Posts tagged with "Chrysler"

HELLCAT REDEYE

By Anthony Sovinsky × Vaughn Lowery

The 2019 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye is powerful in every sense of the word. Its first introduction in 2015 known simply as ‘The Hellcat’ instantly gained notoriety amongst car enthusiasts as being the most powerful muscle in the world. Magnificently and aggressively styled it came off the lot ready to rock with 707hp and 650 lb-ft torque powered by a 6.2L supercharged V8 that roared like the king of the jungle. Having that many pony’s is an acquired taste. Even with the base model challengers being as popular as they are, seeing a Hellcat on the road is camera worthy.

Then Dodge introduced the Challenger SRT Demon in 2018 that produced a whomping 840hp while somehow still being street legal. However, the ‘Demon’ was a limited release with just 3300 units in the US and currently all accounted for. Good luck seeing this monstrosity on the road.

Now comes the 2019 Dodge Challenger Redeye. It’s a Hellcat that has been possessed by the Demon resulting in its name. It inherited many components from the Demon’s build; most notably, a variety of drivetrain components that help it withstand its power output. With the only difference being less airflow, it’s able to crank out 797hp and 707 lb-ft of torque. Distinguishing the Redeye is it’s fully functional dual snorkel hood, widebody kit, red paint job and air inlets on both headlights. Its firm stance is made complete by 305’s on all four corners. This also allows more ground contact for the vehicle to transfer its power into forward motion.

The interior features two race inspired bucket seats up front with the ‘Hellcat’ badge stitched into the back rest. This provides added curb appeal as the logos can be seen through the windshield by pedestrians. In addition, the backseats have been deleted for further weight savings; most of the weight savings coming from not being able to have back seat passengers.

Furthermore, the infotainment system is similar to models prior. Capabilities include apple car play, navigation, drive modes and performance tuning to name a few.

The Hellcat Redeye is truly a sight to see while delivering a great value per dollar for horsepower. Base price tagged at $72,745 while fully loaded can hike it in to the $80,000 range.

360 MAGAZINE,  hellcat

360 MAGAZINE,  hellcat

Fiat, 360 MAGAZINE

FIAT TRACK DAY

By Anthony Sovinsky × Vaughn Lowery

The Fiat has a voluminous history of performance and style dating back over 50 years. This Italian gem was first introduced to North America in March 2011 and featured the Fiat 500c, 500 Abarth, 500e, 500L and the 500x. And for 2018-2019 they are reintroducing the Fiat 124 Spider for the current generation, featuring modern styling, engineering science and enhanced performance with traces of the original Italian roadster design.

The 2019 124 Spider is an Italian coupe/convertible roadster powered by a 1.4L Turbo Motor 6-speed manual/auto transmission, making it the most powerful 4-cylinder turbo in its category. Producing up to 164hp and 184 lb-ft of torque in the Abarth edition, it is uniquely responsive. Our test Abarth had added racing and performance characteristics that include upgraded aggressive racing facia, branded floor mats, Record Monza exhaust tuning kit and Recaro racing seats.

The other test vehicle was Fiat Abarth 500c – a stout, preppy looking vehicle upon first glance, really reminiscent of its predecessors that were designed to navigate the narrow roadways of Italy. But with closer inspection of the Abarth 500, you will notice subtle performance enhancements: 16-inch hyper black wheels; red brake calipers; Abarth bashing; performance spoiler; turbo boost gauge and dual bright exhaust tips. This affords it a rather large presence in a metropolis like Los Angeles, where the typically more car is better, but the fiat begs to differ.

At first glimpse, you wouldn’t think much of these vehicles from a performance standpoint. Withal, 360 Magazine was cordially invited to Willow Springs Raceway by Fiat Chrysler North America. And education was provided by Skip Barber Racing School to help us take full advantage of the performance capabilities introduced for the upcoming year.

The track day started off at the the rallycross. The rallycross is designed to highlight the braking and handling capabilities of the nimble go kart-like Fiats. With quick turns and short straight always you can feel exactly how balanced and responsive these vehicles are. With the 124’s front and rear Blistein sport suspension, mechanical limited slip differential and front strut tower bar paired with a Brembo braking system it allows the vehicle to perform as desired, a true one with the car experience.

