Auto Industry News: Wrangler JL Ups Price, Geneva Impresses, & Harvick Dominates

The Wrangler JL hikes in price. Brace yourselves, “Jeeple” (Jeep-people, for those of you who were slow to catch the reference). We’ll just rip it like a bandage. Jeep’s all-new 2018 Wrangler JL will see a price increase of $750. It may not seem like much when lumped into the JL’s base price, but these things do add up. With the increase, the lowest-priced JL is now $28,940.

Let’s be honest, the Jeep faithful will do whatever it takes to ride the way only they know how. But what caused the hike? Chances are that Jeep is striking while the iron is hot.  And when you look at the numbers, it’s kind of hard to blame them. There were 15,936 unit sales in February — a 17% increase from a year ago. The Jeep name isn’t just historical; it’s the future, too. Because of that, the price jump even trickled down to the JK, which will see a $250 increase. The things we do for love, as seen in Geneva…

The Polarizing Nissan Navara 

Is this the future of bed storage? We’ll let you decide. In a recent video from Geneva Motor Show, the good folks at Autoblog demonstrate the bed features of the new Nissan Navara. When you drop the tailgate, inside is a “sliding tray” that occupies most of the bed. Why the tray, you ask? Well it’s… uhh…for really big bowls of soup, we guess? Frankly, it’s hard to determine what demographic the truck is aiming for, because unless removed, the tray all but ensures drivers can only haul small to medium loads. Think less Chunky and more Campbell’s Chicken and Stars. There is, however, a spring-activated, built-in tonneau that looks pretty nifty (made of what appears to be aluminum). And the truck has been a hit in the UK, but there is no official word whether it will debut stateside.

Geneva Looks Forward

Luckily, that wasn’t all the Geneva Motor Show had to offer. Rinspeed, in their 24th at the show, offered up a concept that is downright insane. Tentatively named the Snap, the vehicle breaks down into a “skateboard” platform containing the electric drivetrain. Then, to complement this base, it has an interchangeable, customizable passenger pod to put on top. Rinspeed designed the Snap to elongate a vehicle’s road life in constantly changing times. The long-term goal is that when EV mechanical parts, and subsequently software, advance beyond the those in the chassis/skateboard platform, the chassis can be replaced with modern hardware and software that can both compete in future markets and uphold the pod. Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, you may not see it in your lifetime (unless cryogenics REALLY take off). But it’s still so damn cool (not as cool as the JL, but pretty cool indeed).

Honda Puts On, Too 

Honda also pulled out all the futuristic stops with their one-door concept, the NeuV. Check out the video here! We guess this is kinda like the 2000’s trend of cell phones getting smaller and smaller, thus more chic. But eventually, no one will be able to fit in these things and the pendulum will swing the other way. Can the novelty of the one-door operating system that looks cool uphold this way of driving?

Around the Circuit

Just when we thought the subsect of the sport would not survive, Ford is supposedly scoping out an E Racing debut. No word on when their vehicle will see the light of day, but it’s an exciting development. Because with bigger names jumping into the sport, we may see a drastic shift in the who’s who of racing on an international scale.

In NASCAR, Kevin Harvick is having a season to remember already. And if it feels like we just discussed this last week, it’s because we did. Harvick nabbed his third win in a row in Phoenix Sunday, and did it with a vengeance. This past week, NASCAR hit Harvick with a frustrating penalty for a rear window infraction, but the 42-year-old did not let it slow him down. The penalty docked Harvick seven playoff points and 20 regular season points, but he still leads the overall standings thanks to continued dominance. Next week, the field hits the West Coast at Auto Club Speedway.

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