Archive for July, 2015|Monthly archive page

2015 Dodge Durango – Full Review and Test Drive

Ever wanted a Jeep Grand Cherokee with three rows of seats and room for seven people? Is the extent of your off-road adventuring limited to farm roads, campground trails, and blizzards? Well then, I have good news!

The Dodge Durango is just the SUV you’ve been wanting. It just doesn’t have a Jeep badge on it.

Say what now?

Yep, under the sheet-metal, the 2015 Dodge Durango shares its heart and soul with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Durango sits on a wheelbase stretched five inches, is about a foot longer, and rides half an inch closer to the ground, negatively impacting its ability to travel as far off the beaten path as a Grand Cherokee.

Otherwise, the two vehicles overlap in terms of powertrains, infotainment technologies, materials, and even that all-important new car smell. No surprise, they’re built in the same Detroit assembly plant, too.

Of the two, I prefer the Durango. It is more practical, and it drives better on pavement, where 90-percent of typical SUV buyers spend 100-percent of their time. In fact, the Durango is one of my favorite family-sized SUVs, and except for a “Marginal” rating in an important crash-test assessment and a 3-star rollover resistance rating when it is equipped with 2-wheel drive, I have but one qualm about recommending one.

My test vehicle sure looks swanky with its blacked out grille, wheels, and badges, but this appearance, included in the optional Blacktop Package, isn’t really for me. I prefer my Durango blinged out, Citadel-style. This Bright White Durango Limited, though, attracted plenty of attention; usually from the types of guys that I hope my daughters never bring home to meet the parents.

A Durango Limited starts at $37,890, including a destination charge of $995. An all-wheel-drive system costs $2,600, and improves the Durango’s rollover resistance rating to 4 stars.

My test model had the standard 3.6-liter V-6 engine, but you can choose a 5.7-liter V-8 if you’ve got an extra $3,795 that you don’t know what to do with. Add the Blacktop Package, the Premium Group, the Safety/Security and Convenience Group, and a set of second-row captain’s chairs, and the price rises to $45,765 for the Durango I tested.

Good looking, and equipped with an interior featuring quality materials rendered in tasteful tones and textures, the Durango strikes me as a quality piece of work, even luxurious in some respects. Think twice about getting black leather seats, though, because they transform the cabin into a cave. Thoughtfully, Dodge makes the Black/Light Frost leather option available with nearly every paint color.

Comfort levels are high, especially for front seat occupants, and unlike many other 3-row SUVs, adults can actually ride in a Durango’s rearmost seating area for more than just a few minutes before committing mutiny.

My test vehicle’s Premium Group added a power rear liftgate, a premium sound system, a power sunroof, and a navigation system. The awkwardly named Safety/Security and Convenience Group installed a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-path detection, rain-sensing wipers, a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and HID headlights with automatic high-beam control. The rear-seat entertainment system’s omission meant my kids looked out of the Durango’s windows and discovered the world around them, or took a much-needed nap.

Trailer towing equipment is optional for the Durango, and because this SUV is built on a more robust platform than your typical crossover SUV, it can tow a substantial amount of weight. My test model’s 3.6-liter V-6 engine – bumped from 290-horsepower to 295-horsepower thanks to the Blacktop option package – could tug up to 6,200 pounds. The optional 360-horse, 5.7-liter V-8 engine can handle up to 7,400 lbs. of trailer.

As far as cargo carrying is concerned, a Durango can haul up to seven people and as much as 17.2 cu.-ft. of cargo, but that last number is a bit misleading. You’ll be stacking stuff to the roof in order to take advantage of the maximum number, so what you’ve really got is about 12 cu.-ft. of space in combination with a full load of passengers.

Put the kids in the second-row seat, fold the third-row seat, and a Durango supplies 47.7 cu.-ft. of cargo, a generous amount of space. Maximum utility measures 84.5 cu.-ft. Compare those numbers to the 5-passenger Grand Cherokee, which comes in at 36.3 cu.-ft. and 68.3 cu.-ft., respectively.

Though my test vehicle did not have the optional V-8 engine, I never felt the Durango demonstrated a lack of power. Dip into the throttle, and the Durango moves off the line with authority. As revs climb, such as when entering a fast-moving freeway, the engine’s response fades somewhat, but you’re unlikely to wish for extra grunt unless you’ve got a trailer attached, and you’re heading up a mountain grade.

