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RPM: 4x4 And Auto News And Rumors

Posted in News on September 1, 2018
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Photographers: Courtesy of Manufacturers


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That’s Interesting

•Time to get excited about a new desert race, which will happen during the ’19 King of the Hammers (KOH) event and be called the Toyo Tires Desert Invitational. As the name implies, it’s invite-only and will have 30 of the most elite off-road desert racers. Winner gets $100,000. Follow-up winners don’t do too shabby, either. Said the backgrounder: “This marks the return of unlimited off-road racing to the sport’s birthplace: Southern California. It is also the first time that four-wheel drive will not be required of trucks to compete during KOH Week. The invited teams will vie for $125,000 prize purse making it the richest off-road race in the history of the sport.” Expect to see names like Rob MacCachren, Robby Gordon, Andy McMillin, and Cameron Steele on the invite list. Learn more at
•Oh, hey there again, Cameron Steele. The newest inductees in the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame are Cameron, Robbie Pierce, Mark McMillin (Andy’s uncle), Johnny Campbell, Ed Robinson, and Jim Bramham.
•While people are being inducted…the Automotive Hall of Fame’s 2018-ers were: Kiichiro Toyoda (the future Toyota), Michael Jackson (not that one), Ray and Tom Magliozzi, and Frank Stronach.
•If Volvo Trucks and FedEx did a buddy-cop movie, the plot would probably involve platooning tech being tested on the Triangle Expressway in North Carolina, with the buddy cops being a truck manufacturer and a transportation company, and the storyline would be focused on wireless vehicle connectivity that allowed for automatic matching of speeds and braking, and the close driving would improve fuel efficiency. Sounds like it could also work as a reboot of Bridesmaids, too. Either way, it’s really happening. We mean the platooning testing.
•When it comes to rental cars, know that Enterprise has opened its 10,000th location. Not that you need to know.
•Best city to drive in: Raleigh, North Carolina. Worst: Detroit. This, according to a report by WalletHub, which studied the annual hours spent in traffic per driver and also gas prices. If your preference is to live where there’s minimal auto theft, set your Zillow filter to Gilbert, Arizona; Oakland, California, had the most. Cheapest fuel? Oklahoma City. Cheapest parking rates? Riverside, California. Buffalo, New York, ranked highest for that.
•DC3 Gourmet is a DC3 cargo plane that saw combat in WWII, and is now living its best life as a food truck. American Airlines and Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum in Compton, California, are behind the invention. The DC3 food truck will function as a fundraising entity for museum programs.
•$48,465 is what it’ll cost you—at the least—for a ’19 Chevy Silverado 4500HD chassis cab. Bump that figure up to $61,245—at the least—if you want a 6500HD four-by Crew Cab.
•Nissan decided to build a shrine to the beach and call it Titan Surfcamp. It began as a Titan XD Midnight Edition that got hang-10’d with surfboards, paddleboards, fishing equipment, and a bunch of aftermarket parts. The point of the build: “Inspired by the vintage beach trucks of the 1960s, Titan Surfcamp is a celebration of the beach truck tradition with all the modern technologies Titan customers want when they head out to surf, shore fish, and camp-out by the water.” You might want, but you aren’t going to get, unless you do it yourself. This was a project truck.
•IHOP is doing delivery—it signed up with DoorDash for what it called the “growing demand from IHOP guests to be able to get more pancakes, more often, at home and on-the-go.” Do road pancakes now exist because of you?
•Looks like a study by Vantage Leasing uncorked the fact that UK motorists surveyed are intending to move away from diesel vehicles and go with what they consider Earth-friendlier options next round.
•The National Crime Information Bureau’s new Hot Spots report revealed that the “metropolitan statistical area” with the most vehicle thefts in 2017 was Albuquerque. Congrats on the repeat from 2016, New Mexico.
•New at the U.S. arm of Daimler Trucks: the E-Mobility Group (and also two new, fully electric Freightliner trucks).
•And at Ford: Ford Autonomous Vehicles, a new arm.
•Do not be confused by the Kona Iron Man Edition SUV from Hyundai. It has nothing to do with Ivan Stewart and everything to do with Tony Stark.
•Marky Mark Mark Wahlberg is now the owner of a Chevy dealership in Columbus, Ohio. Why? Said Marky Mark Mark: “I am continuously looking for ways to innovate my brand and engage in businesses I am passionate about. I love cars and the chance to work with an experienced, proven dealer-operator like Jay [Feldman] and represent an iconic brand like Chevrolet inspired me to get involved.” It’s definitely only called Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet.
•The Maven app added a feature called Peer Cars so that owners of GMs are able to rent out their ’15-or-newer vehicle for a side hustle.
•Glasses that could eliminate your propensity for carsickness? Citroën is on it with Seetroën. “Equipped with moving liquid in the rings around the eyes, both along the frontal axis (right/left) and sagittal axis (front/back), the glasses recreate the horizon line to resolve the conflict between the senses that causes the affliction,” said Citroën, and the glasses are said to be useful in cars, on boats, and on planes. We do think maybe this part of the description might be pushing it: “The result is a pair of glasses with a high-tech look.” Eh, maybe not anyone’s first thought upon seeing you in them. Anyway, since they’re sans glass, you would be able to wear them over your regular prescription glasses and also share them with someone else who’s shifting to a state of pre-puke.


