Jeep Adds Models
Need more proof that the Jeep brand is keeping Chrysler afloat? While other vehicles are being left by the wayside (talking to you, PT Cruiser and Viper), Jeep is actually gaining three models. After 20 years out of the public eye, the Islander is returning in limited-edition form on the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited and will be based on the Sport model. It will come in a special Surf Blue Pearlcoat, although you can pick from three other colors. A Tiki Bob decal has been slapped onto the hood with true latitude and longitude coordinates to somewhere islandish, and there are also black sidesteps and Moab 17-inch rims with 32-inch rubber. Inside there's more Tiki Bob as well as blue stitching on the steering wheel and Mopar rubber floor mats.
The Wrangler Mountain comes from the Wrangler Sport S package and can be had on the Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. Again, it's decal city, and again, it's latitude and longitude on the hood. In short, the Mountain theme translates to painted, glossy Mineral Gray 17-inch Moab wheels with 32-inch tires, appliqués on the grille and bumper, tube steps, a Mopar fuel-filler door, and black taillight guards. The interior has bits of Mountain as well.
Another blast from the (recent) past is the Renegade. It's returning as a Liberty. A new Salsa Red shade is available (as are other familiar hues), plus it will have Mineral Gray Keystone 16-inch wheels; dark fender flares, fasciae, and body side moldings; and other add-ons. A leather-wrapped wheel, fancy cloth seats, and driftwood accent bezels are among the interior offerings. Selec-Trac II is standard on the Renegade, which will fall between the Sport and Limited in the Liberty lineup.
The Renegade and Islander will be available momentarily; the Mountain will hit dealerships in the second quarter of the year.
This Just In
•Our Project Army Truck, an '86 Chevy, was stolen January 7 from a parking lot in Sun Valley, California. Suspects were caught on videotape arriving in a white '01-era Suburban or Tahoe and towing the truck away. If you have any information as to the whereabouts of the truck or components from it, please write email@example.com or call and leave a message at 310.531.9064.
•Have a spare $1 billion? That's what Bloomberg is reporting GM will likely spend to update the ancient-by-industry-standards Chevy and GMC fullsize pickups. In addition to interior and exterior design changes, improvements will be made in safety, such as crash protection. The redesign had previously been put on hold due to a little thing called bankruptcy.
•Chrysler's new ad campaign? "Coming home." Why? You had to ask that, didn't you? Chrysler said it's because research showed "consumers do not realize that Chrysler Group has emerged from bankruptcy and is now a different company with a new alliance partner and a healthy product plan."
•Three blinks-the '11 Ford Super Duty will have the technology that can shut off the turn signal after three blinks.
•Infiniti's all-new '11 QX56 fullsize SUV is likely to arrive this summer and even more likely to have Patrol running gear. Could the next Pathfinder go that route as well?
•The Ford Transit Connect was named North American Truck of the Year. "What is that?" sounds about right. But ask Ford's CEO Alan Mulally and he'll tell you the Transit is a "chick magnet." Disturbing, squared.
F-Series Win Streak Continues
Cut and paste last year's news-and the year before to infinity-because Ford's F-Series was the bestselling truck in 2009, as it has been for 33 years in a row. Ford sold 413,625 trucks, SUVs, vans, and other vehicles. December proved to be the best sales month for the F-Series since March 2008.
Steven Bisig (stevenbisig.com)
Teen Rockcrawling Champ
You're most likely familiar with the name Shannon Campbell. But the name Wayland Campbell? Not so much. Shannon's a competitive rockcrawler, and the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree-or is it that the rock didn't fall far from the obstacle? Son Wayland is a competitor with the Campbell Enterprises/Monster Energy team, sponsored by ARB. His first event was December's W.E. Rock Put Up or Shut Up Shootout in Arizona, where he placed Third-three points from nabbing Second Place. Did we mention that he's 14 years old?
•The California Desert Protection Act of 2010, legislation brought to you by Senator Dianne Feinstein, would, among other "good news," establish a national monument to be managed by the BLM, protecting 941,000 acres of federal land between Joshua Tree National Park and the Mojave Preserve along Route 66 in San Bernardino County, as well as maintain existing recreation uses-and that includes vehicles on existing trails and open roads.