An 8-speed automatic transmission with a rather unconventional rotary shift dial fed the power to the ground on a continuous basis, splitting delivery in half with 50-percent going to the front wheels and 50-percent going to the rear wheels. This is perfect for dwellers of foul-weather regions, as you never need to manually engage the AWD or choose a specific type of program with regard to how the power flows to the wheels.

Does this negatively impact fuel economy? In combined driving, the ratings drops from 20 mpg for the rear-drive model to 19 mpg for the AWD model, so the answer is “not really.” I averaged 18.6 mpg, so the EPA’s official numbers appear to be somewhat accurate, for a change.

Despite the optional 20-inch aluminum wheels, the Durango’s ride quality is impressive, and this is a remarkably quiet vehicle on the highway. Handling is certainly improved by the bigger tires, and around town the Durango feels athletic. Don’t take this to mean you can toss it down a winding country road, though. Dodge programs the stability control system to step in early, which is fine given the type of vehicle and that 3-star rollover resistance rating for the rear-drive version.

The Durango’s brakes proved disappointing when driving in the mountains on a day with temperatures in the low 70s, fading to the point where I almost could not engage the ABS during a panic stop. For a vehicle designed to carry so many people and tow so much weight, this is flatly unacceptable. The V-8 engine option also adds larger front brakes and ventilated rear brakes. I would strongly urge Dodge to just make those standard on all Durangos.

Traditional hydraulic steering is also a part of the V-8 engine upgrade, and I’ll bet it is more satisfying than the electric-assisted steering that comes with the V-6 engine. Lifeless on center, the steering is too quick off-center for this size and type of vehicle.

Dodge definitely has a good thing going with the Durango. A structural upgrade to improve the Durango’s performance in the small overlap frontal-impact crash test performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and additional attention to detail regarding the brakes and steering, would make this appealing and practical family-size SUV super easy to recommend.

Then, Dodge would just need to get the word out, starting with Jeep Grand Cherokee buyers who have no plans to venture far from pavement.

Read more at: http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/autos-suvs/2015-dodge-durango-%E2%80%93-full-review-and-test-drive/ar-AAdfS5h

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Join us at Dick Scott Nissan for our Annual Car Show THIS Saturday, Aug. 1st!

The Great Lakes Z Club and Dick Scott Nissan have teamed up to host our annual car show!

Join us THIS Saturday, August 1

at 11:00am – 3:00pm

At Dick Scott Nissan

42175 Michigan Ave, Canton, Michigan 48188

We will have food on the grill open to participants and spectators.

Judging will start at 12:30 with Trophies sponsored by Dick Scott awarded at 2pm.

18 Trophies will be awarded for the following classes:

People’s Choice Best of Show

GT-R 1st and 2nd Place

370Z / G37 1st and 2nd Place

350Z / G35 1st and 2nd Place

300ZX Z32 1st and 2nd Place

300ZX Z31 1st and 2nd Place

280ZX S130 1st Place

240 / 260 / 280Z S30 1st and 2nd Place

Other Nissan 1st and 2nd Place

Non-Nissan 1st and 2nd Place

Click HERE to check out our Facebook Event for more details and updates!

2015 Chrysler 300 has been named one of KBB.com’s ten most comfortable cars under $30,000

The 2015 Chrysler 300 has been named one of KBB.com’s ten most comfortable cars under $30,000. The editors wrote, “Chrysler’s big and bold full-size sedan recalls the glamour and ease of yesteryear in a car that offers all of today’s modern amenities,”

The base price of a 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited is $32,690, including destination charges, but incentives bring it below the $30,000 threshold. A comparably equipped Chevrolet Impala 2LT is $31,110, and it doesn’t have the 300’s outstanding V6/8-speed combination.

In thousands of test miles, many with four adults and luggage, Allpar testing has found that, regardless of trim level, the Chrysler 300 a is standout among non-luxury cars, easily surpassing comparable Ford and GM cars in total passenger comfort over long distances. Even brand-agnostic drivers praise the car’s comfort and driveability.

Often-neglected rear-seat passengers, including those six feet tall, have plenty of room, and the Chrysler 300’s formal roofline makes dignified entry and exit no problem, an advantage over the Dodge Charger.

