Tag Archives: Off-road

Getting Muddy in the Chevy Colorado ZR2

Courtesy of The Drive: Back in April, Ford announced it was essentially giving up on everything in its lineup that wasn’t a truck or SUV. Amurica, am I right? General Motors may still be sticking with sedans, but it’s massively invested in the truck market as well. Just four years ago, GM started rolling out a refreshed offering in a segment that had been all but abandoned in the states—the midsize pickup truck—in the form of the Chevrolet Colorado. Not long after (in model year 2017), customers gained the option of the high-performance, off-road ZR2 trim level. Think “Honey, I Shrunk the Ford Raptor”.

I got the chance to spend an afternoon in the capable little ZR2 beasts, on the muddy trails at Monticello Motor Club, with the woman responsible for making them what they are. Anita Burke, GM Vehicle Chief Engineer, is responsible for all (read: global) midsize trucks at General Motors. And after roughing up the ZR2 myself, I hitched a ride with her, determined to hear all the nerdy goodness that went into creating these pickups.

Read the full article ►

Taking a Winter Dip in the Renewed Off-Road Icon at MMC

Courtesy of The Drive: Taking a Winter Dip With the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon

Like a lot of northerners this time of year, I’ve been praying that winter has petered out, and that New York’s sidewalks—disgusting enough at any time—have seen their last snowfall of the season. And then the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon showed up at my door, like a brat in a bright-red snowsuit, begging me to come outside and play.

I obliged with a day of off-roading at New York’s Monticello Motor Club, whose roughly 350 acres of trails were snowbound from a recent nor’easter—including several storm-felled trees that blocked access to some trails. Conditions were frankly not ideal, even for this Rubicon, the most hardcore trail boss in the all-new Wrangler—internally named “JL”—lineup. Yet the Jeep (and its drivers) had a ball anyway, drawing a hoon’s version of snow angels—maybe snow A-holes?— in the deep drifts. [Let’s never call them that again. —Ed.] Chris Duplessis, Monticello’s track director and our favorite rally champ, naturally coaxed some picturesque, snowy roostertails out of the Jeep. Yet low-speed obstacle crawling is the Jeep’s true calling, and this Wrangler is even better for those impromptu commando missions.

Read the full article ►

Chris Duplessis; off-road expert, iPhone hero

Courtesy of Road & Track:

Just yesterday, we shared the tale of the Mercedes G550 4×4², the most unstoppable off-roader we’ve ever tested. During that test, we also discovered that the iPhone 8 might be the G550 4×4² of phones.

Part of our test involved driving up and down a river, partly for photography, partly for shits and giggles. R&T.com contributor Roger Garbow was riding in the back of the G-wagen, taking video on his new iPhone of our testing/stupidity.

While Deputy Editor Bob Sorokanich was reversing down the river, the perfect storm of bad events occurred. The truck hit a rut just as Roger was holding his phone outside the truck for video. As the G550 bounced, the iPhone flew out of Roger’s hands and straight into the river.

Watch the video and read the full article ►

Off-Roading the Most Ridiculous Factory SUV on Four Wheels

Courtesy of Road & Track:

Week With a Car is a recurring look into the garage and multiple outdoor parking spots of Sam Smith, R&T’s globetrotting editor at large. Expect it to hold magazine test cars, vintage race cars, whatever he’s driving that week. The form—everything from road diary to rambling brain dump—varies, but it’s always interesting. It doesn’t always make sense, but then, that’s Smith.

And a special thanks to Monticello Motor Club for the use of the amazing off-road park to really test the G550.—The Editors

THE CAR: 2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4²

4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8, 416 hp, 450 lb-ft

7-speed automatic

$225,925 base price

11/11 mpg EPA

What in sweet unholy Satan-blazes is this?

This, my friends, is the 2017 Mercedes-Benz G550 4×4². It is a lifted, carbon-fibered, portal-axled version of Mercedes-Benz’s venerable G550 SUV. It is available at your local Mercedes-Benz dealer. It carries a warranty; 22-inch wheels; electronically adjustable, remote-reservoir dampers; and three locking differentials. It is the Kool-Aid Man in four-wheeled form. It is a bougie-thunder road cannon simultaneously magnificent and terrible. It is the German equivalent of a Gold’s Gym filled with ‘roid-raging Disney cartoons. It is the king of the sovereign land of Driveoverthatshitenstein. It is Der Spiegel for people who want to know what happened today in the Federal Republic of Send It.

It is also what you build if you are:

  1. One of the world’s largest carmakers
  2. Still selling a luxury SUV (the standard G-class) based on a quasi-military vehicle designed in the 1970s
  3. Fully aware that the development costs and tooling of said luxury vehicle were paid for decades ago
  4. Fully aware that brand equity and fashion have allowed said luxury vehicle to command a six-figure MSRP in 2018
  5. Fully aware that most governments regulate trucks and truck-based SUVs far more leniently than they do “normal” automobiles
  6. Looking to sell something more absurd and costly than the G65—which costs $222,700 and has a V12—because rich folk always want something more absurd and costly than what the rich folk down the block have.

Read the full article...