Archive for the ‘orv’ Tag

2015 Jeep Renegade First Drive & Review

Jeep had paraded the ’15 Renegade and Renegade Trailhawk in front of journalists and the general public for over a year. We snickered at it, leered at it, touched it, and even sat in it during that time. The new Jeep really began to pique our interest, though. Was it a real Jeep, or was it simply a rebodied all-wheel-drive Fiat 500L? To find out, we jumped at the chance to get behind the wheel and test drive the Jeep Renegade Latitude 4×4, Limited 4×4, and the top-tier Trailhawk 4×4. Sport and 4×2 models are also available. Our review took us over the streets and freeways, as well as in the hills and mountains, near San Jose, California. First and foremost, if you’re a Jeep enthusiast who’s into lift kits, oversized tires, and boulders larger than bowling balls, stop reading. Traditional off-road Jeep fanboys and fangirls scoff at any 4×4 that doesn’t have a ladder frame or at least solid axles front and rear and for good reason. These heavy-duty components are some of the last bits leftover from when the first Jeep rolled off of the assembly line over 70 years ago. But, a company like Jeep can’t survive in today’s competitive automotive marketplace by building only Wranglers. New segments are needed to broaden the brand’s appeal and bring in new customers looking for on- and off-road capability and efficiency to the tune of more than 30 mpg. And that is exactly what the ’15 Jeep Renegade is designed to deliver.

With an open mind, it’s hard to not like the sporty and fun-looking Renegade when inspecting the exterior. The round headlights, seven-slot grill, trapezoidal wheel openings, and overall utilitarian feel of the Renegade set it apart from the other seemingly more sophisticated, and frankly boring, vehicle lineup in the compact-SUV segment. By comparison, the Jeep Renegade is that unconventionally amusing uncle, the one that let you light fireworks in the house and shoot beer bottles in the backyard. We appreciate that the Renegade puts a smile on our face, even when it’s simply parked.

The interior of the Limited and Trailhawk models we drove were quite plush and felt similar to what you would see in a top-tier Cherokee or Grand Cherokee. We appreciated the use of soft-touch materials in places where other manufacturers might use less-impressive hard plastic. The Renegade is available absolutely stuffed with technology. Some of our favorite features include the built-in on-demand Wi-Fi hotspot capability and an available mobile phone app, which enables owners to start their Jeep and lock or unlock doors from their cell phones. The instrumentation is easy to read and most controls are intuitive in their operation. We absolutely love the split HVAC system and the real numbers on the adjustment knob, instead of an ambiguous blue and red line designed specifically to mock us while we incessantly fumble for a comfortable temperature.

We tested both the 1.4L MultiAir Turbo and the 2.4L Tigershark MultiAir2 engines on-road. The six-speed manual used behind the 1.4L is a sporty, quick-shifting transmission. It takes no time at all to learn where the forward gears are and manipulate the clutch effectively. Shifting into Reverse requires that you lift up on the shift ring, similar to the shifter you might find in a sandrail or VW Baja Bug but much easier to engage. The 160hp 1.4L punches out 184 lb-ft of torque. You can keep busy shifting in the mountain twists or you can simply rev the engine to the moon by selecting the proper gear. Both options are fun. The naturally aspirated 2.4L produces 180hp and 175 lb-ft of torque. This engine is coupled to the nine-speed automatic, which can be just as fun to drive as the six-speed when toggled through the gears manually. Overall, the Jeep Renegade handles crisply and is extremely confidence-inspiring on-road.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Jeep if it didn’t go off-road. Nothing else currently in the vehicle segment even compares to the off-road capability of the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk. It has some off-road features, such as the large accessible bright red tow hooks, 20:1 crawl ratio, and Selec-Terrain traction system that we wish were on other vehicles considered to be more trail worthy by many 4×4 enthusiasts. Interestingly enough, the Renegade Trailhawk even has better approach, departure, and breakover angles than a Cherokee Trailhawk. An extracurricular off-road adventure took us to the sand dunes and rocky mountain trails in southern California. We were pleasantly surprised at how far up the trail we could take the Renegade Trailhawk, almost to the point of feeling guilty, while wondering “Should we be here in this?” It drives like a maneuverable side-by-side UTV. Rather than being forced to climb over rocks, ledges, and other trail obstacles, you can simply steer around them with ease if you choose.

The ’15 Jeep Renegade is not a Wrangler, and it shouldn’t be. Most new Jeeps never even go off-road. Think of it like this: without the success of the Renegade, the current Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee, the Wrangler would not exist, and neither would the Jeep brand. As a Jeep enthusiast you don’t have to buy these new Jeeps or even like them, but you should thank someone that does. Ultimately, all Jeeps, including the ’15 Renegade, are offered in a model that is still best in class for off-road capability, and that’s really what the Jeep brand is all about, right?

Read more at: http://www.msn.com/en-us/autos/research/2015-jeep-renegade-first-drive-and-review/ar-AAaXXEg

POLARIS INTRODUCES SPORTSMAN AND OUTLAW 110 EFI YOUTH MODELS

Minneapolis, MN (April 7, 2015) – Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), the leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles (ORVs), today introduced the Sportsman 110 EFI and Outlaw 110 EFI youth models as part of the company’s continuing innovation of its off-road product offerings. The new models are the first youth ATVs to offer EFI and will be available in dealerships in May.

