Pro Snowboarder John Jackson shoots cool Sand Rail video

GoPro is the king of creating amazing video content and they have done it again with today’s posting of a very cool video of pro snowboarder John Jackson. In this new clip, John is taking advantage of the high desert terrain near Mammoth, California while behind the wheel of his powerful and well used sand rail.

As car guys we are usual in the know about all things auto but we were not that familiar with the term Sand Rail. Since here in Canada, we typically call vehicles designed for the sand dunes just Dune Buggies. Long story short, these Sand Rail’s look awesome and we need to test one out here in Canada.

After watching the video you realize how California’s climate really does have so much to offer the auto enthusiast. And John’s hair just goes so well with the whole Sand Rail mountain experience.

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2014 Jeep Cherokee Review

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee marks the return of a classic Jeep nameplate which has been missing from their model line-up since 2001. Originally, Jeep Cherokees were relatively no-frills off-road vehicles that focused more on function over fashion.  However, the model quickly evolved in the 1990s to become one of the most popular mid-sized SUV’s for both families and off-road enthusiasts.  Growing up, my father had a white coloured 1991 Jeep Cherokee Laredo.  I have such fond memories of that truck as I first learned to drive on it and it was a beloved chariot on a father-son mountain biking adventure to Mt. Snow, Vermont.

1991 Jeep Cherokee Laredo

1991 Jeep Cherokee Laredo (not the actual one) hence California plates

Compared to Cherokees of the past, the 2014 model is totally unique as it has been designed from the ground up leveraging the shared platform architecture of the Dodge Dart. While it still provides an adequate level of all-terrain ability for an SUV, this new Jeep Cherokee’s bigger mark is its spacious and well-appointed cabin, smooth ride and powerful V6.

2014 Jeep Cherokee North 4x4

2014 Jeep Cherokee North 4×4

Our tester came in the North 4×4 trim model paired with the beefy Pentastar six-cylinder used in the Grand Cherokee. This 3.2-liter V6 engine makes an impressive 271 horsepower and delivers it ponies in a refined manner via an all-new nine-speed automatic transmission. The nine-speed automatic is also included with the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Although on paper, the four-cylinder makes competitive power for this class, based on the Cherokee’s curb weight the V6 is the best option if you want increased power and towing capacity.

Both engines are available with front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive configurations. Jeep is actually offering two 4WD systems with the Active Drive I designed as your basic light-duty 4WD system (basically what most consumers think of as all-wheel drive), and it’s just fine if you merely need a little extra traction in winter snowstorms. While next up is Active Drive II, which adds low-range gearing and is aimed at Cherokee buyers expecting to venture farther off the beaten path. Although it’s nice to have that go-almost-anywhere capability when you need it, the reality is most consumers will likely make more use out of its variety of tech features. With an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface available in most models, and an optional safety package that bundles forward collision, lane departure and blind-spot warning systems with automatic high-beam control, adaptive cruise control and an automated parallel and perpendicular parking system this truck is serious about safety and convenience. In fact, this 2014 model is the first Cherokee that will park itself which is a bonus feature in this segment.

As for pricing here’s the story – the Cherokee sits smack in the middle of the pack in its small to mid-sized CUV/SUV segment. The only significant options our model lacked was leather seating and a moonroof.

  • Base price: $28,695 (North 4×4 model)
  • Price as Tested: $34,955 CDN
2014 Jeep Cherokee North 4x4

2014 Jeep Cherokee North 4×4

After spending a week behind the wheel in all types of road conditions from summer thunderstorms to traffic in scorching heat we can say the Cherokee model is 100% worth a look if you’re shopping for a small SUV. It provides a ton of value with its stellar drive train and new design features while also bringing back the fun and youthful spirit of the iconic Cherokee nameplate.

As for competitors, today’s small crossover SUV segment is crowded with a field of strong models including the Ford EscapeKia Sorento, Hyundai Santa FeHonda CR-V, and Mazda CX-5.  But one last thing to keep in mind is the Jeep Cherokee has its own personality and that you cannot say about every model.

