Jeep News and Jeep Rumors

Dispatch

1.

Photo: @bigwillyjeep

Jeep News & Rumors

•Will Fiat Chrysler’s Melfi assembly plant in Italy build the Jeep Compass, and that will also probably replace a discontinued Fiat model? And will Italy’s Pomigliano plant possibly build another Jeep that’ll be smaller than the Renegade, which Melfi already builds?
•2019 SUV of the Year, according to our sibling Motor Trend, is the Jeep Wrangler.
•An armored Jeep Grand Cherokee stuffed with the 3.0L diesel with a job of assisting in antiterrorism efforts is the newest member of the Italian Carabinieri police force. There should be a fleet of 19 by the time you read this.
•The Jefferson North Assembly Plant—maker of Jeep Grand Cherokee—got the World Class Manufacturing Bronze award, meaning its has notable ability at increasing productivity, improving safety and quality, and eliminating waste.
•A ’98 Jeep Cherokee was the center of a scam spotted by the News4Jax I-TEAM, focused on users of the NextDoor app and Craigslist in Jacksonville, Florida. It requested potential buyers to send money for the Jeep via eBay (a sale has to take place on eBay’s actual site to be legit), and the ad also claimed the owner was in the Army and being shipped off to Afghanistan. Beware of this ad or one like it. Read the story and see the pic here: bit.ly/2Q0cT02.
•The winners of ALG’s Pre-Owned Value Awards for 2019 included the Jeep Wrangler, which scored tops for the Off-Road Utility segment. Check out all the winners here: alg.com/vehicle-awards.html.
•“The Big Willy will be a fully functional trail-ready Jeep and will be a replica of the wartime Willys MB but twice the size.” That’s the description of the Jeep that people are taking about, by the people @bigwillyjeep.

2.

Industry News

•When BFGoodrich and Tire Stickers join up, it means custom tires are at your disposal. The two are offering tire decals for five BFGoodrich tire lines, resulting in the ability to add white outline, solid white lettering, or a red/white/blue combo to your sidewalls. Get yours here: bit.ly/2QsmMmg.
•New from Superlift: Black Diamond. It’s a high-performance product line due by May 2019, with suspension kits arriving first for the ’18/’19 Jeep Wrangler JL.
•Wheel companies Weld and MOMO have combined to form MW Co.
•New partners: Hella and Faurecia.
•Yakima, which you know for its outdoor accessories, scored a pretty good gig—Ford has made its accessories available in dealerships, and by purchasing through the dealership, there’s a Ford warranty.
•Cooper Tires did a survey that was for Thanksgiving, but it’s probably legit all year: Americans said their favorite pie is pumpkin, stuffing rules as a side dish, and 74 percent said they know how to change a tire themselves.

3.

Photo: AAA, Western and Central New York

Auto Graphs

•Is legalized recreational marijuana causing more crashes? According to research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Highway Loss Data Institute, the numbers are up 6 percent in Washington, Nevada, Colorado, and Oregon. Colorado and Washington were the first to legalize. Read the full report here: bit.ly/2ySA1BY.
•Having a solar roof on future Jeeps might become a thing, if Kia and Hyundai set a trend in their ’19 vehicles. Not only would it be for powering electric vehicles, but it could also help with heated seats and other odds and ends in non-electrics.
•Fiat Chrysler got gold medallion certification. That happened because it recruits and employs veterans.
•The Fiat Chrysler Foundation is giving $200,000 in grants to organizations helping communities affected by the hurricanes known as Florence and Michael.
•What will change in Israel in 2030? A ban on gas and diesel vehicles.
•Avis Budget and Ford are trying to improve renting a vehicle, and key to that is the connected-vehicle experience.
•Ford also bought a scooter company.
•The Zebra wondered if auto insurers use your online behavior to determine what you’ll pay for insurance, and its research revealed yes—like if you are online shopping for insurance at 9 a.m., you might save $17, while 3 p.m. could mean an extra $58. If shopping for insurance on an iPhone, expect to pay $70 more. Learn what else here: bit.ly/2RUupPN.
•VIN Based Option is a new offering from J.D. Power for all NADA Values Online subscribers. “This new feature utilizes packaging, content, and descriptive features specific to a vehicle’s entire 17-character VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) to enhance and customize each vehicle valuation instead of the basic 11-character VIN.” As it stands, the 11-digit VIN provides only make, model, and engine type, but the 17 will get you more details, such as features and options on the vehicle you’re researching.
•Aston Martin has named its new SUV DBX.
•Ram is now offering a special-edition 1500 that’s built for cold weather. The ’19 North edition includes a lift; severe snow tires; an engine-block heater; a remote start; and heated mirrors, seats, and steering wheel.
•Tech tip: If you’re at a AAA Car Care Center, you might be able to get a free ride home or wherever you need to be. It functions off Lyft’s concierge platform. You don’t need the app or a smartphone to take advantage.
•Jaguar Land Rover has touched down in Slovakia. The manufacturing plant is the first time a UK auto company has opened one there.
•If you want to become a mechanic, Omaha Community College might be worth a look-see. It’s investing $32.5 million into a new building for auto tech and auto collision programs.
•Cameron Steele snagged the overall SCORE Trophy Truck (and Overall Four-Wheeled Vehicle) win at the 51st Baja 1000. Only a Honda CFRX motorcycle ridden by a four-man team lead by Justin Morgan beat Steel’s overall elapsed time across the rugged and very long course.