Is It True?

•Hellcat? The Jeep Grand Cherokee?
•SUVs are on a massive upswing in Europe?
•GM is transferring ownership of its factory in Hanoi to VinFast Trading so that it can distribute Chevys in Vietnam—and maybe have better luck than GM did itself?
•Flying taxis from both Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce?
•The Ford Ranger is going commercial, with an XL chassis cab option?
•Have no fear, the ’20 Ram Power Wagon will keep its solid axles?
•A coupe-style model of the Porsche Cayenne SUV?
•Mexico City’s Beltway is growing a “vertical garden,” aka greening the concrete columns with plant life to fight pollution?
•The Rally Rd. app lets you invest in collector’s vehicles versus having to buy and own, with shares starting at $50?


Your Government at Work

•The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers said regarding tariffs, “An analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce data shows that consumers of imported vehicles will be faced with an average price increase of $5,800 as a result of a 25 percent import tariff.”
•A lawsuit against Toyota was dismissed in California. It was a class-action lawsuit that was attempting to make Toy cover damage under warranty from rats gnawing through insulation on the engine wiring.
•South Carolina passed the Motorsports Entertainment Complexes Investment Act that incentivizes construction by awarding loans and grants to help with building new racing facilities.
•Paul Cook, a state rep for Apple Valley, California, was originator of bill HR 857, the California Off-Road Recreation and Conservation Act, which passed with no problem and will expand or create OHV areas in California, to the tune of roughly 300,000 acres, including Johnson Valley, Stoddard Valley, and El Mirage.
•The U.S. Army is buying more Oshkosh Defense Joint Light Tactical Vehicles. Lots of zeroes in that contract.
•Ground has been broken for the Gordie Howe International Bridge between the U.S. and Canada, aka a new trade route.
•And you think your DMV sucks? A California DMV worker, according to an audit by the state, was sleeping at her desk while on the job for almost four years—costing California more than $40,000. Her job performance evaluations actually stated that she slept, but her supervisors did nothing, and it was still deemed that her napping hadn’t been properly documented, so all that could be done was a warning earlier this year that more napping could involve disciplinary action.