Allpar real-world testing has shown the Chrysler 300 with the Pentastar V6 cruises effortlessly even at the 80 miles per hour allowed on West Texas highways. We have achieved an easy 33 mpg on long trips at 70-75 mph.

Read more at: http://news.allpar.com/index.php/2015/07/is-chrysler-300-one-the-most-comfortable-cars-under-30k-29271

Indian Motorcycle Heads to the 75th Annual Sturgis Rally With Entertainment, Events and the All-New 2016 Lineup

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, Jul 23, 2015 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Indian Motorcycle(R), America’s first motorcycle company, is announcing its power-packed itinerary for the upcoming 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Started in 1938 by Indian Motorcycle dealer J.C. “Pappy” Hoel, close to 1 million attendees are expected this year in recognition of this important milestone for the Rally, which formally runs August 3 – 9 in Sturgis, South Dakota. Join Indian Motorcycle in celebration of all riders for this historic event that will feature the first appearance of the 2016 model year lineup, entertainment, factory demo rides, Indian Motorcycle owner events and rides, an array of custom bikes and much more. The celebration gets a jump start on Friday, July 31 at the Indian Motorcycle display area located on Lazelle St. Visit the Indian Motorcycle Sturgis event page for updates leading up to the rally.

Indian Motorcycle Factory Display on Lazelle St (Next to Lynn’s Dakotamart) Friday, July 31 – Saturday, August 8, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily Explore the entire lineup of 2016 models at the Indian Motorcycle display in Downtown Sturgis. Several new customs will also be on display, including newly-revealed bikes from the “Scout Custom Series” including the Black Bullet Scout and the USO Tribute Scout built by Klock Werks, along with the 2014 Indian “Big Chief Custom,” a new Chieftain custom from Azzkikr Custom Baggers, and more. In addition, a 1948 Chief commemorating the 75th anniversary will be rebuilt on-site by Starklite Cycle during the rally. A brand-new “torque pit,” demonstrating the power and torque of the Indian Motorcycle lineup will run throughout each day, and an interactive timeline will highlight Indian Motorcycle’s founding of the rally and its important place in motorcycling history.

In celebration of Indian Motorcycle’s roots at Sturgis, rally attendees can fuel up from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. each day with complimentary coffee and donuts — a tradition started by Pearl Hoel, wife of rally founder “Pappy” Hoel. Attendees can also sign-up to win one of five limited edition Chiefs, get their photo taken on a custom Indian Scout Hill Climb bike, purchase Indian Motorcycle apparel, sign a commemorative rider map and more.

Limited Edition Model Year 2016 Chief Classic Giveaway Sunday, August 2 and Thursday, August 6 Five limited edition Chief Classics will be given away during the rally. On Sunday and Thursday, the bikes will be raffled off live in the Lazelle St. space (visit location to learn exact time). These beautiful, Model Year 2016 Classics are available during the rally only, and will only be available to rally participants. Entries can be obtained with scan of Indian Motorcycle RFID badges at Indian events and locations during the rally; see the registration booth on Lazelle St. to get a badge.

Factory Demo Rides, 2100 Whitewood Service Road (I-90 on Exit 30)

Saturday, August 1 – Saturday, August 8, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily Join the Indian Motorcycle demo team and test ride the latest models fresh from the Spirit Lake, Iowa plant. New Model Year 2016 motorcycles will be ready to demo ride all week long representing every variation and color and some fully accessorized. Demo ride availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. Rides will head out daily starting at 9:15 a.m. with the last ride leaving at 4:30 p.m. Riders must be 18 years of age and must provide proof of endorsement along with a helmet and appropriate riding attire. Passengers with protective gear are welcome to ride with no endorsement needed.

“Black Hills Heritage Ride presented by Indian Motorcycle”: Ride-in to Sturgis with American Iron Magazine Thursday, July 30 – Sunday, August 2 Join Buzz Kanter and the editors of American Iron Magazine as they ride vintage and modern motorcycles to Sturgis. The ride will kick off at the acclaimed National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa with a complimentary dinner on Thursday, July 30 and will conclude in Sturgis on Sunday, August 2. The ride route will explore backroads and celebrate both great heritage Indian bikes and modern models. The ride is free and open to all who are interested in joining, regardless of motorcycle manufacturer.

