Archive for the ‘off-road’ Tag

First “New Compass” review

Motorchase has posted, if not the first review of the new Compass, the first review in English. With their blessing, we are posting a summary of writer Gustavo Henrique Ruffo’s Camp Jeep experience.

The tested Compass was Brazilian, and the US/Canadian model is likely to sport different engines than the tested Fiat diesel. The ZF nine-speed is common to both.

Body strength was shown off by a series of alternating holes that keep two or three wheels up in the air at a time. Mr. Ruffo reported that the Multijet diesel’s strong torque was more than enough for the off-road experience. “The Compass confidently overcame obstacles, even a 19-inch-high water tank (at 5 mph) [units converted from metric].”

From Camp Jeep, Mr. Ruffo concluded, “In all the trail-like situations, the Compass Trailhawk felt very comfortable to drive and also capable of dealing with most scenarios.”

For the 25-mile roadway drive, including city and highway, Motorchase again got the Trailhawk, and commented on the smoothness of the engine and the high visibility. They did say that the automatic didn’t change gears quickly enough in low-rev situations, but that acceleration was still good.

The Trailhawk, not surprisingly, has a stiff suspension, with “harsh and short” body motion, but high stability at speed and low body roll. Fortunately, Mr. Ruffo was also able to test the Longitude, and spoke more favorably of its road manners:

…the SUV was an example of good behavior. Potholes produced no harsh noises, only minor body shakes. … Uneven asphalt also does not cause the boat movements that often make passengers sick.

Motorchase praised the spaciousness in back, but criticized the low seats — while up front they noted the seats were comfortable but did not have enough thigh support in the off-roading course.

Mr. Ruffo concluded that the new Compass “will be a sales phenomenon” around the world. Priced competitively with compact sedans, but in crossover form, it is in the heart of the market. [Original story at Motorchase]

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/10/first-new-compass-review-34232

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2017 Jeep Compass debuts with tiny Grand Cherokee looks

Meet the Jeep Compass. It is, thankfully, completely new and entirely unrelated to the Jeep Compass and Patriot that are on sale now. Bet you almost forgot about that pair. As the new C-Segment SUV in Jeep’s lineup, it’ll replace both of those models and take a spot in between the Renegade and Cherokee.

 

The new Compass is based on a stretched version of the Renegade platform, what Fiat Chrysler Automotive in a fit of eloquence calls the “Small Wide 4×4” architecture. We expect front-wheel drive as standard and four-wheel drive as a very commonly selected option. The Compass should offer either a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four or a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter inline-four, both mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. There’s a chance it’ll get a manual, but it’s a very slim chance. That being said, globally there will be 17 powertrain options, according to FCA, and that may mean US consumers will have more than one choice in the matter. Judging by the first photo above, a an off-road-ready Trailhawk model is a good bet.

We’ve already seen this thing completely uncovered in these spy shots, which were taken in Brazil, where it will be produced, so the overall mini-Grand Cherokee aesthetic isn’t a surprise. The interior looks more like the Cherokee’s than the Renegade’s, however, and you’ll notice there’s no controversial T-handle shifter in sight.

So why didn’t we see the new Compass at the New York Auto Show, like everybody expected? Jeep says it’s because it wanted the reveal to occur at the plant that’s going to build the thing, highlighting the importance of the South and Central American markets for the brand. There will be a North American debut with more information coming at the LA Auto Show in November, so we won’t have too long to wait for more details. As originally planned, the Compass should hit American dealerships in early 2017.

Read more at: http://www.autoblog.com/2016/09/26/2017-jeep-compass-debut-official/?ncid=edlinkusauto00000016#slide-4075447

Grand Cherokee reworked

The Grand Cherokee, no longer Jeep’s sales leader but quite possibly its main profit generator, has been reworked for the 2017 model year, from off-road Trailhawk to luxurious Summit to speedy street machine SRT.

The updated Trailhawk retains its front and rear tow hooks, and brings 18-inch Goodyear Adventure off-road tires with Kevlar reinforcement, and new badges with red accents. They continue to have an anti-glare hood decal, ascent and descent control, limited slip differentials, a special air suspension, and Quadra-Drive II.

