Oakland, Maryland, United States
This past June I spent an excellent day hanging out with Joey Ruiter, driving and discussing his Reboot Buggy project. Before heading home, I let him know that he was more than welcome to keep me abreast of whichever new automotive project he'd get into. You can never have too many car designers and one-off fabricators in your Rolodex, right?
Ruiter recently made good with the follow-up, emailing me with details on this Dodge Challenger A/T Untamed Concept that pushes a lot of hot buttons for the muscle car and off-roading enthusiasts.
This all-terrain Mopar is a lot more than a Challenger body dropped on a truck chassis, too. A materialized version of the A/T would included a completely new, long-travel suspension, skid plates, body armor and rock sliders, and obviously flared fenders to help accommodate a hellacious set of off-road-ready tires. The dramatically revised underpinnings would be topped with a slick graphics package and a killer lower light bar, all making the A/T look quite cohesive in its own, radical way. And the result would be a car no longer limited to mere road-driving.
Dodge and Jeep are announcing recalls of a total of 895,000 Durango and Grand Cherokee models worldwide from the 2011 through 2014 model years. There's a possibility that the wiring in the sun visor can short circuit and cause a fire. It specifically affects vehicles built between January 5, 2010, and December 11, 2013, and there are approximately 651,000 of them in the US, 45,700 in Canada, 23,000 in Mexico and 175,000 outside of North America.
Screws that fasten the sunvisor to the headliner may pierce wires in the visor, if the part has been removed or serviced, potentially causing a fire risk. If the wires short circuit, they could overheat and potentially combust. The automakers report three injuries caused by this defect, and according to the investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "there may be a total of 52 unique fire incidents."
To fix the problem, Dodge and Jeep will inspect the vehicles for suspect wiring, and all of the models, whether damaged or not, will get a new sun visor spacer with a wire guide to stop the possibility of short circuits. According to the automakers' announcement, "this condition is not present in vehicles which have not had the headliner or vanity mirror serviced." They will notify affected owners, and repairs will begin in August.
You'll be forgiven for not having heard about the TV show Defiance - it actually hasn't aired its first episode yet. The new science fiction show about an alien war against Earth in the near future seems like a perfect fit for the SyFy channel, and, apparently one that Dodge saw as a slick marketing opportunity for its Charger sedan.
Here in Chicago, Dodge has given a large corner of its show stand to the Defiance Charger, a car that won't be skipped by any Mad Max fans in attendance at this year's show. The Charger boasts one hell of a gnarly patina under a confusingly welded cage of tube steel, as well as window bars, a grille guard in front, and big, knobby truck tires. There aren't any obvious guns or turrets on the outside of the vehicle, so we can only hope that the characters driving it go well-armed.
Look for the Charger to make its star turn in Defiance when the series premieres on SyFy on April 15 at 9:00 PM EST. Also, there's said to be a Defiance video game in the works, too, so you may get a chance to steer the burly Dodge for yourself. Find a trailer for the show, below, as well.