“America’s Block Party” (Between Victory Motorcycles and Indian Motorcycle displays on Lazelle St.) Friday, July 31 – Saturday, August 8, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily Join Indian Motorcycle, Victory Motorcycles, Polaris Slingshot(R) and partner Jack Daniel’s at the biggest party in Sturgis. “America’s Block Party” will feature live music daily, the Jack Daniel’s Experience, beverages available for purchase, complimentary patch sewing, and much more. In addition, the following special appearances will take place courtesy of Jack Daniel’s:

— NASCAR Vice Chairman Mike Helton and Rusty Wallace former driver of
the #2 Cup series Car in NASCAR and now TV commentator, Monday, August
3, 11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

— Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller Jeff Arnett, Monday, August 3, 3 p.m. –
4 p.m.

— 9/11 Never Forget Mobile Museum, August 2 – 4, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
(across the street)

“Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis” Welcome Event Sunday, August 2, 3:30 p.m., Lazelle St. Display Join us as we welcome a group of American heroes to America’s motorcycle rally. The riders of the “Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis,” sponsored by Indian Motorcycle, will be concluding eight days on the road from Los Angeles to Sturgis riding across the country they helped defend on Indian motorcycles. These brave men and women from all branches of the military, some with multiple traumatic amputations, will arrive to a warm and patriotic welcome at the Indian Motorcycle display on Lazelle Street.

Indian Motorcycle Night at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip and Reveal of Roland Sands Design / GEICO Custom Indian Chieftain Sunday, August 2, 9:50 p.m., Legendary Sturgis Buffalo Chip(TM) On Sunday night, a fired-up audience will get a chance to see the unveiling of a new custom-built GEICO Motorcycle — the GEICO custom Indian Chieftain built by Roland Sands Designs. The RSD team will reveal the bike on the Wolfman Jack Stage at the Legendary Sturgis Buffalo Chip. The night’s entertainment will include: 38 Special, The Guess Who and Brantley Gilbert.

“Military Monday” Monday, August 3, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Lazelle St. Display Indian Motorcycle will honor and salute veterans and those who serve on “Military Monday” with a complimentary gift for those with a current or honorably discharged Military I.D. Visit the display on Lazelle St. for more information. As a benefit to Indian Motorcycle’s military partner, The USO, and Victory Motorcycles’ military partner, IAVA, riders using the complimentary parking behind the factory display on Lazelle St. throughout the week are encouraged to make a donation.

“Indian Motorcycle & Classic American Iron Rally” Tuesday, August 4, Crossroads at the Buffalo Chip, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Indian Motorcycle and American Iron Magazine are sponsoring a heritage motorcycle celebration at the Buffalo Chip. The event is free to attend and free to register any model year Indian bike or pre-1984 classic American motorcycle. Riders can check out dozens of historic machines from all brands, and will feature a bike show and contest. Class winners will be announced at 4 p.m.

Mike Wolfe Autograph Session Wednesday, August 5, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. Stop by the Indian Motorcycle display on Lazelle St. for an up close and personal autograph session with Mike Wolfe, star of “American Pickers” on HISTORY and avid Indian Motorcycle fan.

Indian Motorcycle Riders Group (IMRG) and Owner Events Monday, August 3 – Sunday, August 9 Owners, past, present and future are invited to join Indian Motorcycle for exclusive owner activities throughout Rally Week.

— On Tuesday, August 4 at 11:30 a.m. owners are invited to attend a
complimentary Owners Lunch at Game Lodge Pavilion in Custer State
Park. Pre-registration is required and owners can sign up HERE.

— Owners are also invited on Wednesday, August 5 to the Indian
Motorcycle of Sturgis dealership for an owners-only open house and
Wall of Death Show at 10:30 a.m.

Throughout Rally Week, owners will receive a commemorative gift when they present their key FOB at the dealership or the Indian exhibit on Lazelle St. IMRG members can also show their membership card for an additional gift.

