Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Winner Winner.....again.

Jeep® Wrangler Named SEMA’s ‘Hottest 4x4-SUV’ for Fourth Consecutive Year; Mopar Announces New Jeep Performance Parts and Accessories

  • Jeep® Wrangler recognized as ‘Hottest 4x4-SUV’ for fourth consecutive year at SEMA
  • New Mopar performance parts and accessories for the Jeep Wrangler have been added to the catalog of more than 300 already available
November 5, 2013 , Las Vegas - The Jeep® Wrangler was recognized as the “Hottest 4x4-SUV” for a fourth consecutive year at the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show in Las Vegas. The SEMA Award recognizes vehicle models that specialty equipment manufacturers believe are the best platforms for accessorization and that showcase the year’s coolest products.

SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting presented the award to Pietro Gorlier, President and CEO of Mopar, Chrysler Group LLC’s service, parts and customer-care brand, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

“Consumers are increasingly interested in customizing vehicles, so having an accessory-friendly platform is important,” said Kersting. “The Jeep Wrangler has consistently ranked Number One as the Hottest 4x4-SUV since the inception of the SEMA Award, a clear reflection of its versatility.”

“It’s amazing to have the Jeep Wrangler recognized for a fourth straight year by SEMA with this award,” Gorlier said. “The Wrangler is our most accessorized vehicle and to see it consistently winning accolades is a demonstration of the quality of the vehicle and the work that Mopar has put in to develop accessories and quality Jeep Performance Parts. Enthusiasts will be happy to know we have just added new offerings to our more than 300 performance parts and accessories already available for this vehicle to provide even more options for customization.”

Mopar and Jeep recently created Jeep Performance Parts as a portfolio of high-end, hard-core Jeep parts including axles, lift kits, bumpers, winches, skid plates and suspension components. These performance parts will offer factory-engineered solutions to increase off-road performance.

The following are the newest Mopar parts and accessories available for the Jeep Wrangler:

2014 Jeep Wrangler Trail Rated Kit: Strap it up and tow it along with this Trail Rated kit, which includes a durable, high-quality tow strap and two heavy-duty D-rings. A pair of gloves is included for protection and the kit is transported in an attractive Jeep carrying bag.

Front Axles: Engineered to exact specifications to bolt into any Jeep Wrangler from 2007 to 2014, these production front-axle assemblies come completely assembled and provide the next level of off-road performance. The Dana 44 axles include a 4:10 ratio, 5 x 5-inch bolt pattern and an electric locker with an available wiring kit.

Rear Axles: Engineered to exact specifications to bolt into any Jeep Wrangler from 2007 to 2014, these production rear-axle assemblies come completely assembled and provide the next level of off-road performance. The Dana 44 axles include a 4:10 ratio, 5 x 5-inch bolt pattern and an electric locker with an available wiring kit.

Hardtop Headliner:  Three years of development and testing were involved in creating this kit. The high-density foam-backed non-woven fabric serves a triple purpose, enhancing the appearance of the hardtop, boosting the efficiency of the Wrangler’s HVAC system and providing a quieter ride environment. Available for models 2007 and newer.

Black Grille: Juice up the Jeep Wrangler with personalized style by customizing it with a satin black grille. This Mopar accessory is a direct, easy replacement to the production body-color grille, and also features the hood seal and a matching black Jeep badge.

Side Visor:  Sunshine is a delight — up until it becomes a distraction. The fold-down Mopar side visor for the Jeep Wrangler is a low-cost, easy-to-install defense that blocks sidelong sunlight glare that can pull attention away from the road or trail.

2014 Jeep Wrangler
The iconic Jeep Wrangler – the most capable and recognized vehicle in the world – kicks off the new model year with new features such as a new Trail Rated Kit featuring two D-rings, a tow strap, gloves and a bag to store the items.  Clear park lamps and turn signal indicators replace the amber units, and Sport models can now be equipped with the Uconnect 6.5-inch touchscreen radio with hard drive storage and SiriusXM Radio.  Sport models also have an available 32-inch Tire and Wheel Group featuring semi-gloss black 17-inch Rubicon aluminum wheels and BF Goodrich KM LT255/75R17 off-road tires.

Chrysler Group’s 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine – two-time winner of the prestigious Ward’s 10 Best Engines award – delivers 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and up to 21 miles per gallon. It is engineered to provide a broad torque band with a focus on low-end torque, an essential trait needed for extreme off-roading.  Engineers also designed the oil sump to provide oil to the pump even at extreme vehicle angles, and the alternator was placed up high so Wrangler can maintain its water-fording capability.

