Jeep fans hit the highway to lift cash for St. Jude

PEKIN (Heart of Illinois ABC) – More than 100 Jeep owners made their way to a “Jeep Creep” Saturday to raise money for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The group started in Uftring Pekin and drove slowly through the back roads in the area, making several stops before ending at Lake Sankoty.

At each station there were games and raffles to raise money, as well as a live auction and a concert in the evening to close.

Organizer Mitzi Pollitt said they expected to raise more than $ 50,000 on Saturday and shared what she hoped the drivers would leave after their experience.

“I just hope that they leave with a big heart for what they do and with appreciation for everyone. It’s just a great thing and I hope you leave feeling like you’ve really achieved something today,” said Pollitt.

The fundraising campaign started in 2019 with around 60 jeeps. Pollitt said it has gotten bigger and better every year and she hopes it will keep growing.

Jeep unveils all-electric Wrangler idea SUV

The Jeep Wrangler Magneto concept is an all-electric SUV based on a 2020 two-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

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EMBARGOED FOR 12:01 AM MONDAY, MARCH 22nd.

Jeep has unveiled a new all-electric version of its iconic Wrangler SUV, but consumers will likely have to wait at least a few years to buy one.

The brand presented the Wrangler “Magneto” as a concept vehicle on Monday. This means that it is a custom product that is usually developed by automakers to measure customer interest or to point out the future direction of a vehicle or brand.

“It’s a sustainable, stealthy climbing group,” said Jim Morrison, vice president of the Jeep brand in North America, during a media event. “It’s a zero-emission concept vehicle with Jeep 4×4 capability that is being taken to the next level.”

Jeep executives have said that every Jeep will offer some form of electrification in the future, but an all-electric version of the Wrangler has not been confirmed. The company recently started selling a plug-in hybrid electric version of the Wrangler under a new one “4xe” moniker, A game with the brand’s off-road reputation combined with electrification. Plug-in hybrid electric models have batteries like electric vehicles, but also a conventional internal combustion engine.

The Jeep Wrangler Magneto concept is an all-electric SUV based on a 2020 two-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.

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The Jeep Wrangler Magneto concept is based on a 2020 two-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. To make it an electric vehicle, the engineers swapped out its internal combustion engine and some supporting parts for electrical components like four batteries and an electric motor.

The vehicle is capable of up to 273 foot-pounds of torque and 285 horsepower. The Magneto runs 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds. The company has not approved the vehicle’s electric range.

The most unique thing about the Magneto is that it has a six-speed manual transmission that electric vehicles don’t need because of their engines. Mark Allen, head of Jeep design, said the vehicle had “the best features” of an automatic transmission but the “direct drive feel” of a manual transmission, which is vital for off-road enthusiasts.

The Magneto was featured along with several other custom or concept vehicles for the Jeep Easter Safari, an annual off-road event for the brand in Moab, Utah. Jeep regularly uses the off-road event as a test site for the performance of its vehicles and as a means of measuring customer interest in new products.

“The Moab Easter Jeep Safari has been a tradition for more than half a century,” said Morrison. “It’s a place where we can connect with our die-hard off-road enthusiasts and those who are most loyal to our brand.”

Concept vehicles for this year’s Jeep Easter Safari include (from left to right) Jeep Red Bare, Jeep Magneto, Jeepster Beach and Jeep Orange Peelz.

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Jeep unveils long-awaited Grand Wagoneer SUV topping $111,000

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

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DETROIT – Jeeps long awaited Grand Wagoneer SUV will continue to propel the quintessential off-road brand into luxury vehicles with a fully loaded model over $ 111,000 when it goes on sale later this year.

The new three-row SUV will test whether Jeep can expand its product range to the market lucrative luxury SUV segment and attract new customers like Cadillac, Lincoln and Land Rover. Jeep has expanded its mainstream SUVs to a full range of vehicles in recent years amid the influx of new competitors.

