This part of the world is the playground where real 4WDs, typically the biggest toys in a man's toybox, are made and tested on the most extreme trails this country has to offer. If your rig has a weak link in the driveline or powertrain (or the weak link is your trail spotter), it'll show itself at exactly the wrong moment, usually when your buddies are all watching. We've seen it. It never ends well. We rode with Hummer on one day and the Jeep the next, each with a lineup of toys-some of which, they tell us, are coming to market in one way or another.
In addition, Mopar had a chance to show off quite a few of its new parts and packages now available for Jeep and Dodge-everything from lift kits to transfer cases to complete front- or rear-axle assemblies. However, the biggest news was the newly offered VM Motori turbodiesel crate-engine swap kit made to drop into any new Wrangler. If there's one thing Jeep guys understand, it's torque, and the little Italian motor will offer close to 300 pound-feet of pulling power.