an MSRP of $45,995.
•Ford and Waze made it possible for Waze to show up on the touchscreen in Fords. It works by using your iPhone, SYNC AppLink, voice command, and voodoo.
•The discount GM gives to active duty, reserve, and retired military has been extended to three years post-service.
•Overall Best Family Car award: ’19 Ram 1500, according to the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association. The group also named it Best Family Pickup Truck. Um? Is this something like that whole, “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV”?
•Welcome to the EV market, Roush CleanTech. Its new vehicle is an all-electric Ford F-650. As the company explained it, “Roush CleanTech’s new fully electric vehicles will have a lithium ion battery system of up to 225 kilowatt hours and 700 volts. Depending on the vehicle’s GVWR, the average range will be up to 120 miles with a top speed of 75 miles per hour. The AC permanent magnet motor will have a continuous-rated power of 150 kilowatts (200 horsepower), with a peak-rated power of 250 kilowatts (335 horsepower).”


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Is It True?

•Uber has closed the doors on the self-driving car program in Arizona following a fatal crash?
•Speaking of Uber…is uberAIR really real? And Los Angeles and Dallas have already partnered on this idea of uberAIR flights that would start going commercial in 2023?
•Aston Martin’s SUV will be fully electric and named Lagonda (throwback product name and flashback brand name) and arrive in 2021?
•A survey done by AAA found that 20 percent of Americans want an EV as their next buy?
•The 10 longest-lasting vehicles (as in, that are likely to reach 200,000 or more miles) sold in 2017, according to Toyota Sequoia, Ford Expedition, Chevy Suburban, Toyota 4Runner, GMC Yukon XL, Chevy Tahoe, GMC Yukon, and Toyota Tacoma among the list? Making body-on-frame SUVs the way to go?
•Subcompact SUVs are where it’s at with 18-24-year-olds, according to Ford?
•As a new royal, Meghan Markle will undergo required tactical driver’s training that’s given to all members of the royal family?
•The Turo app not only allows you to rent someone’s vehicle, but you can also borrow their outdoor items, like a tent and portable grill?
•A 48V mild-hybrid diesel Kia Sportage is confirmed for later this year?
•Ford has donated 38 vehicles to Houston nonprofits to help support recovery efforts from Hurricane Harvey?


Photography: David McNally/U.S. Army

Your Government at Work

•Read this if you own a Ford Ranger or Mazda B-series: Did you know the government can put out an actual “do not drive” warning related to vehicles? In this case, it’s those pickups, model year 2006. The issue is a recall on the airbags that “must be immediately replaced. NHTSA is issuing a second public plea to owners to schedule a free repair today for their own safety and the protection of their loved ones,” the org said in a statement. “NHTSA’s number one priority is making sure that everyone is safe on our roads. I cannot stress strongly enough the urgency of this recall—these airbags are dangerous. Every vehicle must be accounted for now,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi King. Go to and enter your VIN to check whether your pickup is affected.
•California is testing out digital license plates. Things that are expected to happen with this: No more tags, and it’ll be easier to find a stolen vehicle. Possible things that will happen with this: Displaying of personal messages and fleet-vehicle advertising, and a costly price tag to opt in. Terrifying possible things that will happen with this: Drivers control the personal messages while driving, and self-driving vehicles already freak out when there’s a minor tweak to their programmed reality, so what will changing messages and flashing billboards ahead of it do?
•Uber and the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, Army Research Laboratory have entered an agreement to develop “Future Vertical Lift.” The goal is to have the “first usable stacked co-rotating rotors or propellers; this is a concept for having two rotor systems placed on top of each other and rotating in the same direction.” The two are expected to have an even split of the $1 million in funding for researching the project.
•The Pentagon wants in on this future action, too—it’s hot on developing self-driving cles.
•Ohio has opened up every public road to autonomous-vehicle testing. Governor John Kasich said, “I wanted to become the Wild, Wild West on this. Some people are going to be nervous about it. Would you want to put your kids in the car? Would you want to put your spouse in the car? Well, you have to test this stuff. And I think we have enough guardrails around this.” As in, there’s a lot of paperwork required per vehicle to meet compliance and safety sards.
•The low-emission REG Ultra Clean diesel from Renewable Energy Group has received approval from the California Air Resources Board for year-round use in the state. It’s a patent-pending blend of renewable diesel and biodiesel.


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What’s Happening in the Industry

•Living, breathing moss in your tire? That’s the concept tire from Goodyear called Oxygene, which has the aforementioned moss growing in the sidewall. “This open structure and the tire’s smart tread design absorb and circulate moisture and water from the road surface, allowing photosynthesis to occur and therefore releasing oxygen into the air. Oxygene absorbs moisture from the road through its unique tread and inhales CO2 from the air to feed the moss in its sidewall and release oxygen via photosynthesis. In a city similar in size to greater Paris with about 2.5 million vehicles, this would mean generating nearly 3,000 tons of oxygen and absorbing more than 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.” Oxygene makes its own electricity, has 3D-printed construction, and can participate in mobile connectivity. Not to mention grow a rainforest on the go.
•Two bits about Dana: One, the company upped its cool factor by taking some Wranglers out to Moab and called it Engineering Week to test out its Spicer OpTiMa central tire inflation system, the Ultimate Dana 80 rear axle, and the Ultimate Dana 60 kingpin front axle. Two, the company has partnered with Workhorse on developing and producing a city delivery vehicle with the Dana Spicer Electrified Integrated e-Drive axle.
•Polaris landed the 453rd spot on the Forbes list of America’s Best Employers.
•Bridgestone was named 2017 Supplier of the Year by General Motors. is now in the hands of Daystar.