4.

“Germans see no reason to fear robot coworkers.”
—From a survey by Bosch, which focused on how artificial intelligence could improve transportation

5.

“Every time an operator has to do an irregular movement—bend, stretch, turn—that’s not value added to the vehicle. So what we tried to do is reduce the movement of the operator to be more efficient.”
—Tom Hall, an employee at Toledo North, where the Jeep Wrangler JL is being built, to Automotive News. This was regarding “rotating skillets” that “flip partly built Jeeps 90 degrees onto their sides” so that workers can install underbody and roof parts without bending or having their arms above their heads, which can prevent stress injuries that come from repetitive movements.

6.

“Summary: A defect petition was received by the Office of Defects Investigation requesting a formal investigation of model year 2018 Jeep Wrangler vehicles for the existence of weld related safety defects located on the vehicle frame. The petitioner alleges widespread weld defects across ‘nearly all’ 2018 Jeep Wrangler (specifically JL family code) vehicle frames. The petition describes a broad list of frame weld deficiencies, including porous welds, excessive slag, lack of weld penetration, over penetration of welds, overweld or weld drip, and weld splash.
“The weld defects are allegedly located at a variety of locations on the frame assembly including the track bar bracket welds that have broken and resulted in steering concerns (see NHTSA safety recall 18V-675). The petitioner alleges that the existence of the described weld defects could result in ‘catastrophic failure.’ This defect petition has been opened to evaluate the issue and determine whether to grant or deny the petitioner's request.”

—From the Defect Petition by NHTSA about frame weld issues, including “excessive slag, lack of and/or over penetration, overweld or weld drip, weld splash and porous welds, and at various frame locations.” If you have concerns that your Wrangler is affected, talk to your dealership or call the FCA US Recall Information Center at 800/853-1403.

7.

Everything Official about the ’20 Jeep Gladiator Pickup (Yup, That’s the Real Name)

It’s the most anticipated, anticlimactic vehicle of the year (if not the past decade): the ’20 Jeep pickup—or as it’s been called more often than that: “Wrangler with a bed.” First, the name: The crowd has been split 50/50 on whether it would be called Gladiator or Scrambler, but the Gs have it—Gladiator. Second, its looks: Completely as you would have expected from teaser photos and blind imagination—a four-door Wrangler with a bed. Or also call it a body-on-frame midsize pickup.

It’ll be available as Sport, Sport S, Overland, and Rubicon (Head of Jeep Design Mark Allen referred to the Rubicon as “dressed” while the others are “naked,” so enjoy the visual behind which one you pick). Each will come standard with the 3.6L V-6, making 285 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The Pentastar engine is hooked to the D478 six-speed manual trans. The optional transmission is the 850RE eight-speed automatic. (The 3.0L V-6 EcoDiesel is confirmed for 2020 and should be worth 260 horses and 442 lb-ft of torque and matched to an eight-speed automatic.) Odds and ends include 11.3:1 compression ratio and 22-gallon tank.

The Sports and Overland will see the Wrangler’s same NV241 Command-Trac T-case (MP1622) with 2.72 low range, while the Rubicon will get the also-Wrangler NV241OR Rock-Trac (MP1622OR) with 4.0:1 low. Both models have Dana 44s front and rear, with an electronic diff front and rear as well. The Rubicon has an electronic sway bar disconnect and high-pressure Fox shocks. Crawl ratio is 84.2:1; Rubicon is 77.2:1. The Gladiator also has a five-link coil suspension.