The updated Trailhawk retains its front and rear tow hooks, and brings 18-inch Goodyear Adventure off-road tires with Kevlar reinforcement, and new badges with red accents. They continue to have an anti-glare hood decal, ascent and descent control, limited slip differentials, a special air suspension, and Quadra-Drive II.

Approach angles were reported at 29.8° (36.1° when the lower front fascia is removed for severe off-roading); the breakover angle is 27.1° and the departure angle is 22.8°, with up to 10.8 inches of static ground clearance. The off-road pages have been updated to show wheel articulation, suspension height, and such.

For luxury buyers, the Grand Cherokee Summit has a new leather interior, new exterior appearance (front fascia, fog lamps, grille), and added features, including Lane Departure Warning, Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist, and Trailer Hitch Camera View at Speed. There are four color schemes including a new full-wrap Laguna leather in Indigo and Ski Gray.

A rearview camera and rear park sensors are now standard on all Jeep Grand Cherokee trims. The Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Trailhawk have the 2016 75th Anniversary front fascia and grille; the Grand Cherokee SRT has a new front fascia, fog lamps, grille, and Laguna leather interior package. That front looks as though it’s ready for a Hellcat engine, doesn’t it?

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/news/2016/09/grand-cherokee-reworked-32772

Let Us Help You Customize Your Jeep Today!

From new engine add-ons, to off-roading equipment and new wheels, there are so many accessories you are able to include on your Jeep vehicle. Whether you drive a brand-new Jeep or a used one, own the classic Wrangler or drive the sleek Cherokee, you’ll have plenty of options to consider with our offer of Jeep customizations with MOPAR parts. To learn more about these exciting accessories and parts, visit Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram or Dick Scott Motor Mall today!

To make sure your Jeep model is running at its peak, you can choose to add a custom performance chassis to it. These parts help increase your Jeep’s fuel economy and overall performance to give you more controlled and precise handling. Options such as a 2-inch 2-Door Lift Kit, a JPP 4-inch Lift Kit, and more are available for you to select from. Depending on which Jeep model you drive, here at Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Dick Scott Motor Mall, we can help you choose the proper chassis kit that will suit your vehicle best.

If you often take your Jeep off-roading at Lakeshore Park or you just want to add some extra flair to your SUV’s exterior, consider the specialized performance wheels that are a part of the Jeep customizations with MOPAR. These wheels are made for the unpaved trails, so you can rely on them to get you to your destination, wherever that may be, steadily and safely. Plenty of options are there for you to customize your very own Jeep, so you get the exact look and ride you’re going for. Some rim choices include 5-black hole or 5-silver hole wheels, argent 5-spoke wheels, and argent 5-hole wheels. Our Service Department will be able to properly install whatever wheels or parts you choose to add on to your Jeep to make this process hassle-free.

To enhance your Jeep’s ride for it to achieve its optimal capability, there are even more performance components to choose from. Especially made for off-roading, features like the Wrangler Axle Mounting Bracket Kit for the Front and Rear, the Dana 60-Crate Axle Front E-locker with Gearing, and a selection of crate axles assist you while on rocky and uneven paths, and also help you tow large trailers more efficiently. You can also choose to equip your Jeep SUV with a cold air intake for its engine, which allows cooler outside air to seamlessly flow through a directional cone filter. To enhance your Jeep’s horsepower and torque, make sure to add on this innovative feature to its powerhouse.

To learn more about the Jeep customizations with MOPAR parts visit Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram or Dick Scott Motor Mall, your local Jeep dealer. Our expert staff is happy to assist you with any questions you have and will make recommendations for you according to what you’re looking for.

SEVEN MUST-SEE FEATURES ON THE ALL-NEW 2015 JEEP® RENEGADE

The All-New 2015 Jeep® Renegade is writing the book on style and performance for a small SUV. Designed with all the capability you’ve come to expect from the Jeep brand, the Jeep Renegade is an all-purpose vehicle that’s both city-friendly and equipped for off-road performance.

We built the Jeep Renegade from the ground up with iconic Jeep styling and capability, as well as impressive, class-exclusive features that make the most capable small SUV* ever one of the most exciting to drive. Throw away your maps and prepare to chart new courses; here are seven must-see features that set the Jeep Renegade apart.

