Spokespuppy

Meet Bear, the #JeepTopCanine winner who will rep the brand for one year

Bear, a four-year old pup from Massachusetts, was chosen as the #JeepTopCanine.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Thousands of dogs entered to become the #JeepTopCanine but, alas, there could only be one. The winner is ... Bear! Bear is a native of Northborough, Massachusetts.

Bear will spend the next year appearing as the face of the Jeep brand across social media channels alongside many of the brand's best-sellers like the Wrangler, Gladiator, and Grand Cherokee. For his entry photo, Bear posed on a Wrangler.

"As the true cult SUV brand revered around the world for its off-road legacy, Jeep owners share a love of adventure and freedom, and it's almost an unwritten law that if you take out your Jeep SUV, your dog is coming with you," said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA.

"It's that same devotion for their 'best friends' that our fans share for their Jeep vehicles. We saw it throughout our first-ever #JeepTopCanine search, giving our fans the opportunity to share and connect with fellow Jeep brand enthusiasts about their shared passions, reaching millions of fans through views and engagements across our social media channels and digital website throughout July and August."

Bear won the contest by gaining the most votes via the #JeepTopCanine website. There, he competed against seven other dogs for the crown, each posing with a Jeep product.

Jeep Top Canine Finalists Bear's entry photo helped propel him to the top of the standings and secured his place as the first #JeepTopCanine. Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Bear and his owner Margot, along with two cat siblings, have been cohabitating since the end of March 2016. When he was three months old, Margot rescued Bear from Georgia. Margo reports that Bear is quite popular and has many dog friends.

Bear is not a purebred. Margot did a DNA test on him and it turns out that Bear's a melting pot! He's mostly black lab, but there's collie, chow chow, a little standard poodle, and a few other "unknown" breeds mixed in.

When he's not riding in Margot's JL, he loves going for rides in their friend's CJ5. He also enjoys swimming and hiking. Margot says, " He is a strong swimmer and loves to take a dip when it's warm out, and even when I think it's not warm enough. We also hike very often and he has the best sense of direction. [He] seriously helps me out when I get turned around - or prevents me from doing that in the first place, because he leads me up and down the mountain!"

Bear has a lot of love to give. Margot says that if he sees two people hugging he frequently tries to get in on the action by inserting himself between them.

His favorite treats are Whimzees, which are shaped like little alligators, and Frosty Paws frozen doggie ice creams.

When it comes to toys, Bear's favorites are something that Margot originally got for her cats - animatronic fish. He also likes Frisbees and is properly spoiled with an indoor and outdoor toy box.

If you meet Bear, he might be willing to do a few tricks for you. Some of his favorites are puppy push ups, "high ten", and spinning.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 has been added to the four-wheel drive family.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

It's perfectly balanced. The 470-horsepower, 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 also has 470 pound-feet of torque. That's a lot, but really the whole rig is a bit extra. Some might say it screams, "please don't buy a Bronco."

With typical Wrangler Rubicon looks on the outside, the Rubicon 392's big selling point is its engine. The 6.4-liter V8 can get from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Jeep is equipping the Rubicon 392 with a 21.5-gallon fuel tank to help with the thirsty engine's range. To save on fuel, the Rubicon 392 uses cylinder deactivation to switch into four-cylinder mode when the V8 isn't needed.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 The SUV features a standard 2.0-inch lift.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The noise out back is courtesy of a two-mode performance exhaust. A functional air scoop feeds the engine and keeps it cool.

All that power requires a stronger frame than the typical Wrangler has. It gets upgraded frame rails, improved cast-iron steering knuckles, and beefier front upper control arms. Stopping power comes from the SUV's larger-than-usual brakes - the Rubicon 392 has 14-inch rotors instead of the Rubicon's typical 13.4-inchers. A 2.0-inch lift is standard.

Jeep has given the model an Off-Road Plus button that lets you lock the rear of the Wrangler Rubicon 392 while it's in four-wheel drive high gear. This functionality will prove especially helpful to desert trekking enthusiasts who get slippery sand under the tires but have to keep up their forward motion so they don't sink and get stuck.

It's also Moab-ready. The Wrangler Rubicon 392 doesn't have the Rock-Trac transfer case that's in the typical Rubicon, but it makes up for it with the availability of low-end torque courtesy of the new V8. Add in the standard Select-Trac transfer case, locking rear differentials, and front sway bar disconnect and adventuring on rocks just became more manageable.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is competent on rocks and sand.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The entire rig rides on 33-inch BF Goodrich KO2 tires that sit at all four corners one 17-inch beadlock-capable tires.

