Author

Kristin Shaw

In this exclusive interview, Kristin talks to Gerry Spahn of Rolls Royce about the all-new Ghost. This beautiful car is the pinnacle of luxury and is Rolls’ “entry level” option and driver’s car. The Ghost has become the car that defines the brand beyond its limousines that it’s long been associated with. Find out what a starscape roof is, what the Spirit of Ecstasy is up to now, and more.

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Mountain biker? Camper? Outdoor enthusiast? This Jeep is for you.

Using exclusive Jeep performance parts and custom accessories, Mopar designers transformed a 2020 Jeep Gladiator into a fun concept vehicle for mountain bikers.

Loaded with nearly 20 performance parts, the Gladiator Top Dog Concept was created for passionate mountain bike enthusiasts, but it’s also attractive to anyone who likes to have everything but the kitchen sink in one vehicle.

A hot-dog roller grill, y’all. Buns and mustard not included.

Painted K-9 Blue, the Jeep “Top Dog” concept expands the cargo-carrying abilities by removing the standard cargo box and replacing it with a custom PCOR flatbed storage system. On the passenger side of the storage system, pull-out drawers securely store tools and supplies that mountain bikers need when out on the trails.  Interior storage shelves, exterior lighting switches and extra power supplies are within reach.

On the driver’s side of the storage system, a battery-powered refrigerator and electric hot-dog roller grill stand ready to refuel riders for the next section of challenging trails.

 

On the driver’s-side of the PCOR storage system of the Jeep Top Dog Concept, a battery-powered refrigerator and electric hot-dog roller grill stand ready to refuel riders for the next section of challenging trails.

Not just for bikers, but Jeep’s Top Dog will appeal to you if you are

Above the cab area, two rack structures provide additional storage space for tools and equipment. Dual concept exterior task lights are mounted on each side and a set of traction mats for vehicle recovery and extraction are also attached to the storage racks. On top of the rack structure, a dual bike rack provides a safe way to transport the Trek mountain bikes to the trails.

It also features a JPP two-inch lift kit with FOX shocks that provides increased ground clearance, augmented by 17-inch JPP beadlock-capable aluminum wheels and 37-inch BF Goodrich KM3 mud-terrain tires. Concept steel “high-top” fender flares provide additional clearance at all four corners.

Powering the Jeep Top Dog Concept is a 3.6L Pentastar V-6 with 285 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to a eight-speed automatic transmission. On the front end of the Jeep Top Dog Concept is a JPP Rubicon bumper, which holds a concept two-inch steel grille guard, inspired by the Jeep J6 concept and the exclusive JPP 8,000-lb-capacity Rubicon Warn winch that includes 100 feet of Spydura synthetic rope.

The concept hood is accented with custom black Mopar hood latches that feature the Jeep Willys logo. A JPP snorkel helps direct cool air into the engine when off-road conditions threaten normal air inlets. A pair of JPP five-inch, off-road, LED lights installed at the base of the A-pillars help illuminate the trail.

On the passenger-side of the PCOR storage system of the Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept, pull-out drawers securely store tools and supplies that mountain bikers need when out on the trails. Vast interior storage shelves, exterior lighting switches and extra power supplies are within easy reach.

Fortified with Jeep Rubicon details and upgraded Katzkin leather

Body sides are protected by JPP rock rails, customized with welded two-inch steel tubes, similar to the front grille guard design. Black door sill guards feature a raised Gladiator logo and help protect interior sills from scratches and scuffs.

A second JPP Warn winch is installed at the rear of the Jeep Gladiator Top Dog Concept. Just above the rear-facing winch, a roll-out storage drawer carries a foldable ladder used for access to the dual bike rack.

Inside the cabin, the exterior color theme of K-9 Blue and black is continued with an instrument panel that matches the body color. In addition, black Katzkin leather seats, armrests, shifter boots, steering wheel and the parking brake handle are accented with blue stitching.

Mopar stainless-steel pedal covers with black rubber pads add a bold flare and plenty of traction to the accelerator and brake pedals. Just below the pedals are Mopar all-weather floor mats installed throughout the cabin area.