What’s Happening in the Industry

•Bill Reminder is the CEO and president of Truck Hero. You probably don’t normally give much thought to the people at the companies from which you get your products. However, we’re mentioning him because he snagged the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 Michigan and Northwest Ohio Award for consumer products.
•It’s 25 years for Curt Manufacturing and its making of towing products and hitches.
•BFGoodrich and the World Surf League in the same sentence can mean only one thing: official tire of the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing.
•The Bridgestone Academy of Applied Engineering and Technology is a partnership between Bridgestone and the Akron Public Schools in Ohio. Students will gain hands-on training in auto tech and learn the business side of running a retail store.
•Hankook has been working with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) for some time, an org that offers free services to veterans. Hankook has now increased its ongoing goodwill by donating $175,000 toward the DAV’s Mobile Service Office.


Four Wheeler App

We trolled ourselves on Amazon and read some reviews of our mag. We saw, “Great mag!!!” (And don’t think we planted that—we obviously would have used four exclamation points.) There was also, “We are rebuilding a 1985 Jeep. This has been the best source of information and answers a lot of questions.” We cannot imagine that after reading those two reviews that you wouldn’t want to instantly download the Four Wheeler app from the App Store to gain 24/7 access to a great mag that’s the best source of information and answers to a lot of questions about every year of Jeep and other brands. If those reviews didn’t get you racing to the App Store, this review most certainly will give you the itch: “Any off-road nut would appreciate this magazine.” Download it, you nuts.


“The new Bentayga Diesel is the first diesel in the marque’s history. The world’s most refined eight-cylinder diesel engine, it has been developed to deliver world-class Bentley performance with the extended range of a diesel engine. Note: Bentayga Diesel is only available in Australia, Europe, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.”
—The Bentley SUV has a V-8 worth 426hp/664 lb-ft of torque and is based on the company’s W12 gas engine. Is North America next to get this mill?


“I’m feeling good about things. I think there's a good vibe—I think the energy is good; go to Ford, it looks like a morgue.”
—Elon Musk, to The Wall Street Journal about morale among Tesla employees

“No doubt the vibe is funky in that ‘makeshift tent,’ but it’s not bad either across the street at the #fordrouge plant where a high-quality, high-tech F-150 rolls off the line every 53 seconds like clockwork. Come check it out @elonmusk #builtfordtough.”
—Mark Truby, VP of communications at Ford, on Twitter in response. Tesla’s “tent” is what houses an assembly line.


“I was going 120 almost…I’m trying to surprise my wife…I don’t even notice that I’m going very fast because of this, you know, car just, you know, nice wheels, nice, you know, suspension…yeah, I mean…I don’t break the law because I can, but because, you know, I’m just trying to get home.”
—Arizona state rep (Lake Havasu City) Paul Mosley to a sheriff’s deputy, as seen in a video obtained by KLPZ. Mosley reportedly was swerving in and out of traffic in his Lexus, and, after being pulled over, allegedly showed the deputy a placard identifying himself as an elected state rep, which means immunity.


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’19 Jeeps and Rams: What to Expect

In terms of Jeep, the Wrangler was mainly off limits since its redesign for the 2018 model year was massively #likeaboss. Having said that, there were minor tweaks in the safety and paint departments. The Grand Cherokee also didn’t gain anything newsworthy, although there will be a Limited X sporting unique fascias and a performance-themed hood as well as some other unmentionable mentionables.

There’s the new 2.0L inline four-banger in the Cherokee (270 hp and 295 lb-ft of twist), plus its front end should look different to you (because it is). Other enhancements included lightening the weight of various components, retuning the suspension packages, and increasing rear cargo space. The Renegade also saw a new engine—the 1.3L turbocharged (177 horses and 200 lb-ft of torque) with the nine-speed auto trans—and a slight redo of the exterior, such as the front fascia and wheels. There were some other tweaks, but they weren’t riveting enough to share. Meanwhile, the Compass gained an Upland edition with 17-inch Trailhawk wheels and new front fascia, while the Limited model got the High Altitude Appearance Package. Again, there were a few other improvements, but let them be a surprise when you buy your C’pass.

