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October 2007 4x4 News - RPM

Posted in Project Vehicles on October 1, 2007
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Photographers: Brenda Priddy & Co.

GM has announced that an all-new 4.5L 32-valve turbodiesel V-8, one that is the size of its small-block gas engines, will first appear in the Hummer H2 and Silverado/Sierra pickup trucks. The engine is said to make at least 310 hp and 520 lb-ft of torque, while meeting 2010 emissions for all 50 states and offering NVH levels comparable to current gas offerings. While the engine will wear the Duramax name, it was designed completely in-house, without any help from Isuzu, and should boost efficiency by 25 percent.

With the recent announcement of the V-8-powered Hummer H3 Alpha, speculation amongst insiders has pointed to a 5.3L small-block V-8 option on the freshened Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, with which the H3 shares a platform. A V-8 option might finally make these trucks competitive in the marketplace.

You are looking at the future of Ford. The 2009 F-150 is one of the most important products for Ford's future. Our spies got a shot of this prototype undergoing testing at an undisclosed location. What we know is the '09 F-150 will feature Ford's new three-bar grille, a more upscale interior, and a new range of class-topping engines, including an in-house 4.4L turbodiesel V-6, and an all-new 6.2L Boss V-8. The regular-cab models will lose the four-door design in favor of two larger doors.

The rumor mill is once again churning out details of Nissan's upcoming, diesel-powered Titan. We have seen Titan prototypes running around with the same 4.5L Power Stroke V-6 that was supposed to find its way in to the 2009 F-150, and we have heard that the Titan HD models have been killed, leaving the LD trucks to take on more of a burden-presumably with diesel power. With news that Ford will be building its diesel in-house, it has been suggested that International's V-6 will still find a home, but in the 2009 Titan and not the 2009 F-150 as first thought. Other reports suggest that an International V-8 might end up being the engine of choice, especially if Ford backs out of its current contract early.

4 Wheel Drive Hardware is giving away a brand-new '07 Jeep Wrangler four-door. The Jeep is being built up with the help of several notable companies such as Pro Comp Wheels & Tires, Smittybilt, Pro Comp Suspension, Mastercraft, Bestop, and KC HiLiTES. You can learn more or sign up now for a chance to win this '07 Jeep Wrangler by visiting The give-away ends November 30, 2007 and the winner will be selected during the first week of December 2007.

Redbird State Riding Area (SRA), located in southern Indiana, was honored by BFGoodrich Tires as part of its 2007 Outstanding Trails program. More than 200 off-road enthusiasts from the 4 Wheels to Freedom (4WTF) local four-wheel drive club were in attendance as BFGoodrich presented the club's president with a grant to continue conservation efforts and preserve scenic trails for Indiana's first state owned Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) facility. Redbird State Riding Area is the first of six trail locations that will be recognized by BFGoodrich this year. BFGoodrich Tires, in conjunction with Tread Lightly!(r) and United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA), chose to honor Redbird SRA as one of the 2007 Outstanding Trails because of its beautiful 1,000-acre OHV area, designed to please every skill level from wild to mild. Redbird's family-friendly atmosphere also offers a large parking lot along with loading ramps, shelter house and restroom facilities.

After a careful selection process, the BFGoodrich Tires Outstanding Trails program recognizes the following six trails for 2007:

* Whipsaw Trail in British Columbia, Canada
* The Rubicon Trail, one of America's wildest off-road trails
* Crushers at Tillamook, located in the Coast Range Mountains of northwest Oregon
* Poughkeepsie Gulch, located in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado
* Flat Nasty which offers more than 800 acres of Ozark Mountain terrain in Jadwin, Mo.

In its first season, the 2006 Outstanding Trails program honored five off-road trails. Black Bear Pass, near Ouray, Colorado, is a picturesque trail nestled in the San Juan Mountains. Pyeatt Draw, a scenic and exciting trail situated in Payson, Arizona. Hell's Revenge, with its slick sandstone slopes brings adventure to thrill seekers in Moab, Utah. Historic Naches Pass, also known as the Longmire Wagon Train, takes off road drivers over the Cascade Mountains in Naches, Washington. Last, but not least, Upper Tellico OHV Area, Trail #4, located in the Natahala National Forest, is located in North Carolina where Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia meet.

To learn more about these trails, visit the Outstanding Trails Web site at

Here are some of the highlights of the 39th annual SCORE Baja 500, one of the toughest courses in the history of the race:
* Our friends over at Rod Hall Racing (Team Hummer) won the Stock-Mini class in the H3, piloted by Rod Hall and son Chad with a time of 16:49:34. In doing so, Rod earned his 17th career class win, tying the record held by Ivan "Ironman" Stewart.
* The Nitto Tire/Team Donahoe FJ Cruiser, piloted by Dylan Evans and Steve Krieger, also made a podium finish, by placing 2nd in Class 3 (short-wheelbase 4x4).
* BFGoodrich Tires, the official tire sponsor for the SCORE Desert Racing Series, dominated Mexico's Baja Peninsula, earning eight of the overall top 10 finishing positions and 12 class wins at the 39th Annual SCORE Baja 500.
* Feature editor Robin Stover, riding with Kent Kroeker of KORE, placed 2nd in the Stock Full class.

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