Side by side, we were shuttled to the skid pad. Here, we were able to identify how the Fiat handles on slippery terrain in a tight circle. This course was created to heighten our connection to the throttle, steering wheel and our eyes. As we continued to increase in acceleration the Spider would start to lose grip as we tried to keep a tight radius, but thanks to accurate feedback from the steering rack, throttle and Brembo braking systems you are able to keep the vehicle in complete control.

Then it’s off to the track. This is where the real fun began. Both the 500 and 124 Spider performed astoundingly. A Dodge Hellcat was our pace car as a line of us followed in tandem around the streets of Willow Springs Raceway. It was an unbelievable experience to be able to push these vehicles to their limits, highlighting just how well these vehicles are engineered.

The 2019 Fiat 124 Spider starts standard at $24,995 or $27,795 for the Classica which adds some cosmetic upgrades and some convenience options. $29,290 for the Lusso which comes with the Abarth performance package. A big bang for the buck for a sporty iconic Italian vehicle.

The 2019 500c comes standard at $16,245 and the Abarth package coming in at $21,995. Apart from the aforementioned performance upgrades on the Abarth, it comes with a track experience! Yes, you can stretch your Fiat’s legs on the track like we did just so you can come to appreciate the unique design and performance capabilities that this vehicle was intended to express.

Watch Our Experience

Pre-order Abarth

Lexus UX, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, Amazon headquarters, Seattle

LEXUS UX

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

As of late, 360 Magazine had the opportunity to join Lexus in Seattle for an intimate ride and drive of their wholly-new UX SUV at the newly reimagined luxurious Loews Hotel 1000. This seaport city is home to both tech giants Microsoft and Amazon. With Lexus’s innovative track record for having unparalleled technology within their cabin, it was befitting that they brought us to the home of the Space Needle. Subsequently, this town is known to think outside of the box.

The 2019 Lexus UX takes a step into the future of modern luxury with its two most affordable and compact SUVs – the UX 200 and UX 250h. UX stands for urban crossover (x-over). The UX 200 will be released in December 2018 starting at $32,000 and the UX 250h will be released in January 2019 for around $34,000. Gearing towards an opulent compact car with an exterior design so specific, the UX has a signature three-dimensional shape that makes it different from its siblings.

The front has brow-shaped LED lights with optional ultra-small 3-projector LED units. Across the back of the boot, are an innovative wrap of three-dimensional LED lights which help with stability on the highways – a standout design element on the UX. The structure is built to mold into an everyday vehicle that is stable, perfect for urban use because it’s small and easy to park. We had no problem squeezing to the front of the Bainbridge ferry.

The 18″ 5-spoke aluminum alloy dark gray metallic wheels are proportional to the overall aesthetics of the vehicle. Available in a variety of twelve exterior colors, two of which are exclusive to the UX F Sport – Cadmium Orange and Nori Green. The Cadmium Orange includes a cherry base with yellow lowlights, making it appear vivid and adding tons of depth. Nori Green possesses bright highlights and dark contrast alongside of calm shades, drawing the color brilliant. Both of these colors are newfangled and daring for the Lexus brand.

The F Sport package is available in both the UX 200 and UX 250h model as well as has enhanced features and style which contributes to its name. This option comes in the two colors – Ultra White and Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0. The F Sport performance is exceptional, transforming the UX into a bespoke-like designer car with front sports seats, grille design, and jet-black trim.

The concept of UX stems from the versatility and adaptability this vehicle offers. With a seamless interior coupled with the Japanese concept of engawa offers a richer field of vision. Executed with a high-strength structure, placement of sound absorbing and insulating materials throughout, one can enjoy an extremely quiet ride.

The connection between driver and the vehicle is apparent with the “seat-in-control” concept. Entering and exiting is made easy with hip-point bottom cushions. 8-way power driver seats (including lunbar) allows the driver to operate with a comfortable yet natural posture.

