Jeep returns to its roots with military-spec Gladiator XMT

Jeep Gladiator army truck

Jeep has returned to its roots with a pick-up dedicated to military use. Meet the Gladiator XMT Tactical Concept Vehicle.

Despite trading on old-school style, the monstrous Gladiator XMT couldn’t be further from the original Willys Jeep war hero. Revealed at the Annual Meeting and Exposition of the Association of the US Army (AUSA), the XMT is classified as an Extreme Military-Grade Truck.

To create the XMT, Jeep partnered with AM General: the company that transformed Humvees into rugged personnel carriers. Interestingly, more than 70 years ago, AM General also worked on the Willys Jeep.

Jeep Gladiator army truck

How do you turn a Gladiator pick-up into an XMT? Firstly, enormous wheels and tyres are fitted, while the doors are exchanged for tubular items. There’s also an enormous bull bar with a winch and, of course, camouflage paint. 

Jeep calls the Gladiator ‘the most capable mid-size truck ever’. With its locking diffs, skid plates, and tiny overhangs, it’s difficult to argue with that.

“We are extremely excited to partner with FCA and introduce the Jeep Gladiator Extreme Military-Grade Truck at AUSA,” said AM General CEO, Andy Hove. 

Jeep Gladiator army truck

“This new venture gives us an opportunity to showcase our expertise in light tactical vehicles and help FCA maximise the Gladiator’s global reach and potentially enter new military markets.”

“The Jeep brand has an important military heritage, so we couldn’t be happier that AM General expressed interest in creating the Gladiator XMT,” said Jim Morrison, head of Jeep brand in North America.

“We’re proud to partner with AM General. We look forward to gauging interest and gathering feedback on the Jeep Gladiator XMT, and we’re excited about potential future opportunities.”

Confirmed: UK pricing for 2019 Jeep Wrangler – and it’s not cheap

UK Pricing Announced for 2019 Jeep Wrangler 001

Jeep has confirmed updated UK pricing for the latest 2019 Jeep Wrangler 4×4.

While Jeep promises it will be the most capable version of the trusty Wrangler yet, prices are certainly more luxury than utilitarian in value.

Entry-level Sahara specification two-door Wranglers will cost £44,865, rising all the way to the range-topping four-door Rubicon model at £48,365. Curiously, pricing is the same regardless of which engine choice you plump for.

UK Pricing Announced for 2019 Jeep Wrangler 002

Hell yeah and Hellayella

Diesel fans will receive a 2.2-litre MultiJet II four-cylinder engine, producing 200hp and a respectable 332lb-ft of torque. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo unit is the petrol choice, with 272hp and 295lb-ft.

Both versions receive an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard, connected to a full-time four-wheel-drive system. The pricier Rubicon version gains an uprated ‘Rock-Trac’ 4WD setup, in comparison to the Sahara and Overland-spec Wranglers.

All Wranglers come with an 8.4-inch multimedia touchscreen, featuring satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an eight-speaker Alpine audio system. A rear-view camera and parking sensors are also part of the deal.

There is also a choice of ten exterior colours, including the wonderfully named Hellayella and Punk’n Metallic options.

UK Pricing Announced for 2019 Jeep Wrangler 003

All new Wranglers come with Jeep’s 5-3-5 package. This offers a five-year vehicle warranty, three-year servicing programme, and five years of roadside assistance.

The new Wrangler is live on the UK configurator, giving plenty of opportunities to create the Jeep of your dreams. Even if cruising along the British seaside is not quite the same as living out fantasies of sun-drenched California highways…

There is still one piece of news we are waiting on though. Confirmation that the wonderful Jeep Gladiator pickup truck will come to the UK, and how much it will cost. We’re waiting, Jeep.

Jeep Trackhawk versus European performance heroes

710hp Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk races retro European performance icons

Jeep has celebrated a limited run of UK 710hp Grand Cherokee Trackhawk SUVs by racing some European performance icons

Steve McQueen Jeep

You could own Steve McQueen’s 1945 Willys Jeep

Steve McQueen Jeep

A Willys Jeep previously owned by movie legend and ‘king of cool’ Steve McQueen is up for grabs. Just get yourself to the Classic Motor Show at Birmingham, England’s NEC in November.