Indian Motorcycle of Sturgis Dealership Open 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily at 2130 Main St. Visit the Indian Motorcycle of Sturgis dealership’s recently opened 22,000 square foot showroom. The American Motor Drome Wall of Death, featuring the custom 2015 Wall of Death Scout, will be at the dealership with shows each hour starting at 11 a.m., courtesy of Indian Motorcycle. The showroom offers an expanded parts and customization department as well as additional service bays. The dealership is giving away limited edition prizes and will have commemorative 75th anniversary items for sale. For more information please visit: http://www.indianmotorcyclesturgis.com.

“We promise a jam-packed week of activity for this rally, and we’re going to deliver,” said Steve Menneto, vice president of motorcycles at Polaris Industries. “We look forward to visiting with our friends and riders at the displays and celebrating the Diamond Anniversary of Pappy Hoel’s little get-together that, through the years, has turned into the biggest motorcycle rally in the world.”

ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE(R) Indian Motorcycle, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Polaris Industries Inc. PII, -2.20% is America’s first motorcycle company. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit http://www.indianmotorcycle.com.

ABOUT POLARIS(R) INDUSTRIES Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2014 sales of $4.5 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER(R) and RZR(R) side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.

Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory(R) and Indian Motorcycle(R) and Slingshot(R) brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road small electric/hybrid powered vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM), Goupil Industrie SA, Aixam Mega S.A.S., and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Polaris Engineered Parts, Accessories and Apparel, Klim branded apparel and ORV accessories under the Kolpin(R), Cycle Country(R) and Pro Armor(R) brands.

Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.

Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicle accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at http://www.polaris.com.

Read more at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/indian-motorcycle-heads-to-the-75th-annual-sturgis-rally-with-entertainment-events-and-the-all-new-2016-lineup-2015-07-23

Unhacking the Hacked Jeep

We read about “hacks” every day. All industries are potential targets of a hacker and the automotive industry has been no exception.

Well-known hackers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek recently teamed-up with a WIRED reporter to publish a story that you may have read about or seen on the news. The story highlights how Miller and Valasek hacked into Miller’s 2014 Jeep Cherokee and remotely controlled some functions. Miller and Valasek have been working on intentionally hacking into Miller’s vehicle over the past year as part of their on-going research in the area of automotive cybersecurity and have communicated with FCA about some aspects of their work.

To FCA’s knowledge, there has not been a single real world incident of an unlawful or unauthorized remote hack into any FCA vehicle.

After becoming aware of the vulnerabilities in some 2013 and 2014 vehicles equipped with the 8.4 inch touchscreen systems, FCA and several suppliers worked to fix the vulnerabilities in model year 2015 vehicles. FCA also created a software update that eliminates the vulnerabilities uncovered by Miller and Valasek in their laboratory tests. This software update is available to customers right now and can be downloaded to a USB drive from http://www.driveuconnect.com/software-update/ and installed in a vehicle.

FCA will be contacting potentially affected customers with these details and has provided the software update to the FCA US dealer network for immediate customer installation.

Customers can enter a vehicle identification number (VIN) and find out if their vehicle needs the software update. If your vehicle needs the update, you can download the software update to a USB drive and install it yourself. Another option is to make an appointment with your FCA US dealership and have them install it for you at no charge. The update, if installed DIY, will take 30-45 minutes, and your vehicle needs to be parked throughout the software update/installation process.

In addition, FCA US has been working with its suppliers to implement additional protocols to block remote access. These changes will not require any action by our customers.

The vehicles listed below that have a 8.4 inch touchscreen radio system need this software update:

2013-2014 Ram 1500 Pickup

2013-2014 Ram 3500 Cab Chassis

2013-2014 Ram 2500 Pickup

2013-2014 Ram 4500/5500 Cab Chassis

2013-2014 Ram 3500 Pickup

2014 Grand Cherokee

2014 Durango

2013-2014 Viper

2014 Cherokee

Some 2015 Chrysler 200s

For any questions regarding how to complete the software update please call our Customer Care Center at 1-877-855-8400.

What will be the next Hellcat?

The 707-horsepower Hellcat engine, a supercharged 6.2 liter Hemi V8, has rewarded Dodge with much higher sales than expected, along with a great deal of publicity in both magazines and social media.

The engine, carefully set up so that it can be run “all day” at the track on hot summer days — unlike at least one competitive Camaro — seems to be a real winner, but it’s available only in two cars, the closely related Challenger and Charger. In the Challenger, buyers can get a manual or automatic; in the Charger, it’s all automatic, but that automatic responds far more quickly than even a well-trained human can.

