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RPM: 4x4 And Automotive News And Rumors


Tori TellemWriterManufacturersPhotographer


That’s Interesting

•Hey, drivers, you hit 1.58 trillion miles driven in the first six months of 2016, which beat the previous record of 1.54 trillion in 2015. The most mile-y month of all in that six-month period of 2016 was June, with 282.3 billion.
•GM’s big goal by 2050: to “generate or source” all its electrical power from renewable energy (like, sun and wind). This would affect 350 operations all over the world (59 countries).
•The Ford F-650 and F-750 are selling like hot trucks. In the first eight months of 2016, more were sold than in all of 2015, and they also saw their best sales since 1997.
•Official Truck of the National Football League? The Ford F-series. You’ll want to check out nfl.com/ford because that’s the spot for a sweepstakes for Super Bowl tickets and also a custom ’17 Super Duty.
•’17 Ram refresher: The 2500 gets a 4x4 Off-Road Package for the Mega Cab, and the Ram lineup adds a new Power Wagon.
•In the hopes of buddying-up to the Detroit 3, Uber is planning to open a facility in Detroit. This would be for autonomous-vehicle programs.
•The 2016 Allstate America’s Best Driver’s Report found that Madison, Wisconsin, has just that, the best of the best. Also hitting the “Safest Drivers Rank with Population Density” were Brownsville, Texas; New York, New York; and Lincoln, Nebraska.
•Jaguar Land Rover has opened ground to build a new manufacturing facility in Slovakia.
•The Chevy Tahoe and Suburban get Midnight Editions for 2017, which have some black features.
•The Ram 1500 gains a Night Package for 2017, which has some black features.
•Truck Legends is a new program from Chevy, a special club of sorts for owners of trucks with more than 100,000 miles, or those who have leased/purchased more than one new Chevy truck in their life. It’s currently only happening in Texas, but in 2017, it will go nationwide. Membership goes a long way, including freebies (hats) and possibly tickets to things (concerts and baseball games) and cleanings (dealerships). Learn more at chevytrucklegends.com.
•Hey, Texas: You’re up to bat again. Nissan’s got the ’17 Texas Titan package, with a special chrome grille, logo’d floor mats, chrome exhaust finishers, and other unique stuff.
•And Nissan has created the Diehard Fan app so that you can do virtual face paint for college football season.
•Zipcar has more than 1,000,000 members now in more than 500 cities and 8 countries.
•State Farm’s bringing some deer collision info to you. The months you’re most likely to collide with a deer, moose, or elk in the U.S. are November, followed by October, then December (they’re on a mating spree). And you might want to stay out of West Virginia—it’s the top state for claims like this, according to a 2015-1016 study done by State Farm.


Is It True?

•You might be driving a flood-damaged vehicle? Carmax data might point to more than 271,000 vehicles are on the road or for sale in the U.S.? And Texas has the most? (And you can check yours here: carfax.com/flood?)
•The next-gen Ford Expedition is going the aluminum route for the hood and doors?
•’18 Dodge Durango SRT means 6.4L V-8?
•Chevy set a Guinness World Record for Largest Flag Pulled by a Moving Vehicle, using a ’17 Chevy Silverado HD? And this is an actual a record-setting category?


Your Government at Work

•California is going to have even stricter air-pollution rules (aka cutting back on methane emissions and black carbon), which will affect diesel trucks, as well as cows and their flatulence. We don’t volunteer for any job related to the measuring or reducing of the latter.
•According to the East Oregonian, Oregon State Parks honored Morrow-Grant OHV Park with a plaque, nodding to 30 years of its all-terrain program. The park opened in 2003 and has 300 miles of ATV trails.
•Looks like a plan from way back in 2013 by the BLM for expanding the Imperial Sand Dunes in Southern California has been approved.
•Crash stats from the U.S. Department of Transportation: 35,092 lives were lost in crashes on U.S. roadways in 2015, which is a bump of 32,744 over 2014. That’s actually the largest increase in close to 50 years.
•New law in Michigan: forest roads will be open to the public unless designated otherwise by the Department of Natural Resources.
•The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has kicked off “Our Roads, Our Responsibility,” which is designed to educate drivers on how to share the road with large trucks. You can learn how to at fmcsa.dot.gov/ourroads.