Toyota Supra, BMW Z4 sports cars to share platform

According to a recent report from the Nikkei Asia Review, it appears the new Toyota Supra will share a platform with the next generation BMW Z4. Based on the FT-1 concept, the new Toyota Supra is a much-anticipated car as it has been over 12 years since the last Supra rolled off Toyota’s Japanese assembly line.  With thousands of enthusiasts all over the world looking forward to the prospect of a new Toyota Supra model this is very exciting news.

The report goes on to explain that the two vehicles will have different body designs, be sold under their respective brands and may be built by the automakers by 2017.

 

 

The Mercedes C63 AMG Experiment

After spending a glorious day at the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park watching the Tudor United Sportscar series we thought it was time to have a little fun with some old school video. Check out this 2012 Chris Harris segment where he takes a Mercedes C63 AMG coupe with the optional 480 HP power upgrade and lets her rip on some smaller rubber. The moral of this video is “Everyone should learn to drive with big power on skinny rubber!

B.C. Government raises highway speed limit to 120 km/h

Last Wednesday, the B.C. government unveiled changes to boost speed limits to 120 kilometres per hour on some of its highways. The announcement came from Transportation Minister Todd Stone who came out saying several months of public consultation and engineering reviews justify hiking speed limits on 1,300 km of rural provincial highway in the Southern Interior, Vancouver Island the Fraser Valley.

Under the new rules, three sections of B.C. rural highway will be set at the maximum 120 km/h speed limit, including Highway 5 (the Coquihalla) from Hope to Kamloops, Highway 97C from Aspen Grove to Peachland, and Highway 19 from Parksville to Campbell River on Vancouver Island.

Most of the speed changes will come into effect this summer, though increases to the Coquihalla and Peachland highways began immediately last Wednesday.

Other highways will see speed limits rise to 100 km/h or 110 km/h, depending on the route.

Source: Vancouver Sun

Review: goclean waterless carwash

RedlineNorth recently had a chance to review goclean waterless carwash.  While it might seem odd to have ‘waterless’ and ‘carwash’ in the same sentence, not according to Sunny Yashpal, founder of the company.  Canadian visitors may have caught Yashpal on TV when he brought his product to the Canadian version of Dragon’s Den in the sixth season of the series.

waterless-wash_1_grande

The premise of the product is simple, a carwash that doesn’t require water.  How does it work however? According to the goclean website the carwash – contains plant based and biodegradable surfactants, lubricants and polymers that wash, wax, and protect your car. During the application of process, plant based soaps emulsify dirt particles and lifts them from the surface of your vehicle, while a natural polymer wax remains to keep your vehicle cleaner longer. Waterless Carwash beads water off the surface of your car, while dirt and grime have a hard time sticking around.

Good in theory but does it work?  We took a 2003 Nissan Altima that had gone 4 weeks without a wash, and put goclean waterless carwash to the test.

The challenge - three weeks of dirt and grime.

The challenge – three weeks of dirt and grime.

At first it seemed counter-intuitive to spray on the solution and wipe it off with a microfibre cloth without the use of water, especially given the heavy build up of dirt and grime on the surface.  However, it was quickly apparent that the product was removing the dirt without any scratches.  The application is quick and ease – spray on, wipe off the dirt with a microfibe towel and buff with a second clean towel.  We found additional pressure was needed for some areas with a stubborn build up of dirt to get it clean. However, any hand cleaning product would likely require this. The wash not only removes the dirt but also waxes at the same time.  This is important to note when you are spraying glass.

The result - the product worked as advertised and cleaned the car well

The result – the product worked as advertised and cleaned the car well

At the end of the wash we felt the product lived up to its name and cleaned the car well. It also took less time than a traditional hand wash as we skipped the rising and drying step.

goclean waterless carwash comes in a 700 ml bottle which provides between 4-7 washes and saves up to 3000 litres of water.  In our experience, the amount of washes out of one bottle is probably in the 4-5 range for a mid-size sedan, however, after repeated uses it’s likely we would use less of the product as one gains a better understanding of how much solution is needed.

The carwash costs $12.49 CAD and is available from their website (shipping to both Canada and the US) as well as retailers across the country.

Disclosure: One 700ml bottle of goclean waterless carwash and one package of microfibre towels were provided to RedlineNorth for reviewing purposes.