All UX models are fabricated to ensure safety while driving. The Pre-Collision System alerts drivers of pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles with a forward-facing camera and radar system. The LSS+ 2.0 system enhances this with specific light detection for different hours of the day. If the Pre-Collision System detects a high possibility of collision, an audio and visual alert will prompt the driver to take action. If the driver does not break at that point, the system may automatically apply brakes to help mitigate impacts. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control maintains a preset distance and operates between 0 to 110 mph. The Lane Departure Alert is extremely helpful with the Multi-Information Display (MID) the system can use forward-facing cameras to detect colored land marking illustrations. If the driver deviates from a visibly marked lane, the system alerts the driver with an audio and visual alert. In addition, the UX has an Electric Power Steering and Steering Assist. The Road Sign Assist can read a variety of traffic signs and will display them on the vehicle’s MID. Furthermore, Parking Support Brake uses braking control and visual warnings to reduce possible contact with moving objects while parking.

This Lexus is extraordinary with its high definition, intuitive technology, and overall performance. The UX includes a standard 7″ TFT (thin-film-transistor) LCD control panel while the UX F Sport features an 8″ TFT LCD panel design with a movable meter ring. By pressing a switch on the steering wheel, it moves to the right, enlarging the multi-information display. With the Lexus Remote Touch Interface, the 2019 UX feels as familiar as a smartphone. The most impressive tech feature is Amazon’s “Alexa” – which immediately connects you to play music; find directions; open your garage door on a rainy day; lock/unlock from a smart device and amongst other things control the lights in your home. The Lincoln Navigator is the only other vehicle in Northern America which offers Alexa. Moreover, additional driver connectivity features include Apple CarPlay, 4GB Wi-Fi Hotspot, Voice recognition for commands and the SiriusXM. The heads-up display allows drivers to focus more on the road and less on the infotainment unit.

The UX complies with the global trend of efficient gas mileage vehicles – UX 200 at 33 mpg (2.0- liter inline four-cylinder engine, similar to competitors but with less under-hood heat and lower weight for better vehicle balance). The UX 250h at 39 mpg, making it the wave of their next generation of hybrids. With 181 hp, the UX 250h is the fuel-efficient leader with the best-combined mpg of any CUV and/or SUV without a plugin NA.

In short, the Lexus UX 200 and UX 250h is a shoo-in for a ‘xennial’ buyer – a person who grew up in an analog environment and can easily adapt to present-day’s digital society. Just think of all of your friends and family members with a recent graduate degree or higher residing in a metropolis. Most likely they have a high appreciation for the arts and take local trips within their surrounding area with one or more cronies and a small lap dog in tow.

Toledo Jeep Fest

From August 10-12, 2018, the City of Toledo will be the center of the Jeep universe.

The event is the 2018 Toledo Jeep® Fest, presented by Dana and ProMedica. But the celebration is much more than that. It’s enthusiasts from 27 states, Canada and Mexico celebrating their love for Jeep vehicles and an adventurous way of life – and, doing it in the city where the Jeep was invented and where its heart beats every day: Toledo, Ohio.

The first Toledo Jeep Fest – a one-day celebration in 2016 – was an unqualified success, bringing an estimated 40,000 people to downtown Toledo, which was the most for any event since the end of World War II.

Even with that high standard already established, the second Toledo Jeep Fest is set to be even bigger and even better. In fact, event organizers and downtown leaders expect as many as 60,000 people to be in town for the festivities, which have expanded to three days.

“The history of Jeep is the history of Toledo,” said Jerry Huber, a former plant manager at Jeep and a co-founder of Toledo Jeep Fest. “The community deserves a festival that’s as great as the vehicle we are celebrating, and with the incredible support of our community and sponsors, that’s what we are going to deliver.”

The 2016 event was a major happening for the City of Toledo. Beyond the large number of visitors to downtown, social media users from around the world learned about Toledo and Jeep. In fact, Toledo Jeep Fest was a trending topic nationally on Twitter.

The buzz is equally strong building up to this year’s event. In addition to hundreds of thousands of hits on the event website, the Facebook page has over 20,000 followers. A recent throwback Thursday post reached nearly 13,000 people with almost 700 reactions, comments and shares.

Community support is what fuels Toledo Jeep Fest forward. That starts with the title sponsors – Dana and ProMedica – and extends to more than 60 organizations that have provided cash or services to support the event. (See list below.)