The Sportsman and Outlaw 110 EFI youth models will replace the current Sportsman and Outlaw 90 models and include an upgraded 110cc engine for improved off-road performance and Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) for easier cold starting, reduced maintenance and improved run and idle quality. Both models will be classified as Y-10+ for riders 10 years old and older with adult supervision. The vehicles’ speed is limited to less than 15 mph/24.1 kph as delivered, and the speed control system allows adults to increase the speed to a maximum of up to 29 mph/47 kph. The Sportsman 110 EFI will be available in Sage Green while the Outlaw 110 EFI in Voodoo Blue.

Polaris is the industry leader in youth off-road vehicles and leads the way in promoting youth rider safety. The Sportsman and Outlaw 110 EFI will continue to offer a wide variety of safety features such as an adjustable throttle limiter to enable adults to set a maximum speed control limit, daytime running lights to increase daytime visibility, full floorboards and heat shields. Other vehicle features include an electric start, automatic transmission, 4-stroke engine, and long travel suspension. Similar to all other Polaris youth models purchased from an authorized dealer, the Sportsman and Outlaw 110 EFI also come with a high visibility whip flag and safety video. All Polaris youth vehicles also come with a DOT-approved helmet (two for the RZR 170 EFI) to help teach kids the importance of wearing the proper safety gear.

Along with the Sportsman and Outlaw 110 EFI, Polaris will continue to offer the Outlaw 50, classified as Y-6+, for riders 6 years old and older; the entry-level Phoenix 200, classified as T, for for riders 14 and older; and the RZR 170 EFI side-by-side for riders 10 years old and older.

Polaris Youth model ORVs lead the way with safety features which make them one of the best-selling youth lines available. Adult supervision is required for all riders under 16. Polaris strongly encourages anyone operating an ORV to take appropriate training. In the United States, the ATV Safety Institute’s RiderCourse training is available through the SVIA, at ATVsafety.org or 800-887-2887. The ROV E-Course and hands-on DriversCourse (for SxS vehicles like the RZR 170) are available through ROHVA, at rohva.org or 866-267-2751.

Read more at: http://www.polaris.com/en-us/company/news-item.aspx?articleID=361

POLARIS ANNOUNCES SPECIAL FOX EDITION AND NEW RZRS IN LIMITED EDITION COLORS

As part of RZR’s continuing innovation and commitment to its enthusiasts, Polaris is announcing several new models featuring new paint schemes and graphics, and a new RZR XP 1000 EPS model with the first-ever Internal Bypass Shocks available on a side-by-side.

The new RZR XP 1000 EPS FOX Edition is hands-down, the best performing suspension ever offered on a sport Side by Side, featuring highly-tuned FOX Podium® Internal Bypass Shocks, re-tuned coil-over springs, new front stabilizer bar and softer rear bar. The vehicle offers the next generation of suspension innovation that takes Razor Sharp Performance to a whole new level.

The new FOX Podium® Internal Bypass Shocks found on the RZR XP 1000 EPS FOX Edition generates highly-progressive damping that gives the vehicle a plush ride with all the bottom-out resistance expected from an ultra-performance off-road vehicle. The shocks have large diameter bodies (3 in/7.6 cm rear, 2.5 in/6.4 cm front), reservoirs and increased fluid capacity for dramatic improvements in heat dissipation, fade resistance and durability. The internal bypass technology offers more zones than a conventional shock for better tenability and performance for the smoothest ride available on a side-by-side and better handling over a wider range of terrain at any speed.

To complement the new shock package, Polaris outfitted the RZR XP 1000 EPS FOX Edition with redesigned coil-over springs. The progressive rate upper spring is a lighter-weight spring that absorbs small impacts while the stiffer, main spring maintains ground clearance and absorbs bigger impacts in rough terrain.   <BR><BR>

The RZR XP 1000 EPS FOX Edition also is the first RZR XP to feature a front sway bar and also has a redesigned rear sway bar with 25 percent less stiffness. Combined with the FOX Podium Internal Bypass Shocks, the sway bars dramatically decrease body roll and improve vehicle handling and comfort.

Along with the new suspension package, the RZR XP 1000 EPS FOX Edition features Matte Turbo Silver paint, cut and sew seats, new graphics package, innovative 6-Point harnesses and the Polaris Interactive Digital Display which is an integrated, industry-leading LCD display and gauge with full-featured GPS, mapping capability and compass. The display also features integrated Bluetooth functionality and shows the speedometer, tachometer, dual trip meters, odometer and maintenance warnings along with a digital clock, and operating conditions including fuel level and diagnostics.

The RZR XP 1000 EPS FOX Edition will be available in dealerships starting in February 2015.

