How does the 2017 Jeep Compass do off-road? [Video]

The 2017 Jeep Compass is an all-new vehicle that slots between the tiny Jeep Renegade and larger Jeep Cherokee. It replaces the old Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot. It shares its platform and many components with the Jeep Cherokee, but it manages to have a completely unique personality.

In this video, our friends from The Fast Lane Car (TFLcar) take the 2017 Jeep Compass on to Box Car trail in Moab, UT. This event happened at the same time as our friend Charlene Bower filmed for her annual event and a portion of one of our newest shows, EMpowered Women!

Click (here) for more information.

One of the most compelling aspects of the 2017 Jeep Compass is its ability go to places where many other crossovers could never hope to go.

Check out the little brother of the 2017 Jeep Compass, the Jeep Renegade taking on a tough trail!

BMW MOTORRAD USA ANNOUNCES THE PRICING FOR 2018 R NINET URBAN G/S

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – May 2, 2017…BMW Motorrad USA is pleased to announce that the 2018 Model Year R nineT Urban G/S – due to arrive in dealer showrooms by -June – will have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Base Price of $12,995.00 (plus a $495.00 destination fee).

Inspired by BMW’s 1980 R 80 G/S, the BMW R nineT Urban G/S is a contemporary rendition of a legendary classic enduro, right down to its red, white and blue BMW Motorsport colors and classic styling. Like BMW’s flagship Heritage model – the R nineT – the Urban G/S features a potent, air/oil-cooled boxer engine with a capacity of 1,170 cc and an output of 81 kW (110 hp).

Standard Features (vs. the BMW R nineT) include:

19” front wheel (optional off-road tires)
Headlight fairing + high front fender
Higher handlebars, more upright
Extended spring travel (4.9”/5.5” vs. 4.7”/4.7”)
Enduro footrests
One-piece seat
Painted steel tank, traditional forks/gaiters, cast wheels, single tailpipe, Single speedometer
Factory Options:

Hand-brushed Aluminum Fuel Tank with sanded weld: $950 MSRP
Hand-brushed Aluminum Fuel Tank with visible weld: $850 MSRP
Chrome Exhaust: $150 MSRP
Heated Grips: $250 MSRP
Anti-Theft Alarm: $395 MSRP
Off-Road Tires: $0
Automatic Stability Control: $400 MSRP
Cross Spoke Wheels: $500 MSRP
Low Seat: $0
Color

Light White (w/ motorsport-blue accents and red seat): $0

A complete press release with technical specifications for the 2018 BMW R nineT Urban G/S is posted on the BMW Group PressClub USA:

https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/usa/article/detail/T0266150EN_US/the-new-bmw-r-ninet-and-r-ninet-urban-g/s

Is this the face of the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer?


Excerpt from TFLcar.com‘s “Ask Nathan”

This first question comes from a fan who wants to know about the Jeep Yuntu concept on display at the 2017 Shanghai International Auto Show. He thinks it’s the upcoming Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

Q: Hi Nathan and crew. What the HELL IS GOING ON IN CHINA!?

So I’m browsing the internet looking for spy shots of a few cars when I see something that blew my mind. I just saw a three row Jeep on display at the Chinese auto show and it looks production ready! Is this going to become the Jeep Grand Wagoneer? If this is so, why the HELL IS IT IN CHINA FIRST!!!??? I don’t get it. Why would Jeep do this to its American base of fans?

Will the Jeep Wrangler JL debut at the Moscow auto show!? I am totally stupefied by this move from Jeep and Fiat. Maybe we’ll see the debut of the next Ram 1500 in Tokyo!? Please tell me there’s some logic behind this! There’s not much being said about this from anyone.

Nathan, Roman, Andra and Tom! Help!

Armon

A: Hi Armon,

I moved your email to the top of the list because there have been several confused Jeep fans out there. I will do my best to give you (and everyone else who has reached out to me recently) everything I have on it.