Discussing Dana’s Toledo Jeep Fest sponsorship, Jeff Cole, spokesperson for Dana, said “Jeep is an iconic automotive brand, and Dana has been supplying its driveline products since the Jeep was born. Our team is excited to show off the great work they’ve been doing with our custom aftermarket Jeeps.”

Following the leadership of the presenting sponsors, Toledo Jeep Fest has benefitted from the support of dozens of other partners.

“Every local sponsor has increased their commitment this year,” Huber said. “In total, our three-day event has received more than double the support of the previous event. It is tremendously humbling.”

Importantly, based on the success in 2016, this year’s event has garnered support from larger regional and national vendors. More than 60 vendors including Dana, Tenneco, SPIDERWEBSHADE, Outlaw LED, Steinjäger, Sylvania Automotive, X-DIFF Gear & Axle, and Goodyear will stock the all-new Vendor Midway in downtown Toledo. This year’s Vendor Midway showcases these brands on and around St. Clair Street just north of the SeaGate Centre.

“One thing visitors will notice compared to 2016 is the development of our Vendor Midway,” Huber said. “We know that people love to customize their Jeeps, and the Vendor Midway is an opportunity for our Jeep enthusiasts to interact with the leading companies working in that space.”

Three Days of Jeep!

The signature event for the weekend is the All-Jeep Parade, which starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The parade will be a rolling tribute to Jeep, with over 1,300 vehicles registered – a longer parade than the original in 2016. The parade is sponsored by Charlie’s Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram and Grogan’s Towne Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram.

Following the parade, Toledo’s downtown streets will be transformed into the All-Jeep Festival & Car Show – a 20-block walking tour of the full breadth of the Jeep experience. Based on the 2016 festival, the All-Jeep vehicle show is also an opportunity for the Jeep community to meet and mingle.

Similar to 2016, the SeaGate Convention Centre will play host to futuristic Jeeps alongside rare, historic Jeeps that represent the resiliency and versatility that Jeep has shown over the last 77 years.

An all-new event this year is Friday’s Jeep Off-Road Course Welcome Party, hosted by the Monroe Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram Superstore. The welcome party will feature 18 obstacles and live music to kick the weekend off.

Toledo Jeep Fest is also offering visitors the opportunity to enter a raffle to win a host of Jeep-related products. The grand prize is a 24-month lease for a 2018 Jeep Wrangler “JL” Unlimited Sport 4 Door from Yark Automotive group. Tickets can be purchased online at ToledoJeepFest.com or at the event.

More than Jeeps

While the focus of the weekend is a celebration of the Jeep, event organizers have worked hard to create a family-friendly environment with the feel of a major festival.

That includes an even stronger selection of live music taking place on three stages: one at Promenade Park, one at the SeaGate Centre, and one at Levis Square on St. Clair Street. “Thanks to Rouen Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram for sponsoring all the entertainment and festivities happening in Promenade Park,” said Huber. “And, thanks to our friends at Sheet Metal Workers Local Union 33 for sponsoring all the entertainment and festivities happening in the SeaGate Convention Centre!”

The kick-off concert on Friday night will feature national headliner KC and the Sunshine Band at Promenade Park. The band, which began performing in 1973, will bring their entire catalog to town, including five number-one songs.

Saturday’s music lineup will kick off with The Infatuations, a band featuring “Funk, Soul, and Detroit Rock & Roll.” The Infatuations are winners of “Top Band” at the Detroit Music Awards and feature an unforgettably unique sound.

For the kids, Toledo Jeep Fest will feature the Kid’s Zone, which is being hosted by Imagination Station and will also offer activities from the Toledo Zoo and the Toledo Museum of Art. The Kid’s Zone is being sponsored by the National Electrical Contractors Association.

The Sunday portion of the festival will be highlighted by a 4-Mile Run and 1-Mile Walk, which is hosted by Run Toledo and sponsored by Sylvania Automotive.

Learn more details at ToledoJeepFest.com, or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Remember to use the hashtags #ToledoJeepFest and #tjf2018 when you’re posting.

New-Vehicles Improve × J.D. Power

New-Vehicle Initial Quality Improves Again, J.D. Power Finds

Genesis, Kia and Hyundai Are Three Highest-Ranked Brands

New-vehicle quality has improved for the fourth consecutive year—by 4% from 2017—and has reached its best level ever, according to the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study (IQS),SM released today.