There are few more famous drivers on the big screen than McQueen. He drove some of the greatest cars in pop culture, from the Ford Mustang in Bullitt to the Porsche 917 in Le Mans.

McQueen was even seen behind the wheel of such a Jeep on the big screen, in the 1959 film Never So Few.

The sale of his very own Jeep is being held by Silverstone Auctions on 10 and 11 November at the Classic Motor Show. 

The car was delivered to the US Army in July 1945. First auctioned in Las Vegas in November 1984, the car comes fully decommissioned and restored, with McQueen estate certification and plaques denoting its history.

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The Jeep is as it was when McQueen owned it. It even comes complete with original California number plates, dated for road use until the end of October 1980. That’s just a week before McQueen’s death in early November 1980.

Silverstone Auctions expects the car to make between £80,000 and £100,000 (that’s $105,000 and $132,000) when it hits the block at the NEC.

“Steve McQueen’s reputation both as an actor and as a racing driver is historic,” said Adam Rutter, classic car specialist at Silverstone Auctions.

“This car is a truly unrepeatable and unmissable opportunity for both car enthusiasts and movie fans alike and undoubtedly the star of the auction.”

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Jeep Cherokee

Jeep introduces five-year warranty on new cars

Jeep Cherokee

Jeep has been a fully-fledged presence in the UK for some time. Its years-old reputation as the rugged, rough-and-ready American answer to Land Rover, combined with appealing entries into emerging small-car segments have made it a burgeoning Fiat Group favourite.

Yet it still seems to occupy a niche: never the choice buy, but the quirky alternative. Why is this? Questions of quality do still hang – a rap of your knuckles on a Cherokee’s dash won’t quite yield the quality ‘thump’ you’d get in a Volkswagen Tiguan, for example.

The new 5-3-5 scheme is designed to close that confidence deficit by putting Jeep’s money where its mouth is and “underlining the Jeep brand’s confidence in the quality of its vehicle line-up”.

Cherokee 5-3-5

What is it?

Translated, 5-3-5 is a five-year warranty, three years of servicing and five years of roadside assistance on all Wrangler, Renegade, Compass, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models. It’s all as per the old three-year package, but for five years or up to 75,000 miles.

Free servicing is just that, too, with no labour charge for fitment and application of your free parts and lubricants over the course of the first three scheduled services.

Point to note: that’s not necessarily three years. Years or mileage, whichever comes first. Second, this deal doesn’t apply to the MY19 Renegade and Wrangler… yet. Still, as small print goes they’re not deal-breakers.

Does it make a Jeep a good buy?

It’s a bold and impressive move from an appealing marque with a point to prove – both to critics and consumers. Regardless of quality, a product with a guarantee this substantial gains major forecourt appeal.

A tug at the heart strings alone isn’t enough to sell cars anymore but a package like this – Jeep hopes – will make its cars appeal to the head as well as the heart.

Andrew Tracey, Country Manager, Jeep UK reckons “there has never been a better time to buy a new Jeep vehicle… this attractive 5-3-5 programme makes an already very good Jeep range even more appealing. The offer of a five-year manufacturer’s warranty especially gives customers real peace of mind.”

Will it get customers through doors buying more Jeeps? Time will tell.

Read more:

2018 Jeep Wrangler

Jeep has accidentally revealed its new 2018 Wrangler

2018 Jeep Wrangler

The new Jeep Wrangler is set to make its debut at this month’s LA Auto Show – but official pictures of the 2018 model have appeared during a presentation at the SEMA show in Las Vegas.

In a hastily released statement sent to US media, Jeep describes the new Wrangler as “the most capable SUV ever”. Sketchy about details, the statement promises “advanced fuel-efficient powertrains, more open-air options, and… more safety features and advanced technology than ever before.”

In truth, it doesn’t look a great deal different from the outgoing model. But when it’s a design that can be traced back to the Willys Jeep of the 1940s, that’s not a huge surprise. Jeep insists aerodynamics have been improved – a surprise considering its boxy shape – while the windscreen can be folded down for wind-in-your-face motoring.

The current 2.8-litre turbodiesel engine is believed to have been dropped in favour of a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, along with a 3.6-litre V6. It’s not been confirmed which engines will make it to the UK – or if an electric powertrain could be offered.