As Chrysler and its suppliers work to boost production of the Hellcat engine (particularly the unique supercharger), the next question becomes, “Which car is next?”

There are two real possibilities, both of which have been rumored: the Ram 1500 and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Jeep is the more credible choice, because the Grand Cherokee SRT has been a hit — and has been able to command a higher price than most FCA US cars. In addition, the suspension has already been tuned for performance with the 392 engine, which puts out 485 horsepower.

Jeep Grand Cherokee is a worldwide seller, and a Hellcat version would certainly be relatively popular in parts of the world where Rams are rare if available at all.

Ram, on the other hand, would be much harder to performance-tune; engineers would be starting from scratch, rather than building on work already done. Packaging might be easier, but would it sell more normal Rams, the way a Grand Cherokee Hellcat would sell more of the 6.4 SRTs?

All indicators, and our own long ears, are that the next Hellcat will be a Grand Cherokee. There’s no point in waiting for it to come out this year, though — demand for the hot engine means that it’ll be restricted to large cars for the moment, simply because orders exceed supply.

Read more at: http://news.allpar.com/index.php/2015/07/what-will-be-the-next-hellcat-29268

Let’s Find Out If The Jeep Renegade Is A Real Jeep

The 2015 Jeep Renegade got us all fired up when it first appeared; was this the ultimate “efficiency you need, capability you want” combo or just a little Italian car wearing daddy’s work boots? Time to take one off-road to find out.

Obviously the Renegade isn’t about to dethrone the Wrangler is the ultimate off-roadable SUV you can drive off a lot and straight to some place like Moab. But it’s not meant to, and it leaves its big brother in the dust when it comes to on-pavement comfort and fuel economy.

Even though we had to conduct our test on a pre-planned route under the watchful eyes of Jeep’s corporate ambassadors, I was more impressed by the vehicle’s abilities than I thought I’d be.

The Renegade is at home on routes that bleed the line between “dirt road” and “trail,” with enough in reserve to get you through that sketchy section you’d have to turn back at in a Honda HR-V.

A Renegade would be the wrong choice for somebody looking for a vehicle they could use everyday but “get into off-roading” with. Those people need a sedan and a CJ-7. The Renegade is the vehicle you want when you do most of your driving on the road, but like to buzz down dirt tracks free and easy (or look like you do) without the fuel economy or ride quality penalty you pick up with a bigger, taller, meaner 4×4.

Read more at: http://truckyeah.jalopnik.com/lets-find-out-if-the-jeep-renegade-is-a-real-jeep-1718262365

Challenger Hellcat X Flies Past 707 HP

Over the past few days, a handful of images have arrived online showing the Dodge Challenger Hellcat X and while limited initial details are leading some people to believe that this is some sort of next generation Dodge offering – it is actually a one-off built as part of a charity raffle.

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is the Hellcat X, and along with a custom 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, the unique Mopar muscle car is a part of the 2015 Dream Giveaway. The Dream Giveaway program has been running since 2008 and in that time, they have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable groups which range from veteran charities to children’s charities. In fact, the 2015 Dream Giveaway program is also offering up a pair of Corvettes and a pair of Mustangs along with the pair of Challengers.
So, while the Hellcat X traveling around the internet isn’t a look at the next generation of the Dodge Challenger – it is still a very interesting custom muscle car with some serious upgrades.

First and foremost, the heart of the Hellcat X – and what has gotten the attention of so many people online – is that this Dodge Challenger features the factory supercharger and a pair of turbochargers. The folks at Walsh Motorsports took the standard Hellcat Challenger and fitted up a Hellion Power Systems twin turbo setup, which added a pair of 62mm turbos under the car, just behind the engine. This twin-charging system lifts the output from 707 horsepower and 650lb-ft of torque to 805 horsepower and 800lb-ft of torque.
Once the team had added an extra hundred horsepower and 150lb-ft of torque, they turned their attention to the styling of the Dodge Challenger, but since the Hellcat package adds so many unique cues on its own, the team went fairly light on exterior upgrades. Following in the aviation theme, raw aluminum accents were added to the three openings in the hood, around the front grille and on the lower rear diffuser, along with a new adjustable chin spoiler and rear deck lid spoiler – both of which help improve downforce at very high speeds.