The Grand Wagoneer will be the premium sibling of a lower-priced SUV called Wagoneer, which starts at $ 57,995. Both vehicles are the same size, but the Grand Wagoneer – starting at $ 86,995 – has a slightly different exterior design, a more powerful engine, and exclusive interiors. Both vehicles are to be presented online on Thursday.

“Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are born from Jeep, but their character is different from the rest of the brand,” said Jeep CEO Christian Meunier during a press conference prior to the unveiling. “They are modern and future-oriented. There is pure DNA on which we build to make these products absolutely unique.”

Screens galore

While the exterior of the Grand Wagoneer is unmistakably a jeep, the interior of the SUV may be unrecognizable to current owners. It has screens up to 75 “, including an available 10.25” touchscreen in front of the passenger for streaming video and video Amazon Fire TV and control certain functions like navigation and outside cameras.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

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The interior of the vehicle is also equipped with high-quality materials such as satined American walnut wood, aluminum and Nappa or Palermo leather seats with leather upholstery.

“You can match this interior of the Grand Wagoneer against anything in the market,” said Jim Morrison, head of Jeep’s North American office. “I’m not just saying any SUVs, you can take that up against anything on the market.”

Overall, compared to the Grand Wagoneer, the Wagoneer has fewer standard functions and high-quality materials. For example, the cheaper Wagoneer offers up to 50 ”screens compared to 75”. Some of the screens are smaller and do not have touch screens for convenience settings. Amazon Fire TV is available as both a passenger touchscreen and a front passenger touchscreen, which is not visible to the driver through a filter.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

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Jeep said both Wagoneer models will eventually offer hands-free driver assistance systems on “approved roads,” but a spokesman declined to offer additional details. The vehicles are started with a driver assistance system that can control the speed, braking and distance of the vehicle between other vehicles. However, drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel.

Wagoneer

The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are expected to hit dealerships in the second half of 2021, including a top-end Grand Wagoneer Series III model starting at $ 103,995. Jeep is accepting refundable deposits of $ 500 for both vehicles through the Jeep website starting Thursday.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

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Jeep dealers must be certified to sell the models. Certification includes training and an undisclosed investment. You have to fulfill 10 “promises” for Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer owners, ranging from free WiFi and car washes during service visits to a “high-tech and efficient sales and service experience”. The automaker also offers 24-hour customer service to the owners.

“Customer satisfaction with the product and the way they are treated throughout the buying process is paramount to the overall Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer experience,” said Meunier.

The names Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer were previously used by Jeep for large SUVs from 1963 to 1991. The company had promised to revive the Wagoneer name for almost a decade in order to better survive in the highly profitable large SUV segment.

The seven- or eight-person vehicles are largely based on a Concept version of the vehicle that the company revealed last year. The concept incorporated similar design elements, as well as many features and screens of the interior. Notable missing elements from the concept include an illuminated grille, an all-glass roof, and a plug-in hybrid petrol electric motor.

V-8 engines

Jeep has announced all of its new models will offer some form of electrification, such as the plug-in hybrid system, but executives declined to comment on the alternative powertrains for the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Meunier said the brand has “a plan for electrification”.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

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Jeep’s new parent company, Stellantis – the product of a $ 52 billion merger between automakers Fiat Chrysler and Groupe PSA – plans to offer a range of all-electric or hybrid products Vehicles by 2025.

The Wagoneer comes standard with a 5.7 liter mild hybrid V-8 developing 392 horsepower and 404 foot pounds of torque. The Grand Wagoneer comes standard with the 6.4 liter V8 engine delivering 471 horsepower and 455 foot pounds of torque. Each engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The hybrid engine has a 48-volt battery that offers better fuel consumption and faster acceleration, as well as other benefits.

Jeep has not published any estimates of the vehicles’ fuel consumption.

How Jeep landed Bruce Springsteen for its 2021 Tremendous Bowl advert

Bruce Springsteen starred in and narrated a two-minute Super Bowl ad for Jeep that featured far more Americana and scenery than any other vehicle.