Let’s talk numbers: It’s 218 inches in length, with a 137.3-inch wheelbase. For comparison, the Wrangler Unlimited is 188.4 inches, with a wheelbase of 118.4 inches. With the tailgate closed, the length is 60.3 inches; 81.3 open. Volume is 35.5 cubic feet. The Gladiator is 73.8 inches wide, and with the soft top it’s 75 inches tall (Jeep took measurements on the Rubicon); hardtop is 73.1 inches (again, Rubicon). Approach angle is said to be 40.8 inches, unless you have the Rubicon, then you’re seeing 43.4 inches. Departures are 25 and 26, respectively. Curb weights come in at 4,672 pounds for the Sports with the automatic and 4,650 pounds when manual-equipped. The Overland sees 4,742 auto and 4,720 manual. Rubicon with auto comes in at 5,072 and 5,050 pounds for the stick. All have 17x7.5-inch wheels, save for the Overland, which gains 18x7.5. Rubber is Bridgestone Dueler, although the Rubicon gains 33-inch Falkens. And the fullsize spare is under the bed, with space for up to a 35. All these specs translate to a max 1,600 pounds of payload and a cap of 7,650 pounds towing capacity.

More facts: The windshield will fold down. The aluminum doors are removable. And the Rubicon has the forward-facing trail camera. Options will include a spray-on bedliner, tonneau, and bed divider. New questions: Will there be a two-door version? Shortbed and longbed versions? Some rumors: Pricing of $80,000 for the Rubicon and, since pickups are hot right now, around $60,000 for the others (keeping in mind that the Overland is the fancy one). For even more details, see Editor Rick Péwé’s full report in this issue.

8.

TerrainHopper: Off-Road Vehicle for People with Disabilities

An off-road mobility vehicle has been launched for those with disabilities or mobility issues. The four-by runs on electric power (a range of approximately 12 miles) and comes in Mini and Overlander 4ZS models. Both have two speed options, including 4 mph for more serious off-roading. The duo has four-wheel independent suspension and handlebar steering. Get the scoop at terrainhopperusa.com.

9.

Where Do You Read Jp Magazine?

Now, where do you read Jp Magazine? Well, if you read it in a unique or cool location, we want to see a photo of that—and don’t bother with a toilet photo, please. The photo should show you, the magazine, and the location, all in one. Email the photo and information about you to jpeditor@jpmagazine.com with the subject line “Jp on Location.” Show and tell! Answer these questions for us in your email:

Your name:
Where you’re from:
Where the photo was taken:
What you’re doing/why you’re at that location:
Photo requirements are JPG (maximum quality), BMP, or TIFF file at 1,600 by 1,200 pixels (around 2 megapixels or the original size from your phone/device). It probably goes without saying that your copy of Jp Magazine should be seen with you in the photo.

10.

We Need Your Stuck or Broken or Military Jeep!

We want your Jeep for our Sideways department! Here are ways you can get your Jeep in in Jp Magazine!
Your broken parts or broken Jeep: Did you have an epic snap, blow-up, or breakage? How about an insane trail repair? Photo or it didn’t happen.
Stuck/Flopped/Rollover: Send us your four-wheeling mess.
Vintage and Military Jeep: We like old-timey and military things, like with your father or grandfather, or even modern service.
Jeep Road Trip: A photo from your best road trip that took place in a Jeep. The Jeep needs to be in the photo in a landmark location. Like the Travelocity gnome.

Follow this format:
Your name and your city/state:
Year/make/model of your Jeep/military Jeep:
Where the photo took place:
Describe what we are seeing in the photo/other info we may need to know:
Why the photo means a lot to you/lesson learned/your takeaway:

In addition to the words, here are the photo requirements:
--JPG (maximum quality), BMP, or TIFF file.
--1,600 by 1,200 pixels (around 2 megapixels or the original size from your phone/device).
--No PDFs or other formats. We just can’t use them in the magazine. They won’t reprint.
--Email the materials to jpeditor@jpmagazine.com with “Sideways” as the subject line.

11.

Where the Jeeps Are

Having an event in 2019? Let us know! Remember the magazine needs about four months of advance warning. Just follow these steps:
Name of event:
Date(s) of event:
City/State of event:
Name of venue (if applicable):
Website for readers to learn more about your event:
Have a high-resolution photo from a previous event? Feel free to send it to us and we might just include it. Photo requirements are JPG (maximum quality), BMP, or TIFF file at 1,600 by 1,200 pixels (around 2 megapixels or the original size from your phone/device).
Send the info and photo to: jpeditor@jpmagazine.com
Make your subject line, “Where the Jeeps Are”