February '21

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6 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2021 n the typical OEM/aftermarket relationship, the OEMs create the base models, and the after- market dreams up ways to make them run better, look better or be more useful. Recently, however, some carmakers and factory builders have dipped their toes into the creative pool, unveiling special project vehicles and factory packages with specific restyling or performance features. Can the aftermarket—and your shop— learn anything from these offerings? Here are some examples of OEM innovation that could lead to aftermarket inspiration. 4X4 FOR THE WIN Ford, Jeep and Ram came out with special models in the 4x4 segment last year that may help spark some ideas in your shop. Ford released a Tremor off-road package for the Ford Ranger, meant to give the pop- ular model more off-road capability without sacrificing its payload and tow ratings. Jeep built on the momentum of the brand's 2019 Wayout Jeep Gladiator con- cept by introducing a Jeep Gladiator Farout overlander model. The Farout was intended to debut at last year's Moab Easter Jeep Safari, like the Wayout Gladiator did in 2019, but the event was canceled due to COVID-19. And Ram launched the third installment of its Built to Serve Edition limited-edi- tion Ram 1500 series. The series celebrates America's armed forces, and the debut of the third, aeronautically inspired model coincided with the 73rd anniversary of the U.S. Air Force on Sept. 18, 2020. Feel the Rumble Ford's Tremor package provides off-road boosts over the Ranger SuperCrew 4x4 base model, including: • 30.9-degree approach angle, up 2.2 degrees from the base model • 25.5-degree departure angle, up 0.1 degrees • 24.2-degree breakover angle, up 2.7 degrees • 9.7 inches of ground clearance, up 0.8 inch • Front suspension travel increased to 6.5 inches • Rear suspension travel increased to 8.1 inches Upgrades include a lifted suspension, redesigned front knuckles and 32-inch Continental General Grabber A/TX all-ter- rain tires on new 17-inch magnetic-painted wheels, backed up by FOX 2.0 monotube dampers with rear piggyback reservoirs and hydraulic rebound stops. A multi-leaf rear spring setup allows greater wheel travel while reduced anti- Recent project vehicles & special builds have an aftermarket feel. By Erin Gaddie OEM Carmakers and factory builders recently unveiled special project vehicles and factory packages that may spark some ideas for shops looking to develop their own unique combinations. INFLUENCE

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