When it comes to excuses for speeding, creativity is key

Do you recall your first traffic ticket? Whether for speeding or some other offense, you likely watched the officer approach your vehicle, all the while wondering if you had any chance of getting off with only a warning. How many potential excuses ran through your mind during those fleeting moments? Ten? Twenty? It’s amazing how creative we can become when we have to, isn’t it? For the officer, though, you can bet that whatever level of creativity you attain, he/she has heard it at least once. And forget the standard, “I didn’t realize …” or “I need to use the restroom,” because those are more overused than a teenager’s cell phone. If this leaves you wondering what, if anything, can be said to drive away with only a warning, check out some of these humorous, yet effective excuses from PoliceOne.com. After pulling over a young driver for going 23 mph over the speed limit, the officer asked why he was going so fast. The young man looked the officer “dead in the eye and said, ‘Because I’m just all kinds of stupid.’” (This one just may be my all-time favorite.) A woman who was pulled over for speeding was crying when the officer approached her window. Upon asking what was wrong, she “said she went shopping for the first time … Read More

What do you mean AWD and 4WD are not the same?

It’s a common myth that all-wheel drive (AWD) and four-wheel drive (4WD) are the same. Shoppers, as well as some sales associates, use the terms interchangeably for what are, actually, two different systems. The mechanical differences between AWD and 4WD are significant, and most would consider them complicated. I prefer to keep things nice and easy. That’s why I’ve found, in most instances, it’s better to leave that to my mechanic. To keep it simple, if you are in the market for a more rugged vehicle (trucks and/or truck-platform SUVs) that can traverse harsh terrains, you’re most likely looking for a 4WD vehicle. But if you’re looking for a commuter or grocery-go-getter that performs well for every-day driving, AWD is a more logical choice. As an owner of both an AWD and a 4WD vehicle, I can unequivocally say that each drives very differently and serves its own purpose in our family. For instance, I live in an area that got a lot of snow this winter. Then, recent record-high temperatures melted more than half of the snow. What do you get when a lot of snow melts quickly? MUD. Lots and lots of mud. Choosing which vehicle to drive and best handle the extreme road conditions has been easy. In the snow and ice, I chose the AWD vehicle … Read More

Unleash the fun – America’s most capable three-row SUV is coming soon

SRT®. Street Racing Technology. It just SOUNDS fun, doesn’t it? The SRT lineup is made up of some of the sexiest cars on the market. Whether you prefer the sleek lines of the Viper or the beastly exhaust note of the Challenger, these vehicles define high-performance, American power. One of the things I like best about the SRT lineup is that there is something for nearly everyone. So, whether your preference is loud and proud (Viper, Challenger, Charger), understated and fun (Chrysler 300) or family-friendly (Jeep® Grand Cherokee), you’re covered. And now, recently making its debut at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show, the 2018 Dodge Durango joins the brawny SRT family. “The new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT is America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands, Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT® – FCA North America. “This is what you get when you take everything great about the Durango and combine it with the performance of the Charger SRT – a 12-second quarter mile, toy-hauling, three-row muscle car.” Boasting the 392-cubic-inch HEMI® V8, the Durango SRT delivers 475 horsepower, 470 lb-ft of torque and can take you from 0-60 mph in a brief 4.4 seconds. It can tow up to 8,600 pounds. And its performance-tuned AWD system sets the new standard for … Read More

Sexy. Italian. Car. Enough said.

When someone says the words, “sports car,” it’s likely several images pop into your head. For example, the Dodge Viper. Perhaps a Dodge Challenger. Or even a Maserati GranTurismo. If, however, your mind’s eye went straight to Alfa Romeo, specifically the Giulia Quadrifoglio, you are not alone. A sedan? Really? The short answer is yes! After a 21-year absence from the American market, Alfa Romeo has introduced the sport sedan that currently has hearts pounding and heads turning. “It’s the kind of car that makes you want to spend your time looking for twisty roads. The car has the ingredients to become a future classic.” These are the words McKeel Hagerty, CEO of Hagerty®, the classic car insurance experts, used to describe the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio that was recently added to the Hagerty Hot List of future collectibles. Meanwhile, Alexander Stoklosa over at Car and Driver said the Giulia Quadrifoglio sets a new benchmark for sport sedans. Giving it a solid five out of five stars, he was impressed with almost every aspect of the vehicle. “The sex appeal expected of an expensive, high-performance, Italian car drips from the Giulia’s every curve,” said Stoklosa. “It drives outstandingly well, and at $73,595 to start, it is priced in the thick of the segment.” Top Gear’s Chris Harris is also … Read More

If you know, you know. You know?