We’ll find out more about the new Wrangler when its revealed on November 29th at the LA Auto Show. MR will be reporting live.

>NEXT: The SEMA modified car show 2017

Champions League 2017: when cars play football

This weekend, all footballing roads – or more specifically the M4 and A48 – lead to Cardiff as the Uefa Champions League bandwagon rolls into town. At the end of the day – read: 19:45 – Juventus and Real Madrid will kick-off with high hopes of scooping Europe’s biggest prize since Amar Pelos Dois won the hearts of Kiev.

These days, football and cars are as intertwined as Cristiano Ronaldo’s Ferrari 599 GTB and the tunnel beneath Manchester Airport. In Cheshire, (dis)tastefully modified cars are as common as fake tan, must-have handbags and sunnies the size of dinner plates.

But while it’s easy to poke fun at footballing car culture – hat tip to Stephen Ireland for services to the industry – the fact remains that football is big business for the car industry. And that’s not a throwaway cliché, Clive.

The Champions League gives 110%

Nissan certainly thinks so, which is why you’re forced to endure endless ads when Gary, Jake and co. have finished over-analysing misplaced passes with old pros. The Japanese firm signed a four-year Uefa Champions League sponsorship deal in 2014, reported to be worth €54.5 (£45m), replacing Ford, which had sponsored the tournament for 22 years.

Whichever way you look at it, that’s an awful lot of Nissan Micras. Or 3,750 base-spec models, to be precise.Champions League 2017: when cars play football

For Nissan, the benefits are obvious. Around 200 million fans are expected to watch the final on June 3, not to mention the countless others who have tuned in since the tournament kicked off back in June 2016. Although quite how many cars Nissan sold off the back of The New Saints vs. Tre Penne is anybody’s guess.

“The Champions League has massive power in terms of views that it can give us,” Jean-Pierre Diernaz, vice president for marketing, Nissan Europe, told the BBC in 2016.

“We are a growing brand around the world, but with the exception of Japan, and possibly the US, we are a challenger brand. To go a step further we need to grow awareness. The Champions League has massive power in terms of views that it can give us.

“It is working in terms of making sure our brand is growing,” the Frenchman said.

Interbrand’s Top 100 Best Global Brands ranks Nissan as number 43, with the brand valued at $11.066m in 2016, an increase of 22%. Messrs Iniesta, Thiago Silva and Aguero kicking a ball about in a studio are doing more than just bookending the commercial break.

A game of two halves

But the car industry’s involvement with the Champions League final goes far deeper than Yaya Touré kicking a football through the roof of a Nissan X-Trail. Real Madrid vs. Juventus presents a compelling automotive sideshow in Ingolstadt vs. Michigan. Or Audi vs. Jeep.

Audi calls itself a “partner of premier international clubs” and has been the vehicle partner of Real Madrid since 2003. The internet is awash with photos of players smiling gleefully at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu as they’re presented with the keys to their new highly-specced Audi.

Hats off to the Audi PR team for convincing Ronaldo to risk a moment of ‘helmet hair’ in the name of corporate sponsorship. He’s probably just thankful that he escaped the possibility of being given a club Chevrolet when he left Manchester United. Hard luck, Rooney, De Gea, et al.Champions League 2017: when cars play football

Not that Audi is a one-club company. Its sponsorship of FC Ingolstadt 04 is understandable, as are its links with Bayern Munich – that must sting, BMW – but a partnership with FC Barcelona? Proof that business is more important than fierce rivalries. When sponsorship deals get Messi…

Jeep: a no-nonsense player

Jeep’s sponsorship of the ‘Old Lady’ dates back to the 2012-2013 season when it signed an initial three-year deal worth €35m, or €11.7m per season. To outsiders, seeing the famous Jeep logo adorning the equally famous black and white stripes of Juve might seem like just another sponsorship deal, but to car enthusiasts and those with a thing for economics, the link is more obvious.

Juventus is controlled by the billionaire Agnelli family, the investment company with a 29.41% share in Fiat and a 22.91% share in Ferrari. In 2015, the Fiat-founding family signed a merger agreement with Chrysler, which created Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and created an indirect link between the American SUV brand and the city of Turin.

