Category - Items of Interest

First Look: 2015 Jeep “Trail Rated” Renegade

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

Photos courtesy of Jeep. 

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the auto market is starting to slow down after its post-recession sugar rush. But Jeep ain’t listening. Right now Jeep is like Rocky Balboa. Jeep is jogging up stairs of automotive success that are 50% year-over-year steep. Eye Of The Tiger is playing on every Jeep factory radio. I don’t know what Jeep is doing right, and I’m not sure if Jeep knows either, but Jeep is diligently trying to meet the enormous demand with new products. Jeep invited us to take a first look at their new pocket-sized offering, the 2015 Jeep Renegade, which Jeep bills as the most affordable, most city-friendly Jeep to date.

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The Porsche Cayman GTS vs. a Go-Kart Track

Champion Porsche shared this video of an awesome ad spot for the Porsche Cayman GTS on a go-Kart track. This isn’t helping with our insatiable craving to have one in the garage. One can dream, right?

Decoding the 2015 Challenger line-up

Trying to figure out which 2015 Challenger best fits your desired performance goals and options list requires poring over a labyrinth of commingled model names and trim packages; we figured a basic primer would be helpful coming out of our press introduction with the cars yesterday in rainy Portland. Here goes:

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2014 North American International Auto Show: My Top Five of the Show

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Article Photos by John Kucek, Gallery Photos by Zerin Dube

As usual, 2014’s Detroit show was full of both winners and losers, good press conferences and bad, but the overwhelming theme was one of moderation – perhaps not in the sense of design, but in purpose and presentation. The show’s most important vehicle by far, the 2015 F-Series, was introduced with a whimper rather than a bang, eclipsed by the Atlas concept truck’s flashy debut in 2013. Likewise the Corvette Z06, which perhaps suffered most from feeling rather familiar after the C7 Stingray’s blockbuster intro last year. Thus, neither made my top five list of introductions at this year’s NAIAS. Nor, sadly, did anything from VW or Audi – despite strong showings from new production models (the new GTI and Golf R are both really sharp looking, and who in their right mind would badmouth a new S8?), their concepts fell flat. The TT in drag Allroad Shooting Brake concept wasn’t bad, but perhaps presages a new TT that is a little more derivative than we were all hoping for. And the Beetle Dune was exactly what it sounded like – a jacked up Beetle – thus failing to stir my soul.

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Miles and Miles: U.S. Mile and Hennessey Performance team up to host Houston Mile in 2014

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Our good friends behind the Texas Mile announced today that they’re teaming up with Hennessey Performance (yes, that Hennessey Performance) to expand their series of incredibly popular standing mile events (the upcoming October running of the Mile sold out in just a couple of hours) starting in 2014 with the Houston Mile.

This is big news for Texas speed freaks and fans of standing mile events in general. The full release is below.

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Road Tested: 2013 Nissan Juke NISMO

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As I write this, what appears to be a black-construction-paper-interpretation of an origami tadpole sits in my driveway. Nissan calls it a crossover, but I’m inclined to disagree. It might be a dystopian interpretation of the future of the car, but I’d still call it a car nonetheless. The Juke is deceiving. I first saw one in England when I was living there, and having only seen it in pictures up until that point, I was somewhat shocked when I saw it in the metal. It’s small, this thing. It looks big in pictures, but it hardly casts a bigger shadow than a Golf or Impreza hatchback. It gives the impression of being tall by virtue of how short and narrow it is; at 164 inches, it’s shorter than a VW GTI by two inches and narrower by a couple tenths. Being only 4 inches taller than the GTI, it’s clear the design is meant to play visual tricks on passers-by.

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