Archive for Industry News

Across America in a jeep GPW

Rick Péwé, Editor-In-Chief at Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road, has embarked on a journey across America in his 1943 Ford GPW. He started on the west coast, and is driving all the way to the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in Butler, PA. Rick is a member of the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and has been a Jeeper since the first flat fender GPW he purchased when he was 15 years old (which he still owns).

Rick’s first stop along the way was the 60th Annual Jeepers Jamboree at the Rubicon Springs Trail. Rick participated in the trail rides in his GPW, and despite a couple of small issues here and there, this trusty old jeep lasted the entire event. To support Rick on his cross-country journey, we sent him tons of OMIX hard parts and replacement parts to keep the GPW going.

After the Jeepers Jamboree event, Rick hit the road toward Butler, PA to attend the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival. He’s taking US highway 50 most of the time, and has been updating periodically with some great photos and stories. We will also be out at the festival, so if you’re there swing by to say hello, check out our new products, and see this GPW for yourself! For more photos and updates from Rick’s adventure, make sure to like Peterson’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine’s Facebook page!

Photos courtesy of Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine.

Announcing The Off-Road Success Center at The 2012 SEMA Show

1947 CJ-2A Fire Truck

Calling all dealers, jobbers, installers and other specialty equipment industry enthusiasts attending the 2012 SEMA Show. Located in booth #30147 in the Upper South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center where other Truck, SUV and Off-Road equipment is showcased, the new Off-Road Success Center presented by OMIX/Rugged Ridge provides business owners and decision makers who want to be in the dynamic Jeep® and off-road lifestyle market an area to exchange ideas, learn new concepts for success and network with other like-minded people.

British 1944 Willys Special Air Services

Hosted by several third party experts within the industry, as well as leaders from OMIX, the Off-Road Success Center will offer twice daily educational seminars where experts will discuss their first-hand experiences and formulas for success. Additionally, the Off-Road Success Center will include one-on-one consultations, demonstrations and free print materials (seminar dates and times to follow) on these business impacting topics. A range of vehicles illustrating the rich history of the industry will also be on display, including vintage models provided by Jeep® Jamboree USA and OMIX.

Each seminar will be facilitated by OMIX personnel and led by industry specialists, who will share best practices, tips and tricks for maximizing sales, operational and marketing strategies within the off-road industry. Examples and case studies will also be presented. Planned seminars will include:

  • Recession-Proof Your Truck BusinessLifestyle Sells!
  • CA$H, the Fuel of Your BusinessHow to effectively create cash from your operations.
  • Data is the EngineHow to obtain, understand and simplify the loading of effective product data.
  • Dealerships Dealt a Winning HandHow Jeep® and truck dealerships win profit in the aftermarket.
  • Bricks vs. ClicksHow do brick and mortar stores profitability compete with online retailers?
  • Dare to DreamUse your passion to increase sales in the Jeep® and off-road market.
  • Social Media: Find, Connect and Engage CustomersBuild relevant content and consumer advocates to achieve greater success.

VWerks Recon Apocalyptic Jeep JK-8 Pickup

Story and Photos by Dan Sanchez

With the fear of an apocalyptic end to 2012 (thank you Mayan calendar), the VWerks Recon pickup truck may have doomsday preppers selling their minivans to store one of these in the bunker. This custom-built, military-inspired vehicle is made from a 2011 Jeep pickup that has a M2 machine gun mounted to the bed and features armor plate and a full rollcage. The combination seems like the perfect match of off-road capability, acceleration of a V-8 and the firepower to repel any attackers looking to steal your stockpile of peanut butter and jelly.

VWerks built the Recon as a test bed for its military and off-road accessories. It put together what it thought was a great combination of parts and accessories, starting with a Hemi V-8 engine conversion. The 5.7-liter Hemi makes 390 horsepower and 407 pounds-feet of torque, giving the Recon more than enough power to accelerate quickly and climb some of the steepest terrain with ease. The engine is also fed with a functional cowl induction hood that contains heat-extractor side vents.

The factory Jeep JK suspension has been modified with a VWerks 4-inch lift kit, which consists of a 1.5-inch body-lift and new coil springs. A Dynatrac Pro-Rock 60 front axle replaced the factory JK unit, while the rear was replaced with a Dynatrac Pro80 axle, outfitted with a Detroit Locker. Both axles use 5.38 gears and ARB air lockers. The 39-inch tall BFG Krawler tires are mounted on 17-inch diameter Hutchison beadlock wheels, and a PSC front-steering Ram Assist is also used to provide precise steering. A set of front and rear Genright fenders were also added to allow the large tires to gain maximum approach and departure angles when encountering steep terrain.