What’s Happening in the Industry

•Continental Tire, welcome to the all-terrain segment. The tiremaker now offers the TerrainContact A/T and with it the first use of TractionPlus, using large blocks and an open tread pattern.
•Bully Dog has relocated to Pocatello, Idaho. It was born in Aberdeen, before moving to American Falls. Those are also both in Idaho.
•Head to jeepster50.com for the full scoop on what’s likely to be the biggest Jeepster and Commando event, being held in Moab, April 17-23, 2017. Rancho’s presenting the event.


Four Wheeler App

We’re an app now. So go download the Four Wheeler app. Then prepare to have your mind blown by the sheer volume of articles, news, reviews, and trucks at your fingertips. Get it at the iTunes App Store.


Meet the World’s First Flat-Pack Truck

How to access remote areas of Africa or other developing parts of the world? An extreme all-terrain mobility vehicle, and that answer is in the form of the Global Vehicle Trust Ox flat-pack truck. Designed for the “intense need for improved transport, for both everyday living as well as emergencies,” it’s able to carry building materials and grain, plus can collect drinking water. Global Vehicle Trust was founded by Sir Torquil Norman, with a goal of helping people via cost-effective mobility. Features include notable approach and departure angles, gobs of ground clearance, high load carrying capabilities, and the ability to seat up to 13 people and carry eight 44-gallon drums. It runs on a Ford PT22 four-cylinder diesel that makes 100 hp and is hooked to a five-speed manual transmission. The OXGlide suspension includes hydraulic trailing arms. Check it out at oxgvt.com.


Bentley Bentayga Diesel–the Fastest-Ever SUV?

We’ve been rumoring this Bentley for a while now, and here it is: the Bentayga Diesel. It’s the first diesel’d Bentley and has a 4.0L V-8 that makes 429 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. It also sees a top speed of 168 mph, hitting 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Among the tech is hill descent control, a multimode air suspension, and Responsive Off-Road setting, which, according to Bentley, allows the driver to pick a setting for the terrain, “while the Driver Information Panel displays information on pitch, roll, wheel articulation, steering angle, compass, and altitude.” Head to bentleyconfigurator.com to gawk at it.


Ram Rebel TRX Concept

How’s a 100-mph off-road truck from an OEM sound? Then take a gander at this case study from Ram, the Rebel TRX concept. Beast mode means 575 horses with a 6.2L supercharged Hemi matched to a TorqueFlight eight-speed auto trans (if you’re wondering if this is the fastest 1/2-ton Ram has made, the answer would be yes). Although it’s a 1500 Ram, it’s been made 6 inches wider, has been given bigger fenderwells, and sports heavy artillery in the form of front and rear axles (including a Dynatrac Dana 60). More drool will be dangling when you hear about the 13 inches of wheel travel all around, bypass performance shocks, custom upper and lower A-arms, and a hi-po coilover shock setup coupled with a five-link rear suspension with performance springs.


Chevy Colorado ZH2

The tease is over. This is the Chevy Colorado ZH2—an off-road fuel cell electric vehicle that will be tested by the U.S. Army in order to figure out whether hydrogen power would work out for the military. It’s a Colorado that’s been stretched and has gained 37-inch rubber and a special suspension suitable for all types of terrain. GM and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDAC) worked to develop the Colorado ZH2. Perks to this concept for military purposes include its near-silence, high wheel torque, reduced thirst for fuel, and less of a thermal signature.


“American drivers wasted more than $2.1 billion dollars in the last year by using premium-grade gasoline in vehicles designed to run on regular fuel.”—Statement from AAA, based on its research