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Jeep

Jeep cars

To help continue theFourth of July celebrations here at TopSpeed, I have decided to take at look at how the American car has impacted the world. Europe is typically quoted with having the best cars, but here are some American machines that have stepped up and shown the world that we know what we are doing.

We may not have created the car, but we are responsible for the way they drive, the way they are made and we even made some major contributions to the world of performance and horsepower. Put down that hot dog for a few seconds and take a quick look back through history at America’s greatest contributions to the world of internal combustion. That cooler full of cold beverages and that box of explosives will both still be there when you get done.

Continue reading to find out America’s greatest contributions to the world of the automobile.

From when the iconic Willys MB went off to fight WWII until 2014’s Wrangler JK , good gas mileage hasn’t exactly been the Jeep’s strong suit. Even with modern advancements of electronic fuel injection, five and six speed gearboxes, and emission controls, the current Wrangler only manages 17 mpg city and 21 mpg on the highway. Then again, that’s not bad when considering it’s got two solid axles turning short ring gears, knobby tires, and a flat windshield. When the 2018 Wranglers roll out, we may be in for a lot more mpgs, given a recent report from Edmunds is true.

But more is always better, right? Well things appear to be headed that way. Jeep boss Mike Manley said in a recent press conference that the next generation of Jeep Wrangler would focus heavily on weight reduction and fuel savings without compromising its legendary off-road performance.

"We must be innovative in terms of what we do for the next Wrangler because clearly we have to make sure that vehicle survives into the future," Manley said. "It is vital for the brand." Of course, the dark cloud of CAFÉ standards and growing customer expectations are the two confronting factors. Also looming on the horizon is a future Wrangler competitor from Land Rover , Manley mentioned.

But take heart, Jeep fans. Manley continues saying, “There will be no compromises.” So we can apparently expect a Wrangler just as capable off the beaten path as the 2014 JK, but with better gas mileage. Okay, so how is Jeep to increase the Wrangler’s fuel efficiency while not killing its off-road prowess?

Though Manley didn’t go into specifics, we’ve been hearing rumors of a fully independent suspension system and perhaps intensive uses of lightweight materials like aluminum and possibly a diesel powerplant. One thing’s for sure; we can look forward to a future Wrangler that doesn’t strangle our wallets at the pump.

Note: Current Jeep Wrangler pictured here.

Click past the jump for some more speculation

Source: Edmunds

What comes after hump-day? The TopSpeed Podcast, of course!

Happy Thursday everybody, and welcome to EPISODE 010! of the TopSpeed Podcast. This week is special for a few reasons aside from our milestone number. Firstly, Justin is gone on vacation, so we brought in a special guest, Logan Utsman. Logan is an old friend and colleague of Mark and myself, and he is a proper hoon to boot. We hope you enjoy hearing him.

If you hated him, let us know that too. We will be sure to have him drawn and quartered for offending the masses.

Secondly we have a hybrid video podcast that has photos in it too. The first part is great news, the second part is less so. Thanks to some shaky internet, my recording PC dropped the video feed about halfway through. I filled the rest of the podcast with some photos from my personal portfolio to provide some visual entertainment. You can see the video after the break.

As for the show, our Weekly Wheels features a return of the Lexus ES 350 , a look at the Audi A3 TDI , and I discuss my time flogging some new Cooper Tires on a track with the Ford Mustang and BMW 3 Series .

News coverage includes a thorough look at Chrysler’s big five-year plan , what it means for SRT , Dodge and Ferrari , plus the return of the Grand Wagoneer and the official announcement of the Maserati Alfieri . The BMW i3 also makes an appearance in our news segment.

Our Q/A segment features more automotive destruction, a short look at the best lime-green hatchbacks you can buy, the oldest cars we have driven, and we speculate on dream drag races.

As always, we finish with Own, Drive, Burn. This week we have a trio of Ferrari models.

Please let us know if you have any comments, questions or concerns. You can reach us in the comments below, on Twitter @TopSpeedPodcast or by email: Podcast@TopSpeed.com

We are also on iTunes. If you wanted to subscribe, rate or leave us a review we would really appreciate it.

See you next week you crazy kids.

Weekly Wheels: Lexus ES 350, Audi A3 TDI, BMW 328i

Hosts: Christian Moe, Mark McNabb, Logan Utsman

Watch the video version after the break!