Not that Juventus has encountered anything other than smooth roads this season. Having secured the Serie A title, Juve made light work of Barcelona at the quarter final stage and saw off the attacking threat of Monaco in the semis as the Italians marched to the final in Cardiff.Champions League 2017: when cars play football

Top, top cars

Victory at the National Stadium of Wales – Uefa regulations prevent it being called the Principality Stadium – would net the winning team €15.5m, while the other finalist will receive €11m. Enough for the clubs to pick and choose from their corporate sponsor’s range of vehicles.

Leaving aside the fact that the players are given the keys to the cars of their respective club sponsors, you’re unlikely to see Ronaldo splashing out on a new Q2 or Buffon spending any time using the Renegade online configurator. The players can pick and choose from the world’s elite range of supercars.

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The animal arrive👍🔝

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s car collection has been well documented and includes a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse he bought to celebrate winning Euro 2016 with Portugal. He announced the purchase on Instagram with the simple caption: “The animal arrive.”

Not to be outdone by his Real Madrid teammate, Karim Benzema often arrives at training in a black and chrome Bugatti Veyron. Meanwhile, Toni Kroos drives a Ferrari 488 GTB.

Welshman Gareth Bale, who is hoping to recover from an injury to play in the Cardiff final, reportedly gave up driving supercars because he believed it was the root cause of a succession of hamstring injuries. Bale was a member of a £30,000-a-year supercar club.Champions League 2017: when cars play football

Legendary Italian ’keeper, Gianluigi Buffon is unlikely to suffer any supercar-related injuries ahead of the Champions League final. The 39-year-old Italian is more interested in clean sheets than expensive motors, choosing to squeeze his 6ft 3in frame into a Fiat 500. In his first year as a pro he’d turn up at training riding a Vespa. Once a legend, always a legend.

Predictability, many of Buffon’s teammates at Juve don’t share his love of mundane motors, with some opting to keep it in the family by driving a Ferrari. For Dani Alves it’s an FF, Leonardo Bonucci drives an F12berlinetta, while Claudio Marchisio has chosen a 599 GTO.

At the end of the day…

Not that this precludes the Juve players from partaking in the odd promotional job for Jeep. “Smile and think of the paycheque,” mutters Giorgio Chiellini as he manages something that might pass as a grin. Almost.Champions League 2017: when cars play football

Come Saturday evening, Juventus will be all smiles if they overturn the odds by beating the favourites Real Madrid. Will Italian-American grit triumph over German precision engineering in the battle of the sponsors, or will the Japanese score on the break?

It’s back to you in the studio, Gary.

Star-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Star-spangled, no bangers: 25 important American cars

Star-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American carsAlthough America may not have invented the car, nevertheless the country embraced it as if it had. We’ve picked 25 cars that celebrate what the United States has proudly contributed to the world of motoring.

More American cars on Motoring Research:

1908 Ford Model TStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Produced for 19 years, and with 15 million examples built, the Ford Model T still remains one of the best-selling cars of all time. It also represents one of the few cars that became cheaper as time passed, dropping from $825 in 1909 to just $260 in 1925.

What made the Model T significant, and cheap, was Henry Ford’s adoption and refinement of the modern assembly line. Efficiency savings meant the time needed to build a Model T reduced from some 12.5 hours, to just 90 minutes. Passing on the savings to customers opened up the potential for car ownership to become an affordable reality.

1932 Ford three-window coupeStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Ask any hot rodder which is one of the most sought after cars to customise, and the 1932 Ford will be guaranteed to be top of the list. In particular, the clean lines of the rarer three-window coupe are the most desirable – note that the front windscreen isn’t included in the window count.

The Beach Boys song and album ‘Little Deuce Coupe’ was named after the three-window Ford, whilst it also made an appearance in the iconic street racing movie ‘American Graffiti’. Despite a short production period, the 1932 Ford models made a big contribution to car culture.

1941 Willys MB ‘Jeep’Star-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

For those who don’t care too much about cars, the word ‘Jeep’ is virtually synonymous for any kind of four-wheel drive off-road vehicle. Although the US Army had developed 4WD vehicles before, the MB was born from the urgent demand created by World War II for large numbers of lightweight utility vehicles.