Along with the new RZR XP 1000 EPS FOX Edition, Polaris also is announcing several other new models with new paint scheme and graphics which include the following:

2015 RZR® 570 EPS Black Pearl

Additional features on this model include:

Electronic Power Steering
Engine Braking System (EBS)
TURF Mode
Sealed under hood storage
Maxxis Tires with Cast Aluminum Rims
High / Low beam headlights
Black Pearl paint
Custom graphics package
Custom cut & sew seats with RZR emblem
Color-matched painted front and rear suspension springs

2015 RZR® 900 EPS Trail Blue Fire

Electronic Power Steering
High Performance Close Ratio AWD
Engine Braking System (EBS)
TURF Mode
Driver’s Side Seat Slider
Cast Aluminum Rims
Blue Fire paint
Custom graphics package
Custom cut & sew seats with RZR emblem
Color-matched painted front and rear suspension springs

2015 RZR® 900 EPS Trail Gloss Nuclear Sunset

Electronic Power Steering
High Performance Close Ratio AWD
Engine Braking System (EBS)
TURF Mode
Driver’s Side Seat Slider
Cast Aluminum Rims
Nuclear Sunset paint
Custom graphics package
Custom cut & sew seats with RZR emblem
Color-matched painted front and rear suspension springs

2015 RZR® S 900 EPS Voodoo Blue

Electronic Power Steering
High Performance Close Ratio AWD
Driver’s Side Seat Slider
High Performance Steering Wheel
Voodoo Blue paint
Custom graphics package
Custom cut & sew seats with RZR emblem
Color-matched painted front and rear suspension springs

2015 RZR® S 900 EPS Stealth Black

Electronic Power Steering
High Performance Close Ratio AWD
Driver’s Side Seat Slider
High Performance Steering Wheel
Stealth Black paint
Custom graphics package
Custom cut & sew seats with RZR emblem
Color-matched painted front and rear suspension springs

2015 RZR® XP 1000 EPS Stealth Black

Electronic Power Steering
Stealth Black paint
Custom graphics package
Custom cut & sew seats with RZR emblem
Color-matched painted front and rear suspension springs

2015 RZR® XP 1000 EPS Orange Madness

Electronic Power Steering
Orange Madness paint
Custom graphics package
Custom cut & sew seats with RZR emblem
Color-matched painted front and rear suspension springs

2015 RZR® XP 4 1000 EPS White Lightning (Monochrome)

Electronic Power Steering
White Lightning paint
Custom graphics package
Custom cut & sew seats with RZR emblem
Color-matched painted front and rear suspension springs

All models will be available in dealerships starting in January.

Read more at: http://www.polaris.com/en-us/company/news-item.aspx?articleID=308

Part One: A Closer Look at Indian Motorcycles

Recently, a rival of Harley-Davidson – a Japanese motorcycle company that builds multiple cruising and touring motorcycles – held a recent full-line press event at a rural Georgia country club.

On the first morning of the media gathering, that bike maker lined all of its models up in a shiny row, with the company’s name and logo prominently displayed on large banners posted all around the motorcycles.

As a visiting couple strolled by the display on their morning constitutional, one said to the other, “Wow, honey. Look at all the Harleys.”

That’s the problem a competitor of the Milwaukee-based motorcycle giant faces. In the world of two-wheeled iron, Harley-Davidson is synonymous with big cruiser and touring bikes. Even if a rival makes better machines in the same class, they’re always looked on by anyone outside the enthusiast commune ant as a Harley.

Indian Motorcycles, the Minneapolis based manufacturer is taking on that identity challenge while trying to reestablish itself as a prominent part of global automotive culture. Indian is actually the oldest American builder of motorcycles — beating Harley-Davidson to the market by two years in 1901. But, while Harley survived highs and lows through the years, Indian faded from the business world in 1953.

Harley-Davidson used the rock n’ roll era of the 1950s and the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s to build its brand identity as the chosen ride of rebels. Indian missed all of that, finally returning to the American market in 2011 as a smaller division of Polaris – a builder of everything from snowmobiles to ATVs.

In the past three years, Polaris’ branding plan focused on one primary goal — letting the world know its back in business and an All-American alternative to Harley-Davidson.

According to Steven D. Menneto, Vice President for Motorcycles at Indian, the company’s plan for the first 18 months of its existence was “to let them know Indian is back.”

“We knew we first needed to establish what we’d build and what styling cues we needed to make our motorcycles distinctly Indian,” Menneto said. “We knew our motorcycles wouldn’t be small. That’s not our brand. We’d make 100 horsepower, liquid cooled engines powering big motorcycles.”

Of course, by 2011 everyone except dedicated riders identifies such bikes with that H-D Bar and Shield Logo.

Menneto, a veteran Polaris executive before taking on Indian, realized ownership by Polaris offered structural support and financial stability. But, the company needed to look beyond the need for that kind of capital buttressing.

“We had and continue to operate with a five year plan,” Menneto explained. “Gradual, planed growth is key to that plan. We could’ve had 1,000 dealers coast to coast, and we could be building at full Polaris capacity. But, we knew it was better to build the brand first.”

Check back in tomorrow for our continued up close look at Indian Motorcycles.

As read on: http://www.craveonline.com/lifestyle/cars-auto-motorcyles/781711-part-one-closer-look-indian-motorcycles

Outfitting for Off-Roading: A Guide to Trail Etiquette

If you’re new to the world of off-roading in your Jeep brand vehicle, learning the ways of the trail can be a little intimidating. That’s what we’re here for. In the last installment of Outfitting for Off-roading, we filled you in on some common off-roading terms to add into your vocab. Today we’ll highlight several of the unwritten rules of trail etiquette and take you through what to expect when you’re first getting out there.