1. Meet any challenge: The Jeep Renegade is designed for any road — or off-road — conditions, and built to perform. The class-exclusive available Select-Terrain Dial† with Auto, Snow, Sand and Mud settings, as well as an additional Rock setting on Jeep Renegade Trailhawk® models, lends added control and capability when you’re navigating the elements.

2. Let in the sun: The open road is best experienced in the open air and sunshine. If you’re looking for freedom, look no further than the class-exclusive available My Sky® open-air roof†. The secure panels are fully lockable when in place, and can be removed and stored flat in a height-adjustable rear cargo area, giving you the ability to adjust as the weather changes. The My Sky® dual-panel roof is just one of the reasons the All-New 2015 Jeep Renegade was named one of Ward’s 10 Best Interiors for 2015.

3. Shift into convenience: The All-New 2015 Jeep Renegade features a class-exclusive available nine-speed automatic transmission† that allows you to focus on the road ahead and enjoy the scenery, while also providing remarkable efficiency and virtually unnoticeable shifts between gears. A vinyl shift knob adds style and comfort when driving.

4. See the light: When you’re exploring new trails, you’re bound to encounter unexpected conditions and challenges. With class-exclusive available cornering fog lamps†, you’ll be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Halogen cornering fog lamps — standard on Latitude, Limited and Trailhawk models — help improve visibility during heavy fog, rain or snow. Flip on the lights and start your adventure.

5. Legendary off-road performance: The All-New 2015 Jeep® Renegade Trailhawk proudly wears the Trail Rated® badge, and is part of a Jeep brand tradition of legendary off-road performance. The Jeep Renegade is ready to go off the beaten path with best-in-class 4×4 capability† and two available systems: Jeep Active Drive on Sport, Latitude and Limited models, and Jeep Active Drive Low on Trailhawk models. Both systems feature a rear axle disconnect system that seamlessly switches between two- and four-wheel drive to help increase efficiency and on- and off-road performance.

6. Stay connected: However far you venture, you’ll always stay connected to your favorite entertainment with the available Uconnect® 6.5 System. SiriusXM® Premier offers more than 160 channels of your favorite music and talk radio, and integrated Uconnect® Voice Command and Bluetooth® offers hands-free calling and voice texting** for an added level of connectedness. The vivid 6.5-inch touchscreen display makes controlling your entertainment convenient when you’re on the move. And available GPS navigation is perfect for adventurers who are mapping trails on the go and forging new roads. Additional features include AM/FM radio, Aux/USB Media Hub with iPod® mobile device integration, and speed-adjusted volume.

7. Comfortable, spacious interior: The All-New 2015 Jeep® Renegade is a small SUV with a big interior. For added convenience, particularly on the long treks into the wilderness, the best-in-class interior volume† offers comfort and storage, with over 118 cubic feet of space, including over 50 cubic feet of best-in-class rear cargo space with seats folded down‡. And to keep passengers and drivers warm on those cool mountain mornings, the Jeep Renegade features an available heated steering wheel and available dual-zone automatic climate control.

Whether your next adventure is in the city or under the stars, the All-New 2015 Jeep® Renegade combines classic Jeep brand styling, 4×4 capability, efficiency and open-air freedom. The possibilities are endless in an award-winning SUV that’s redefining versatility and performance for a new generation of adventure-seekers with dynamic, energetic personalities.

Read more at: http://blog.jeep.com/news/seven-must-see-features-on-the-all-new-2015-jeep-renegade/

Let’s Find Out If The Jeep Renegade Is A Real Jeep

The 2015 Jeep Renegade got us all fired up when it first appeared; was this the ultimate “efficiency you need, capability you want” combo or just a little Italian car wearing daddy’s work boots? Time to take one off-road to find out.

Obviously the Renegade isn’t about to dethrone the Wrangler is the ultimate off-roadable SUV you can drive off a lot and straight to some place like Moab. But it’s not meant to, and it leaves its big brother in the dust when it comes to on-pavement comfort and fuel economy.

Even though we had to conduct our test on a pre-planned route under the watchful eyes of Jeep’s corporate ambassadors, I was more impressed by the vehicle’s abilities than I thought I’d be.

