Tag Archives: Offroad

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.

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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.

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What’s More Fun on MMC’s Off-Road Course, a Truck or a UTV?

Courtesy of The Drive: Let’s face it: The Ford F-150 Raptor really doesn’t have any true competitors. The Ram Rebel may look the part, but it’s not nearly as badass as the Baja-bred Blue Oval; on the flip side, while the Chevy Colorado ZR2 may be able to keep up off-road, it’s at least one size too small to truly take on the full-sized Ford.

No, to find something really capable of keeping up with the Raptor, you need to go outside your comfort zone a little bit. Or, in the case of the your humble author’s recent experience at facing off at Monticello Motor Club’s off-road course against an F-150 Raptor driven by TV’s Mike Spinelli, as we like to call him around the office, you have to go reeeeeeeally far outside of it.

Because the Honda Pioneer 1000-5 Limited Edition utility vehicle I was driving was distinctly lacking in windshield.

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A Pro Rally Driver Tried to Kill Me in a Polaris RZR

Courtesy of The Drive: We’re rocketing across the dusty landscape, annihilating small bushes and sending gravel into the stratosphere, when I see the cliff. The rough two-track we’re following appears to end at the edge, and I’m just starting to calculate how we can possibly slow down in time as reality strikes with an awesome, terrible clarity: Chris Duplessis is not going to stop.

The Drive‘s Mike Spinelli would later say that it was like we were recreating the final scene to Thelma & Louise, except I looked far less certain about my choices than Geena Davis riding shotgun. But when a former professional rally driver hops in a Polaris RZR XP Turbo and wants to show you “what this thing can do,” well, that decision is already made for you. You climb in, hang on, and brace for the landing.

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Watch Chris Duplessis Drift A 2018 Trackhawk

Courtesy of The Drive: Monticello Motor Club track manager and driving “jedi” Chris Duplessis spent the majority of his day with The Drive this past Thursday at Monticello Motor Club. Although Chris has an extensive WRC background, he doesn’t shy away from the pavement. After spending a full day of ripping Polaris RZRs through the Monticello off-road course and ensuring everything on the track was going smoothly for the members, Chris wanted to get some seat time in the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk.

Obviously, The Drive was more than happy to share the wealth and Chris showed us what the Trackhawk was made of. After completing an in-car review of the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, practicing launches and sending the 707 horsepower SUV around the track ten plus times, the Trackhawk was still ready for Duplessis’ punishment.

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This is Why We Love ATVs


I grew up riding ATVs. My pre-driver’s-license formative years were spent traversing the Maine woods aboard a Kawasaki Mojave 250 and a Honda 250X. These 1990s sport machines had manual transmissions, kick-starters, and a top speed just beyond 50 mph, which seemed fast enough when you were cutting through the trees like you’re Luke Skywalker on his speeder bike.

In the modern ATV universe it’s hard to find a clutch, let alone a kick-starter, and a 250-cc engine is laughably puny. The distinction between sport bikes and rack-wearing utility beasts has blurred, with a proliferation of 1,000-cc 4x4s that are equally happy hauling trailers or pulling wheelies. Side-by-sides have likewise mutated. Even the ones maintaining that golf-course-maintenance look pack upward of 90 horsepower plus long-travel suspension.

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