Just like regular city driving, the world of trail blazing has its own unique set of rules. Below are some common situations you may find yourself in while taking on any trail.

Do: Keep other vehicles in sight. Especially if the trail you’re on is not particularly clear, it’s easy to lose track of other vehicles in your party. Make sure you can always see the vehicle behind you in your rear view mirror to prevent anyone from getting off track.

Don’t: Tailgate. Trust us, tailgating on the trail is even more irritating than on the highway. And it’s dangerous. Allow the vehicle ahead of you to completely pass over the obstacle before you make an attempt.

Do: Allow vehicles going up an incline to have the right of way. If a vehicle going up an incline loses momentum, it can cause a potential loss of traction. If you come across this situation on the trail, the vehicle going down should pull over as safely and quickly as possible.

Don’t: Speed. Trail riding is not a quick activity. Take your time, be aware of all obstacles and enjoy the environment around you.

Do: Be prepared. When it comes to spending time on the trails, we couldn’t agree more that it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure you bring the essentials, including tow straps, a first-aid kit, a CB radio and a spare tire among other things.

Keep an eye out for the next article when we go over the basics of tackling sand in your Jeep brand vehicle.

Read more at: http://blog.jeep.com/adventures/outfitting-roading-trail-etiquette/

Outfitting for Off-roading: Introduction

If you’ve never been off-roading in your Jeep brand vehicle, it’s time to pull out your calendar and mark a date. There’s no better time than summer to take an adventure outside of your everyday life and experience what it truly means to have a Trail Rated vehicle.

The Jeep Blog is starting a series here at the Jeep Blog called “Outfitting for Off-roading” in order to help you out with some of the ins and outs of prepping to hit the trails. So check back as we post some of there tips and tricks on our blog! Learn more about adventuring through various terrains and read suggestions on how to customize your Jeep brand vehicle with Mopar accessories in order to take on every trail headfirst.

To get you started, below is a list of off-roading terms you’re going to need to know as you’re preparing to hit the trails.

Articulation – Articulation happens when one or more wheels are elevated and others are planted on the ground. This helps your Jeep brand vehicle drive over rocks and other objects you may encounter on the trail while maintaining stability.

Crawl Ratio – Your Jeep brand vehicle’s crawl ratio is what allows it to climb steep inclines or take on taller rocks. It allows your vehicle to slowly maneuver up and over your obstacle without you having to use the accelerator.

Ground Clearance – Ground clearance refers to the height of objects your vehicle can take on without causing any damage to the underside of your vehicle.

Low-range – The low-range feature on your Jeep brand vehicle helps you to add additional traction when needed.

Traction – Traction is what helps keep your Jeep brand vehicle from sliding on slippery or wet surfaces. It helps you maintain control of the vehicle, particularly when driving in rain, snow and mud.

As read on: https://blog.jeep.com/adventures/outfitting-off-roading-intro/

DNR waives fees for recreation activities during Summer Kickoff, June 7-8

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources today announced the 2014 Summer Kickoff, with a variety of recreation activities across the state. During Summer Kickoff, fees will be waived for some of the state’s most popular outdoor activities, making it a great time to grab a fishing pole, ride an ORV or enjoy a day in the outdoors at a state park. The DNR Summer Kickoff includes:
–    June 7-8 is Free Fishing Weekend, when all fishing license fees are waived for two days. Residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on both inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish. All fishing regulations still apply. Learn more at http://www.michigan.gov/freefishing.
–    June 7-8 is Free ORV Weekend, when ORV license and permit fees are waived for off-road vehicles. Anyone (resident or nonresident) may ride an ORV for free, but all ORV laws still apply. Find a trail at http://www.michigan.gov/orvtrails.
–    June 8 is free entry to all 102 Michigan state parks; no Recreation Passport required. Pack a picnic, bring some sand toys and make a day of it. This is the only day of the year when there is no vehicle entry fee for the state parks. Camping fees still apply for overnight visitors. Find a park near you at http://www.michigan.gov/stateparks.
In addition to waiving fees for recreation activities, the DNR will offer more than 50 fun outdoor programs and events throughout Michigan during Summer Kickoff, including:
–    National Trails Day – Saturday, June 7. Take a Walk in the Park with Blue Cross Blue Shield and the DNR in honor of National Trails Day. With events taking place statewide, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a scenic walk with friends, family and neighbors. All events are part of the MI Big Green Gym campaign. Learn more at http://www.mibiggreengym.org.

–    Michigan Boating Week – June 7-14. This weeklong campaign offers many opportunities to get started with boating or get back into it. Michigan Boating Week also aims to educate boaters about how to become stewards of the water. This is a partnership between the DNR, the Michigan State Waterways Commission and the Michigan Boating Industries Association. Learn more at http://www.michigan.gov/boating.
The DNR calendar lists hundreds of events throughout the summer, most of which are free with a Recreation Passport. Be sure to check out all the event listings at http://www.michigan.gov/dnrcalendar.

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $11 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at http://www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, nonmotorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($31 annual, $9 daily) at any state park or recreation area or (annual passes only) through the Michigan e-Store at http://www.michigan.gov/estore.

