In this week’s auto industry news, we break down the changing off-road landscape, a Polaris fire hazard, a jaw-dropping Mercedes Unimog build, Tesla Roadster updates, and more.
Off-roading is becoming an every-man’s game. It’s for those who begin with ATVs and dirt bikes during their youth. And it’s for those who graduate to “mechanically savvy” and know their way around a rig. It’s even being explored and expanded by the people who have no clue what to do with their money. Hey, whatever keeps the movement moving, right? Check out these true off-road warriors from Indiana.
Now even though Polaris has proven itself as a high-performance name in UTVs, they’ve also had recent shortcomings. The 2018 Polaris RZR was recalled last week when it was reported that units were catching on fire. The reported explosions were supposedly due to a defective gas line and can be repaired or replaced at any Polaris dealership. And this comes as a major disappointment to off-roaders since this has occurred with previous models. As the popularity of off-reading continues to rise, then so too should the standards to which we hold manufacturers. Can we get an Allelujah?
Mercedes Unimog Build
Speaking of off roading, here’s a build you don’t see every day. One that turns the word “capable” on its head. Take a look at this Mercedes 8 Unimog. Chris, a poster on Pirate4X4 made it his mission to turn an ex-military vehicle into a certified hellion of the off-road trails. The Doka cab (of the vehicle you’ve probably seen leading desert convoys) was cut down to fit a custom chassis. A 347 ci Ford V8 powers this behemoth. Chris shortened the shaft 2 ½” to move the engine further back for weight. Even with it chopped down the Doka carries some serious weight, which is why it sits on 42” IROKs. It’s also why he chose a Ford 2WD F350 steering box for power steering. Better safe than sorry when you’re controlling something fit to fight for the Empire.
Maryland Drag and Dyno Event: A New Great Tradition
You flat out missed out if you couldn’t make the Maryland Drag and Dyno Event. Maryland Performance Diesel and Innovative Diesel paired up to bring together all the heavy towing, coal-rolling stylings our great nation has to offer. Not only that, the public got to see them compete on the quarter-mile track. There was drag racing consisting of four classes: Pro Street, 10.50, 11.50, and 12.0 Index. And for these they had over 60 competitors. Sean Kurz of PA took the top prize with 10.79 at 127 mph pass in his 5.9L common-rail Cummins. He also snagged the 10.50 index class. In Dyno, Jimmy Decker’s 1993 Dodge Cummins with 135 hp outmatched 20 other entries in the low horsepower class. Steve Kern’s 3500 Ram at 738 hp was the king of the high category to finish the day.
World, Meet the Tesla Roadster
It’s baAAaAAACK! When we first heard the news at Thanksgiving, we couldn’t believe it. But the Tesla Roadster has returned and done so with a vengeance. Official footage has finally emerged of the beloved Tesla model in action and it is SO sweet. Let’s be real, Elon Musk is about to send a car to Mars just for the hell of it. He’s on his mad scientist game. The Roaster tops out over 250 mph. It’s got 7375 wheel torque. It does 0 to 60 in under two seconds and all while making us forget that it’s electric, for crying out loud. Plus, it even looks mean doing it. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it; the electric fling from the past has become the super car of the future.
Around the Circuit
It’s a new year, so you know what that means… a new NASCAR season is almost upon us. Next month, things will kick off at Daytona and there will be lineup changes. AJ Allmendinger will race in the 2018 edition of the Rolex 24 at the legendary race with Michael Shank Racing.
In other racing news, Irwindale Speedway, which was set to close at the end of 2017, has been renewed as a venue for two more years. Drifters rejoice! Tim Huddleston and Justice Brothers distributorship took over the lease formerly held by Jim Cohan and his 211 Entertainment group.