The military appearance and function to the Recon includes a VWerks 7/16 bed armor plate. It not only protects the occupants, but it also provides a sturdy platform for the machine gunner perch. The custom-made full-bed cage provides overhead protection and a wide array of mounting points for tools, storage and hardware. The rear also has a custom-stitched canvas cover that conceals the bed from onlookers who might want to steal any additional ammo or items you’ve scavenged during your daytime post-apocalyptic excursions.

Of course, it’s hard not to notice the Replica M2 machine gun on the MK93 machine gun mount with ammo can. There’s also an M240 adaptor for a 600-round ammo can and a 360-degree rotary mount that was provided by Crane Technologies. It’s enough protection and firepower to take on a city full of fast-running zombies — and have fun doing it.

Just in case you need to haul a tank or tow a vehicle out from a steep highway ditch, VWerks added a military-style rear bumper with a variety of towing and recovery attachment point combinations. There’s even a Warn 9.5ti winch that can be operated from inside the cab. But the inside of this vehicle isn’t full of armor or even a metal dash. The interior is where the military theme gives way to additional comfort and convenience. Two-tone Katzkin leather upholstery and VWerks floor mats provide a plush feel. All the instruments and gauges are factory JK Wrangler and include all the comforts you’d expect from a 2011 Jeep.  But Mopar half-doors allow an open view of terrain and a dash-mounted switch operates a set of powerful PIAA 520 ATP lamps that can expose any threat hiding in the darkness.

The Recon is definitely a vehicle that makes an impression. It’s when you step back and admire the capabilities and accessories on a vehicle like this that you wonder why some warlord would prefer to mount a machine gun on a pole and weld it into the bed of an old Toyota pickup?

All kidding aside, the potential for full military applications of the Recon isn’t hard to see. Even some toned-down versions of it — obviously without the machine gun and mounts — could be great for hunters or even farmers who constantly need to haul hardware through difficult terrain. While the Recon is more than the JK8 pickup, it’s a serious vehicle that has lots of potential for just about any purpose.

VWerks sells the Recon as a turn-key vehicle — ready to take on whatever challenge you may have for it.

Jeep Wrangler Sport Seats by Kahn

Kahn Wrangler Seats

 

British designer Kahn Design has recently unveiled his newest project, sport seats for the Jeep Wrangler. These seats are perfect for those who want stylish custom interiors as they are available in a wide range of colors and fabrics. When installed the Jeep doesn’t need any further modifications or adjustments as the seats use the standard seat belt and recline like the factory seats.

Kahn says “The principal British designer delivers the high-impact Kahn Jeep, complete with with such clout; it is safe to say that the Kahn Jeep would not look out of place with London, Chelsea or New York centric drivers, rock climbers and off-roaders at the helm, nor would it look weary in a John Connor inspired post-apocalyptic Terminator movie.” Kahn has had success working with Jeeps before, and this time is no exception. His attention to detail and build quality is unmatched.

For more information e-mail: Kahn@kahndesign.com

Phone: + 44 (0) 1274 74 99 99

Web: www.kahndesign.com

 

 

Jeep Signs New Sponsorship Deal with Juventus FC

 

The Fiat and Chrysler alliance has struck a deal with Serie A leaders Juventus F.C.  Fiat has signed a three-year contract with the Turin football club and now, with 35 million euro, Jeep logo will decorate Juventus jersey for the next three seasons through 2015.  This partnership is all about branding the Jeep name to push new models they are making in Italy some consider a “baby Jeep”.  Sources say the new model will be made in the Fiat’s Minafiori plant in Turin, Italy.  This is exciting news for both car enthusiasts and football fans.

 

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Jeep Wrangler

That’s right, the Chrysler Group LLC announced plans to sell a limited-edition 2011 Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty: Black Ops Edition. Talk about living a video game.  The NEW Black OpsJeep Wrangler should hit dealer showrooms next month with the release of the much anticipated video game: Call of Duty: Black Ops.  You will be able to get both a two-door and four-door version.  Which is a Black 2011 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon model with 32-inch off-road tires, wheels in high-gloss mineral gray, and Call of Duty: Black Ops graphics on the roof and front quarter panels.

The MSRP is $30,625 for the two-door model and $33,500 for the four-door.