Jeep's revisions to the Wrangler for this model have given it better approach and departure angles than the standard Rubicon. It can also ford 32.5 inches of water thanks to its new Hydro-Guide air intake system.

On the inside and outside of the Rubicon 392, there are bronze-colored accents. Inside, it's bronze stitching on leather-appointed surfaces. The seats get performance-inspired, integrated upper bolsters. The SUV's gauge cluster has gotten a new numbering design while a leather-wrapped performance steering wheel (a first in the Wrangler) is home to wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

At the center of the dashboard is an n8.4-inch infotainment screen that allows Jeep Off-Road Pages to be viewed. Those pages display pitch, roll, altitude, GPS coordinates, drivetrain power distribution and more.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 is available in nine exterior colors: Black, Bright White, Firecracker Red, Granite Crystal Metallic, Punk 'n Metallic, Sarge Green Metallic, Snazzberry Metallic, Sting-Gray Metallic and Billet Silver Metallic, all with a black interior.

The 2021 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392 includes 11 features that are normally options on Wrangler:

  • Leather interior
  • Infotainment Group
  • HD electrical switch bank
  • Body-color hard top
  • Body-color flares
  • Steel Bumper Group
  • LED Lighting Group
  • Cold Weather Group
  • Remote proximity entry
  • Safety Group
  • Advanced Safety Group

Mopar is standing ready to offer factory-backed parts and accessories for the new model. Customers can shop from the portfolio of Jeep Performance Parts including LED off-road lights, Rubicon winch, Ultimate Dana 44 Advantek front axle with gear ratios available up to 5.38, new off-road beadlock-capable wheels suitable for larger tires, tube doors, off-road bumpers, and rock rails.

Pricing for the model has not yet been announced. The 2021 Wrangler Rubicon starts at $42,195. Expect the Wrangler Rubicon 392 to be higher than that price tag. It is set to arrive in showrooms in January 2021.

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Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

U.S. News & World Report has announced the winners of its Best Vehicle Brand awards. To get the winners, the company evaluated 34 brands that are sold in North America evaluating them based on the high quality of their vehicles. Four winners were chosen, one in each of the four categories: Best Car Brand, Best SUV Brand, Best Truck Brand, and Best Luxury Brand.

To determine which automaker reigns supreme, U.S. News averaged the overall score, as determined by the U.S. News Best Cars review team based on the consensus of the automotive press, safety scores, and reliability data, of every brand's products in each award class. The brand with the highest overall average score was named the winner in the category.

"Many buyers know the type of vehicle they want but not the best brands for their needs," says Jamie Page Deaton, executive editor of U.S. News Best Cars. "The Best Vehicle Brand awards point consumers to the brands that excel in producing the type of vehicle each buyer is interested in."

Best Car Brand: Mazda

2020 Mazda MX-5 RF

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

U.S. News & World Report: "Mazda wins the Best Car Brand award on the strength of the Mazda3, Mazda6 and Mazda MX-5 Miata. All three models have top-notch performance that puts an emphasis on direct, sporty handling, as well as quality interiors that are more upscale than their price tags might suggest. This is the sixth consecutive year Mazda has won this award."

Best SUV Brand: Hyundai

2022 Hyundai Tucson

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

U.S. News & World Report: "With a fresh, new lineup of SUVs in all sizes, Hyundai wins the Best SUV Brand award for the first time. The Hyundai SUV lineup ranges from the large and luxurious Hyundai Palisade to the midsize Santa Fe, compact Tucson and subcompact Venue. With so many updated models, Hyundai SUVs win points for offering buyers the latest in driver assistance and infotainment technology at an affordable price."

Best Truck Brand: Ram

2021 Ram TRX

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

U.S. News & World Report: "Ram wins the Best Truck Brand award on the strength of the Ram 1500, which is one of the few trucks on the market to make a case for itself as both a work vehicle and a daily driver. The Ram 1500 features a coil-over suspension that makes the Ram comfortable enough for commuting but capable enough for serious towing and hauling. The Ram interior features a top-notch infotainment system with intuitive controls and a huge touch screen. The interiors of high-end Ram trims feature materials that keep pace with what luxury SUVs offer."

Best Luxury Brand: Porsche

2021 Porsche Panamera

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

U.S. News & World Report: "This is the sixth consecutive Best Luxury Brand win for Porsche. Though the brand is known for sports cars, Porsche offers a lineup of vehicles that effortlessly marry performance with upscale panache. Though almost any Porsche is at home on a racetrack, all models feature driver-focused interiors built with high-end materials and plenty of comfort."

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