Learn more about this creative way of sustaining Michigan’s outdoor recreation and natural resources at http://www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport.

2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

Let’s talk asses for a moment. What do they have to do with the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, you ask?

Well, we’re here to tell you that this SRT can haul some. Lots of them, as a matter of fact: Jeep has increased the towing capacity of its most powerful SUV to 7,200 pounds. Assuming the average donkey weighs about 400 pounds, the Grand Cherokee SRT can haul ass to the tune of 18 burros, give or take a covered trailer or so, which is significantly more than it could in previous years. In 2013, the machine could manage 5,000 pounds, while the first generation was rated at just 3,500. The increase is mostly attributable to a new eight-speed automatic transmission and beefier rear axle, and it’s a welcome update for those who’d like to use their SUV as, well, an SUV with an emphasis on utility.

You’ll be pleased to know that this isn’t the only kind of ass hauling the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT is capable ? it can also accelerate really, really quickly ? 0-60 in 4.8 seconds to go along with quarter mile times in the low 13-second range and a top speed of 160 miles per hour. That’s extraordinary for a vehicle of this ilk ? and the run to 60 matches that of the last-gen model despite an extra shift taking place due to the new gearbox. Passing performance is even more impressive, as evidenced by a 35-75 mph sprint that’s almost four seconds quicker than it was last year, again, thanks to the extra three gears in the transmission. It goes without saying that the 470 horses grazing on premium unleaded and spitting out 465 pound-feet of torque are also responsible for these accelerative antics, along with the full-time four-wheel-drive system called Selec-Track, which provides more traction than the most stubborn mule in the animal kingdom.

We’ve been rather fond of previous versions of this menacing machine, and with a slew of meaningful enhancements on the menu for the 2014 model year, we took to the track at the brand-new and most excellent Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas at the invitation of Jeep to find out just how Grand the iconic Cherokee nameplate has become.

We’ll start with the styling. “Aggressive” is the word that best describes the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT, from its massive 20-inch wheels ? a different pattern than last year’s controversial “Spider Monkey” alloys is now available ? wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero P295/45/ZR20 tires (Pirelli Scorpion Verde all-seasons are also available) to the unique blacked-out front fascia dominated by Jeep’s traditional seven-slat grille. Viewed in profile, there aren’t too many clues to the casual onlooker, besides the massive wheels, of course, that this isn’t your average SUV. But look a little closer and you’ll see details like blacked-out headlight clusters with LED surrounds and a deeply scooped hood with functional heat extractors ? telltale signs that this mule is built to haul.

Even if you happen to be behind this brutish ‘ute, it will be impossible to miss Jeep’s SRT ? if the unique rear fascia doesn’t tip you off, the rumble emanating from the dual exhaust tips is sure to seal the deal. The soundtrack belted out by the massive 6.4-liter Hemi V8 will stir the souls of all those enamored with big displacement and natural aspiration ? you can count us among that group ? just as surely as it will irritate your grandparents on long highway slogs.

If nothing else, looking at and listening to the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT proves that SRT CEO Ralph Gilles isn’t just blowing smoke when he says that the brand is “Unapologetically selling high performance.”

It’s also worth noting that the rear glass is no longer separate from the rest of the tailgate. Jeep says the change makes the piece lighter while improving rear visibility. That’s all true, but the ability to stick long objects out the back without a fully erect lid is now lost, though that may at least partially be forgiven since the tailgate is now power operated.

The look inside the cabin has also been fine-tuned for performance drivers. Carbon fiber trim replaces the wood accents found in less powerful Grand Cherokee models, and the so-called Laguna leather and suede seating surfaces are nice and grippy. New for the model year is a dual-pane panoramic sunroof option. Oh, don’t forget the bright red engine start/stop button. Racy!

SRT’s new-for-2014 steering wheel deserves mention. According to Gilles, the automaker purchased wheels of high-performance models hailing from the likes of Audi, BMW and Porsche to make sure its wheel, one of the most tactile parts of the driving experience, is truly world class. As far as we’re concerned, SRT has nailed it ? the wheel is nice and meaty where your hands want to rest, and the buttons and controls don’t get in the way while driving. Similarly, the big metal paddle shifters on either side of the wheel are easy to locate and feel good to the touch.

Along with the new transmission comes a new shifter. Shaped like a traditional T, the lever is now fully electronic, with separate detents when moving from Park to Reverse, Neutral or Drive. As with all such doohickeys, this one takes some time getting comfortable with, but it eventually becomes a non-issue. Directly behind the shifter is a rotating knob with settings labeled Track, Sport, Auto, Snow and Tow, and just to the right of that is a button labeled Launch. We’ll talk more about these bits and pieces later.

The biggest changes to the interior are the new 8.4-inch Uconnect central infotainment system, of which many Autoblog staffers voted tops in its category when it won the AOL Technology of the Year Award for 2012, and the seven-inch customizable display in the gauge cluster.

For the 2014 model year, Chrysler is introducing Uconnect Access Via Mobile, which includes navigation and apps like Aha Radio, Pandora, iHeart Radio and Slacker, plus safety features that include an embedded cellular chip that can contact emergency services; remotely lock, unlock or start the car; and alert the owner of a possible theft.