First: it’s not known as a Jeep Grand Wagoneer. It’s called the Jeep Yuntu Concept and it appear to be strictly a one-off concept vehicle built for the Chinese market.

Truck Trend caught this quote from Jeep: “This new concept includes futuristic exterior design, flexible interior and a plug-in hybrid powertrain. SUVs are the fastest-growing segment in China and the Jeep Yuntu Concept showcases the potential for the Jeep brand to keep expanding in the country.”

I have a friend who was at the show and got a good look at the Jeep Yuntu Concept. He says it looks like they gutted and stretched a Jeep Grand Cherokee to build this rolling concept. We both think that, if this concept (which is a plug-in hybrid) was anything more than a mockup, it might share its plug-in hybrid system with the Chrysler Pacifica and have a mix of parts to make it extremely clean and efficient for China.

Keep in mind: what many outlets are not reporting is that China is aggressively going after cleaner vehicles, especially electric vehicles, for public consumption. This would prompt FCA/Jeep to play with a Jeep built for their market that is capable of electric efficiency while still looking like a Jeep. I would gio as far as to say the rear wheels could be like Toyota’s hybrid setup on the Highlander and have an electric motor powering the rear wheels only when needed.

The question remains: is the Jeep Yuntu a future Jeep Grand Wagoneer? I doubt it. I think the design cues are Jeep-ish, but it looks too much like a Grand Cherokee and, I’m pretty sure the brand wants to go in a different design direction.

Still, Jeep is becoming enormously popular in oversea’s markets. People like the image of Jeep, even if they don’t need the capability. Maybe this is a side-step into uncharted territory.

I honestly believe Jeep is so busy readying their hype for the upcoming Jeep Wrangler JL, adding something like a Jeep Grand Wagoneer to the immediate mix makes little sense. In a year or so, that could change.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this – promise!

N

This next question comes from a fan who has some questions about our Ford F-150 vs the F-250.

Q: Hey guys, I’ve been following you for a while and thanks to all your great testing I ended up buying myself a 2016 F150 3.5EB super crew. I love the truck!

Driver’s Talk Blog – ACCELERATED CHANGE: PASSENGERS

Istanbul, long after midnight. Still warm and sticky. We are gliding smoothly along a wide body of water, the Bosphorus Strait between Asia and Europe. This inky passage is framed by palace lights, mosques and the sounds of traffic as we approach the well-worn terminal. It might be late but Istanbul is just getting started.

2012 / August. Back then, tourists are everywhere and the mood is carefree. Rooftops are full and there is plenty of cold beer. Taxis are not hard to find, but our group requires three.

This somehow naturally provides a competition between the crew.
We have a start. We have a finish. We have many ways to get to the same spot.
And we have an unexpected taxi race through the heart of Istanbul that we should have been filming. Let the games begin.

Exhausted, marginal, dirty-yellow taxi/racers full of people. Two taxis take the highway around the back, but our driver plunges straight through town. Mirror-hung prayer beads, loosely, indicate the lateral G-forces.

About 10 mph over the traffic speed so smiles are still showing on all the party faces. Late-night traffic is moving and lane changes are frequent. We seem to be flying right along until the sirens.

Overseas, cultures tend to have a different approach to sirens, depending on the mood and the density of the traffic. Laws are different and without police presence…let’s just say the rules are “open for interpretation.”

There is an ambulance behind us. White with red stripes, blue lights flashing and the common two-tone, high-low siren blaring. Blues and Twos might be the cliché. So our taxi nudges over at speed to let him slip by. All seems OK, Party smiles continue.
Aren’t we having fun?

Then our taxi driver tucks in behind the screaming ambulance, 25 feet off the rear bumper. We are now drafting the bone wagon all the way to the hospital, and I am not making up a word.

Straight through red lights. Wrong way up roads. Wiggle through crowded intersections. Seems to be working. Illumination through the small rear windows offer profiles of the paramedics who have seen this all before. Yeah, Yeah. Another Turkish Lewis Hamilton ready for the big time. We are locked on that ambulance bumper.