Finally, the Hellcat X has custom badging on the fenders, the wheels and out back, with the Hellcat X logo embroidered on the seat back and floor mats.

So now that we all know that the Hellcat X isn’t some sort of factory experimental project from Dodge, Im sure that some of you are wondering how you can go about winning the Hellcat X. Ticket prices for this charity raffle begin at $3 apiece, but the more you buy, the less they cost. For example, their largest ticket package is $5,000 and that gets you 6,000 tickets and 6,000 chances to win both the Hellcat X and the gorgeous 1970 Challenger R/T .

Read more at: http://news.allpar.com/index.php/2015/07/full-details-on-the-dodge-challenger-hellcat-x-29240

Old Versus New: The Nissan Murano

We asked the owner of a 2009 Nissan Murano to take a spin in the all-new 2015 version of the dramatically styled crossover SUV. Is newer always better?

While we’d all like to have a McLaren, Porsche, or Lamborghini parked in our garage, that pesky thing called “reality” forces us to buy cars that are reasonably priced, convenient to drive every day, and—if there are kids involved—friendly to the sticky-handed set. One of the most popular models for families around the world since it made its debut in 2003 is the Nissan Murano. Named after the islands in Venice known for producing beautiful blown glass, this mid-size crossover SUV has always stood apart from the pack thanks to its dramatic design, great ergonomics, and car-like handling.

My sister, Lucy, is the happy owner of a 2009 Murano. She likes the modern styling, the comfort, the utility—she has two kids—and the fact that it drives more like a car than a hulking SUV. (Don’t even ask her what she thinks about her husband’s Toyota Sienna minivan.) So when I got to test the latest version, which is totally new for 2015, I knew she was the one who could give the best assessment. The third generation of Nissan’s flagship crossover delivers even bolder styling, a more luxurious interior, and a standard 3.5-liter V6 that ups both power and efficiency. Check out what the folks from Nissan were trying to accomplish with the new Murano, followed by Lucy’s thoughts. (Thanks, sis!)

Exterior

“One of the central constructs for both the exterior and interior of the new Murano was to ‘elevate your experience,’ which is counterintuitive to the heaviness and chunkiness of the traditional sport utility vehicle,” says Shiro Nakamura, Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. “This helped inspire the push for leading-edge aerodynamics and three key elements of our designs—the V-Motion front end, signature lighting, and the ‘floating’ roofline.”

Lucy immediately sees the difference: “I really like how it looks. This one is more modern than mine, more streamlined. It has more of an aquatic look, if that makes any sense. I especially like the dark panels on the sides in the back—even though it’s not a window, it looks like window as opposed to car. Very sleek.”

Interior

“Beyond the sense of elegant style and premium features, owners of the first two generations often tell us about the ‘effortlessness of Murano’—the great front view, the low instrument panel, the comfort and ease of operation. These are all things we kept and exaggerated in the new model,” says Nakamura.

“This is like the fancy version!” Lucy exclaims as she gets inside. “Does it have a USB? A charger? Yup! It’s got a familiar feel to it, but it seems more spacious. This sunroof is great; it expands all the way into the back. The kids don’t normally get the light back there. Yeah, this sunroof is awesome, there’s a lot more natural light. Wow, is this a top-down camera? I definitely don’t have one of those.”

“I have no complaints about my seats,” says Lucy as she takes her spot in the driver’s seat, “but this is more comfortable—the headrest and the back support feel a lot better. Mine doesn’t have leather on the dashboard, that I could take or leave. The cup holders look smaller and are in a different place, I think I like mine better…I prefer them horizontal, not vertical. Overall it’s totally familiar, but there are certain little nuances that are improved. Plus, it smells very nice.”

Driving

“With advanced, purposeful technology designed to help keep you safe and connected, along with its refined everyday driving experience, this all-new Murano adds the solid substance to go with its unmatched emotional style,” says Pierre Loing, vice president, Planning, Nissan North America, Inc.

