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October 2005 4x4 News - RPM

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Posted October 1, 2005

New Super Duty In 2007!

Ford is out testing the next-generation Super Duty, which is scheduled to appear for the 2007 model year. Borrowing a move from the Land Rover playbook, the new Super Duty will incorporate large fender vents, a bolder front fascia, and upsized badging with the words "Super Duty" prominently displayed across the reshaped hood. Solid axles are still the name of the game for 4x4 models.

There is more to the '06 Dodge Ram than just MDS and the Mega Cab. All Dodge Rams will benefit from stiffer frames, upgraded suspensions, a new quieter interior with a restyled dashboard, and a more aggressively styled front end. Of direct interest to Four Wheeler readers will be the Ram 1500 1/2-ton model with its new coilover shock/A-arm suspension and electronic 4WD system, which now has an "Auto" setting for use on pavement and which disconnects the front axle for better fuel economy while in two-wheel drive. Also new for 2006 on the 1500 is the TRX4 off-road package that will include 17-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, monotube shocks, tow hooks, skidplates, and a limited-slip differential.

BFGoodrich Tires and Baja racing are synonymous, and the harsh deserts of Baja have proven time and time again that BFGoodrich Tires can take a beating. With 19 consecutive SCORE Baja overall wins, BFGoodrich Tires proudly celebrated its 30th anniversary in off-road racing this month. Visit BFGoodrich Tires online at

Because of the brisk sales of the Liberty CRD turbodiesel, DaimlerChrysler is considering expanding diesel engine offerings to other vehicles in its U.S. lineup, such as the Grand Cherokee, which already has a CRD version available in Europe. Could the 2.8L CRD find its way into the next-generation JK Wrangler? Anything is possible.

According to industry insiders, the Mitsubishi Montero will be discontinued in 2006. The large, V-6-powered, seven-passenger SUV has always maintained a quirky style all its own and impressed the Four Wheeler staff when we evaluated one (a 2003 model) in a long-term test. However, it has never been a bestseller, and the low sales volumes do not justify a replacement. Look for Mitsubishi to fill the seven-passenger role with an updated version of an existing crossover vehicle.

With the success of the Land Rover Experience Driving School in Asheville, North Carolina and Montreal, Canada, Land Rover has expanded its presence to the West Coast by opening up a third location at the Quail Lodge, near Carmel Valley, California. The school, which opened up in August 2005 will offer participants four-wheeling instruction in Land Rover vehicles in a setting that allows students to sample the latest Land Rover vehicles in a setting that befits the Land Rover lifestyle. For more information, log on to schools.

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