The Renegade is at home on routes that bleed the line between “dirt road” and “trail,” with enough in reserve to get you through that sketchy section you’d have to turn back at in a Honda HR-V.

A Renegade would be the wrong choice for somebody looking for a vehicle they could use everyday but “get into off-roading” with. Those people need a sedan and a CJ-7. The Renegade is the vehicle you want when you do most of your driving on the road, but like to buzz down dirt tracks free and easy (or look like you do) without the fuel economy or ride quality penalty you pick up with a bigger, taller, meaner 4×4.

Read more at: http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/lets-find-out-if-the-jeep-renegade-is-a-real-jeep-1718262365

2018 Jeep Wrangler: The most changes since 1997

The next generation of the iconic off-roader will be the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, debuting sometime in 2017.

While Jeep reportedly tried an independent suspension for Wrangler, based on the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer or the Ram 4×4, Larry Vellequette of Automotive News wrote on February 15, 2015, that they would stick with floating solid axles; one insider said they would change the configuration somewhat. Among other things, this will help Mopar and the aftermarket to keep selling modifications, and will keep modified Wranglers on the trail for years to come.

To lose weight, or at least to avoid gaining too much extra weight, Wrangler is likely to switch to an aluminum tub and may use a lighter but equally tough hydroformed frame, possibly with other aluminum-alloy components. A diesel could provide a serious boost in fuel efficiency.

The Jeep Wrangler is a key vehicle for Chrysler, the “ring that controls all Jeeps,” and Sergio Marchionne has said many times they cannot reduce its off-road capability. Whether this means they will actually not reduce its capability remains to be seen.

The appearance of the Wrangler is not likely to change much, and aerodynamic improvements may be brought about mostly by changes in the side mirrors, underbody covers, and gearing.

Flip-up rear window

A new Chrysler patent application shows a unique full folding back glass design, and while this patent isn’t officially related to the Jeep Wrangler, it is used for the illustrations, and there is no vehicle in the current lineup that would accept a design like this as well as the Wrangler.

The current Wrangler has backglass that opens away from the bodywork with struts that hold it up high enough to access the entire opening for easier loading and unloading. The spare tire swings out of the way and the backglass opens upwards. This patent application shows a similar design, but this backglass folds all of the way up to the roof, with clips built into the roof so it can be pinned down. This design also has clips inside of the vehicle where the driver may clip up the struts after disconnecting them to swivel the glass up onto the roof.

Driving with rear glass open could cause the vehicle to pull in exhaust fumes if the front windows were not also open, or while idling at a halt; and can also draw in mud when used off-road. Even with these downsides, there are likely people who would love to be able to lock the backglass of their Jeep Wrangler open while driving with the top on, so the next generation Wrangler may include this as an optional package. There is also the possibility that this backglass design is intended for a fixed roof model that would offer the option to drive with the backglass open because the owner cannot remove the roof altogether. It could also serve as another “look what we have” item that will never get used.

Chrysler may also simply have patented it to prevent other automakers from using it.

Aluminum Wranglers

Automotive News’ Larry Vellequette quoted Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne (May 6, 2014) that indicates extensive use of aluminum on the 2018 Jeep Wrangler (to be produced starting in calendar-year 2017, according to the latest Five Year Plan). When aksed if he could think of a better use for aluminum than Wrangler, Mr. Marchionne answered, “No.” He also said that FCA would be ready to produce aluminum vehicles in 2017, the same year Wrangler (but also probably at least one Alfa Romeo) enters production. (Alfa Romeo appears to be re-pioneering resins, years after GM’s Saturn and Chrysler’s own research, which resulted in several concept cars but no production car.)

While Chrysler has successfully attacked highway mileage with gearing and aerodynamics, weight is the key to city mileage, and the company is having problems meeting fuel economy goals because of customer demands for weight-increasing safety ratings, big wheels, powerful stereos, and (outside of Wrangler) near-silent interiors.

Chrysler posted a job opening for a senior buyer of aluminum components in June 2014.

Diesel engines, pickup trucks, and other changes

Many expect Jeep to finally issue a U.S. diesel version of the Wrangler, and a limited production pickup version (Gladiator? Comanche?). The engine would likely be a Fiat four-cylinder diesel (424?), the upcoming Alfa Romeo 2.2, or the next-generation VM 2.8 liter I-4 (a newer version of the engine used in Europe for many years).