Initial quality is measured by the number of problems experienced per 100 vehicles (PP100) during the first 90 days of ownership, with a lower score reflecting higher quality. In this year’s study, quality improves across six of the eight categories measured, with 21 of the 31 brands included in the study improving their quality from 2017. The industry average of 93 PP100 is 4 PP100 better than in 2017.

“There’s no question that most automakers are doing a great job of listening to consumers and are producing vehicle quality of the highest caliber,” said Dave Sargent, Vice President of Global Automotive at J.D. Power. “That said, some vehicle owners are still finding problems. As vehicles become more complex and automated, it is critical that consumers have complete confidence in automakers’ ability to deliver fault-free vehicles.”

Following are some key findings of the 2018 study:

• Most vehicle areas improve: Of the eight categories measured, vehicle exterior improves the most, now at 15.2 PP100, compared with 16.6 PP100 in 2017. Improvements include less wind noise and fewer paint imperfections. Significant year-over-year improvements also occur in the seats (8.0 PP100 vs. 8.7 PP100) and vehicle interior (14.3 PP100 vs. 14.7 PP100) categories.

• Porsche 911 posts best score of any model: The Porsche 911 has the lowest overall problem level (48 PP100) of any model this year. This is also the lowest level recorded in this generation of the study (2013-2018). The U.S. Initial Quality Study, which was first published in 1987, is currently in its fourth generation.

• All domestic corporations improve faster than the industry: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (7 PP100 improvement), Ford Motor Company (5 PP100 improvement) and General Motors (5 PP100 improvement) all outpace the industry average rate of improvement (4 PP100).

• Infotainment problems are decreasing: Audio/Communication/Entertainment/Navigation (ACEN) remains the most problematic category for new-vehicle owners. However, this area has improved for the third consecutive year, led by fewer problems with built-in voice recognition systems.

• Globalization of auto industry continues: Vehicles in the 2018 study are manufactured in 25 countries, 11 of which weren’t present in the study five years ago. Those 11 countries include Brazil, China, Finland, India, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and Turkey. The other 14 countries include Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States.

• Increasing problems with driver assistance systems: As automakers add more advanced driver assistance systems to their vehicles, more consumers are experiencing problems. The level is still low (3.5 PP100 on average) but has been increasing by about 20% a year for the past three years.

“As we look to the future, avoiding problems with safety and driver assistance technology is critical,” Sargent said. “In an era of increasingly automated vehicles, vehicle owners have to be comfortable using foundational technologies like lane keep assistance and collision avoidance. Otherwise, automakers will not easily overcome consumer resistance to fully automated (driverless) cars.”

Highest-Ranked Brands and Models

Genesis ranks highest in overall initial quality with a score of 68 PP100. Kia (72 PP100) ranks second and Hyundai (74 PP100) ranks third. This is the first time that three Korean brands are at the top of the overall ranking, and it is the fourth consecutive year that Kia is the highest-ranking Mass Market brand. Porsche (79 PP100) ranks fourth and Ford (81 PP100) ranks fifth.

Mazda is the most-improved brand, with owners reporting 25 PP100 fewer problems than in 2017. Other brands with strong improvements include Mitsubishi (20 PP100 improvement), Cadillac (15 PP100 improvement), Infiniti (15 PP100 improvement), Hyundai (14 PP100 improvement) and Lexus (14 PP100 improvement).

The parent company receiving the most model-level awards for its various brands is Ford Motor Company (five awards), followed by Hyundai Motor Group (four), and BMW, General Motors and Nissan (three each).

• Ford Motor Company models that rank highest in their respective segments are Ford Expedition; Ford Mustang; Ford Super Duty; Lincoln Continental; and Lincoln MKC.

• Hyundai Motor Group models that rank highest in their segments are Genesis G90; Hyundai Tucson; Kia Rio; and Kia Sorento.

• General Motors models that rank highest in their segments are Buick Envision; Chevrolet Silverado; and Chevrolet Silverado HD.

• BMW models that rank highest in their segments are BMW 4 Series; BMW X1; and BMW X6.