This isn’t a one-minute ride of fun. This is 15 minutes of mild panic with an air of madness. We were nothing but passengers with no control. Just along for the ride. Trusting the taxi driver had applied this trick many, many times before.

Which brings me to semi-autonomously operated vehicles.
Driver? Or passenger?

There comes a moment when each of us has to make the call. Do you trust the new system? How much do you trust the new system? Is your new driver-aided, semi-autonomous, fully connected vehicle gonna do the right thing? Or, like many of us…will you keep your foot hovering over the brake pedal waiting for the glitch?

While testing and filming new trucks in Arizona in 2016, I had my autonomous moment. 6,500 pounds of early prototype truck, hauling 12,000 pounds of trailer and it’s all pointed down a long steep grade. Real world boys and girls, in real time, with a FedEx tractor-trailer unknowingly providing the moving target.

Three keystrokes of the steering wheel pad and we are locked on. Forward-looking cruise control is downshifting, braking, and resetting the throttle to maintain the same 30-foot gap for miles. My truck and trailer is locked onto the box trailer of the semi in front and this entire multi-ton carnival is plunging down to the desert floor on automatic. My feet are nowhere near the pedals. Awesome. Thrilling. I’m just the passenger while the truck is processing the data. How do we film this?

The overwhelming question is how long do we remain DRIVERS or are we all destined to become only PASSENGERS? Data pilots.

Oh yeah. We won the taxi race.

The Blue Mosque
picture1

THE JEEP SAFARI CONCEPT Driven at the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari

Original content from TFLcar.com

DRIVING THE JEEP SAFARI CONCEPT: IS THIS THE NEW FACE OF THE NEXT JEEP WRANGLER?

As many Jeep fans are starved for details about the upcoming Jeep (JL) Wrangler, the Jeep Safari Concept may offer a few tantalizing clues. The grill and front bumper certainly look like they belong on the next Wrangler, but there’s a lot more to the Jeep Safari Concept than hints to the JL, it is a slick and absurd idea rolled into a great looking rig.

The roof is a translucent plastic-like material and it supports a faux drone that sits over the rear on its own launch pad.

The “windoors” are clear plastic vinyl laid over custom aluminium brackets. Zippers line the window section and the rear doors are rear-hinged (suicide-door-style) and give a great opening to the rear seats. By the way, the two rear seats are similar to the front seats, but they are canted slightly outward for better safari viewing pleasure.

Here’s some of what was added to the Jeep Safari Concept:

  • 35″ BFG Mud Terrain KM2 tires
  • Spray-in bed-liner on the floor
  • Jeep Performance 2″ lift and Fox shocks
  • Underhood air compressor
  • Custom cold intake and beefed up brakes
  • Front and rear Dana 44 axles
  • Front and rear (modified) bucket seats from a Fiat 500 Abarth
  • iPad center display/infotainment system

… and, by the way; the one thing that excited many journalists was the front windshield which is raked 3-degrees. We think this is off of the Jeep Wrangler JL. Still, like the steering wheel, which was sourced from a Fiat 500X, it may be something else.

This year’s TFL coverage of the 2017 Easter Jeep Safari is brought to you by Blackforestgear.com. Check out their web site for unique Jeep soft tops and other fun Jeep wheeling gear.

It’s a fun vehicle to drive, even if the future clues prove false!

Ford Focus RS – The TeamClearCoat Post-Hype Review

I used to have this friend from work, and he looked exactly like every other mid-career IT guy. We’d all go out to the bar every once in a while, and everything was fine from beers zero to three. But as soon as beer number four happened, well, you’ve got bail money, right? These shenanigans continued until one night when I saw that same switch flip in his eyes and thought, “this is no longer fun.” Welcome, everyone, to the exhilarating and utterly exhausting 2016 Ford Focus RS.

