Racing legend Dan Gurney

AAR Cuda model

Last week, the American racing world lost a legend when Dan Gurney passed away at the age of 86 due to complications from pneumonia. Gurney’s success began as a driver, winning in a variety of leagues around the world, before he became the owner of the popular All American Racing team.

Gurney’s Mopar Connection

While Dan Gurney is best-known in the racing world for his success in open wheel racing,

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FCA packs the most muscle in Detroit

Although FCA didn’t introduce any new high performance models at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, no automaker packed as much muscle into Detroit’s Cobo Hall as Ma Mopar.

Dodge had the only 800+ horsepower car on the show floor and while there were some other cars in the 700-hp club, Dodge was the only brand to display two cars with at least 700 horsepower;

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Wrangler went USB-C, too

It appears that FCA is going USB-C on its new vehicles — and it started with the 2018 Jeep Wrangler, not the Ram 1500.

Among all the other Ram upgrades, it was easy to miss one the new USB-C plugs, which have no “right-side up” or “upside-down.”   The above Bob Mitchell photo shows the 2018 Wrangler’s rear-facing A/C outlet and two sets of USB ports — each one providing a choice of the old-fashioned plug and the new USB-C standard.

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Jeep tops Chinese JD Power survey

Jeep was the #1 non-luxury brand in the 2017 China Vehicle Dependability™ study, according to J.D. Power. With 1.16 issues per car, they easily beat Hyundai (1.26), Toyota (1.39), and Honda (1.43-1.45).

GAC, the company FCA partners with, did not do as well outside of Jeep and Fiat; their Toyota venture came in 13th place, their Honda venture in 20th, and their own brand, Trumpchi, in 21st place.

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FCA nabs loyalty awards

FCA nabbed five Automotive Loyalty Awards from IHS Markit, with Jeep® also recognized, for the second year in a row, as having the highest customer-conquest performance within its group. There were 30 categories overall.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee earned its ninth Automotive Loyalty Award in the non-luxury mid-size SUV segment. Repeating last year’s success were the Wrangler (non-luxury compact SUV) and  Ram 1500 (non-luxury full-size half-ton pickup).

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Ram goes to C

USB-ports

Among all the other Ram upgrades, it was easy to miss one — the USB ports moving from the original plug standard to USB-C, the latest standard. The primary benefit of the physical USB-C format is being able to plug in “upside down” — there’s no more USB-dance, where you try to plug something, try flipping it over, still can’t get it in, and find out it was the right way up the first time.

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Ram Classic tries Chevy trick

2019 Ram 1500

GM has used the “Classic” name to sell familiar prior-generation cars at lower prices, sometimes just to fleet buyers. Now, according to Ram chief Mike Manley, the Ram Classic will do the same.

The 2019 Ram 1500 has many expensive new features, right down to a standard eight-speed automatic and mild-hybrid V6 engine (both hybrid and standard V8s are optional).

The 2018 Ram, which apparently will come back as the 2019 Ram Classic,

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Now we know why Ram was split off

Rob Heglboom and Ram 1200

Analysis. For years, people speculated about why Ram was split from Dodge. The official explanation, accountability, never made much sense; nor did  “people call it a Ram anyway.” People call it a Charger, but there’s no Charger brand. For that matter, the SRT brand didn’t last long.

For years, I believed that the goal was to move Dodge from muscle to being a European-style performance brand — strong on cornering,

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