Jeep has finally confirmed that the highly-anticipated Grand Wagoneer nameplate will return to its lineup. Unfortunately, that won’t happen until 2018, according to the Chrysler five-year plan that was unveiled today by Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

There are very few details we can cling on right now, but we do know that the Grand Wagoneer will offer seating for seven and will climb atop the Jeep lineup in both size and premium features. It is currently unknown whether or not the SUV will share underpinnings with the Dodge Durango , which is scheduled to receive a mid-cycle refresh in 2017.

But until that happens, Jeep has numerous goals to achieve, like expanding its lineup from five models built in one country to 6 nameplates assembled in six countries. Specific details haven’t been released, but the brand is expected to start building vehicles in Asia and South America as well. So far, we only know that the 2015 Renegade will be built in Italy, alongside the Fiat 500X .

Aside from that, Jeep is also looking to increase global dealerships from 4,706 to 6,023, with the largest expansion to come from South America and Asia to help double its sales by 2018.

As far as new models are concerned, a yet unnamed C-segment SUV will arrive in 2016, the year that marks the iconic brand’s 75th anniversary. Details are slim to say the least, but the new SUV is likely to replace the Compass and the Patriot , both scheduled to retire the same year. Also in 2016, the Cherokee is scheduled to get its first facelift since being revived.

The larger Grand Cherokee will also get a refresh, but that will happen in 2015, two years before a brand-new generation will be unveiled. 2017 will also see the introduction of an all-new Wrangler to replace the current JK. And if previous reports are correct, the new iteration will arrive with a redesigned frame, a power-retractable top, and a fixed windshield.

As you might have noticed, there’s no word in regard to a future Grand Cherokee SRT . With the SRT performance brand axed and its entire lineup handled over to Dodge , the Grand Cherokee might have to do with upgrades provided by Mopar.

More details after the jump.

The Chinese market got an early look at the new-generation Jeep Cherokee earlier this year. If our Chinese friends are paying attention to the Beijing Auto Show , they might find the Cherokee even more appealing with the debut of the Cherokee Sageland Concept. Featuring a bevy of cosmetic changes on the exterior and the interior, the Cherokee Sageland Concept really does bring out the best in the SUV .

For this specific concept, Jeep drew inspiration from a region in China that’s considered more of a legend than an actual location: Shangri-La.

It’s an ambitious task considering that the historical landmarks and natural sceneries in Shangri-La is more a myth than anything else. But give props to Jeep for embracing the challenge of turning the Cherokee with an aesthetic upgrade that will draw the curious side of the Chinese people.

Considering that we’re not really big fans of the Cherokee’s new look, we have to admit that the Sageland Concept does a good job of drawing attention away from its overwhelming appearance, making the SUV look, admittedly, quite attractive.

The upgrades shown on the concept actually makes us wonder if the Cherokee really is an acquired taste for some people. At the very least, the Sageland Concept has made us believe that it’s actually possible.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Cherokee Sageland Concept

The Jeep Cherokee’s presence at the Beijing Auto Show just goes to show that Jeep is hitching a lot of its hopes on the SUV to be a sales hit in China. In an attempt to drum up even more interest in the Cherokee, Jeep decided that unveiling a pair of Cherokee concepts in Beijing, including the Urbane Concept, would be a smart idea. On that end, Jeep got it right.

Together with the Cherokee Sageland Concept, the Urbane Concept represents a stylish and upmarket Cherokee that gives the iconic American SUV more character than what you can get from its standard guise.

The Cherokee Urbane Concept certainly lives up its name, thanks to a treasure trove of new features on both its exterior and interior. Look closer and you might even notice that Jeep’s design details on the Urbane Concept carries a lot of Chinese elements that include old-school calligraphy and traditional Chinese windows.

It’s a real treat for the senses, especially if you’re one who appreciates unique, production-looking concepts like this particular Cherokee. It might still be a concept by the definition of the word, but we think there’s a production future for the Cherokee Urbane Concept.

And we’re not just talking about the Chinese market.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Cherokee Urbane Concept

Jeep pulled a surprise on all of us with all the concepts it brought to the Beijing Auto Show . We say ’surprise’ because we actually thought that if there was an auto show that would have had a strong Jeep presence, it would’ve been the recently-concluded New York Auto Show . But we’re not complaining that Jeep chose Beijing to strut its new wares, including the Jeep Wrangler Sundancer, which by all accounts, looks right at home in China with its fancy colors and even fancier new additions.

You don’t need to tell us how sophisticated this Wrangler looks, relative to its status as a weekend off-road warrior. But it’s a good thing that Jeep decided to dress up this Wrangler for the occassion. After all, it’s not often that you see a utility ride like the Wrangler receive a tri-coat Chocolate Brown Metallic paint with gold accents, and did we mention the Golden Bronze tone-on-tone ghosted pattern on the fender flares and the bronze-tinted windows?