 

I rented this car from Turo and lived with it for 24 hours. I drove around town, put my very excited toddler in the back (his review begins and ends with “BIG WING!”), and even sneaked in an early morning blast on mountain roads. In each of these scenarios, I expected a new facet of the car’s personality to show itself. But that’s not what this car is about; there’s no transformational montage in the movie about its life. You’re busy all the time (although, to be fair, the winter tires probably played a part in that feeling) – “BIG WING” is what you get all the time, and it’s glorious and fast and manic.

Let’s start with the obvious: this thing is quick. At 350 horsepower, it’s not a supercar, and the power in and of itself is manageable. Even on city streets, you can have fun poking it before you go screaming into imminent death/imprisonment territory. The only problem is that it wants to do it all the time – like when you throw your nephew into the air thinking “this will be a fun one time thing,” it’s not over until your arms are falling off. That theme extends into every aspect of driving this car – it gets you to do something fun once, but after a while the pops and bangs coming from the exhaust will start to sound exactly like a toddler saying “again! AGAIN! AGAIN!!!”

The brakes are the same way. They’re are amazing, and I’m still having dreams about how good that pedal felt against my foot. But the harder you push the car, the better they feel, and it even extends to the placement of the actual pedal. Like most performance cars, the brake and gas pedals are set up for heel-toe shifting. But in this one, you have to get really deep into the pedal before it all works in a rewarding way. Which means if you’re like me and receive an endorphin hit from executing such a maneuver, the car is pushing you to brake at ridiculously short distances.

In Denver, where we have roads that wouldn’t look out of place in an advertisement for cluster bombs, you realize immediately the suspension is very firm. Then you realize it’s in comfort mode, get curious enough to hit the damper button on the turn signal stalk, and promptly disintegrate from how over-the-top stiff it is. That damper button brings us to the source of all the hype and an inescapable part of this car: the driving modes. There are four modes: normal, sport, track and drift. These modes affect the throttle, exhaust, steering feel, suspension, traction control and AWD systems. The sweet spot for me was to put it in drift mode but turn traction control back on. That left me with the glorious exhaust, and sport everything else except steering and suspension. And the loud exhaust. Did I mention the exhaust? It’s intoxicating and loud and ridiculous and oh god I’m driving too fast again.

I don’t want to leave you with the idea that I didn’t enjoy this car, or that it doesn’t deserve a mention in the discussion of GOAT hot hatches. Truth be told, I haven’t stopped thinking about this car since I drove it. The RS will worm its way under your skin until it’s an obsession. You’ll lay awake at night replaying exactly what you did to provoke the snap-crackle-pop overrun. You’ll end a short blast through the canyons physically exhausted and sore. The hot water in your shower will run out as you stare into middle distance, in awe of how fun a hatchback can be while also trying to figure out if it’s actually enjoyable. But if your friend described their new relationship to you in similar terms, you’d be a bad friend if you said “sounds fun!”

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to spend just one more night with the Focus RS. We’ll both behave ourselves, I promise.

 

****

You can rent the very same Focus RS as I did via Turo here. You should do it.

Also, you can listen to our first impression of this car via episode 83 of the podcast.

The 2017 La Jolla Concours d’Elegance – the Jewel of the Sea – Inspires a Fabulous Concours d’Elegance Weekend

By: Ron at Via Corsa Magazine

Nothing like a Ford GT and Porsche 911 GSR sitting supremely atop La Jolla Cove at the 2017 La Jolla Concours d’Elegance.

Opening the festivities of a spectacular weekend, the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance kicked off with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Contemporary Classic Cocktail Party, presented by The LOT.

In addition, exquisite vehicles of the fleet of Rolls-Royce provided by O’Gara Coach La Jolla took center stage at the refined and luxurious event. A performance by the Sonic Butterfly, fine whiskeys and hand-rolled cigars provided a fantastic ambiance for the guests.

The BH Gold Tour d’Elegance

Symbolic International guided a group 0f 200 guests on an exclusive scenic tour of San Diego’s most treasured collections.

