New Polaris Limited-Edition Models
Polaris has introduced some limited-edition ATV and side-by-side models for the spring. The new ATVs include a Tequila Gold-colored Sportsman 850 XP that's outfitted with Polaris' electronic power steering, PIAA lights, and a winch. Among the new side-by-sides are a Browning Edition of the Ranger XP with gun scabbards, a Warn winch, and special Browning insignia on the bodywork and upholstery. We'll spare you pictures of the Passion Pink Ranger RZR. And no, we're not making that up. It is for "that special lady in your life," says Polaris.
Chrysler-Nissan Truck Plan On Hold
Several sources have reported that the truck-sharing plan between Chrysler and Nissan-in which Chrysler would build the next-generation Titan for Nissan off a new Ram platform-has been put on hold due to the economy. Nissan had been planning to end production of the current Titan in time to get the new one ready for the '11 model year, but this announcement makes the Titan's future less certain.
Some industry watchers see this as another nail in the Titan's coffin, its poor sales being the primary reason to end production. (In calendar year 2008 some 34,000 Titans were sold, compared to 137,000 Tundras and nearly half a million Ford F-Series.) Others are more optimistic. Bill Wolf, SEMA's senior director of OE relations, views the hold as temporary and expects to see a growth in manufacturer alliances such as this.
Gen-Right Does Right
Ok, so this month's item is more a "business spotlight" than "club spotlight," but these folks have their hearts in the right place. Manufacturer of specialty Jeep products Gen-Right Off Road in Simi Valley, California, recently held a Jeep-enthusiast swap meet to help raise money for the California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA), a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting vehicular recreation on public lands.
"The idea came up during one of our customer runs," said Gen-Right president Tony Pellegrino. "Most guys have a ton of parts in the garage or on the side yard. I wanted to give them the ability to unload a few things and put a little money in their pocket."
The event attracted enthusiasts from all over California as well as Arizona. Gen-Right supplied food and drinks, collecting donations on behalf of CORVA. Gen-Right plans to do more of these in the future. For more info, visit www.genright.com.
Editor's note: What's your 4x4 club up to? This is the place to share news about trail cleanups, charity runs, raffles, trail rides, and other events going on in your neck of the woods. Email the info and some high-resolution photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can send them to Club Spotlight, 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. Sorry, but we can't return photos.
This Just In
* We've heard Dodge has issued a technical service bulletin regarding new ECM software for Cummins 6.7L diesel pickups built before January 13, 2009. The new programming includes an extended-idle feature that limits soot buildup during long periods of at-idle operation. Check with your local Dodge dealer to see if your truck qualifies.
* A group called Responsible Trails America (RTA) is trying to link reckless off-highway-vehicle use with aggressive marketing in the media. RTA examined OHV manufacturer advertising over a five-year period and concluded that aggressive behavior was being glorified in the commercials examined. RTA then cited several examples of aggressive behavior by OHV users, including assaults on and threats against private land owners. It seems like a weak argument to us, just as we doubt that Road Runner-on-Coyote violence leads to school shootings. But you can read the entire "Ads, Rhetoric, Behavior" report at www.responsibletrails.org and make up your own mind.
* The revamped Dodge Ram seems to be a hit with buyers. Dodge reports that its share in the fullsize pickup market climbed to 20 percent in February, the highest it has been in more than five years.
* And we thought California legislators were green-crazy! Oregon has introduced a bill to ban the sale of certain aftermarket parts when alternatives are available that "decrease greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles." We hope this has been shot down by the time you read this.
* In January the National Off-Road Association (NORA) officially began efforts to unite responsible OHV enthusiasts into a unified voice, learn about important issues, and strengthen the nationwide family of off-roaders so that they can effect change and protect the lands open to off-roaders, said NORA president and CEO Pearse Umlauf (whom many of you know through Jeep Jamboree USA). NORA's activities will be different from those of other organizations. It plans to initiate studies on the environmental and economic impact of the off-road industry and trail closures, issue action alerts to members about trails in imminent danger of closure, and establish the ability to lobby lawmakers at the state and national level. NORA and Tread Lightly! will work together to integrate Tread Lightly! outdoor ethics and stewardship principles into NORA's programs and services. And members will enjoy discounts from a number of off-road companies, including Goodyear, Rubicon Express, Superwinch, and ARB. Visit www.nora-usa.com for more info.
* Speaking of Tread Lightly!, lately it has been reaching out to forge agreements with land users beyond the off-road-vehicle community so that the group can work together to preserve recreational areas. Its latest alliance is with the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource, with which it hopes not only to keep trails open but also educate both groups so that vehicles and horses can share the lands without conflict. Tread Lightly! has produced a series of brochures with tips advocating an ethic of stewardship and promoting a wide variety of recreational activities, including tips for responsible horseback riding.The brochures cover the use of motorized vehicles and provide tips like what to do when approaching horses or other pack animals. Visit www.treadlightly.org for more info.