“I love driving my Murano,” says Lucy. “It’s just big enough to feel like you’re not the smallest car on the road, but it doesn’t seem cumbersome. It’s a good size; it doesn’t feel like you’re driving a truck. The gear shift on this one is a little stiffer, and the steering definitely feels stiffer. I like it; it gives it that ‘premium-car’ feeling, very responsive. It’s got great visibility, which is also one of the things I really like about my car. The driving position is very similar…it doesn’t really feel like I’m driving a different car. Actually, it feels like I’m driving my car, but faster. This definitely has enough power to do what you need to do.”

Overall Impression

“I originally bought my Murano because I liked that it was bigger than a sedan but wasn’t as big as a minivan,” says Lucy. “I liked how it drove, I liked the style of it, the amenities, and, for the price, it just seemed like the right car. My kids like it too, because they feel like I’m not too far away from them. I have about 66,000 miles on mine, and I wasn’t thinking of getting a new car, but this new one really is great. It’s everything I like about my car, only better!”

Or, as Loing puts it, “Murano resets the standard in class once again.”

Read more at: http://www.scout.com/story/1554398-old-versus-new-the-nissan-murano

Heat Illnesses Can be Fatal; Would You Know What to Do?

Did you know your body is constantly in a struggle to disperse the heat it produces? Most of the time, you’re hardly aware of it – unless your body is exposed to more heat than it can handle.

In 2011, 587 people died in the U.S. from exposure to excessive heat, according to Injury Facts 2015, the annual statistical report on unintentional injuries produced by the National Safety Council. Heat-related illnesses can escalate rapidly, leading to delirium, organ damage and even death.

There are several heat-related illnesses, including heatstroke (the most severe), heat exhaustion and heat cramps. Those most at risk include:

Infants and young children

Elderly people

Pets

Individuals with heart or circulatory problems or other long-term illness

People who work outdoors

Athletes and people who like to exercise – especially beginners

Individuals taking medications that alter sweat production

Alcoholics and drug abusers

Heatstroke

Heatstroke can occur when the ability to sweat fails and body temperature rises quickly. The brain and vital organs are effectively “cooked” as body temperature rises to a dangerous level in a matter of minutes. Heatstroke is often fatal, and those who do survive may have permanent damage to their organs.

Someone experiencing heatstroke will have extremely hot skin, and an altered mental state, ranging from slight confusion to coma. Seizures also can result. Ridding the body of excess heat is crucial for survival.

Move the person into a half-sitting position in the shade

Call for emergency medical help immediately

If humidity is below 75%, spray the victim with water and fan them vigorously; if humidity is above 75%, apply ice to neck, armpits or groin

Do not give aspirin or acetaminophen

Do not give the victim anything to drink

Heat Exhaustion

When the body loses an excessive amount of salt and water, heat exhaustion can set in. People who work outdoors and athletes are particularly susceptible.

Symptoms are similar to those of the flu and can include severe thirst, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting and, sometimes, diarrhea. Other symptoms include profuse sweating, clammy or pale skin, dizziness, rapid pulse and normal or slightly elevated body temperature.

Uncontrolled heat exhaustion can evolve into heatstroke, so make sure to treat the victim quickly.

Move them to a shaded or air-conditioned area

Give them water or other cool, nonalcoholic beverages

Apply wet towels or having them take a cool shower

Heat cramps

Heat cramps are muscle spasms that usually affect the legs or abdominal muscles, often after physical activity. Excessive sweating reduces salt levels in the body, which can result in heat cramps.

Workers or athletes with pain or spasms in the abdomen, arms or legs should not return to work for a few hours. Instead:

Sit or lie down in the shade.

Drink cool water or a sports drink.

Stretch affected muscles.

Seek medical attention if you have heart problems or if the cramps don’t get better in an hour.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers more information on heat-related illness in this FAQ.

The best way to avoid a heat-related illness is to limit exposure outdoors during hot days. Air conditioning is the best way to cool off, according to the CDC. Also:

Drink more liquid than you think you need and avoid alcohol

Wear loose, lightweight clothing and a hat

Replace salt lost from sweating by drinking fruit juice or sports drinks

Avoid spending time outdoors during the hottest part of the day, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wear sunscreen; sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool itself

Pace yourself when you run or otherwise exert your body

Read more at: http://www.nsc.org/learn/safety-knowledge/Pages/news-and-resources-surviving-the-hot-weather.aspx