The entire Uconnect system can now be activated using voice commands, from switching radio stations, changing climate settings, answering or making phone calls or calling upon the cloud using Bing search for directions, places of interest or phone numbers. Drivers can also send and receive text messages if they have connected their phone via Bluetooth.

Since this is an SRT model, the center screen also displays performance data. For instance, the driver can call upon a series of gauges to monitor the vehicle’s vital signs, a graphic display of the car showing the g-forces from every direction, lap times or current and best acceleration and braking figures.

Directly in front of the driver is a new seven-inch instrument cluster screen that can electronically display things like the car’s speed, current powertrain and suspension settings, trip information, fuel economy, radio settings and plenty more.

Now that we’re familiar with our surroundings, it’s finally time to hit that big red button to start the engine.

You might think that driving the 2014 Grand Cherokee SRT is all about the engine… and you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong.

The grunt underhood does indeed dominate the driving experience, and we mean that in the best way possible. Acceleration from a dead stop is effortless up to freeway speeds and beyond, though you won’t be lighting up the rear tires as with other products from SRT. Instead, instant all-wheel-drive traction is the name of the game, and holeshot starts are as easy as touching the Launch button we mentioned earlier.

One press puts the car into a predetermined mode that optimizes everything for straight-line acceleration. The suspension hunkers down, the transmission goes into its sportiest programming mode and the engine settles into a 2,000-rpm hum. Let your foot off the brake while mashing the throttle, and you’ll be to 60 mph in well under five seconds, each and every time, so long as you’re not driving on something as slick as snow, mud, snot or marbles.

Assuming you’re interested in more than just pin-your-passengers-back antics, we suggest you investigate the dial to the right of the Launch button. If you’re driving at a track, there’s a dedicated mode that takes as many of the electronic nannies away as Jeep’s engineers felt was safe, including the removal of anything that would take full power away from the engine, along with a torque split that sends 70 percent to the rear tires. There’s still roll mitigation and some small level of traction control, however, and that’s likely a good thing for everyone but professional race car drivers.

Sport mode adds some of those failsafe features back into the mix, but still allows enough wheelspin to make an aggressive driver feel fast while still being under control with a 65-percent rearward torque bias. This is probably where you’ll want to keep the knob pointed on the street. Auto mode is self explanatory, as are Snow and Tow, but you may be interested to know that Auto provides the cushiest ride while Snow and Tow modes lock the torque distribution at 50/50 front to rear.

We already talked a bit about how the eight-speed transmission improves performance, but it’s also worth mentioning that the gearbox now includes rev matching, meaning the throttle is automatically blipped when downshifting for smoother and quicker shifting. All in, Jeep says its test drivers shaved six-tenths of a second off their lap times due to the upgraded transmission at Nelson Ledges Road Course in Ohio. That’s a massive improvement when talking all-out hot laps.

Braking performance is also very good. Jeep quotes a stopping distance of 116 feet from 60 mph along with a 0-100-0 time of 16.3 seconds. We were only given the opportunity to take the SRT around COTA for two laps at a time, so we can’t say if brake fade will be a significant issue. We can say, though, that the 15-inch rotors with six-piston Brembo calipers at the front and 13.78-inch rotors with four-piston Brembo calipers stopped the heavy SUV with authority over the course of our track time, limited as it was.

Steering the Grand Cherokee SRT, we were reminded how polished the final generation of hydraulic power steering systems have been… because this Jeep is still fitted with one in lieu of the electronic units that are becoming commonplace. As such, you won’t find driver adjustable steering feel or any changes in ratio, which is locked in at 17.5:1. That’s just fine and dandy, though, because the settings chosen by SRT’s engineers for the rack-and-pinion work perfectly well.

Throwing the 2014 SRT into a corner demonstrates a few interesting points. First, there’s hardly any body roll when the vehicle is in Track mode, and second, there’s quite a bit of grip available to be exploited by the driver. It’s easy enough to set the car into a controllable four-wheel drift around sweeping corners, and it’s just as easy to scrub a bit more speed for the sake of quicker exits and lap times. Pick your poison ? either way, you’ll be having way more fun than should be lawful in a block-shaped vehicle weighing 5,150 pounds.

On COTA’s long back straight, the Jeep’s heft and general lack of aerodynamic efficiency becomes apparent as acceleration slows once into triple-digit speeds. That’s not to say it’s actually slow, it’s just not accelerating as fiercely as it does at lower velocities. In any case, we’d wager a paycheck or two that high-speed acceleration significantly improved with the three additional ratios for 2014 compared to previous years, saddled as it was with an aging five-speed unit.

Fuel mileage is not going to be at the top of the target buyer’s list of concerns, but we’re happy to report that the 2014’s estimated ratings of 13 miles per gallon in the city and 19 on the highway are each one mpg better than before. Click the car into Eco mode and those figures improve, according to Jeep, by around six percent. Fear not, hot shoes, full throttle in either Eco or normal modes is the same.

