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July 2009 4x4 Truck & Auto News - RPM

Posted in Project Vehicles on July 1, 2009 Comment (0)
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2011 Chevy HD Exposed!
It doesn't look like much, but here is a sneak preview of the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty. Notice the revised bumper that is now full-width chrome, doing away with the unsightly jowls of the current model. There also appears to be a bigger opening for airflow to the updated Duramax, which is slated to have 700 lb-ft of torque, and associated coolers and radiators.

Need A Raptor Fix?
With a look born in the desert, the new Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Web page is a place enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the experience of driving a truck built to excel in the most extreme conditions. Unique applications on the site, like a 360-degree view, give consumers a thorough perspective of the truck and allow them to get a closer look at the features and functions that make it such a capable off-road vehicle. Visitors can click on components unique to the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, such as front shocks, engine, design cues and tires and wheels, and learn more about what gives the truck its distinct personality. Visitors also will get to see the truck in action, with videos demonstrating its capability in extreme terrain. In addition to the 360 view and videos, information and photos about the F-150 SVT Raptor will enhance the site. Visitors to the website also can request a customized brochure or build an F-150 SVT Raptor with the content they desire. Check it out at www.fordvehicles.com/f150raptor.

Summit Racing Offers "No-Hassle" Special Ordering
Summit Racing Equipment, the world's largest direct mail and Internet supplier of high-performance automotive parts and accessories, now offers "no-hassle" special ordering for parts from over 700 high-performance manufacturers. In addition to the millions of parts already in stock in its three huge distribution centers (Tallmadge, Ohio; Sparks, Nevada; and McDonough, Georgia), Summit Racing also has access to every part from its family of parts manufacturers--even ones not advertised. Summit Racing can special order more parts than ever before, because the company recently expanded its selection of brand-name products to over 700 manufacturers. For a complete list of Summit Racing's family of brand name high-performance parts manufacturers, customers can go to SummitRacing.com and select the "Brands" tab at the top of the home page.

BFGoodrichTires Dominates at King of the Hammers
BFGoodrich Tires dominated the second annual King of the Hammers off-road race that took place on February 27, near Johnson Valley, California The tire manufacturer captured the overall win and the first nine finishing positions in a winner-take-all combination dash featuring some of rock crawling's most technical courses and wide-open off-road racing. BFGoodrich Tires driver Jason Scherer mastered the 82-mile loop course, which encompassed the harsh terrain of Johnson Valley's Hammer trail system, to take the win in 4 hours, 42 minutes and 49 seconds. Out of a field of 92 starting entrants, 36 competitors officially completed the demanding journey within the 10-hour time limit, 23 of them were equipped with BFGoodrich tires. Five out of nine competitors equipped with BFGoodrich Baja T/AKRT B-compound tires finished in the top ten. Visit BFGoodrich Tires online at www.bfgoodrichtires.com. KOH coverage can also be found on fourwheeler.com and in next month's issue.

GM Indefinitely Halts Light-Duty Diesel
Due to increasing financial pressures and the cost relationship of gasoline and diesel fuel, General Motors has decided to postpone its highly anticipated 4.5L Duramax V-8, which was slated for its 1/2-ton trucks and SUVs. Easily one of the most advanced diesel engines ever created, the lightweight and clean-burning 4.5L has a unique cylinder head setup that eliminates the need for intake and exhaust manifolds. If and when GM decides to revive the program, it could take as long as a year from green light to production.

Land Use Notes
President Obama Cancels Streamlined Endangered Species Review Process
President Obama has withdrawn a policy adopted by the Bush Administration in late 2008 allowing federal agencies to approve a commercial development (road, power plant, homes, and so on) on its own authority if it is determined that the project will have no impact on a threatened species. The Interior Department will return to the previous application of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and require all federal agencies to first consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) if there was the potential to impact a threatened or endangered species. In the past, this periodically led to a review process that could last months or years and be contested in court. Millions of acres of land have been closed under the ESA as a mechanism to protect plants and animals. Nevertheless, there is general consensus in Congress that the ESA needs to be updated so that less money is spent on ESA lawsuits and more is spent on providing quality habitats. The issue is of consequence to SEMA members that market products for use on off-highway vehicles since public access has been denied to roads and trails in ESA-protected areas.

Federal Wilderness Legislation Update
The House of Representatives is expected to approve legislation already approved by the Senate to add more than 2 million acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System. The "wilderness" designation is consequential since no mechanized activity is permitted on lands so designated. The legislation designates wilderness in nine states and establishes several new national parks, monuments and conservation areas. Covered areas include portions in and around Joshua Tree National Park and the Eastern Sierras in California, Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands in Idaho, Mt. Hood in Oregon and Zion National Park in Utah. Some roads and trails were excluded from the wilderness designations and, therefore, remain available to the OHV enthusiast. Nevertheless, the SAN expressed regrets that lawmakers had moved too quickly since not all roads and trails received protection.

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