• Nissan models that rank highest in their segments are Nissan Altima; Nissan Frontier; and Nissan Maxima.

Other models that rank highest in their respective segments are Acura ILX, Dodge Grand Caravan, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Toyota Corolla.

Plant Quality Awards

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Yoshiwara plant (Japan), which produces the Lexus LX and Toyota Land Cruiser, receives the Platinum Plant Quality Award for producing models with the fewest defects or malfunctions. Plant quality awards are based solely on defects and malfunctions and exclude design-related problems.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Cambridge North (Canada) plant, which produces the Toyota Corolla, and Georgetown 3 (Ky.) plant, which produces the Lexus ES, each receive the Gold Plant Quality Award in a tie for the Americas region. BMW Group’s Dingolfing 02 (Germany) plant, which produces the BMW 6 Series and BMW 7 Series, receives the Gold Plant Quality Award for the Europe/Africa region.

The 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study is based on responses from 75,712 purchasers and lessees of new 2018 model-year vehicles who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study is based on a 233-question battery organized into eight vehicle categories designed to provide manufacturers with information to facilitate the identification of problems and drive product improvement. The study was fielded from February through May 2018.

Find detailed information on vehicle quality, as well as model photos and specs, at jdpower.com/quality

For more information about the 2018 U.S. Initial Quality Study, visit http://www.jdpower.com/resource/us-initial-quality-study-iqs

See the online press release at http://www.jdpower.com/pr-id/2018086.

J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., and has offices serving North/South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. J.D. Power is a portfolio company of XIO Group, a global alternative investments firm headquartered in London, and is led by its four founders: Athene Li, Joseph Pacini, Murphy Qiao and Carsten Geyer.

Media Relations Contacts

Geno Effler; West Coast; 714-621-6224; media.relations@jdpa.com

Shane Smith; East Coast; 424-903-3665; ssmith@pacificcommunicationsgroup.com

About J.D. Power and Advertising/Promotional Rules www.jdpower.com/about-us/press-release-info

Doron Levin weighing in on President Trump’s comments

SiriusXM host Doron Levin weighing in on President Trump’s comments – during his State of the Union address – on Detroit and the auto industry.

AUDIO: https://soundcloud.com/siriusxm-news-issues/doron-talks-sotu

“…State of the Union message from President Donald Trump and he did take the time to make a shout out to Detroit and to the auto industry.

I think we should talk about it because he did say in his speech that because of him the country was building and expanding auto plants, something that we haven’t seen in decades. That was one of his assertions.

He also said that very soon auto plants were going to be opening all over because of him.

With the President you always have to fact-check what he said. Afterwards he said that this was the biggest audience that had ever heard a State of the Union address and, of course, that wasn’t true but, we have to fact-check this stuff about the auto industry too. It turns out that while he does want to take credit for this there’s some good and there’s some bad.

The good is that it is true that we have had a big boom in the stock market and in personal wealth since he came into office. I don’t how much that can hang on him but it’s going to be that we can buy more cars, probably.

And that people are feeling optimistic and that’s going to be very good for the car makers. And I love it when the car makers are doing well because it means they can invest more in new models and we can get more features. And the whole mobility scene gets better because people are feeling confident and buying new vehicles so, that’s very good news.

As far as the assertion, that we’re now going to have a bunch of new car plants because of him let’s look at that.

In the last 20 years, and this is mostly when he’s not been President, global car makers have actually invested 75 billion dollars in the United States. What we need to understand is that the United States is a very good place to not only to build vehicles but also to export vehicles that’s because this is a very profitable market, it’s because we have very favorable trade agreements and I hope that doesn’t get messed up with the North American Free Trade Agreement being renegotiated in a way that isn’t advantageous to us. President Trump has said that he’s going to re-negotiate that and that has to be done carefully because that has worked out for us.

We have a new Volvo plant coming soon to South Carolina; a new Mercedes Benz plant in Alabama; we have additions coming to the BMW plant in South Carolina; Toyota and Mazda are going to build a new plant in Alabama; and even Chrysler is going to bring back some of its truck production from Mexico to Michigan, which is good news for the UAW and good news for the Michigan economy.

