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RPM Automotive News - February 2015

What's Going On In the Automotive World

That’s Interesting
Ram is increasing 1500 production at its Warren Truck Assembly Plant. This will mean the ability to crank out about 100 more vehicles each day or 28,585 more a year.

Nissan’s NISMO is 30 years old. How did that happen?

And the F-450 increased its towing capacity to 31,200 pounds for the ’15 model, making it a class leader.

Audi’s TDI diesel technology is now 25 years old.

Ford has birthed its 5 millionth Super Duty.

Jalopnik.com ranked the 10 most dependable vehicles you can get on eBay for less than $5,000. They included the FZJ-80 Toyota Land Cruiser, a ’90s Ford F-150 or F-250, the Jeep Cherokee XJ, and a ’90s Ford Ranger.

What is the Reaper Silverado? Well, imagine an off-road-performance-oriented ’14 Chevy. The limited edition was codeveloped by Lingenfelter Performance Engineering and Southern Comfort Automotive and comes with a 3-inch lift, long-travel suspension, a Lingenfelter exhaust system, Fox Racing shocks, a custom grille, removable side steps, and more. You can get a Magnuson TSV1900 supercharged 5.3L or 6.2L tuned mill too. Learn more at reaperperformanceusa.com.

A monster truck that’s represented by a metal band? Meet Knucklehead, designed by Jimmy Creten and Team 2Xtreme. The 11,000-pound monster makes 1,800 hp. It’s driven by and was cocreated by Zoltan Bathory, founder and lead guitarist of Five Finger Death Punch (or 5FDP).

Toyota intro’d the ’15 Tundra Bass Pro Shops Off-Road Edition. It’s a collaborative effort between Toyota and Bass Pro Shops.

Is It True?
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT will be renamed Trackhawk for the track like the Trailhawk is named for the trail?

And the ’15 it’s-not-yet-named-Trackhawk will cost $64,495?

Detroit drivers pay more for insurance? And 165 percent more than the national average? And insurancequotes.com said this?

Toyota dropped the Tundra’s V-6?

GM is Building Things
GMC is bringing back sport trucks. The ’15 Sierra Elevation has body-colored stuff, appearance stuff, and monochromatic stuff. It also has intro’d the ’15 Carbon Editions (three versions) with graphics stuff, accent stuff, and carbon-fiber stuff. Plus, meet the ’15 Colorado Sport concept, a lifestyle-oriented pickup. Also meet Toughnology. That weirdo word is credited to a concept Silverado with a raw-steel look pointing to usage of high-strength steel.

Random Quote:
“Our idea is: How can we get in and pull out a classroom at a time of kids if there’s an active shooter? If there’s a fire [or] if there’s an earthquake, can we rip down a wall? Stuff like that.”
— Joe Florentino, a captain with the San Diego Unified School District Police Department to KPBS, regarding the adoption of a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle (MRAP) through a military surplus program, the Excess Property Program. However, as we are writing this, the school district was trying to figure out how to return it

What’s Happening In The Industry
It’s 65 years old—air-suspension maker Air Lift Company, that is.

Omix-ADA has made R. Lee Erney, a Vietnam vet and also an actor, its new face. You know him better as The Gunny, the actor in Full Metal Jacket.

Universal Technical Institute nabbed itself the title of a 2015 Military-Friendly School. It’s about support for military students.

Nitto Tire has more than 10 million Facebook fans.

Bridgestone is donating a million bucks toward the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

The States With the Rudest Drivers
Survey from insure.com says that 2,000 drivers polled nationwide pointed to Idaho as the rudest state (and whom are mostly hated by drivers from Arizona). There, it’s due mainly to the perception that drivers are driving too slowly. In terms of other offensive behavior, Washington, D.C. ranked second, followed by New York (most hated by drivers from California), Wyoming, Massachusetts, Delaware, New Jersey, Nevada, and Utah.

Your Government At Work
Word is Michigan has a new bill that would stop repair shops from modifying an exhaust system if it would cause noise in excess of the factory decibels.

California has signed the approved paperwork for the formation of a committee to study a road-usage fee. The fee would be enacted to take the burden off the gas tax.

Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame
It shouldn’t surprise you that there’s an Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. Ditto that it includes people like Bob Chandler, Mickey Thompson, Ivan Stewart, and Walker Evans. The 2014 inductees are Del Albright, for his activism with land use; Marty Fiolka, for keeping the passion for motorsports alive in word and photo; David Ashley, a racer who worked hard for safety issues; Nye Frank, a designer and car builder, who took shock absorbers to the next level; and Bill Sanders, an off-road racer who should be better known to you as one of the first editors at this very magazine.

Random Quote:
“Audi is a driving force behind the research taking automated driving from science fiction to pre-production readiness. Obtaining the first permit issued by the State of California shows that we intend to remain the leader in this vital technology frontier.”
—Scott Keogh, President of Audi of America

Four Wheeler App
Do you have the Four Wheeler app yet? If you want to know what all you get, go to the iTunes store and download it. You seriously should not wait a second longer to find out what we’re not telling you is available through the app.

Random Photo We Dug
That’s Steve the dummy, a pedestrian mannequin at the Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center being utilized for testing pre-collision systems. Toyota is looking to the future, and from what we can tell, it is one of pantsless pedestrians in fringe platform shoes.

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