It’s not slated for U.S. sale—not yet, anyway—but Chevy’s new Trailblazer SUV made its debut at the Bangkok International Motor Show in Thailand. The Trailblazer is built on the new Colorado midsize pickup platform (which we will get) and will be sold around the world. Two four-cylinder Duramax diesels, 2.5L and 2.8L, will power the Trailblazer, hooked to a choice of manual or automatic transmissions and 2WD or 4WD. Though it looks like a crossover vehicle, the Trailblazer has traditional body-on-frame construction, but with fully independent suspension and coil springs.
Jeeps With Altitude
The blacked-out Grand Cherokee concept vehicle that was shown at the Houston Auto Show generated so much interest that Jeep decided to produce it, along with similar treatments for the Compass and Patriot. A “name my ride” contest for the package resulted in more than 100,000 entries, with Altitude emerging as the winning name.
The Grand Cherokee Altitude has a blacked-out grille treatment, 20-inch black aluminum wheels, and a number of interior upgrades, including leather upholstery, heated front seats, a backup camera, and a 506-watt audio system. Black isn’t the Altitude’s only exterior color; you can also get it in red, white, gray, bright silver, and steel metallic.
Mopar Goes to Moab
Mopar, Chrysler’s parts and accessories division, outfitted six Jeeps to take to the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab this year. We thought the Mighty FC Concept and J-12 Concept were the coolest.
To build a modern example of the old forward-control truck, Jeep started with a Rubicon, repositioned the cabin over and ahead of the front axle, lengthened the wheelbase, and added a custom-built drop-side cargo box with an 8-foot bed. What look like portal axles under the FC are just that: new portal axles offered by Mopar ($12,000 for the front, $11,000 for the rear). They’re suspended by King coilovers and Teraflex control arms. The 40-inch BFG Krawlers are mounted to custom Hutchinson 17-inch beadlock wheels. For more info on the Mighty FC check out the feature on page 48.
The other retro concept, the J-12, is an extended version of Mopar’s JK-8 pickup conversion recently introduced for the Wrangler. A custom hood and front fenders give the J-12 the look of the old Gladiator pickup, while a rear frame extension allows the spare tire to be moved under the bed floor so that there’s a 6-foot box behind the cab. Dynatrac D-44 and D-60 axles are fitted with ARB air lockers and suspended by a Mopar 3-inch kit.
Other Jeep concepts going to Moab include the Wrangler Apache, which will show off Mopar’s new Hemi engine conversion kit for the Jeep; the Traildozer concept, with an AEV Hemi conversion kit and a 31⁄2-inch lift; a Wrangler Rubicon with some prototype Mopar accessories, including a locking center console box, a rear cargo cubby cover, new windshield-mounted LED lamps, a new hardtop headliner, and an Add-A-Trunk secure storage space in the cargo area; and the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk, with new 18-inch wheels and special paint.
New Tire, Sponsorship From Mickey T
Mickey Thompson Performance Tires has developed a new Baja Pro 35x12.50R17LT tire for the Pro 2 and Pro 4 Unlimited racing classes and has inked a deal with the Geiser Brothers Motorsports team to evaluate the tires during the 2012 season of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series (LOORRS). Until now, the biggest Baja Pro tire available from Mickey Thompson was a 33.
• July 4: HDRA Fireworks 500 desert race, Reno, NV. Info: hdrarace.com
• July 6-7: Dirt Riot Pacific 1, Medford, OR. Info: werocklive.com
• July 7: Rocks Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Johnson Valley, CA. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• July 11-14: PNW4WDA Trail Jamboree, Naches, WA. Info: 509.698.3703, pnw4wda.org
• July 13-14: Dirt Riot Mountain 3, Cortez, CO. Info: werocklive.com
• July 13-15: Lucas Oil 4Wheel Jamboree Nationals, Bloomsburg County Fairgrounds, Bloomsburg, PA. Info: www.familyevents.com
• July 13-15: Cliff’s Insane Terrain Jeep Thing, Cliff’s Off-Road Park, Marseilles, IL. Info: 815.795.5200, www.thecliffsinsaneterrain.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org
• July 14: Getting Started Off-Road Driving Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• July 14-15: 4Wheel Parts Truck & Jeep Fest, Denver Merchandise Mart, Denver, CO. Info: www.4wheelparts.com/events
• July 15: Advanced Beginner Off-Road Driving Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, CA. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• July 20-21: W.E. Rock Eastern Pro Series Round 3, Dayton, TN. Info: werocklive.com
• July 19-21: Crawl for the Cure, Iron Range OHV Park near Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. Info: www.crawl4cure.org
• July 19-21: Killington Jeep Jamboree, Killington, VT. Info: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
• July 19-21: Northwoods–Mole Lake Jeep Jamboree, Crandon, WI. Info: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
• July 21: Freedom 250 desert race, Barstow, CA. Info: www.moreracing.net
• July 21: Rocks Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Johnson Valley, CA. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• July 21-25: UFWDA General Meeting, York, PA. Info: pajeeps.org
• July 26-29: Northeast Takeover by Northeast Toyota Crawlers and Pennsylvania TTORA, Rausch Creek, PA. Info: www.toyotacrawlers.com
• July 26-30: Jeepers Jamboree, Rubicon Trail, CA. Info: 530.333.4771, www.jeepersjamboree.com
• July 27-30: Rocky Mountain IH Rendezvous, Fairplay, CO. Info:303.838.8505, rmihr.org
• July 28: Sand Driving Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Oceano Dunes, Pismo, CA. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• July 28-29: Iron Range Off-Road Driving School, Iron Range OHV Park near Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. Info: www.ironrangeoffroad.com
• July 28-Aug. 4: All-4-Fun Week by the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Empire, CO. Info: mhjc.org
• July 29: Basic & Advanced Winching by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, CA. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
• Note: If you have a 4WD event you want us to publicize, please send the date, location, a description of the event, and contact info—phone numbers and/or email/website address—to Calendar, 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; fax 310.531.9368; email 4wheel email@example.com. Please submit your info at least four months in advance of the event due to our press lead times.