Standard American engines would likely be a V6 — by then, upgraded with more power and efficiency — and the upcoming Hurricane Four.

Most expect Jeep to make the Wrangler more aerodynamic, with a greater slant to the windshield; many have speculated that the fold-down windshield function will finally be dropped. It is a unique feature for Jeep in North America, but few seem to care about it. Removable doors are likely to remain, along with the various hard and soft tops. A new patent shows flipping rear glass windows.

Independent suspensions

Many may ask why Jeep would even want to use an independent suspension, when the current design:

– Is proven to work well off-road

– Can be modified for higher off-road performance

– Is proven in sales

– Costs less to set up than an independent suspension

The arguments for the new design include:

– It could increase stability and would end the so-called “death wobble,” a public relations and lawsuit problem

– A “true Jeep” independent suspension would greatly improve ride and handling

– Most independent suspensions would improve on-road behavior

– The factory could increase capacity by bringing in ready-to-fit suspension assemblies

One possibility would be updating a 1990s design by Chrysler engineers Evan Boberg, Gerry Hentschel, and Bob Sheaves, who created an independent suspension for the 1997 Jeep Wrangler. This design does not lose ground clearance during a jounce; the differential travels with the wheel — if one side of the vehicle goes over a rock or into a ditch, the differential is pulled up, providing superior “real-life” ground clearance. Wheel travel was around 12 inches. (Evan Boberg described it in Common Sense Not Required, Bob Sheaves in this article on Li’l Blue; neither is currently employed by Chrysler.)

Another possibility is adapting the Ram Power Wagon’s suspension to the Wrangler, which would be less risky than most other solutions.

An independent suspension carries risks. The Wrangler’s off-road credentials will have to be superior to current models to win the hearts of Jeepers, who, with magazine critics, will be ready to call it “a rebadged Fiat,” “fake Jeep,” and “mall runner” — regardless of what it can do on the trail. The system will need to be well tested on all types of terrain, be as durable as the current setup, and capable on all models.

Some have talked about the possibility of making two Wranglers, traditional and independent, but this is not feasible in the current factory. A backup plan may be in place, but given that such a backup plan would also require a factory redesign, the “backup” may simply be spending more time to get it right… unless Chrysler is planning to reopen a closed plant (or build a new one) and move the old Rubicon tooling there. This remains unlikely, at best.

There have been no specific, official announcements on timing or suspension choices.

Read more at: http://www.allpar.com/SUVs/jeep/wrangler/2017.html

Pics Or It Didn’t Happen – Trails End

You’ve just finished telling your friends about your latest wheeling adventure, complete with prolific arm gestures, impressive body language, graphic details, and your overall thoughts about the entire exploit. Dead silence. Then someone says, “pics or it didn’t happen.” Pics, you ask? That’s so three years ago. You got video. High-definition, kick-butt, can-almost-taste-the-dust video.

It wasn’t always this way. It used to be unusual to see video being recorded on the trail. Back in the day, we were the oddity (more than usual) when we showed up at the Telluride Rotary 4×4 Tour in Colorado with a rented VHS camcorder (it was one of the giant ones that rested on your shoulder and made you look like you worked for a television network). We were the only ones videotaping at obstacles, and even still, cameras were a rarity because this was prior to the widespread availability of cell phone cameras. We had several requests for copies of the tape, which we gladly provided after we figured out how to wire two VCRs together and waited for hours while the copying took place.

Nowadays, it’s common to see 4x4s outfitted with forward- and rear-facing waterproof high-definition cameras suction-cupped to the body or glass of the rigs.

A few years and a huge technology jump later, we returned to the Telluride Rotary 4×4 Tour with a Kodak DC50 digital camera at a time when digital cameras were a brand-new thing. The DC50 didn’t take video, required a cable to download, was held like a pair of binoculars, and was relatively large. But at least it was expensive. At the time, it was a cutting-edge piece of hardware that left people (and us) in awe. The filmless camera was quite the conversation piece as we used it on the trails to gather photos.