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First Look: 2011 Jeep Wrangler

Jeep has finally taken the wraps off the 2011 Jeep Wrangler! Its been 70 year since the first Jeep (Willys) rolled of the assembly line. To commemorate the 70th anniversary the 2011 is sporting a revamped interior, but those hoping for the new Penstar 3.6L V6 have to wait one more year till the 2012 arrives. Production started this week, so look for them soon at your local Jeep Dealer, or you could come to SEMA yourself and check out the tricked out Rugged Ridge version!

Download the 2011 Jeep Wrangler Options Guide

Download the 2011 Jeep Wrangler Owners Manual

Spy Photos of the 2011 Jeep Wrangler Interior

A minor refresh is in store for the 70th Anniversary 2011 Jeep Wrangler. The exterior and powertrain of Jeep’s flagship 4×4 will go unchanged till the 2012 model year. However, the 2011 Jeep Wrangler is sporting a all new interior.

The 2007-10 Jeep Wranglers suffered from an all plastic interior and under preforming 3.8L (mini van) engine. Jeep is fixing the interior and ergonomics of the Wrangler by picking up where the 2006 TJ Wrangler took off. Look for full door panels, a soft dash and other plush treatments meant to soften the harsh cabin.

Allpar is reporting that the Sport B model will gain steering-wheel mounted audio controls, cruise, and hill descent control; Sahara will gain an AC outlet, auto headlights, and optional body-color hardtop; and options now include heated power mirrors and heated front seats.

Rubicon gets “Rock-Trac®” 4×4 which uses an electronic sway bar disconnect, Tru-Lok locking differentials (front and rear), and NV2410R transfer case with 4:1 gear ratio, fiving the Wrangler a 73:1 gear ratio. [Thanks to Justin Trevor for his clarification.]

Standard Wrangler 4x4s get Command-Trac I®, with shift-on-the-fly 4WD (at speeds under 60 mph), low gear, and neutral setting for towing without uncoupling the driveshafts. In low gear, torque is multiplied by 2.72:1. The front axle is a Dana 30, the rear axle is a Dana 44; a Trac-Lok differential is available.


Idaho Wilderness Bill threatens to close OHV trails

A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate to create a large, new wilderness reserve in central Idaho has been endorsed by the Obama administration. The legislation threatens to designate nearly 330,000 acres of land in central Idaho as wilderness, the most restrictive designation that can be placed on public lands. SEMA opposes the legislation as drafted since many off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails in the Sawtooth and Challis National Forests could be closed as a result of its passage.

For nearly a decade, lawmakers have proposed several variations of the Boulder/White Clouds Wilderness bill, also known as the “Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act.” The current bill is pending before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. There has been no action in the House.

Wilderness legislation is consequential since it potentially denies access to off-roaders and the equipment that they purchase, much of which is manufactured by SEMA members.

SEMA supports land-use decisions that allow local communities and government authorities to participate in the decision-making process. Within that context, SEMA supports compromise approaches on wilderness areas that balance the need to preserve access to appropriate motorized recreation while protecting some of our nation’s natural wonders. This would include “cherry-stemmed roads,” which are corridors within wilderness areas that allow motorized recreation.

-SEMA

2011 Jeep Cherokee Earns Top Safety Pick From IIHS

The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee has received a Top Safety Pick award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) – the highest rating the organization bestows. Its good news for Chrysler and Fiat who has a great deal riding on the launch of the flag ship SUV.

“The all-new 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee is the first production vehicle to launch since our alliance with Fiat and a ‘Top Safety Pick’ is a great way to start our 2011 product offensive,” said Scott Kunselman, Senior Vice President – Engineering, Chrysler Group LLC. “IIHS’ recognition of five products underscores Chrysler Group’s engineering capability and leadership in occupant protection.”

The 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee joins the 2010 Dodge Journey, 2010 Dodge Avenger*, 2010 Chrysler Sebring*, and the 2010 Jeep® Patriot (equipped with available seat mounted air bag) as 2010 Top Safety Picks, according to IIHS.

“The all-new 2011 Grand Cherokee provides consumers with enhanced safety and security, in addition to legendary Jeep capability and a premium driving experience,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO – Jeep Brand. “With more than 45 different safety and security systems working in harmony – including Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Electronic Roll Mitigation, Active Head Restraints, Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and a Blind-Spot/Rear Cross-path detection system – our new Jeep Grand Cherokee will allow customers to benefit from a new level of protection, on- and off-road.”