Rob DeMartin for Jeep

Jeeps Super Bowl advertisement with Bruce Springsteen Olivier Francois, an automotive marketing manager best known for convincing A-list celebrities to appear in such ads, was a decade in the making.

Every year since 2011 Francois said he had an idea for one of Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau Super Bowl advertisement. It became something of a tradition, although Francois believed there was little chance that this would happen.

Why Springsteen, who had never appeared in a commercial before? It goes back to the automaker’s former CEO Sergio Marchionne who died unexpectedly in 2018. The Italian-Canadian businessman was a fan of the singer and regularly used his music at presentations and events to connect Springsteen’s personality with that of the company.

“What you are really seeing today is 10 years of history,” Francois told CNBC. “We started discussing Bruce – about Bruce, not him, about – with my old boss Sergio. … He loved Bruce Springsteen’s music.”

Francois, Head of Marketing at Jeep’s parent company, Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler) convinced Detroit rapper Eminem and musician Bob Dylan to star in the company’s ads. He even landed Oprah Winfrey for a voice over once. Last year Francois convinced elusive actor Bill Murray to repeat his role in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day” for a Super Bowl ad.

He said his “greatest regret” was unable to do the Springsteen commercial while Marchionne was alive. “My biggest regret today is that they never made it to meet. I always promised him that I would make a difference and I delivered a little too late,” said Francois.

Why now?

Francois first cast Springsteen in a 2012 Super Bowl commercial called “It’s halftime in America” It featured actor Clint Eastwood, who is another celebrity not known for appearing in ads or for affiliation with any product or company. The ad featured Eastwood as the national coach and urged the US to learn from the resurgence of the Detroit auto industry.

Francois referred to this year’s ad as the “successor” to this commercial as well as others such as a 2013 Super Bowl commercial called “Farmer”. Both were cinematic, country-specific ads with few actual vehicles.

In this year’s “The Middle” advertisement, Springsteen drives around in an old jeep and talks about a chapel in the center of the country called US Center Chapel in Lebanon, Kansas. He used the extremely small chapel as a base to talk about the country that must “meet here in the middle” before the ad ended with “To the ReUnited States of America”. A website and logos for jeep, which will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2021.

Bruce Springsteen (left) with Olivier Francois, Stellantis Chief Marketing Officer, while filming the company’s Super Bowl LV ad for Jeep.

Rob DeMartin for Jeep

In a press release, Landau said as soon as they saw the pitch they decided it was something they had to do.

“Olivier Francois and I have been talking about ideas for the past 10 years. When he showed us the design for ‘The Middle’, our immediate reaction was ‘Let’s do it’,” he said. “Our goal was to do something surprising, relevant, immediate and artful. I think that’s exactly what Bruce did with ‘The Middle’.”

Francois believes the message of the ad was in line with Springsteen’s beliefs and struck the “right balance” between the company’s goal and that of the singer, who told a commercial for a campaign last year Joe Biden.

According to Francois, Springsteen was closely involved in creating the Jeep ad and worked closely with director Thom Zimny. He wrote and produced the original score for the commercial with another of his frequent collaborators, Ron Aniello.

The ad almost didn’t happen

According to Francois, the commercial with Springsteen almost never happened. After being turned down by the singer’s manager for 10 years, he had decided not to give Landau an idea for Springsteen.

“I think it’s the first year I haven’t asked an agency to crack an idea from Bruce Springsteen,” he said. “I think it took me 10 years to understand that it never happened. Of course I was wrong, but I thought so. And it was also an abuse of John Landau and Bruce’s time.”

Bruce Springsteen starred in and narrated a two-minute Super Bowl ad for Jeep that featured far more Americana and scenery than any other vehicle.

