Ignore the shared political stories for a bit. Actually, ignore them for the whole week if you can. If you read anything, read Josh Welton’s story about two Dodge Challengers – a story about Detroit and its revolution.
“Michael plans to use the Safari as his inclement-weather wheels while his fair-weather ride, a lightly modified 1991 911 Carrera 4, awaits in a climate-controlled garage. Michael favors the analogy of a road bicycle to a mountain bike, but you get the idea.”
I don’t think track days are going away anytime soon, but track driving can experienced in your basement now better than ever before. Check out the above video of Porsche 911 Carrera S being driven around the Autodromo Vallelunga near Rome. On left, the real thing. On right, the Assetto Corsa racing simulator.
I’m in the process of writing up the review of a Nissan Titan XD with the new Cummins diesel engine. You may have seen the picture on our Facebook page of the Titan towing our Lada Lemons racer. To summarize, my gawd, that engine is just fantastic. Having been a diesel fan before, I am now a super-fan! Therefore expect me to be writing a lot more about diesel this and diesel that.
Starting this off is this expedition ready Toyota Land Cruiser. Sure, it has all the things commonly seen on expedition vehicles: lift kit, tires (not too big), rack, big bumper, winch, sleeping platform, and all that stuff. But the owner ditched Toyota’s excellent 4.5-liter in-line six and replaced it with a Cummins 4BT. Sure, it may not be even as powerful as the already under-powered factory engine but it has a few things going for it. First, torque at low engine speeds, which is nice to have when going up hills with a loaded truck. Second is increased gas mileage, which helps for many reasons. And finally, diesel fuel is available all over the world.
The Audi RS 7 is one hell of a car. You may remember when our own Jason Connor took on Shift Sector in one. But then so is the Audi RS 2 Avant. While not as powerful at the RS 7, it is no slouch, and it is a wagon. It is also limited production modern classic, which in itself makes it special, whereas anyone with money can just go buy a new RS 7.
So, given the choice, which one would you pick?
Photo: Brendan McAleer
It was the Matchbox car that my son dropped that really did it for me. It sounds silly, but I could not see it, at least not easily. Then it was the time when my daughter, who loves to read, left the dome light on overnight, which drained the battery. That happened like three more times. I therefore decided to order some LED interior bulbs. The idea is that the interior would be better illuminated and in case the light is left on for a longer period of time, the battery would not drain as fast with the LED’s lower power consumption.
I did minimal research. Someone on a 4Runner forums said “oh these are great, get them on eBay here” and that is what I did. Okay, I read the eBay ad, the buyer feedback, and then bought them. Apparently that was enough to separate me from my $44.99.
The CUV/SUV market is insane now. With notable exceptions (if you’re reading this, it may be you), it’s all that everyone wants. People like the elevated sitting position, the ease of ingress and egress, the presumed and bogus ability to safely travel in foul weather, and the overall safety.
Ah, that legendary all-weather ability of an SUV. Every automotive advertisement from November to March shows the latest AWD box unstoppably (is that a word?) plowing through a foot of fresh snow. And unstoppable it is, what with its “eco” all-season low-profile long-life super-quiet tires. It’s not stopping or turning any better, but it can start moving forward better than a two-wheel-drive vehicle.
The above video shows 0-100 km/h (62 MPH) acceleration of the Range Rover Sport SVR on various surfaces: gravel, sand, snow, mud, asphalt, etc. And it brings up an interesting point.
For 2017, WRC and their parent group, the FIA, announced new vehicle regulations. The new regulations brought more OEM involvement, and more teams. The vehicles are more powerful and are suppose to bring back some of the magic of Class B rally cars. And with all that, the sport is suppose to attract a wider audience and increase press coverage.
While the cars are not exactly Group B, the rest of the plan worked. Until the first day of the first race that is. That is when a sad accident occurred which cost a spectator his life.
This short article on the Axis of Oversteer discusses the accident and its aftermath, its impact on the race, the cars, and the spectators. It is really worth your time to read it.
Respecting the motorsport community means spectators, like drivers, have to use their brains take responsibility for there [sic] actions.
The 2017 Monte Carlo Rally starts today. Premiering at that rally is the Fiat 124 Abart R-GT. It has a 300-horsepower 1.8-liter engine. Those horses go to the rear wheels via a seven-speed sequential-shift gearbox. Two wheel drive is a requirement of Group R-GT in which the Fiat is in.
Col de Turini is a famous, steep, high elevation, 31-kilometer pass in the French Alps. This year there is a lot of snow on it, possibly making things very interesting.
Image source: AxisOfOversteer
This video is amazing for two reasons. First is that someone actually managed to get a Unimog stuck in what looks like freshly plowed powder snow, somewhere in the Italian Alps. To get a Umimog stuck is a special kind of accomplishment. The damn thing has huge off-road tires, locking differentials, portal axles, and other off-road goodies. Read more about Unimogs here.
The second reason is that a Police Alfa Romeo 159 is actually able to pull it out of the snow! I am guessing that the Alfa is an all-wheel-drive model and possibly riding on snow tires.
The truth is that crazy power or magic was not really needed here. All the Unimog needed was a little momentum, probably just enough to get moved off the snow that was under the axles and allow its tires to get some traction, and then it pulled itself out.