Although produced by both Ford and Willys during wartime, after the conflict Willys retained rights to the Jeep name. This allowed them to produce civilian models, and create a brand that still endures today, despite several changes in ownership.

1953 Chevrolet C1 CorvetteStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Intended to compete against sports cars like the Nash Healey, the original Chevrolet Corvette was rushed to production just six months after being shown to the world in 1953. Although fibreglass bodies had been used previously for limited production, the C1 Corvette marked the first time the material was put into mass manufacturing.

The first Corvettes were low on power – with just 150hp from a straight-six engine – and suffered from poor build quality. Yet 65 years later the model still endures, and represents a slice of the American dream.

1955 Ford ThunderbirdStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Whilst it entered the market at a similar time to the Corvette, and looked similar, Ford was careful to market the Thunderbird in a different direction. In doing so, Ford created the uniquely American ‘personal luxury car’ segment. This meant an emphasis on comfort and convenience, powerful V8 engines, and high levels of standard equipment.

The Thunderbird would grow ever larger and more gauche over time, culminating in the wallowing land yachts of the 1970s. However, the original Thunderbird of 1955 at least showed the simplicity of a two-seater convertible body, with a 292-cubic inch (4.8-litre) V8 engine.

1957 Cadillac Eldorado BroughamStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Self-levelling air suspension is still today mainly the preserve of luxury cars, but this is a tradition which Cadillac started all the way back in 1957. The Eldorado Brougham featured a complex air system, intended to give a smooth and comforting ride, although it proved to be untrustworthy.

Air ride was just one standard feature on this high-end personal luxury car. Cruise control, air conditioning, electric door locks, automatically dimming headlights, and electric windows were also part of the package. This pushed the price tag to more than that of a contemporary Rolls-Royce.

1957 Ford Fairlane 500 SkylinerStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Think the idea of a retracting hardtop roof was something invented by Mercedes-Benz in the late 1990s? Think again – Ford had been doing it some four decades earlier with the Fairlane 500 Skyliner, marking one of the first mass-produced car to feature a folding metal roof.

Requiring seven electric motors, six locking mechanisms, and almost 200 metres of wiring, the Skyliner was a complex piece of engineering. It also took over much of the luggage space in the trunk, and added additional weight and cost.

1960 Ford Country SquireStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

To understand the path to the modern crossover SUV, you need to look back at the American family station wagon of the 1950s and ‘60s. A full-size wagon like the Country Squire featured acres of – fake – woodgrain trim, lots of luggage space and seating for up to eight passengers.

The Country Squire managed to cling on to production from 1950 to 1991, and became a key piece of suburban America. Whilst the association with staid middle class life damaged the Country Squire’s image at the time, today it has developed a cult following.

1961 Lincoln ContinentalStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Designed to save the Lincoln division money, the fourth-generation was based around a single four-door design offered in sedan, hardtop and convertible forms. It was also considerably smaller than its predecessors, even if it still managed to weigh more.

What makes the 1961 Continental significant, and undeniably cool, was the use of rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors. Intended to make access to the rear seats easier, they also gave the Continental a unique profile. Notably, a ’61 Continental was the basis for the SS-100-X Presidential State car, used by President John F. Kennedy on his fateful 1963 trip to Dallas.

1962 Oldsmobile F-85 Turbo JetfireStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

The 1973 BMW 2002 Turbo is often seen as the first turbocharged production car, but General Motors took that triumph over a decade earlier. For a country obsessed with naturally aspirated V8 engines, the Jetfire version of the pretty Oldsmobile F-85 must have been something of a shock.

Producing 215hp and 301lb-ft of torque, the 215-cubic inch (3.52-litre) turbo V8 also featured water and methanol injection. Performance was on par with engines twice the size, but this was new technology and buyers were understandably cautious. Less than 4,000 Jetfires would be sold, and GM would shelve turbo petrol engines for another decade.

1964 Pontiac GTOStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Defining the original American ‘muscle car’ is harder than you might think. Some argue that the 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 deserves the prize, whilst others cite the 300hp Chrysler 300-C. However, the 1964 Pontiac GTO embraced both the mechanical definition of having a large V8 engine in a two-door body, but also the ideas of low price and desirability.