So, yes, the place is great for building vehicles and I think the Presdient was right to highlight that stuff but, we can’t say that it’s basically because of him. It’s been happening, actually a trend, a long-term trend, long before he even announced he was going to run for President so, let’s put that in some kind of perspective.

The important thing about this truck deal that Chrysler has now in Michigan is that it’s really being done as a hedge against the possibility that trade agreements that made it advantageous to build trucks in Mexico and bring them back to the United States may change. And if that changes then Chrysler needs to be building those trucks in the United States and it’s important for the administration not to mess up trade rules.

Now, I know a lot of you tune in to this show to hear about cars but, part of hearing about cars is also hearing about how they’re built, where they’re built, why they’re exported to where they are, and why they’re imported to where they are and a lot of that has to do with the trade rules. So, we look forward to all of that being negotiated in a way that’s advantegous to us in the United States and I think that that’s going to happen.

I don’t foresee that the North American Free Trade Agreement or some of the other agreements that allow cars and trucks to be built in Canada, United States, and Mexico and parts built in those places that allow them to go across the borders more or less without tariff I don’t foresee that changing. One thing that might happen, that the administration may do, and this is why no one really wants to contradict the President on this and get him upset, is a rethinking of some of the stricter fuel-efficiency rules and that could mean that we could see, soon, a relaxation which the auto makers would like, because they don’t want to bring in electric vehicles more quickly than people actually want to drive them.”

SiriusXM’s “In The Driver’s Seat with Doron Levin” airs every Saturday at 12:00pm ET on SiriusXM Insight channel 121.

2018 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE TRACKHAWK 

The hawk is one of the most powerful birds in the sky. It dominates its territory by fiercely navigating the air, swooping in on its prey with incredible speed and accuracy. Now apply those characteristics to a vehicle and you discover something that is ferociously fast, nimble and adaptable with unprecedented performance.   


by Anthony Sovinsky × Vaughn Lowery 


The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is an AWD SUV equipped with the notorious Hellcat engine. A supercharged 6.2 liter V8 delivering 707hp with 645 ft-lb of torque in a 8-speed automatic with Quadra-Trac active on demand 4WD that catapults this brute from 0-60 in 3.5 seconds, howling across the quarter mile in 11 seconds and reaches a top velocity of 180 mph. There are no other SUVs in the world exhibiting this type of performance besides the Lamborghini Urus (650hp w/ 626lb-ft torque starting around $200,000). With a height of 67.9 inches, you will be staring at the roof of many vehicles which are capable of keeping up, especially if you follow Launch Control instructions – this bird soars 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. 


Weighing in at 5,636lbs, it is armed with an enlarged Brembo performance anti-lock braking system. Up front, the Trackhawk is fitted with big 15.8-inch rotors with 6-piston calipers; and in the back end, it passes 13.8-inch rotors with 4-piston calipers, making it come to a halt from 60 mph in a mere 114 feet. The bright yellow calipers nicely compliment the 20×10 inch black satin aluminum wheels ($995) encased in meaty 295/45ZR20 BSW 3 season tires ($895). Moreover, Blistein competition suspension containing active dampening keeps it firmly planted with very slight roll. Select-Track system allows the driver to elect five different modes – auto, sport, track, snow and tow (w/ 7200lb capacity).   


Many drivers in a metropolis are defensive, but some aren’t able to concentrate on what’s in our peripheral during a concrete jungle safari. Precisely for that reason, several safety features have been implemented: parallel and perpendicular park assist; LaneSense lane departure warning; full speed forward collision warning; advanced brake assist; adaptive cruise control to stop, blind spot and cross path detection; park view rear backup camera; and last but certainly not least, a valet mode that significantly reduces horsepower (to about 200 hp) and torque to make the car more manageable to the unfamiliar.   


Carrying on to the exterior, the Jeep is tastefully badged with “Trackhawk” emblems (on floor mats as well as rear back gate) and a “Supercharged” side door steel plate informing spectators of what’s under the hood. The front-end features a seven-slot grille equipped with Bi-Xenon HID headlamps. And, similar to its Challenger Hellcat sibling, it features functional air intakes which replace fog lamps to help cool the powerful engine. Continuing towards the boot, Fiat-Chrysler North America (NA) added quad exhaust tips, causing the vehicle to appear more aggressive on most angles.  