Interior dimensions mirror those of other Grand Cherokee models, with 40.3 inches of legroom up front and 38.6 in the rear. Cargo capacity maxes out at 68.7 cubic feet, or at 35.1 with the rear seats in their full upright and locked positions. You’ll be able to fit four adults inside comfortably, or five if you have to, and they will all enjoy heated seats (cooled up front, too), an attractive and airy cockpit with reasonable visibility and even an optional rear-seat Blu-ray/DVD entertainment system with monitors that swing up from the front seatbacks.

Put another way, strip all the go-fast goodies from the SRT and you’re left with a highly competitive sport utility vehicle. But why in the world would you want to do that? If you’re in the market for a super ‘ute, put your local Jeep dealer on your must-visit list, and make sure you bring at least $62,995 (plus $995 for that pesky destination charge) along with you.

By choosing the Jeep, you’ll be saving more than $20,000 off the price of anything else that might be called competition, vehicles including the BMW X5M or Porsche Cayenne Turbo, and the European contenders boast option prices that will easily put you into a second mortgage if you’re not careful. Yes, those vehicles, along with the Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG and Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged, may be a little quicker, faster or more powerful. They might boast more brand cachet and they may be more refined than the beast from Jeep. But they won’t be any more practical, and we’re not sure they’re that much more fun, either. Besides, when the automotive discussion turns toward track-biased super-performance sport utility vehicles, fun thrown in the face of conventional wisdom really is the name of the game, don’t you think?

As read on: http://m.autoblog.com/2013/02/25/2014-jeep-grand-cherokee-srt-first-drive-review/?p=1&icid=art_prev

POLARIS ENTERS 10-YEAR EXCLUSIVE PARTNERSHIP WITH BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

Minneapolis, MN (March 27, 2014) — Polaris Industries Inc. (NYSE: PII), the leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles (ORVs), today announced the company has entered a 10-year, exclusive partnership with the Boy Scouts of America, the largest youth organization in the U.S., to provide all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), side-by-sides (SxS) and safety equipment to select Boy Scout camps across the country.

 

“Polaris is proud to join forces with the Boy Scouts of America to develop a comprehensive off-road vehicle program that introduces youth to our sport with an emphasis on safety, responsible riding and respect for the environment,” said Scott Wine, Polaris Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “We are encouraged by the success of the pilot off-road programs and look forward to expanding the course to a national level.”

 

The partnership promotes youth off-road safety practices, environmental respect and the benefits of outdoor activities. Polaris has donated ORVs and safety gear to the BSA’s Northern Star Council’s Tomahawk Scout Reservation, the second largest Boy Scout camp in the nation, and the Northern Lights Council’s Camp Wilderness. The pilot programs at these camps were very popular, with more than 900 Boy Scouts learning basic riding and maintenance while earning safety patches. This 10-year partnership will improve and extend the reach of these courses.

 

“The off-road vehicle pilot we conducted in conjunction with Polaris and several local council camps proved to be both successful and very popular among the youth,” said Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock. “As we work to keep our programs relevant to the youth of today and tomorrow, we are grateful for this opportunity to work closely with Polaris.  We are excited that in the coming years, with the help of Polaris, we will be able to teach youth safe and responsible practices for the use of off-road vehicles.”

 

Polaris vehicles available to camp visitors for the program include the easy-to-use Phoenix 200, Sportsman 570 EPS and RZR 170 youth SxS. As part of the donation, Polaris will adjust models as needed and replace older units over time to ensure that Boy Scouts always have the most up-to-date and age-appropriate vehicles available.

 

As read on: http://www.polaris.com/en-us/company/news-item.aspx?articleID=229

2014 Polaris Sportsman Ace 4×4 – First Drive

A perfect entry-level vehicle

The all-new Polaris Sportsman ACE is the perfect combination of an ATV and UTV. It’s similar in size to a 4×4 quad and rides almost exactly like the new Polaris Sportsman 570 4×4, but it’s equipped with a single bucket seat, steering wheel, and a roll cage that provides a safe platform for newbies to the sport. This easy-to-use, nimble machine has the easiest learning curve of any ATV or UTV we’ve ever tested. If you can drive a car, you’ll feel right at home in the ACE.

INNOVATIVE & COMFORTABLE

The Sportsman ACE is covered by a ROPS (Roll Over Protection System) cab frame that’s similar to the roll cages found on the RZR lineup, and offers an ergonomically friendly cockpit that’s both easy to ingress and egress for small or large riders. The secure, high-backed, adjustable bucket seat is paired with an adjustable steering wheel. It’s also equipped with a three-point seat belt and has side bolsters to keep the operator properly positioned in the center of the machine. The steering wheel offers 3.5 inches of tilt adjustment, and the driver’s seat slides back and forth by 4 inches to customize the fit for the rider. There is an integrated dead pedal for your left foot to rest on and an integrated heel pocket for your right foot with an easy reach for both the gas and brake pedals. You’re also kept in via dual side nets that feature a metal rod to easily secure for clipping and positioning the nets to the back of the vehicle while exiting. This net system is sure to be replaced by more stylish aftermarket door designs.