With a 389-cubic inch (6.4-litre) V8 producing 325hp, the GTO also came with a standard three-speed manual transmission and stiffer suspension. In common with muscle cars to follow multiple options were offered, including a Tri-Power carburettor boosting power to nearly 350hp. This would set the benchmark for other manufacturers to follow.

1966 Ford GT40 Mk2Star-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Winning the Le Mans 24 Hours outright is a major achievement. Doing so to spite another manufacturer is even more impressive, but that’s exactly what Ford achieved with the GT40. Born from Henry Ford II’s frustration at Enzo Ferrari reneging on an agreement to sell him the Ferrari company, the GT40 would take victory at Le Mans four times.

After an initial troubled development, it was the Mk2 GT40 version with a 427-cubic inch (7.0-litre) V8 engine – and the help of Carroll Shelby – that would take Le Mans victory in 1966. Three more wins would follow, along with creating the lineage for the current Ford GT supercar.

1966 Jeep Super WagoneerStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Forget the Range Rover – this was the first premium SUV. Built by the Kaiser Jeep Corporation between 1966 and 1969, the Super version intended to bring even more luxury and comfort to the existing Wagoneer 4×4.

That meant a more powerful 327-cubic inch (5.4-litre) Vigilante V8 engine with 270hp, air conditioning, a push-button radio, tinted windows, and a power-assisted tailgate. With only around 1,500 produced, today Super Wagoneers are highly prized by Jeep collectors.

1969 Dodge Charger DaytonaStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

NASCAR in the late 1960s was ultra competitive, with manufacturers looking to exploit loopholes in the rules to gain an advantage. This gave rise to the Aero Cars, which used limited homologation requirements to build cars optimised for high speed on the superspeedway circuits.

With a giant 23-inch tall rear wing, extended nose cone, and vents above the front wheels the Charger Daytona was the first NASCAR to break the 200mph barrier on track. Today, of the 503 homologation cars sold for road use, the versions fitted with the 426-cubic inch (7.0-litre) Hemi V8 with 425hp are the most collectible.

1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘CudaStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Size matters in America, and even more so in the muscle car wars of the late 1960s and early ‘70s. Whilst the 440-cubic inch (7.2-litre) Hemi V8 offered in the Plymouth ‘Cuda might not have been the most powerful, it was one of the biggest. It’s also fair to say that 390hp and 490lb-ft of torque were still more than sufficient, too.

The 1971 ‘Cuda represented the peak of the muscle car era, with paint options like Lime Light green, Vitamin C orange, and Moulin Rouge pink epitomising the outrageousness of it all. Emissions standards would result in less power the following year, and the ‘Cuda would be gone by 1974.

1974 Buick Electra 225Star-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Not only was the Buick Electra one of the biggest American land yachts ever created, stretching the tape measure to some 231.5-inches (5.8-metres) in length, it also contained safety features commonplace today. Much like with turbocharging, General Motors experimented with airbag technology several years before it was introduced in Europe.

The Air Cushion Restraint System was offered across Buick, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile models in 1974, protecting both driver and passenger in the event of an impact. This was combined with lap seat belts, as GM believed the airbag system would replace the need for full three-point belts.

1980 Ford F-150Star-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Admittedly the history of the Ford F-Series of pickup truck stretches all the way back to 1948, but the seventh-generation truck introduced in 1980 is especially significant. A year later in 1981, the F-150 would become the single best-selling vehicle in the United States, and maintain that position for every year since.

In 2016 Ford sold over 820,000 F-150s, representing a 5.2% increase from the previous year, and adding to the total of over 35 million sold since the range was first introduced. Contrast that to the 21.5 million Volkswagen Beetles sold, and that’s the reason the Ford pickup truck seems so common in the USA.

1981 DeLorean DMC-12Star-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

History has not always viewed the DeLorean DMC-12 kindly, tarnished by the bankruptcy and drug trafficking charges brought against company founder John DeLorean. That it was powered by a 2.85-litre V6 with a modest 130hp certainly did help win approval either.