Rob DeMartin for Jeep

Until the Southfield, Michigan-based advertising agency Doner came up with the idea of ​​”The Middle”. After Francois contacted Landau in early January to say a happy new year, he decided to send him the advertising agency’s pitch. Francois said that after receiving the parking space, Landau believed it was “the right message”.

“Yes, he takes a position, but he takes a position for the middle,” said Francois. “It’s not liberal. It’s not republican. It’s just something that tries to stand up for the apolitical. The community.”

The news seems to have resonated with viewers. Since it was posted on YouTube early Sunday morning, the ad has been viewed approximately 24 million times. That’s roughly four times the combined viewership of other automotive Super Bowl ads General Motors, Toyota Motor and online car sellers Vroom.

Bruce Springsteen stars in Tremendous Bowl 2021 advert for Jeep

Bruce Springsteen plays and narrates a two-minute Super Bowl commercial called “The Middle” for Jeep.

Screenshot

Bruce Springsteen encourages Americans to meet “in the middle” during a Super Bowl LV ad for Jeep – his very first appearance in a commercial.

The legendary musician, known as “The Boss”, plays the lead role and narrates the scenic two-minute commercial that contains far more Americana and scenery than jeeps. The only vehicles in the ad are a 1980 Jeep CJ-5 and a 1965 Willys Jeep CJ-5. Both models are predecessors of the brand current Wrangler SUV.

During “The Middle” Springsteen speaks about a chapel in the center of the country, the US Center Chapel in Lebanon, Kansas. He uses the extremely small chapel as a basis to talk about the country that needs to meet “here in the middle” before the ad ends with “To the ReUnited States of America”. This is followed by a website and logos for Jeep, which will celebrate its 80th anniversary in 2021.

“It’s no secret … The middle has been difficult to reach lately. Between red and blue. Between servants and citizens. Between our freedom and our fear,” says Springsteen. “Now fear was never the best of us. And as far as freedom is concerned, it is not only owned by the lucky few; it belongs to all of us.”

The ad is reminiscent of previous Super Bowl ads from Olivier Francois, chief marketing officer at Jeep’s parent company. Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler). Specifically, a 2013 Super Bowl commercial called “Farmer,” which featured the voice of legendary radio station Paul Harvey and another semi-political commercial starring Clint Eastwood “It’s halftime in America” in 2012. Both were scenic, country-specific ads with few actual vehicles.

“It is absolutely intended as a successor,” Francois told CNBC. “This is our style. This is our language. This is our approach to Super Bowl. We really tried to get a little bit of what we did in these other commercials. This is really relevant and meaningful and something that is really being developed. ” the moment.”

Topicality and relevance are the pillars of Francois’ advertising style. He’s also known for casting A-list celebrities who aren’t usually associated with advertising in offbeat commercials. Previous Super Bowl ads included Detroit rapper Eminem, musician Bob Dylan, and a voice-over from Oprah Winfrey. Last year Francois convinced elusive actor Bill Murray to repeat his role in the 1993 film “Groundhog Day” for a Super Bowl ad.

A company spokeswoman declined to say how much the ad cost, including the fee for Springsteen, who isn’t known for appearing in ads but cast his voice on a commercial for a campaign last year Joe Biden.

Fiat Chrysler CMO Olivier Francois (left) with actor Bill Murray while filming the 2020 Super Bowl commercial for the Jeep brand.

Fiat Chrysler

According to Francois, Springsteen was closely involved in creating the ad and worked closely with director Thom Zimny. He wrote and produced the original score for the commercial with another of his frequent collaborators, Ron Aniello.

“Olivier Francois and I have been talking about ideas for the past 10 years. When he showed us the design for ‘The Middle’, our immediate response was ‘Let’s do it’,” Springsteen manager Jon Landau said in a statement. “Our goal was to do something surprising, relevant, immediate and artful. I think that’s exactly what Bruce did with ‘The Middle’.”

The ad was created in collaboration with Michigan-based agency Doner. The spot was shot over five days in late January in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.