Auto Industry News: BIG Saves, BIG Wrecks, and BIG Builds

This week’s auto industry news is filled with big announcements, even bigger saves, and the biggest wreck. As Tom Brady put ink to paper and formalized an endorsement deal with the legendary Aston Martin, NASCAR driver No. 6 Trevor Bayne was busy steering his way out of a wall. Danica Patrick made contact with his left-rear fender during Saturday’s race before the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Watch the clip for a see-to-believe moment. “The save is so impressive; it’s a solid contender for Save of the Year. You’d almost think Bayne was trying his hand at drifting by the looks of all that sideways action,” said Stef Schrader of Jalopnik.

Horrific Indy 500 Crash

Unfortunately, Sébastien Bourdais didn’t fare as well during the 101st Indy 500 qualifying run. “He was on track to set the fastest Indy 500 qualifying run of Saturday, but crashed hard into the wall after completing only two of his four qualifying laps, flipping in the air,” said Fox News Sports. The four-time Champ Car champion lost control of No. 18 coming out of turn two at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He collided nose-first into the wall at nearly 230 mph, suffering multiple hip and pelvic fractures but walked away from the crash.

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata

In other auto industry news, the “guy’s guys” of hardcore speed and performance must be pretty torqued. The 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata was dubbed a top sports car by Car and Driver yet again. This time around, a five-star distinction and title of Best Affordable Sports Car Ever.

“Mazda’s mitey MX-5 Miata has a loud cabin, a firm ride, and barely enough trunk space for two carry-on bags. And it’s a riot. The car’s lack of just about everything is what makes it so much fun to drive, the modus operandi of an affordable sports car,” said Car and Driver. “While this review contains facts, features, and figures that might sound bad, they can be construed as negative only if you’re comparing the Miata with a normal car—which it isn’t. Choose between the softtop roadster or the folding-hardtop RF, pick your preferred transmission, and hit your favorite road on a sunny day. We guarantee you’ll love the Miata as much as we do,” continued Car and Driver. The Miata, friends, is in its own category of performance. And the clip below proves it…

Get Dirty

But enough on-road chatter; it’s backroad action for the duration of this auto industry news. The recent 2017 Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep was another success. Jeff Meikle of Utica, Michigan turned a few heads with his ’00 Jeep XJ Cherokee; it’s loaded up and built for dirt-road exploration – don’t let the standard 4.0L I-6 fake you out. Meikle’s XJ is built upon a 4.7L stroker block; it features a custom air intake and JBA exhaust header. Interested in the rest of the build, including shoutouts to Dana-Spicer, Eaton, and Bilstein? Click here!

Jeep Wrangler JL PICKUP

The all-new Wrangler JL pickup also will be gettin’ dirty. Well, in 2019. This much-anticipated addition was spied testing on public roads. “Although well cladded with yards of vinyl wrapping, there’s no hiding the distinctive and iconic shape. There’s no question what we’re looking at here. This is a configuration Wrangler enthusiasts have been pleading for and anticipating for decades, and by the looks of things, it’s not far away. The pickup variant of the JL Wrangler is expected to follow the core two and four-door SUV models by approximately a year, making the odds are that this will be a 2019 model, said Four Wheeler Network.

“The JL pickup comes at an interesting time, just as Chevrolet has introduced the surprisingly capable Colorado ZR2 and an all-new Ford Ranger is being readied for the U.S. market,” they added. Think it will hold up against the competition or is Jeep spreading itself too thin? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.


Speaking of gettin’ dirty, you didn’t think Hellwig Products had the only legit ultimate adventure rig? Nissan put on a show at the Overland Expo 2017 WEST last week. “Project Basecamp” was modified for a life off the beaten track and showcases more than 60 aftermarket parts and accessories. “Its torque-rich Cummins turbodiesel V8 and heavily-modified suspension and rolling stock should help it get out of a variety of sticky situations, and the extensive list of creature comforts and versatility equipment make it attractive to just about everyone,” said Four Wheeler Network. Check out these premium upgrades!

Of course, this Titan XD was treated to an Icon Vehicle Dynamics Stage 3 Suspension System. “Nitto Ridge Grappler 35-inch tires mounted to KMC Machete beadlock wheels provide added grip and ruggedness over the factory rolling stock. A Warn ZEON 12-S winch is fit to the Fab Fours Vengeance front bumper with prerunner guard, while a Fab Fours Vengeance rear bumper and Calmini nerf bars provide some added bodywork protection, and the whole rig is wrapped in custom vinyl,” added Four Wheeler Network.

Surely that’s not going to get one through an overland adventure. That’s why Nissan teamed up with CVT Tents Mt. Rainier Stargazer for proper sleeping arrangements. “Mounted over the bed to a Leitner Designs bed cage and Rhino Rack Pioneer system, the mobile campsite is also kitted out with a Foxwing awning, portable Black Forest refrigerator and freezer, and more. Carrying all that extra gear (plus the matching Patriot Camper X2 trailer) meant adding a set of Hellwig Big Wig helper air springs, Hellwig rear sway bar, and Hellwig auto-leveling air compressor,” added Four Wheeler Network. Rugged Radio provided car-to-car communication radios, while ARB, Rigid Industries, and KC HiLiTES took care of off-road lighting and other accessories.


All this car talk have you hungry for parts? These aftermarket manufacturers want to treat you to a few p-u-r-t-y accessories.

  • Save up to $200 cash back on select WARN winches from April 1 – May 31.
  • Purchase an Undercover Ridgelander cover and receive a FREE bike carrier or luggage bag. Offer valid from April 1 – May 31.
  • Receive a $40 rebate on select N-FAB wheel-t0-wheel, bed access, and cab length side steps. Offer valid from April 10 – May 12.
  • Purchase an Extang Solid Fold 2.0 and receive a FREE e-Light500. Offer valid from May 1 – June 30.
  • Receive a $50 rebate with the purchase of four (4) Pro Comp A/T Sport or Xtreme MT2 tires. Offer valid from April 1 – June 30, 2017.

* Visit the manufacturer websites for downloadable forms. Remember to #shoplocal and support your area retailer! Until next week’s auto industry news, enjoy the fun that awaits you this weekend.

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