Autowerkz.TV on the Road: Top Film Crew Hauler – the 2017 Toyota Highlander

 

The Autowerkz.TV crew just finished a mega road trip that encompassed Hot August Nights, Concorso Italiano, racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and a multitude of interviews. Being on the road with a camera crew, producers and on-air talent isn’t an adventure to be taken lightly.

Check out our Autowerkz.TV page (here).

Toyota was kind enough to loan us a 2017 Toyota Highlander for a support vehicle while we covered the action at Car Week in Monterey, CA. We worried that the Highlander was a mistake compared to the Sienna minivan we initially wanted; however, we needn’t have worried. In many ways, the 2017 Toyota Highlander was ideal for our needs.

We used its all-wheel drive system more than once, specifically when we shot near the beach. It never struggled on the sand. The four of us were driven in total comfort as our model had the rear captain’s chairs and a very quiet interior. The leather was plush and the interior assembly quality was top notch. We felt like we were in a Lexus.

Most importantly,  with max cargo space of 83.7 ft,³ (all-three rows folded) and our utilized space of 42.3 ft,³ we had enough room for several cameras, lights, tripods, sound equipment and more. We usually kept the third row folded flat, but could add a fifth passenger with some creative packing. Very utilitarian.

Regarding the V6, according to Toyota: 3.5-Liter V6 Double Overhead Cam (DOHC) 24-Valve direct-injection Atkinson-cycle-capable engine with VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) intake and VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) exhaust; 295 hp @ 6660 rpm, 263 lb.-ft. @ 4700 rpm. We averaged about 20 mpg as the traffic during Car Week was thick.

This power is connected an eight-speed automatic transmission which worked great but clunked a bit in traffic.

All in all, our days spent with the 2017 Toyota Highlander were excellent. It never looked out of place, no matter how highfalutin the location. We thank Toyota and look forward to driving a new Highlander in the near future.

Here are a few bits of social media that featured our ride!

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Five Activities to Enjoy during Car Week in Monterey [Via Corsa]

On the Way to Monterey

The premier slate of car enthusiasts’ events is quickly approaching: the infamous Monterey Car Week is upon us! Beginning August 11th, over one hundred thousand people descend upon gorgeous northern California to the largest Concours, rallies and events in the car enthusiasm. Visitors see unbelievable one-off cars, new concept cars, and famous celebrities all while basking under the sumptuous California sun. Here’s a who’s who guide of what you should attend during the festivities:

Top 5 Slate of Events

  1. Pebble Beach Concours – Known as the “World’s Concours d’Elegance,” this spectacle on August 20th is said to the be one of the premier automotive Concours in, you guessed it, the world. In just over two weeks, the multitude and extravagance of truly otherworldly classics will descend upon Pebble Beach Golf Course in Monterey. Automotive classics will compete in 27 classes, and honor the past and look to the future of the automotive culture as a whole.
  2. Concorso Italiano – On August 19th, yet again Concorso Italiano will pull out all the stops with the likes of the 1967 Alfa Romeo GTV, 1963 Ferrari 250 GT Lusso, Ferrari 330 GT 2 + 2, Lamborghini LP-640 Murcielago Roadster, 1961 Maserati 3500 GT, and other ethereal Italian spectacles that will grace the Black Horse Golf Course (an aptly named course for this event). For big-time Italian automotive fans, this will surely be the event to attend, especially honoring the 70th Anniversary of Ferrari as well as the 50thAnniversary of the Maserati Ghibili. To book your visit to Concorso Italiano, visit concorso.com.
  3. Legends of the Autobahn – On August 18th at the Nicklaus Club-Monterey, the German automotive aficionado will find their haven at Legends of the Autobahn. This Concours features and celebrates the innovation behind German automotive engineering. Members from Audi Club North America, Mercedes-Benz Club of America and BMW Car Club of America bring their cars from around the country for the opportunity to be crowned “Best in Show or “Best in Class” with over 400 cars registered for the event.
Strolling through downtown Carmel, Calif., you’ll be able to see the likes of this 1967 Iso Grifo. Make sure and have dinner in Carmel and walk through the downtown area one evening during the week

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4. Strolling Carmel-by-the-Sea – All these structured events take months of planning and registration to come to reality. For those more spontaneous visitors to Monterey Car Week, truly one of the things to behold is just cruising down Ocean Ave. in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The area also holds a Carmel-by-the-Sea Concours in the downtown area on Tuesday 15th, but it is a treat each night to comb through the downtown Carmel area. Each night, droves of one-off foreign and domestic classics and hyper cars venture through the city, one after the other.   5.Exotics on Cannery Row – Friday August 18th features one other pristine event, which is free to the public – Exotics on Cannery Row. This event will feature over 300 exotic and foreign hyper cars with over 19,000 enthusiasts in attendance. Located off of Cannery Row in Monterey, Calif., this event pits enthusiasts in an absolute breathtaking scenery, accompanied by absolutely sublime foreign exotic cars.

Paving the Way

Much of the events of Monterey Car Week occur during the weekend of August 18th – 20th. But there will be so many small and pop-up events happening throughout the time there, beginning on August 11th. Be sure to get to your slate of events early, as traffic is bumper to bumper with other like-minded enthusiasts doing the same – trying to get from one event to the next. Hope you enjoy your time at Monterey 2017!

Monterey Car Week: Inaugural Black Tie Revolution Rally [Via Corsa Magazine]

Pave the Way to Monterey

Monterey Car Week is now two weeks away! The daze of summer through late July paves the way for the premier automotive enthusiast event on the West Coast, arguably the world. The week will feature countless Concours, lavish events and breathtaking cars around ever turn. For those looking for a fresh rally leading up to the bulk of events during the week, look no further than the inaugural Black Tie Revolution Rally!

Moving the Odometer

Monterey, Calif. — On August 14, the Black Tie Revolution Rally (BTRR) will hold its inaugural event, preceding the events of Monterey Car Week. This rally newcomer features an exclusive drive for the next generation of gearheads who like to turn wrenches and move the odometer. For younger automotive enthusiasts wanting to participate and meet other likeminded persons their age, the BTRR allows these younger passionate auto enthusiasts the opportunity to showcase their cars and passion without the high price tag of a Concours entrance.

For Next Generation Gearheads

Featured in the initial running, BTRR will lead participants through some of the most scenic routes in Monterey, Calif., many not featured in most generic tourist drives. Other highlights of the rally include a chance for crews to roll the dice at each checkpoint for the opportunity to lower their overall time by scavenging for authentic Ferrari parts. Of course, drivers could also do regular check-ins at each time trail, moving forward trying to get the lowest time on their merit solely behind the wheel.

The rally ends at a new winery in the area surrounded by rolling hills for the private after-party, featuring gourmet food, raffles, prizes for the top 3 finishes, live DJ, and highly refined wine. One hundred participants will compete in 50 cars in the initial running. If you would like to register for next year’s festivities, leading up to Monterey Car Week 2018, please contact the president of BTRR, Taylor Wrighton: taylor@blacktierevolutionrally.com.