SEMA360

Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept is designed for off-roading, mountain biking enthusiasts

The new Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept is made for mountain bikers.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Just in time for SEMA360, Mopar has transformed a 2020 Jeep Gladiator into a custom off-roading beast for serious mountain bikers. The Gladiator has been equipped with Jeep Performance Parts and custom accessories.

"Loaded with nearly 20 Jeep Performance Parts, we built this go-anywhere Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept for passionate mountain bike enthusiasts," said Mark Bosanac, Head of Mopar Service, Parts and Customer Care, FCA – North America. "Across the entire Jeep lineup, we offer more than 500 quality-tested, factory-backed parts and accessories."

The Gladiator concept is painted K-9 Blue and takes the moniker of Top Dog Concept from the recent Jeep contest to find the Jeep Top Canine. The winner of that contest was Bear, a melting pot of a pup that has black lab, collie, chow chow, and standard poodle ancestors.

Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

At the front of the truck is a JPP Rubicon bumper that holds a 2-inch steel grille guard that is inspired by the Jeep J6 concept. A JPP 8,000-pound-capacity Rubicon Warn winch sits on the face with 100 feet of Spydura synthetic rope.

The truck's hood is latched with custom black Mopar hood latches that feature the Jeep Willys logo. A JPP snorkel and JPP 5-inch, off-road LED lights are installed up front as well.

Gladiator's sides are protectedly JPP rock rails that have been customized with welded two-inch steel tubes, similar to the front grille guard design. Custom black door sill guards have a raised Gladiator logo on them

Mopar has altered the bed of the Gladiator, removing the traditional cargo box and replacing it with a custom PCOR flatbed storage system. On the passenger side of the storage system, pull-out drawers securely store tools and supplies that mountain bikers need when out on the trails. Interior storage shelves, exterior lighting switches, and extra power supplies are within reach. On the driver's side of the storage system, a battery-powered refrigerator and electric hot-dog roller grill stand ready for post-riding activities.

A second JPP Warn winch is installed at the rear truck. Just above the rear-facing winch, a roll-out storage drawer carries a foldable ladder used for access to the dual bike rack.

Above the cab, two rack structures allow for additional storage space for tools and equipment. A set of dual concept exterior task lights are mounted on each side of the vehicle and vehicle recovery traction mats are located at the top. On top of the rack structure, a dual bike rack is the home of Trek mountain bikes.

"Built to handle the demands of an active lifestyle and offering one-of-a-kind open-air freedom, Jeep Gladiator is the perfect canvas for Mopar to push the envelope even further with the addition of an array of Jeep Performance Parts," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA North America. "Mopar's new Top Dog Concept results in even more clever functionality and versatility for Jeep Gladiator."

The Jeep Top Dog Concept features a JPP 2-inch lift kit with FOX shocks, 17-inch JPP beadlock-capable aluminum wheels, and 37-inch BF Goodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires. Steel "high-top" fender flares provide additional clearance at all four corners.

The concept is driven by FCA's 3.6-liter V6 engine that delivers 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Mopar has carried the exterior color of the Jeep into the interior with a blue and black instrument panel that lives alongside black Katzkin leather seats, armrests, shifter boots, steering wheel, and the parking brake handle accented with blue stitching.

Mopar stainless-steel pedal covers with black rubber pads are fitted to the accelerator and brake pedals. The company's all-weather floor mats installed throughout the cabin area.

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A diamond mesh grille fronts the 2022 Kia K8.

PhPhoto courtesy of Kia Motorsoto courtesy of Kia Motors

Goodbye, Cadenza. Hello, K8. The Kia Cadenza is one of those cars that is easy forgotten about (if you ever knew about it in the first place) and frequently passed over in favor of the Toyota Avalon or the like. Still, most every automotive journalist who has driven it likes it.

So, Kia's taking the lessons learned from the Cadenza and some from the K5 and Stinger, and rolling them into a new large sedan, the 2022 Kia K8. This week the company unveiled the first official images of the car ahead of its debut. This is the first vehicle named the K8 in Kia history.

2022 Kia K8 The K8's headlights have integrated turn signals.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

2022 Kia K8

"Following our recent company rebrand, we keep moving toward our new brand values with a new model – the K8. This modern sedan has been designed with innovation and elegance at its very core," said Karim Habib, Senior Vice President and Head of Kia Global Design Center. "While paying homage to the K7, the K8 looks to the future. Its progressive exterior takes on character and emotion, and combines those qualities with an expressive looking front and a dynamic swooping rear, giving the K8 a high-quality, premium presence that takes direct inspiration from some of the world's most technically advanced yachts."

As seen in the photos, the car wears Kia's new logo on its badging, and has design lines reminiscent of the vehicles it has taken lessons from. There's a frameless tire nose grille with diamond lattice, turn signals integrated into the headlights, an elongated side profile, chrome finish along the bottom of the doors, and a roofline that trails off into the trunk. It's all very much from the Kia sedan lineup.

Kia promises that the car will have a "first class" interior that establishes "new benchmarks in premium quality". The sedan will deliver a high-performance driving experience yet be comfortable to ride in, according to Kia messaging.

The rear of the Kia K8 features elongated taillights.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The Kia K8 is expected to arrive in showrooms later this year but the U.S. might not get it until after it's arrived in Korea and Europe.

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New Amazon Fire TV for Auto technology is debuting in the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.

Photo courtesy of Stellantis

The Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are set to be unveiled soon. Ahead of those debuts, Jeep has announced that those vehicles will be the first in the industry to integrate Amazon Fire TV for Auto.

Amazon Fire TV for Auto will give Wagoneer family occupants access to their favorite shows, movies, apps, unique vehicle features, and Alexa. It will communicate directly with the SUV's Uconnect 5 infotainment operating system. Just like in other Amazon devices, content syncs with an existing Amazon account. This means that customers will be able to pause a show in their home and seamlessly continue watching once they get into their vehicle.

"The all-new 2022 model-year Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are designed and engineered to set a new standard for American premium in the large SUV segment," said Christian Meunier, Jeep® Brand Chief Executive Officer - Stellantis. "Launching Fire TV for Auto as an industry-first technology to the Wagoneer lineup illustrates one of the many ways we intend to deliver class-leading technology and connectivity to our customers."

Amazon The screen for Amazon Fire TV for Auto looks very similar to what you'd see on a TV at your home.Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Amazon

Fire TV for Auto builds on the Fire TV experience that exists today with unique features that include:

  • Passengers can view Fire TV in high definition from the rear seats and the front passenger screen (a privacy filter disables driver viewing). When the vehicle is in park, the driver also can view Fire TV on the main Uconnect 5 screen
  • Touchscreen controls and support for compatible content can be downloaded on trips where wireless service is limited or to save on data
  • A Fire TV for Auto-specific remote provides control of the experience and includes push-to-talk access to Alexa, making it easy to find and quickly play shows
  • The remote includes a button that connects Fire TV with the new Uconnect 5 system for control of vehicle features, such as climate, maps and more

"We reimagined Fire TV for the automobile with a purpose-built experience that delivers the best in entertainment, anywhere you go," said Sandeep Gupta, Vice President and General Manager of Amazon Fire TV. "With Fire TV built in, customers can stream their favorite shows, see if they left the lights on at home with Alexa, and take advantage of unique controls through the Uconnect system."

Fire TV for Auto will be packaged with other connected services and made available in fall 2021 in Canada, Mexico and the United States.

This isn't the first time a Stellantis company has been on the cutting edge of in-vehicle tech. Jeep's stablemate, Ram, was the first to integrate SiriusXM 360L into a vehicle, its 2019 Ram 1500.

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