Upon entering the cabin, drivers and passengers are welcomed by Napa/Suede “Trackhawk” stamped performance seats, carbon fiber trim, blackened chrome accents and a three-spoke flat bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters. Adjacent, lies the Uconnect 4C NAV with 8.4 inch display which is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Furthermore, the screen can access various drive modes as well as engine performance readouts for the more avid aficionado. And, if you go on to purchase the 2XV package, not only will you have access to a high performance vehicle, but a high performance audio system ($1,995). Outfitted with 19 Harman Kardon speakers alongside a subwoofer and an 825-Watt amplifier. With ample head and leg room, one can expect space for the entire modern family – driver, four passengers and a small to medium sized dog to comfortably run circles in the trunk area. Moreover, there’s adequate room for a few weekender bags to stealthily fit underneath the trunk matt right above the spare tire.  


It’s almost hard to believe that such an SUV exists at such an affordable price point: supercar power plant, all-terrain capabilities, tenacious brakes, moderately precise steering (best in track mode), enhanced suspension offers comfortable cornering and hypersensitive acceleration – no one will ever ask, “Are we there yet?” The 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk base price is close to $85,900 and the customer preferred package 2XV adds another $4,980 for a total of $90,880. In short, Fiat Chrysler NA once again delivers a huge bargain which cannot be ignored while delivering tremendous curb appeal. Hence, the Trackhawk will leave enthusiasts watering at the mouth for years to come.   


https://www.jeep.com/2018/grand-cherokee/performance.html  

Cuba Cars

Check out Cuba Cars from publishers Delius Klasing. Cuba is worth a visit. Or, as the authors of this book discovered, several. Cuba is still associated with Tobacco and Cohiba, Rum and Mojito – and above all the old classic, American cars of the Fifties, still running.
 
This coffee-table book is a presentation of the unbelievable variety of classic car models against the backdrop what Columbus described as “the most beautiful land ever seen by human eyes.”


 Purchase HERE

TRACK DAY WITH LIFERUSH ADVENTURES

By Anthony Sovinsky + Vaughn Lowery

Humans are unique in their ability to overcome the unimaginable. We are forced to explore the unknown –  to push our physical and mental limits. Brave people have taken chances and it has shaped our universe for the better. Whether we are attempting to climb the highest mountain or land our dream job, the thrill of doing something we haven’t done before creates a spark and meaning in our lives. For some of us this becomes a constant journey of discovering the next big thrill or adventure to add to the list of successes. Whether it be a bucket list item or just a childhood aspiration.

LifeRush Adventures is a society striving to deliver outdoor adventures that appeal to the adrenal glands. Recently, we received the pleasure of accompanying them on a trip to the world renowned Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This course has been in operation for over 40+ years and has hosted some of the greatest races of all time. In 2008, Mazda Raceway was home to the Redbull U.S. Grand Prix where Valentino Rossi (multiple MotoGP World Champion) overtakes Casey Stoner in The Corkscrew (one of the hardest turns in motor racing in which you hit a blind cress into a three-story drop with a unique left-right combination) to win the race. It was Rossi’s first win in America; and he kisses The Corkscrew in front of 150,000 spectators. 

LifeRush Adventures in collaboration with Fast Toys Club makes these spectacular track events possible. Every month they take a different track and list an exotic car to commission (Lamborghini Huracan, Porsche 911, Audi R8, etc.) for your driving pleasure. Or, if you own a sports car, you can track it at $359/day.  Moreover, they possess excellent team building/corporate packages, beginning at $3,000 (includes one supercar plus six laps around the track per person). 

At Mazda Raceway, we were offered a 2017 Corvette Z06. In the morning, we started out with an instructional meeting on how to navigate the track: how and when to pass vehicles; the distinction of flags used; additional safety measures and the proper way to ‘hit the apex.’

Moments after, we paired up with a coach (or ride along instructor), we strapped on our helmets and fastened our passenger seat belts. If you’re a confident driver just hop in the driver’s seat.

LifeRush Adventures also offers an array of spontaneous activities: helicopter tours, costal exotic car drives, paddle boarding and flyboarding.

For additional information on packages and services visit: LifeRushAdventures.com