Do you know… What happens when you uncage an SRT® Hellcat? What happens when the SRT Hellcat sheds more than 200 pounds? How intimidating 3.5 inches of added width looks? What is inside the crate? What happens when you get cool air into an engine? How it feels to have 35 percent more launch force than an SRT Hellcat? With six posted “teaser” videos (out of 14) and dozens of online rumors flying about, the Dodge Challenger SRT Demon is only 48 days away from launch. Stay tuned for more, including tomorrow’s release of the seventh video!

KBB 5-Year Cost to Own Awards are out and FCA US has two big winners

These days, making a purchase is about more than just the price tag. As savvy consumers, it’s important to be aware of long-term costs associated with major purchases, like a new vehicle. Insurance and fuel consumption are just two of several expenses that can add up over time and, when added to the purchase price, may make a vehicle more or less desirable to own. Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own Awards provide some helpful information when you’re in the market for a new vehicle. Taking into consideration out-of-pocket expenses and a vehicle’s loss in value over time, you can calculate the five-year costs on the vehicle of your choice. Five FCA US vehicles were recognized as top contenders in their respective categories. Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited rolled over the competition to stay at the top for the third consecutive year. It seems very little can stand in the way of the Unlimited traversing its way to the top. According to KBB’s expert review, “The Jeep Wrangler is an authentic American original. For its loyalists it’s nothing short of Old Glory with four-wheel drive. Still true to its original concept after 75 years, the 2017 Jeep Wrangler continues to deliver exceptional off-road capability with ever-increasing amounts of on-road civility in an affordable package.” While adventure abounds in the ever-popular Jeep … Read More

From family to fun, FCA US vehicles deliver

Attaining an automotive award such as Best Cars for the Money, from U.S. News & World Report isn’t an easy task. To win, each vehicle must prove to be top in quality and value. Measuring quality and value is not an easy task. Whether shopping for something as simple as groceries or as expensive as a car, we all have our own idea of what makes something a quality product and value cannot be determined simply by cost, but rather all the costs involved in obtaining and using the product. To ensure an unbiased opinion for their Best Cars for the Money ranking, U.S. News & World Report collects data. Lots and lots of data. They analyze every published and credible review of the vehicles in each category. They utilize safety and reliability data. They get pricing data from the folks at TrueCar. And they work with Vincentric to gather data regarding cost-to-own (includes every day costs associated with a vehicle that are not included in the price – fuel efficiency, insurance, etc.). There are a lot of numbers that support the award winner in each of the 20 categories. So, when an all-new model hits the market, and data is scarce, the new models have a bit of an uphill climb in beating out their competitors. That’s just one … Read More

Let your passion for design drive you

April 28, 2017, is a special day. For me, it’s my daughter’s birthday. For aspiring young artists who love drawing and designing vehicles, it marks the submission deadline for FCA’s fifth annual Drive for Design contest. If you’ve never heard of the contest before, it is an invitation for high school students (grades 10-12) across the country to design, draw and enter their vision of a Dodge vehicle 30 years in the future. Former winners included students from New Hampshire to California. This year, FCA US partners who help to bring Drive for Design to fruition include EyesOn Design and Lawrence Technological University. “Five years ago, we created Drive for Design to connect with young art students and make them aware of careers in automotive design,” said Mark Trostle, Head of Performance, Passenger Car and Utility Vehicle Design, FCA – North America. “This year, we are joined by Lawrence Technological University and EyesOn Design, both locally-based organizations that share our passion to excite, educate and inspire students.” Prizes for the top three designs include summer automotive design courses at Lawrence Technological University (including room and board) and will be guests of the FCA Design Team at the EyesOn Design Vision Honored Black Tie and Silent Auction. The grand prize winner may also be eligible for a $50,000 scholarship to Lawrence … Read More

Six creative Valentine’s Day gifts for your car-loving mate

You COULD settle for one of the standard Valentine’s Day gifts this year. There are plenty of places out there ready and willing to fill your order for flowers, chocolates, balloon bouquets and everything else that screams, “It’s Valentine’s Day and I didn’t know what else to get.” But if you want your gift to be remembered and appreciated this year, you might want to give one of these a try instead. Purchase a detail package. Everyone appreciates a clean car. Take it one step further and show your mate’s vehicle some car-love that will have it sparkling from the inside out. If your partner is more of a do-it-yourself kind of person, put together a basket of his/her favorite car cleaning supplies. Check out the garage shelves to determine preferred brands and then make a trip to your local auto supply store to stock up for a gift basket that will leave him/her in awe of your thoughtful gift. Once the car is clean, wouldn’t it be nice to keep it that way for a while? A car cover can help keep things like dust and pollen from tarnishing a fresh wash job. It can also protect the finish and keep the paint from fading in harsh sunlight. Does your significant other travel long distances for work? Perhaps using … Read More