For instance, guests toured in a motorcade that paraded through Chuck Spielman’s Only Yesterday Museum. Also, guests traveled to La Jolla beach and treated for a few hours on the white sands of San Diego’s only private beach.

A glimpse of some of the fashionable and beautiful roadsters on display at La Jolla Concours d’Elegance.

All This Lead up to the Main Event: the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance

Meanwhile, this year’s La Jolla Concours again served as a crowning jewel of the concours season. Over 125 competed in 17 separate classes. The picturesque automobile displays overlooked the scenic and beautiful Pacific Ocean atop La Jolla Cove.

Moreover, The featured marque for this year’s event honored Packard. As well, an abundance of one-off, classic, vintage racers and modern supercars were in attendance.

The 2017 winner of Best in Show was a 1921 Duesenberg – A Dual Cowl Phaeton. In addition, winner of the La Jolla Historical Society Preservation Award was a 1966 427 Cobra Roadster.

Contact us: editor@viacorsa.com

 

The Car Culture is Alive and Well in China [Exclusive Photos]

By: Nathan Adlen

Auotwerkz.TV has the good fortune to have a presence in many corners of the planet. Our friends in China sent us some interesting and rather random photos of cars, trucks, motorcycles and race cars just the other day. These photos represent the firs batch of many photos coming from countries that many people would not necessarily equate with car-savvy inhabitants.

While it looks unusual to western eyes, scooters that are converted to enclosed two and three passenger vehicles are a common sight in Beijing. I have personally witnessed (and have ridden with) intrepid owners of these mini-car-ish-things driving in everything from sub-zero temperatures to scorching heat.  Many of these vehicles are (or will be) powered by an electric motor.

The China GT Chanpionship race series as see at Audi Goldenport Motor Park in Beijing, China. This series will be coming to Autowerkz.TV racing channel along with several other action-packed, but rarely seen racing series.

China doesn’t mess around with security. This is just one example of China using high-end western-built vehicles for its police and security forces.

These are the grandstands at Audi Goldenport Motor Park. They remain empty during practice, but on race-day, it’s hard to find a seat.

  

Just in case you thought the bicycle culture has dwindled in China – since the popularity of automobiles kicked in. As you can see, it’s still a bicycle-savvy country!

 

We will be adding photos to our Autowerkz.TV blog from time to time. Stay tuned!

 

Team Clearcoat Interviews Alex Davies, Transportation Editor for Wired

 

Our friends from Team Clearcoat Alex Davies, Transportation Editor for Wired Magazine!

Alex Davies, Transportation Editor for Wired joins us in the blanket fort this week. We talk about Congress and other unproductive boondoggles like the construction zone problem, the Uber vs Google fight, and of course, old Saabs.

We may not have arrived at any answers in this discussion, but we think we may have stumbled on the right questions.

Read EVERYTHING Alex writes for WIRED here: http://ift.tt/2nIAIXN

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Wanna Race? [Douglas Nadel]


By: Douglas Nadel

You would be surprised by how many people in Colorado want to try racing, but have a few reasons not to. If you are one of those people, or if you know someone who is, read on: racing is doable for almost anyone.

One of the main reasons that many opt not to race is price. I am not going to lie to you; usually it’s not cheap. There are a few cheap options. Various racing bodies hold individual/solo events that allow nearly any car to participate. Usually, after you join a racing governing body you will be privy to manuals, rules, instruction and advice for the novice. But, how much can you really do while keeping things cheap? Let us use solo racing as an example of easily acquired seat time.

1. Your Car: Let’s say you have a 1998 Honda Accord with tons of mileage. It runs well and you take good care of it. Still, you want to see what your old baby can do and you want to compete in something. Well, you can! Using common sense, you can drive a solo time trial and learn what you can do. Your car should be in good shape with full fluids and all bolts tightened down. You need good tires (they do not need to be racing tires for learning) and a properly tied down battery. An approved helmet and a clutter free car are about all you need to get started. You can go online and get free information about most of the prerequisite information you’ll need to begin. You do NOT need to buy a race prepped car!