The 2014 Jeep Wrangler delivers unmatched off-road capability with legendary four-wheel drive and is produced with more than seven decades of 4x4 engineering experience.  Wrangler continues to offer a body-on-frame design, front and rear five-link suspension system, live axles, electronic lockers, and is one of the few mid-size SUVs that offer a six-speed manual transmission – in addition to its five-speed automatic transmission.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Blame the JKU and Soccer Moms

Now before you go and accuse me of JK bashing, let me preface this by saying I've owned a JK longer than most readers. I bought mine in October 2006 before it even hit the showroom floor. I love it & I firmly believe it to be one of the most capable Jeeps ever made in stock form.

 What makes a Jeep Wrangler? Is it the round headlights? Maybe the 7 slot grill? The boxy profile? In my opinion it's a combination of all these things but the most important feature is the solid front axle. As soon as I saw that Congress was reviewing safety complaints regarding "death wobble", I knew I was witnessing the possible death of this Wrangler staple. Why do I blame the JKU? As capable as it is, it's also the most comfortable and the 4 door makes it perfect for families. I should know, it was the reason I bought mine. Originally my Jeep was for my wife. She got tired of me complaining about wanting another Jeep. She finally conceded and gave me hers in trade for a minivan. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Back on topic. Because of the comfort, added space and the modern conveniences like power windows and MyGig systems, there were more Unlimiteds sold than any other Wrangler. Not only that, but the new owners were hanging on to them. In the past, once the newness wore off and the "inconvenience" set in, it would get traded in on a more "urban friendly" vehicle.

Death-wobble has always been present in solid in solid axle vehicles. Once that vehicle is lifted, the chances are even greater that the driver will experience it. It is a correctable problem, but poorly made lift kits and ignorance on how to fix the problem made it more prevalent. Jeep can say they are doing it for the decrease weight, and I'm sure that is a factor to satisfy EPA needs, but the other reason is to boost sales. I don't fault Jeep for that. It's a business and the bottom line is important. But to sacrifice the solid front axle really will be the death nail for the Wrangler as the most capable, mass-produced, off road vehicle in production.

And you thought square headlights were a problem.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Closer to seeing the new '14 Cherokee on dealer lots.

"AUBURN HILLS, MI- The wait for the 2014 Jeep Cherokee is nearly over, according to Chrysler Group LLC. The Auburn Hills-based automaker has started shipping the mid-size sport utility vehicles to dealers, according to a Chrysler spokeswoman....(more)"

It will be nice to see the vehicles finally on dealer lots. I personally can't wait to get behind the wheel so I can judge for myself. I don't think Jeep is going to be anywhere near the projected 1.7 million units sold. The delay in production and the plague of problems will likely have an adverse effect on that number.

Source: MLive

Thursday, October 3, 2013

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Recall

Statement: Warning-Light Illumination

October 1, 2013 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Chrysler Group LLC will recall an estimated 132,000 SUVs to upgrade software that controls instrument-cluster lighting and active chassis systems.

Chrysler Group quality-control personnel observed reports of random warning-light illumination and instrument-cluster blackout. Both events occurred infrequently and appeared to resolve themselves by turning the vehicle’s ignition off and then on. However, regulatory compliance requires that clusters display complete information that is clearly legible.

Engineers discovered an issue in the vehicle’s anti-lock braking system (ABS) module that affects the instrument cluster display. The issue also has implications for the vehicle’s ABS and electronic stability control systems, but Chrysler Group is unaware of any reported problems involving either.

Chrysler Group is unaware of any associated accidents or injuries.

Chrysler Group will update instrument-cluster and ABS module software on certain 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokees. Most (91,559) are in the U.S.; 6,050 are in Canada; 2,662 are in Mexico; and 32,212 are outside the NAFTA region.

The upgrade will be performed at no cost to customers. Those affected will be notified by mail next month. 

Customers who are concerned may call 1-800-853-1403.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Chrysler halts production of 2014 Cherokee

Chrysler Group LLC has put the brakes on production of its 2014 Jeep Cherokee, idling hundreds of workers at its Toledo Assembly Complex and assigning others to perform lengthy test drives of the all-new crossover.
It is just the latest in a series of snags for a product that CEO Sergio Marchionne says Chrysler cannot afford to get wrong.
The Cherokee was originally supposed to be in showrooms by July, but its launch has been delayed — first by problems with fit and finish, then by issues with its new nine-speed transmission. (more)

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130923/AUTO0101/309230097#ixzz2flkfqk00

Thursday, September 19, 2013

MotorAuthority Spy Shots of the New Jeep Crossover

Jeep’s long-awaited subcompact crossover has finally been spotted, although at present the vehicle is still in its very early stages of development. Pictured above is a test mule for the vehicle, with the final version expected in showrooms late next year or in early 2015.....(more)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Subaru to debut tougher Outback for Australia's Outback

2014 Subaru Outback (Australian version)
If you're going to name a car after a specific location or region, you'd better make sure it's taken seriously in the place it's named for. You're not likely to see a Chevrolet Monte Carlo in Monaco, and the Alfa Romeo Montreal was never even officially offered in North America, but the Subaru Outback is another story...(more)

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Source: Autoblog