|Baby, it's cold outside!|
Jeep says a nurse captured the image as she was leaving work last week, it was a hot commodity on social media all weekend. Still, no one knows the owner of the vehicle that left the parking lot ice sculpture. Yet.
Ram Engineering is taking advantage of the chill to test its trucks for severe cold and plow testing--without having to recreate any special conditions. In Houghton, Michigan, sub-zero conditions are perfect for determining trucks' performance under circumstances only a fraction of owners will experience. Some of the experiments include Slush Testing.
"Slush does not drip off the undercarriage," says Mike Cairns, Director of Ram Truck Engineering. "It hangs on, filling gaps and covering components." Ram enginers know that during a hard freeze, anything covered in slush becomes encased in ice -- fuel lines, diesel exhaust fluid tanks, engine oil pan, brakes, etc. Ram runs trucks through 12-inch-deep slush, and immediately park the trucks overnight in a refrigeration facility set at minus 20 degrees.
|2015 Ram Truck with Snow Plow|
The location of vent lines is another key design feature. Water can freeze, clogging vent lines for the axles, transmission and transfer case. And in such sub-zero conditions, windows must continue to roll up and down, as well as windshield wipers and defrost mechanisms must continue to function.
Ford F-150 with optional plow.
Now that Ford is using more high-strength steel in the frame, and new, high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy in the body, there's a weight reduction of about 700-pounds. You can make up for that with a nifty $50 snow plow mount option--Ford's fine print says, "snow plow not included." In Houston, we could use these for the "Steer it or Clear it" operations on our freeways. In all kinds of weather.
|2015 Silverado Black-out option|
A chicken in every pot, a Pullman in every garage?
Not exactly, unless you live in a very tony neighborhood. To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz 600--the epitome of luxury sedan travel, the German automaker is rolling out the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman S-600 at the Geneva Autoshow.
|1887 Pullman "Vestibule" Railcar|
The new Pullman is 21.3-feet long--another 3.5 feet longer than the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. The wheelbase is 14.5 feet, and the car is 5.2 feet tall--more than 3.9 inches higher than a Mercedes S-Class.
The absolute top-of-the-range model is the Mercedes-Maybach Pullman S 600. This behemoth is powered by a V12 biturbo engine, producing 523hp from a 5.9-L engine, generating 612 lb-ft. of torque at 1900 rpm. Growl.
If you have to ask, you can't afford it, but prices for "unarmoured models" start at $566,922. Deliveries will commence in 2016.
|Yutaka Katayama (1909-2015)|
Katayama joined the company in 1935 handling publicity and advertising. He built the Datsun brand from scratch--the first US exposure to the Japanese company, and assembled the pieces that would become the venerable "Z-car" series. Mr. K. was team manager for two Datsun 210's entered in a grueling rally circumnavigating the Australian continent. Their victory vaulted the brand into worldwide renown and set the stage for Datsun exports.
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