Now the DMC-12 has a legendary status, thanks to featuring as the ‘time machine’ in the Back to the Future movie franchise. There is more to it than just film prop though, with stainless steel body panels and gull-wing doors making it extraordinary. John DeLorean was also ahead of the time in trying to appeal to the super-rich, with a gold-plated limited edition.

1984 Dodge CaravanStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Beating the Renault Espace to production by a matter of months, the Dodge Caravan (and related Chrysler brethren) became the first MPV on sale. Ruthlessly killing off the station wagon overnight, the minivan did at least hold on to that fake woodgrain trim.

Families loved the sliding rear door, the potential for three rows of seating, and the low cost from being built on a front-wheel-drive platform. The Chrysler Corporation sold over 200,000 minivans in 1984, and was selling more than 600,000 per annum by the late 1990s. Then came the crossover SUV; making the minivan instantly uncool, just as it had done to the station wagon.

1996 Dodge Viper GTSStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Being both achingly beautiful, and terrifyingly fast, would warrant the inclusion of the Dodge Viper here on merit alone. However, having one of the largest engines ever offered in a production car helps guarantee it making the cut.

With ten-cylinders displacing 8.0-litres, the Viper GTS was even more powerful than the RT/10 roadster introduced before it, making 450hp and 490lb-ft of torque. Later Vipers would have even more displacement and power, but the original GTS is just too pretty to ignore.

2002 Hummer H1Star-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Initially offered to the public after its success in Operation Desert Storm, the Hummer really was just a military vehicle with the faintest trimmings of civility. General Motors bought the brand name in 1999, and continued to market the original H1 alongside smaller SUV variants.

With a huge turbo diesel V8 engine, wide track suspension, and the ability to ford 30 inches (56 cm) of water the H1 was able to take on anything. But only a few people needed such capability at the best of times, and the economic rationale for improving the H1 to meet new emissions regulations meant GM abandoned it in 2006.

2006 Ford Crown VictoriaStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Imagine any typical American cop car or taxicab, and the Ford Crown Victoria is likely to be the image that appears in your head. Using the Panther platform body-on-frame construction gave the Crown Victoria dependability, and ease of repair should it be involved in a collision.

These qualities were desired by fleet operators, and saw almost 10 million Panther platform cars produced between 1979 and 2011. Ultimately the market for big, thirsty, rear-wheel drive sedans diminished, but the Crown Vic still remains an icon of car chases and movies.

2008 Tesla RoadsterStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Tesla and Elon Musk might not have invented the electric car, but with the pioneering use of lithium-ion batteries EVs became both practical and desirable. The Tesla Roadster is the genesis for current Model S and Model X, along with the forthcoming Model 3.

Adding an 185kW (248hp) electric motor to a chassis derived from a Lotus Elise resulted in 0-60mph in 3.9 seconds, and a top speed of 125mph, silencing those who criticised EVs for being slow. A theoretical range of over 240 miles on a single charge was the nail in the coffin for the haters.

2013 Ford Shelby GT500 MustangStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

Having been in production since 1964, picking a Mustang that exemplifies it the best is not easy. The Boss 429, the ’67 Shelby GT500, and even the newest GT350R all have considerable merit. Choosing which not to include is simpler, with the debatable second and third-generation cars best left alone.

Ford rediscovered Mustang greatness with the fifth-generation, and the 2013 Shelby GT500 marked a milestone with a top speed in excess of 200mph. It is still the fastest street Mustang, and the fastest muscle car ever built to date. Easily done with a 5.8-litre supercharged V8 engine producing 662hp and 631lb-ft of torque.

2018 Dodge Challenger SRT DemonStar-spangled, no bangers – 25 important American cars

World’s fastest production car 0-60mph (2.3 seconds), world’s fastest quarter-mile production car (9.65 seconds), most powerful production V8 engine (840hp), first production car with the front-passenger seat deleted… Yes, the Challenger SRT Demon has set quite a lot of world firsts.

Being little more than a road-legal dragster, the SRT Demon encapsulates the craziness of a place where a Guinness World Record for the first front-wheel lift in a production car is a thing. As incredible as it is ridiculous, the SRT Demon is testimony to the American car industry catering to the most extreme of customer needs.