Technology waits for no one, and nowadays it seems everyone is packing a cell phone that can take a mega-megapixel photo or razor-sharp high-definition video. Often, we’re on the trail, standing between the crowd and an obstacle “working” and we’ll look one way and see a 4×4 doing its thing. We’ll turn the other way and scores of cellphones are pointed at the action. It’s an exciting time. It’s also an embarrassing time when we fall on the rocks and 75 people get it on video.

But now, the wheeling world has entered a new age where technology unrelated to vehicle performance has infused itself into off-roading. It’s probably the most exciting time yet for reliving our off-road adventures, and it’s the incredible growth of vehicle-mounted cameras. We see ’em at trailrides and events all the time. Nowadays, it’s common to see 4x4s outfitted with forward- and rear-facing waterproof high-definition cameras suction-cupped to the body or glass of the rigs. We’ve succumbed to the tech and run a small forward-facing dashcam in our Power Wagon all the time. It powers up when the truck starts and shuts off when the ignition is turned off. It has recorded our most heroic off-road moments—and our most stupid mistakes. And we just returned from driving a ’15 Ford F-150 that was equipped with cameras that allow a 360-degree view of the truck. Recording capability isn’t available on the system yet, but we see it coming. Soon, we may be able to check an option box that will outfit a 4×4 with the technology that will allow us to record everything that goes on in each direction as we wheel using factory-installed cameras.

Nowadays, video is on a tear, and the phrase should be “video or it didn’t happen.” Which leads us to this question: If you use a dedicated video recorder when you go wheeling, what kind do you use? Is it mounted inside or outside of your rig? Do you run more than one video camera? Where are you most likely to use the footage: social media, your club’s website, or just for personal use? What is the most amazing footage you’ve captured? Or, do you think recording video of off-roading is stupid?

From: http://www.fourwheeler.com/features/1503-pics-or-it-didnt-happen-trails-end/#ixzz3RRzQkAvD

2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Review

I fell into a common trap with the last few Jeep Wranglers I’ve tested by focusing on their continued refinement and improved on-road manners instead of their go-anywhere capability.

Not this time.

I’m not going to discuss the Wrangler’s wobbly steering, excessive wind noise or dive bar mechanical-bull-riding suspension. It’s time to take the Jeep where it’s meant to be: the mud.

When I told the folks at Jeep my plan, they asked me repeatedly to get it dirty. And instead of giving me an off-road special like the short-wheelbase Wrangler Rubicon, I got a long-wheelbase four-door 2015 Wrangler Unlimited Sahara to prove just how capable any Wrangler can be.

More spacious than a regular Wrangler, the monstrous Unlimited measures 173.4 inches in length, an increase of over 20 inches compared to the two-door model. Starting at a base price of $27,390 after destination charges the price jumps to $33,785 in Sahara trim. But my tester goes further.
After adding items like the Connectivity Group, Max Tow Package, heated front seats, automatic climate control, colored hardtop, Alpine sound system with navigation and a remote starter, the price jumped to $41,665. What do all these options have to do with off-roading? Not much, but it does make the Wrangler more comfortable when tackling the trails and the tow package does include shorter ratio 3.73 front and rear gears.

Starting Small
I had a seriously sketchy road in mind, but before I decide to start small and test the Wrangler’s basics before jumping knee-deep into the muck.

First I went bombing through a grassy field. That’s almost an insult to the Jeep because any vehicle could probably make it across, but not like this thing can.
There’s a difference between surviving an excursion and relishing it. Fields can look smooth and flat, but they rarely are. Hidden in the green ground covering are pits, bumps and rocks.

Most vehicles will make it across a big open field, but the ride is unpleasant as the car bump stops, bottoms out and crashes over uneven surfaces. The Wrangler just laughs it off. As I cruise at 30 MPH over a dry unmaintained field, the Jeep’s suspension delivers a smooth, controlled ride. In fact, the drive here is more pleasant than some of the surrounding broken pavement roads.
Time for a Workout

Next I took the Wrangler to a man-made moderate off-road course. Short in duration, the course is carved out of deep brush and is designed to test off-road prowess. First is a set of rollers set on a slight incline. Rollers are a series of metal tubes that freely roll within a frame. Think of them as industrialized versions of the bottle return rollers found at a local liquor stores or parcel rollers at shipping depots.