But that’s not the extent of changes you’ll see on the Wrangler Sundancer. Notice how the front and rear bumpers have been also been painted in the same tri-coat Chocolate Brown metallic paint to complement the body lines. But instead of the gold accents on the body, the bumpers received golden bronze accents to go with the linear LED lighting.

This isn’t your normal Jeep Wrangler. That much we know just by looking at it. It’s a Wrangler that clearly knows how to dress up to cater to the Chinese market, something we suspect Jeep did intentionally, and even quite proudly.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Wrangler Sundancer

The Jeep Renegade is barely a few months old, but somehow, a special design concept has found itself halfway around the world at the Beijing Auto Show . This is the Renegade Zi You Xia, a new concept that Jeep created specifically to highlight the Renegade’s sophisticated side.

It’s quite appropriate that Jeep nicknamed this concept ZI You Xia, which means "rebel" when translated to English. Even more so with all the China -inspired details the baby Jeep received to cater to its host market.

For one, the Warm Chocolate Gray with a contrasting Dark Anodized Bronze colors of the Renegade Zi You Xia were inspired by the colors of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The latter, in particular, you can clearly see used on the grille throats, front fog lamp bezels, rear lower fascia, skidplate, taillight insert bezel and badging.

To serve as a third shade of the exterior, a Dark Charcoal paint color was used on the roof panel, grille surrounds and door mirror caps of the Renegade Zi You Xia, something Jeep describes as creating harmonious accents throughout the body to cultivate a more premium appearance for the otherwise clunky-looking crossover .

Given how new the Renegade actually is as a model, it’s hard to gauge just how well it’s going to be received in the Chinese market. We’ve gotta give credit to Jeep for preempting sales with this concept study of the Renegade. Chances are, a lot more Chinese customers will be drawn towards Jeep’s newest model now that they know what a Renegade can look like under the best of circumstances.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Renegade Zi You Xia

The new-generation Jeep Cherokee is making its first appearance at the Easter Jeep Safari. For its first taste of the event, the Cherokee is getting upgrades befitting of the company’s off-road reputation.

First of all, we’re already on record as not being big fans of how the new Jeep Cherokee’s looks. Those slit-like headlights look good on a coupe , but not so much on an off-road SUV. But that’s neither here nor there, because all the modifications given to the Cherokee Adventure makes those lights seem like an afterthought.

Boasting of Trailhawk 4x4 capability, the Cherokee Adventure lives up to its name, nicely balancing the tan exterior with plenty of new adventure paraphernalia best suited for the SUV’s purpose. A prototype matte-black Mopar roof basket rides on top, providing space for owners to stow all their gear for all their outdoor adventures.

Speaking of the outdoors, the Cherokee Adventure has also been prepped to tackle even the roughest of terrains. Jeep Performance Parts rock rails have been installed to provide off-road defense. Added protection also comes in the form of a two-piece underbody skid plate, a front suspension skid plate, an oil tank skid plate and a two-piece fuel tank skid plate.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Adventurer.

The Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah is the perfect setting for Jeep to introduce a slew of its new concepts . This year, a handful of new Jeep models are scheduled to be unveiled, one of which is the Wrangler Level Red, so named because it refers to the highest level of difficulty an off-road trail can be designated.

One look at the 2014 Wrangler Red Level and you immediately understand why its been named as such. It’s got a sleek Pitch Black exterior that’s heavily accented with a TorRed graphic stripe that runs from the top of the hood and down the body sides. An under-bumper skid plate was also added to provide more protection to the Wrangler. sensitive bits under the hood

Speaking of under-hood bits, this Wrangler is not bone-stock under there either. It received a cold-air intake kit, a low-restriction exhaust, 4.10-to-1 ratio Jeep Performance Parts Dana 44 crate axles on the front and rear, a Jeep Performance Parts Rock-Trac transfer case with a 4-to-1 low range for slow and steady off-road driving and a 73-to-1 crawl ration for really aggressive off-road craziness.

The Wrangler Red Level also comes with a cameo appearance from Mopar, courtesy of a half-door kit that adds to all the other exterior goodies, including a prototype Jeep Performance Parts tire carrier, a locking gas cap, a hood prop kit and Jeep Performance Parts rock rails.

The Wrangler Red Level has more details to it that are worth your attention, but you’re going to have to click past the jump to read more about this unique Wrangler


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