2. Training: You would be surprisedto know how much of racing is instinct. Still, there are some important things to learn in order to make your experience safe and productive. First and foremost, learn and understand safety! If you ignore how to read a flag or what to do if your engine explodes – you’re screwed. So, pick up a book on rules and safety (available from most racing organizations). Second, you need to learn and understand the basic methods of turning and breaking. If you know someone who races (make sure they’re telling the truth) have them help you understand the basics. Sometimes, early breaking for a good apex approach can feel counterintuitive, learning from someone can help. Most racing organizations have drivers who will able to mentor you. A click or two from your mouse will send you in the right direction.

3. Preparation: Now you have the basics and you want to hit the track. For your first event, try to find a venue that takes place during the good weather days (it’s no fun to do your first solo in the rain – but you’ll learn a lot!) and have someone drive separately to the event. Just in case your car becomes un-drivable after being pushed hard, it’s nice to have a friend to drive you to the garage. Get to the track as early as you can, you can learn a lot by watching the veterans. Most drivers are fine with a few questions too, so long as you do not prevent them from getting what they need done or monopolize their time. Let them know at registration that you are brand new and see if any veteran will walk the track with you.

4. Walk the track! Even if no one will point out what you should be looking for, walk the track and take note of everything – without jabbering to your new friends. You need to concentrate on what you are looking at. Walk the track a few times if possible and get a feel for where you want to place your car. Keep in mind that your first run is usually for track knowledge and you don’t need to push the envelope. Just drive quickly and store what you have learned for your next few “hot” laps.

5. Race! Always finish your lap (even when you screw up – and you will). Drive the car and pay attention to what your car is saying. You might be surprised what it tells you. Powering out of a particular corner might make one of the tires squeal, or your engine dogs in a particular gear. By paying attention to what you hear and feel, you will become far more intimate with your ride. Because of this, do NOT blast music and create your own mental music video.

Five steps to fun. If you are in a hurry, you can get things going within a week. Just remember: the more you race, the better you get. After the initial expense of membership fees, books and gear you will be surprised how cheap a track day event can be. Racers are some of the coolest people you will ever meet. These people come from all walks of life and usually are fun to talk to – especially after the race.

Does it matter what kind of car you have? Not really. I mean that you don’t need an exotic sports car to compete. Your times are measured against similar cars. If you are alone in, say, a 2 liter normally aspirated car with no upgrades – your times might not be comparable to others who have turbo chargers or modified engines. In that case, you might be scored in a separate class. Still, you have the satisfaction of seeing your times improve and what you did next to other classes.

A few years back, my friend entered his 05 Kia Rio just for the hell of it. There were no other cars competing with his diminutive specifications, so he made up his own class. His beginning times were slow, but he learned each lap. A few races later, he was beating much more sport orientated machines and having the time of his life. Now he competes in the higher classes with a modified MX5.

So, what will these steps to racing cost? Pending on the organization and rules, it’s about $15 – $80 bucks for a track day event (along with your annual membership fees of $50 – $80). Your helmet (a must have) will cost $150 – $350 for a new one and $40 – $200 for a used one. Make absolutely sure that the helmet you are looking at conforms to the racing organization’s requirements (usually, Snell SA05 certification or similar) and that you get one that fits right. If you are going the online/used route, go to a motorcycle store and try on a few helmets to get the fit and style right before you abuse your credit card. Gloves and safety clothing are not required, but a good idea if affordable. Books with rules and safety information are $20 – $50 and a one day course (which I recommend, but is not a requirement to race) will set you back $100 – $300.

All in all, pending on what you need, the price range for starting solo racing is approximately $300 to $900. Your price may vary, but that type of price is the equivalent to what you would spend on a cheap/reasonable weekend getaway.

Trust me: racing is better!