By placing both wheels from one side of the vehicle on these rollers, the side-to-side power distribution can be tested. If the vehicle lacks locking differentials or some form of a limited slip differential (LSD), the two wheels on the rollers will spin and the vehicle won’t move. My Sahara did not feature the optional rear LSD or the locking differentials found in the Rubicon and Willys Wheeler models.

But thanks to modern traction control systems, by using the Jeep’s brakes the Wrangler is able to send power to the wheels not on the rollers and advance forward. It’s not the best off-road setup by any means, but it works in a pinch.
Ground Clearance and Suspension Travel

Next on the trail is a series of logs and man-made dirt mounds set strategically to test ground clearance and suspension travel. With the largest mounds measuring just over eight inches high, the Wrangler Sahara’s 10.2-inch ground clearance is never really put to the test, but the suspension did get a thorough workout. The mound placement from side to side are perfectly located to try and upset the Jeep’s suspension. Although the Wrangler was bouncing around on the course, it never slipped a tire, hesitated or tried to bump steer off the course.
Putting it all Together

There is a road that I’ve been meaning to test for years, but I’ve never had the right vehicle to do it. It’s a dead-end with a posted warning that the surface is clay, the road is unmaintained and to use it at your own risk. Perfect.

I picked a day with steady rain that transformed the clay road into a greasy muck. Puddles are I can see puddles ahead, but have no idea how deep they are. Sliding the 4X4 transfer case into four-wheel high, I ease onto the throttle and begin. At best I’m a novice off-roader with minimal experience and little coaching. With a steady throttle at all times, I recall what I’ve been taught and react appropriately as the Wrangler slides back and forth through the goo.

I used all 10.2 inches of ground clearance at certain points because some of the ruts were roughly a foot deep. The Wrangler’s differentials dragged through the sludge as the Bridgestone Dueler A/T tires clawed for traction. Mud flew everywhere and the road behind me looked like dual backhoes dug trenches, but the Wrangler soldiered on. Best of all, the Jeep is ready and willing to do it again and again.

The Verdict

Even if the Wrangler is more civilized than it used to be and now features a 285 HP 3.6-liter V6 that is shared with a family sedan and a minivan, it’s still a purpose-built off-roader. Once you experience its go anywhere capability experienced, the urge to drive over everything is irresistible. Thankfully, it’s more than willing to oblige.

Read more at:http://www.autoguide.com/manufacturer/jeep/2015-jeep-wrangler-unlimited-review-4193.html

Standard Features of the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty Power Wagon

By now you’ve seen the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty Power Wagon. You know it’s got unmatched off-road capability, and you may have even seen it in action. Whether you’re familiar with the Power Wagon’s capabilities or just starting to check it out, here are a few features you’ll be glad to know come standard.

Electric Winch

That’s right, the winch is standard. So if you’re taking your Power Wagon out for some off-road fun or need to rescue “the other guys” from a stuck situation, you’ll find yourself well equipped in the Ram Heavy Duty Power Wagon. The Warn 12,000-pound winch is mounted right behind the front bumper, so you can pull up to the scene and save the day … and prove just how powerful your Ram Truck really is.

Front Disconnecting Stabilizer Bar

If you’re in the market for an off-road vehicle, we know you’ll want to be pushing it to the limits. That’s why the 2014 Ram Heavy Duty Power Wagon also comes standard with the unique Ram Articulink front suspension system. High movement joints and the sway bar disconnecting system give you increased control over your axels, so you anticipate bumps in the road with excitement, not dread.

Electronic Lock Differentials

Why go the four-by-four route if you aren’t going to go 100%? Front and rear electronic-locking differentials come standard on every Ram Heavy Duty Power Wagon to give it true four-wheel drive and maximum traction. You’ll be in control every bit of the way.

Of course, this isn’t all the Power Wagon has to offer. You know it comes with a 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 with best-in-class 410 horsepower and 429 lb.-ft. of torque … all this featuring an unsurpassed powertrain warranty of five years or 100,000 miles. Equip it with a Ram Box, and you’ll be the envy of every other truck on (or off) the road.

Read more at: http://blog.ramtrucks.com/features/standard-features-2014-ram-heavy-duty-power-wagon/