Four Wheeler App

Download the Four Wheeler App from the App Store. Trust us. This is not a paid advertisement. We did it even though we work here and are paid to work here, but would have done it without pay, because even we can’t say no to 24/7 tech, feature vehicles, travel, products, parts, and all automotive everything. Can you? If we can’t, you can’t. Download.


“Oh, yes! Yes! Yes!...Yeah, that was a Humvee! Yeah!...There’s another one! There it is! Yes! That was a crash and burn there! It’s on fire!”
—Audio from a video on YouTube that captured Humvees free-falling from a military cargo plane. A soldier in the U.S. Army has been found guilty for his part in the destruction of military property, aka three Humvees that had their parachute straps cut during an airdrop exercise in 2016. Each vehicle cost six figures.


“There are two very distinct UK pickup markets—one focused on low-cost utility. But there’s a part of the market that’s moved into lifestyle and that will be where the Jeep pickup plays. In our range, we have traditionally had a ‘profile’ vehicle that’s raised the vehicle from its standard condition and added additional off-road ability that acts as a halo model. The pickup truck will have one.”
—Jeep CEO Mike Manley to


“It tasted great. If I was blindfolded, I wouldn't know if it was a pothole or a bowl.”
—Eastern Michigan University student “Andrew” to He had decided to find a Michigan pothole large enough to fit an entire box of Lucky Charms and a gallon of milk. He claimed it wasn’t a political statement on deteriorating road conditions.


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Photography: GM

Facts About the New Chevy 2.7L Engine

Under the hood of the all-new ’19 Chevy Silverado is more all-new-ness: a 2.7L turbo that packs 310 hp and 348 lb-ft of twist. This has 22 percent more torque than the 4.3L. What also makes the V-6 now seem antiquated is that the 2.7L weighs 380 pounds less. And the four-banger makes history, too, as the first to have cylinder deactivation. Bonus history-making: This is the first Chevy truck to snag an electric water pump. Other notables include the new engine’s 4.01-inch stroke, dual-volute turbocharger, and companion piece, a Hydra-Matic eight-speed auto transmission.


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High School Students Design Jeep of the Future

You’ll either be hopeful or downtrodden after you catch a glimpse of what could be the future of Jeep design—if you’re to believe the winners picked by the FCA US Product Design Office for its 2018 Drive for Design contest. The task was for high schoolers to create what they thought would be the Wrangler of 2030. The Wrangler vision that took home First Place was by Eduard Cret of Design and Architecture Senior High, and is the sketch featuring a hint of orange. Second position went to Emily Bryson from the same school, the Jeep with the yellow accents. Coming in Third with what gave us a familiar whiff of Jeep’s own concepts (say, the Wagoneer 2000 and any pre-2018 Jeepster) was the imagination-on-the-right-track doodles of Jinho So of Canisius High.


Gee, That Press Release Sounds Naughty

“Share the Road and CAA want you to do the Dutch Reach.”

MTOD section info:

Aug 03 LIVE! Virgin Australia Supercars, Sydney
Aug 03 Auto Mundial
Aug 03 Motorsport Mundial
Aug 04 LIVE! Virgin Australia Supercars, Sydney
Aug 06 Roadkill, Ep. 74
Aug 08 Mobil 1 The Grid, Program 13
Aug 08 Put Up or Shut Up, Ep. 8
Aug 09 FIA World Rallycross, Canada
Aug 10 Auto Mundial
Aug 10 Motorsport Mundial
Aug 11 LIVE! DTM Championship, Brands Hatch
Aug 11 LIVE! Formula Drift, St. Louis MO
Aug 11 LIVE! Trans Am Series, Mid-Ohio
Aug 13 Roadkill Garage, Ep. 34
Aug 15 Engine Masters, Ep. 39
Aug 16 British Touring Car Championship, Snetterton
Aug 17 LIVE! European Le Mans Series - Qualifying, Silverstone, England
Aug 17 LIVE! Michelin Le Mans Cup - Race 2, Silverstone, England
Aug 17 Auto Mundial
Aug 17 Motorsport Mundial
Aug 18 LIVE! European Le Mans Series, Silverstone, England
Aug 18 LIVE! FIA Formula 3 Championship, Silverstone
Aug 18 LIVE! Michelin Le Mans Cup - Race 1, Silverstone, England
Aug 19 LIVE! FIA Formula 3 Championship, Silverstone
Aug 20 Dirt Every Day, Ep. 80
Aug 22 Mobil 1 The Grid, Program 14
Aug 22 Ignition, Ep. 195
Aug 24 Auto Mundial
Aug 24 Motorsport Mundial
Aug 25 LIVE! DTM Championship, Misano
Aug 25 LIVE! FIA Formula 3 Championship, Misano
Aug 25 LIVE! Intercontinental GT Challenge - Practice & Qualifying, Suzuka 10 Hours
Aug 25 LIVE! Trans Am Series, Road America
Aug 25 LIVE! Virgin Australia Supercars, Tailem Bend
Aug 26 LIVE! FIA Formula 3 Championship, Misano
Aug 26 LIVE! Intercontinental GT Challenge, Suzuka 10 Hours
Aug 26 LIVE! Virgin Australia Supercars, Tailem Bend
Aug 27 Hot Rod Garage, Ep. 67
Aug 29 Head 2 Head, Ep. 106
Aug 30 British Touring Car Championship, Rockingham
Aug 31 Auto Mundial
Aug 31 Motorsport Mundial
Sep 03 Roadkill, Ep. 75
Sep 05 Mobil 1 The Grid, Program 15
Sep 05 Put Up or Shut Up, Ep. 9
Sep 06 FIA World Rallycross, France

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