The Ram 1500 saw a bump in fuel economy for both the 3.6L Pentastar and 5.7L Hemi; the 1500 Classic gets nothing other than the distinction of being a Classic version of the 1500 and the related badging stating as much.


The Passing of FCA’s Sergio Marchionne

If you’re a fan of anything Fiat Chrysler—Ram, Jeep—or of Four Wheeler magazine, then you’ve probably heard/seen the name Sergio Marchionne. Sergio was running Fiat when he had a stroke of genius, to scoop up the flailing Chrysler when it was near bankruptcy in 2009 and undergoing a bailout from the U.S. government. His idea for a strategic alliance between Fiat and Chrysler turned the automaker around and put Fiat Chrysler products all around the globe. Sadly, Sergio passed away in July 2018 at the age of 66. Mike Manley, who came on the scene as the head of Jeep in 2009 and became the head of Ram in 2015, will replace him as the new CEO of Fiat Chrysler. Both men are credited with why Chrysler is today the seventh largest automaker on the planet.


Toyota’s Car-Share Service in Honolulu: Hui App

Here are a lot of words said by Toyota regarding its new station-based car-share service: “Operated by Servco Pacific, Toyota’s distributor in Hawaii, the Hui service utilizes Toyota’s proprietary global Mobility Service Platform (MSPF) and a consumer-facing app developed by Toyota Connected North America (TCNA).” What it means: Use the Hui mobile app and you can get a Toyota or Lexus when you’re in Honolulu. You can reserve for the day or even just an hour. Servco also opened its first public-friendly hydrogen station in Oahu.

MTOD stuff:

Oct 05 Auto Mundial
Oct 05 Motorsport Mundial
Oct 06 LIVE! Virgin Australia Supercars, Bathurst
Oct 07 LIVE! Virgin Australia Supercars, Bathurst
Oct 08 Roadkill Garage, Ep. 36
Oct 10 Engine Masters, Ep. 40
Oct 12 Auto Mundial
Oct 12 Motorsport Mundial
Oct 13 LIVE! 24H GT Series/24H Touring Car Endurance Series, 12H Spa - Qualifying and Race Part 1
Oct 13 LIVE! 24H GT Series/24H Touring Car Endurance Series, 12H Spa - Race Part 2
Oct 13 LIVE! DTM Championship, Hockenheim
Oct 13 LIVE! FIA Formula 3 Championship, Hockenheim
Oct 13 LIVE! Formula Drift, Las Vegas, NV
Oct 14 LIVE! FIA Formula 3 Championship, Hockenheim
Oct 15 Dirt Every Day, Ep. 82
Oct 17 Mobil 1 The Grid, Program 18
Oct 18 British Touring Car Championship, Brands Hatch
Oct 18 FIA World Rallycross, Germany
Oct 19 Auto Mundial
Oct 19 Motorsport Mundial
Oct 20 LIVE! Virgin Australia Supercars, Gold Coast
Oct 21 LIVE! Virgin Australia Supercars, Gold Coast
Oct 22 Hot Rod Garage, Ep. 69
Oct 26 Auto Mundial
Oct 26 Motorsport Mundial
Oct 27 LIVE! European Le Mans Series - Qualifying, Portimao, Portugal
Oct 27 LIVE! Intercontinental GT Challenge - Practice and Qualifying, Laguna Seca 8 Hours
Oct 27 LIVE! Michelin Le Mans Cup - Race 2, Portimao, Portugal
Oct 28 LIVE! European Le Mans Series, Portimao, Portugal
Oct 28 LIVE! Intercontinental GT Challenge, Laguna Seca 8 Hours
Oct 28 LIVE! Michelin Le Mans Cup - Race 1, Portimao, Portugal
Oct 29 Roadkill, Ep. 77
Oct 31 Mobil 1 The Grid, Program 19
Oct 31 Put Up or Shut Up, Ep. 11
Nov 01 DTM Championship, Hockenheim

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