TRAIL-READY WIDTH

A huge selling point for the ACE is its trail-capable and easily-transportable 48-inch width, which means it can take on nearly every OHV trail in the country, since many ATV trails are limited to a width of 50 inches. It will also fit in the back of a full-size pickup truck. A nice feature, since most side-by-sides require the added costs of a trailer. To ensure a low center of gravity, Polaris positioned all the major components, including the driver, centralized between the four wheels for an incredibly responsive ride. Along with this low center of gravity, the Sportsman ACE boasts 10.25 inches of ground clearance and 9.5 inches of rear travel due to its fully independent rear suspension (IRS) outfitted with performance, twin tube shocks featuring adjustable preload. The front of the ACE features a MacPherson strut setup with just over 8 inches of wheel travel.

Veteran ATV riders will feel funny in the ACE, at first, but after only a few miles, you’re hit with an added sense of confidence and security; the same feeling that has helped to make side-by-sides the fastest-growing powersports industry. Beginner to expert riders will appreciate the ACE’s comfortable ride and nimble handling characteristics. The suspension feels stiff, compared to standard Sportsman ATVs, but it soaked up the rough, rocky test loop and was difficult to bottom out. The machine felt stable, even around quick, 90-degree corners and even at top speeds your always feel in control.

32-HP PROSTAR POWERPLANT

The Sportsman ACE 4×4 is equipped with a new Polaris ProStar Electronic Fuel-Injected powerplant. It’s a dual-overhead-cam, single-cylinder, four-stroke design that is similar to the 570 RZR and Sportsman, which Polaris released last year. Its displacement is in the sub-400cc category, and it packs a solid 32 hp with a top speed of 45 mph, perfect for the entry-level to intermediate rider. It didn’t hit hard out of the hole, but its power range is wide and very easy to adjust to. This is the perfect powerplant for the rookie trail enthusiast. The motor provided plenty of excitement, the power doesn’t overwhelm or scare, and it’ll provide an excellent platform for learning.

The transmission is identical to the 570 RZR’s and provides the driver with the option of both high and low range, neutral, reverse, and a park mode that acts as the emergency brake. In high, the 32-hp ProStar pulled the 850-pound ACE up and over every obstacle on our technical, 50-inch-wide test loop. We used Low range for ascending and descending the steeper trails, and we powered through deep ruts, mud holes, and rock gardens without so much as a scent from the CVT.

The Sportsman ACE is equipped with the same On-Demand True All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system found on all Polaris ATVs and UTVs. The system eliminates the guesswork by automatically engaging AWD when you need it and then reverts back to two-wheel drive automatically when the AWD is no longer needed. It would be great to have a locking front differential, but this On-Demand system is used and loved by an outstanding number of enthusiasts.

Braking is solid, thanks to four-wheel hydraulic discs with dual-bore front calipers, and the little ACE rides on Carlisle 489 tires, mounted on stamped steel wheels, that provide great traction on most terrains. We put a good pounding on these meats and didn’t come to close to a flat.

Storage on the Sportsman ACE is exceptional with its integrated 2.8-gallon semi-dry, front storage compartment and a high-capacity Lock & Ride cargo box with rack extenders and rear tie-down rails that also accepts the accessory Lock & Ride cargo box for additional dry storage. The vehicle can carry up to 575 pounds of gear and can tow up to 1,500 pounds. The ACE is also pre-wired for the installation of a winch with up to 3,500 pounds of capacity, and Polaris offers more than 25 accessories for the Sportsman, including doors, winches, cabs, and storage to suit their driver’s needs. The Sportsman ACE is available in White Lightning and will be in dealerships in February.

ATV or UTV?

Like it or not, these UTVs are transitioning from a hit fad to the future of ATVing. Since the release of the original RZR 800 seven years ago, Polaris has been the leading UTV manufacturer of such machines, and for $7,499, the Polaris Sportsman ACE is sure to be a hit for both beginners and experts alike. What’s next for Polaris? You can expect the company to follow up with more single-seat and steering-wheel-equipped models from the entry-level ACE all the way up to a mind-blowing 1,000cc rocket ship. Stay tuned.

1401 polaris sportsman ace 4×4
Spec Chart

2014 Polaris Sportsman ACE 4×4

Price: $7499

Engine type: 32-hp ProStar, 4-stroke, DOHC single cylinder

Fuel system: Electronic fuel injection

Starting system: Electric

Drivetrain

Drive system: On-Demand True AWD/2WD

Transmission: Automatic PVT with P/R/N/L/H; shaft

Suspension (Type/Travel)

Front: MacPherson strut/8.2”

Rear: IRS/9.5”

Tires/Wheels

Front: 25×8-12/489

Rear: 25×10-12/489

Brakes

Front: Dual hydraulic disc with dual-bore front calipers

Rear: Dual hydraulic disc with dual-bore front calipers

Dimensions

Wheelbase: 61.5”

Claimed dry weight: 835 lb.

Ground clearance: 10.25”

Length/width/height: 90/48/68″

Fuel capacity: 5.25 gal.

Load Capacity

Front/rear rack/box capacity: 120/240 lb.

Payload capacity: 575 lb.

Electrical

Lighting: Halogen, 55-watt low/ 60-watt high

Instrumentation: Digital gauge, analog speedometer, odometer, tachometer, tripmeter; gear indicator, fuel gauge, AWD indicator, high-temp/low-batt lights, DC outlet

Read more: http://www.atvrideronline.com/features/1401_2014_polaris_sportsman_ace_4x4_first_drive/index.html#ixzz2uXh07KOT