Jeep Renegade 2.0 MultiJet 4WD Limited: Two-Minute Road Test

Jeep Renegade 2.0 MultiJet 4WD Limited: Two-Minute Road Test

Jeep Renegade 2.0 MultiJet 4WD Limited: Two-Minute Road Test

If you’re a Jeep purist, look away now. This is the smallest Jeep ever, and the firm’s attempt at a trendy crossover vehicle. It shares a platform (and a factory) with the Fiat 500X – making it the first Jeep to be built exclusively outside of North America.

What are its rivals?

The Jeep Renegade has no shortage of crossover rivals. These include the Nissan Juke, MINI Countryman, Skoda Yeti, Suzuki Vitara, Mazda CX-3 and, of course, the Fiat 500X.

Jeep Renegade 2.0 MultiJet 4WD Limited: Two-Minute Road Test

Which engines does it use?

Buyers get a choice of a 1.4-litre petrol engine (with 140hp or 170hp) or 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre diesels. The smaller and lower-powered versions of each are available with front-wheel drive, while the 170hp petrol and 2.0-litre diesel come with four-wheel drive. It’s the latter we’re testing here.

What’s it like to drive?

It feels like a proper, old-school Jeep. The diesel engine is noisy, while vibration transfers into the cabin through the steering wheel and pedals. It almost feels like it’s been engineered this way in a bid to give it a macho-4×4 feel. Despite its four-wheel-drive system, it’s not as confidence-inspiring as you’d expect on the road – it runs out of grip quite easily in the wet, and the steering is overly light.

The ride is choppy, combining a harsh ride over bumps with poor damping, eager to chuck you off course and potentially problematic for parents whose kids suffer from travel sickness. And its slab-sidedness means it’s not the most pleasant drive on a windy motorway. You’ll find yourself drifting across your lane, before the obtrusive lane-departure warning system nudges you back.

Jeep Renegade 2.0 MultiJet 4WD Limited: Two-Minute Road Test

Fuel economy and running costs

The 2.0-litre diesel returns a combined fuel economy figure of 55.4mpg. That’s pretty commendable considering it’s a four-wheel-drive with genuine off-road ability. Of course, real life fuel economy figures rarely match up to the official figures, but we found it could comfortably return mid-40s during our time with the car. It emits 134g/km CO2, meaning it’ll cost you £130 a year in VED (road tax).

Is it practical?

Despite its boxy shape, the Renegade isn’t particularly practical. With the rear seats up, it’ll carry 351 litres of cargo in the boot. That’s on par with rivals, but falls short of the excellent Skoda Yeti. Rear legroom is tight, but headroom is good even for the tallest of passengers. If you look past the commanding driving position, the interior feels pretty cheap.

Jeep Renegade 2.0 MultiJet 4WD Limited: Two-Minute Road Test

What about safety?

There’s a host of safety systems fitted as standard to this model – from the lane-departure system (as already mentioned) to its forward collision warning, which can automatically apply the brakes should it detect that you’re about to crash into another vehicle.

Which version should I go for?

Enthusiasts will mock, but we suspect the front-wheel-drive Renegade makes a lot more sense than the 4×4. Get a petrol, too – the diesel is harsh and unrefined, and the petrol will take away some of the Renegade’s ‘Jeepness’. Which is a good thing.

Jeep Renegade 2.0 MultiJet 4WD Limited: Two-Minute Road Test

Should I buy one?

The Jeep Renegade looks cool, so it’s a tempting buy for anyone in the market for a new crossover. In reality, you’re paying a price for the style – and neither the cabin or driving experience lives up to the £25,995 price tag of our test car (before options). There is no shortage of rivals – and most of them are much easier to live with day-to-day.

Pub fact

The Renegade is full of ‘Easter eggs’ – hidden design cues giving a nod to Jeep’s heritage. These range from the petrol canister rear lights to the redline mud splatter on the tacho. How many can you count? We reckon there’s at least 30.

Jeep slammed for encouraging dangerous driving in radio advert

Jeep slammed for encouraging dangerous driving in radio advert

Jeep slammed for encouraging dangerous driving in radio advert

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has rapped Jeep UK for encouraging people to seek out dangerous, snowy conditions in a radio advert for the new Cherokee.

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