Are you ready to hit the road with this dressed-to-the-nines Gladiator?

 

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In this interview with Jarod Shelby, CEO of SSC North America, Kristin talks with the hypercar maker about the experience of building the world’s fastest production car, shattering the world speed record, and, most importantly, about the emotions, family, and camaraderie that comes from an endeavor such as this.

Jarod not only designed and built the fastest production car ever made, but built the work around his family with the support of his late wife, his sons, and with newfound friend (and soon to be dad) Oliver Webb. The personal story drives the fastest car in the world more so than does the horsepower or tarmac.

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The Cadillac XT6 is the 3-row crossover from Caddy, with all the family friendliness that implies. It’s big, it’s luxurious, and it’s beautifully comfortable. Kristin walks us through the big crossover and talks about its features, it’s good points, a few low points, and her overall impressions of this lux vehicle.

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2020 Toyota Supra

It’s been a while, Supra.

In January of 2019, Akio Toyoda stood on the stage in Detroit. The throngs of media packed into the room knew what was coming and there was heavy anticipation. The Supra was back.

“They say all good things come to those who wait, even a really long time,” he said. “And now, finally, the next chapter in the story can begin!”

The Supra was officially launched in the US on the first day of 1979. With a 110-hp 2.6L six-cylinder engine, this offshoot of the popular Celica started at just over $10K. Five inches longer than the Celica, the Supra also included air conditioning, an AM/FM radio, and the option to add a sunroof and cruise control.

Alas, Toyota ceased production of the Supra in 2002, as demand waned; they had put the kibosh on exporting this sleek sports car.

Fun Fact: In 2001, Paul Walker drove a 1993 Supra stunt car in the first “The Fast and the Furious movie”. The characters worked it over and tweaked it until it was so fast that it beat a Ferrari on the street. It later sold for $185,000 at auction.

2020 Toyota Supra

A race car for every day

“I’m sure for each of you there’s been at least one car in your life that you have a particular attachment to, one car that holds a special place in your heart and for me, the Supra is it,” Toyoda told the crowd in Detroit last year. “Back in the day my old Supra and I spent countless hours together as I learned to become a master driver. But you can imagine the teasing and stares that I got from all the other manufacturers at Nürburgring, who were driving their beautiful new prototypes while I’m out there  driving what felt like an automotive version of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. I mean it was a great car but you know, a guy can only take so much!”

Toyoda told the crowd that the brand had no plans to make a new Supra, but diehard Supra fans around the world clamored for its return.

REVEALED: the 2021 Toyota Sienna and Venza

2020 Toyota Supra

Why choose a Supra?

After taking it on an extended test drive three and a half hours across the state of Texas, I get it. The Supra is highly addicting and it’s plush inside, sharing some DNA and a platform with the BMW Z4. As F1 driver Fernando Alonso says, it’s like a race car you can drive comfortably every day.

It’s wonderfully loud, so don’t think you’re going to sneak up on anyone in a Supra. It’s not afraid to burst into the space with flair and attitude. That means there is some road noise inside, but it’s not terrible. Storage space is surprisingly ample for such a small car, and the designers found ways to make every inch count.

What you need to know

  • The Supra is a two-seater; leave the kids at home and take this one out on date nights or commute the office
  • Turbocharged 3.0L six-cylinder engine (335 horsepower, 365 lb-ft of torque)
  • RWD and automatic are the only options
  • Standard features include 19-inch wheels, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather and simulated suede seats and upholstery, power front seats, 6.5-inch touchscreen, and a 10-speaker audio system
  • Standard safety features: auto emergency braking, lane keep assist, and auto high beams
  • Highly recommended: upgrade to the Navigation + JBL package for an upgraded 8.8-inch touchscreen with navigation, along with Apple CarPlay and a 12-speaker JBL audio system

 

REVIEWED: 2020 Toyota Avalon TRD

Music pairing

The first cassette I ever played in a car while I was driving was Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction. It felt so empowering to drive my own car and pressure from my right foot found the top range of the accelerator more often than I care to admit. As I was driving the Supra, this is the song that ran through my head:

 

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