Michelin invited beyond.ca to the beautiful New England State of Vermont. We were hosted by the awesome team from Michelin Canada and Michelin USA. They brought their tire engineers, product managers, regional managers and public relations folks to introduce us to Michelin’s newest truck tire offering, the Michelin Defender LTX M/S.
In a previous article, I explained the rationale behind the new Michelin Defender LTX M/S. It’s now time to talk about what it is like to drive with these fine tires from Michelin.
I can’t think of any car manufacturer that has been able to create such polarizing opinions on our forums as much as Tesla Motors. From users (including myself) analyzing the stock price, to die hard car enthusiasts debunking the cars, to owners praising the Model S, Elon Musk has created a product that has been able to strike up huge volumes of discussions of the future of our automotive landscape.
Regardless of various opinions on the company or the product, if we ignore all the noise associated with the marketing, the promises, and future Tesla Motor products, the Tesla Model S, shown here in P85D trim, is a solid piece of engineering. A bleeding edge product that doesn’t come attached with the typical pitfalls of bleeding edge products, a vehicle that has successfully converted everyday drivers to electric motoring. It is human nature not to embrace change, and Tesla has done an excellent job of creating an electric car that mostly drives and feels like your everyday high performance gas guzzling sedan. This is what separates the Tesla Model S from the EVs that have previously failed to strike a chord with buyers.
Albertans love to haul stuff, whether it’s dirt, furniture or people. 80% of all vehicles sold in Alberta during 2012 were trucks, SUVs and minivans. This just so happens to be the target market for the latest truck tire offering from Michelin. The new tire is called the Defender LTX M/S. It’s an evolution of the LTX M/S2 that has enjoyed immense success for Michelin. The LTX M/S2 is the best selling truck tire they offer and it doesn’t even appear on any vehicles straight from the factory. The LTX M/S2 has sold on reputation alone. It comes with a 115,000 km warranty and many owners far exceed that distance, but that wasn’t good enough for Michelin or its consumers. The Defender LTX M/S has the same warranty and is expected to outlast the long lasting LTX M/S2.
Mercedes-AMG has finally taken the wraps off the all new C63 and C63S Coupe, an evolution of the all new C63 Sedan that promises to deliver much more performance than its 4 door sibling. The biggest departure from the sedan design is the much wider front and rear fenders, 2.5 inches and 2.6 inches respectively, which allows the C63 Coupe to use wider rubber, 255 width up front and 285 width out back. In the previous generation C63 Coupe, only the Black Series was equipped with the wider fenders and rubber. The C63 coupe comes standard with 18×9″ front wheels and 18×10.5″ rear wheels, while the C63 S coupe will be equipped with 19×9″ and 19×10.5″ wheels. With the use of 10.5″ rear wheels, owners will have the option of installing even wider rear tires, something that previous generation owners struggled with.
Powered by the 4.0L BiTurbo V8, the engine pumps out 476hp in base trim, and 510hp in S trim, much like it’s sedan sibling. Power is transmitted through the tried and true AMG SPEEDSHIFT 7 speed MCT transmission, coupled with a limited slip differential (mechanical for base, electronic for S). To accommodate the wider width, the suspension has been completely redesigned, with suspension components unique to the Coupe.
Aside from these differences, the hardware is mostly identical to the C63 and C63S sedan. The additional width really brings out the aggressiveness in this generation C-Class, similar to what the Black Series did in the previous generation. The C63 and C63S Coupe is scheduled to arrive in European dealerships in March 2016, while North Americans will have to wait until September 2016, where it will be introduced as a 2017 model.
I travel more than the average person. I’m lucky to be able to do that. Travelling has sure changed for me though.
Like most people, I started travelling alone. It was easy. I took what I needed and I could travel light. Some years ago I got married. This added complexity. It added more luggage and another body that required restroom breaks, food and more sleep. I got used to that for a few years and then an additional traveller joined the group. This was by far the most disruptive change.
It required a full-size suitcase, a car seat, a stroller and a diaper bag. This on top of the carry-on I would normally carry with my camera gear and laptop. It was a major effort that left me near completely drenched in sweat just getting to the check-in counter, let alone rushing to a gate if we were late for a flight. We’ve missed a couple of flights in that family configuration. It got easier as we didn’t need the diaper bag anymore and the number of clothes we carried dropped as it was directly proportional to the amount of spit-up there was.
Early this year, a new addition arrived making us a family of 4. This added another car seat, the diaper bag returned, even more clothes got stuffed into the full-size luggage pushing the 50lb limit on every trip. We have learned to travel lighter. We bring washing detergent and try to do laundry while we are away rather than trying to pack enough clothes.
For the 21st year, Kamloops hosts their annual Hot Nite in the City, where BC car enthusiasts drive in and the city closes 13 blocks for one of British Columbia’s biggest car shows. Featuring everything from hot rods to sport compacts to big rigs, HNIC is a massive gathering of cars and trucks representing nearly every generation and manufacturer you can imagine.
We had an opportunity to stop by this year to check out the action, and shoot some of the awesome cars at this event. It was tough to choose any favorites, as the range of vehicles at the show was immensely broad. Check out our coverage after the jump.
ToyotaCanada wrapped up the #tacomatour2016 here in BC, the final stop for the public to check out the all new 2016 Toyota Tacoma up close before it arrives in Toyota dealerships this October. Since our coverage of the 2016 Toyota Tacoma at the Detroit NAIAS, a few new details have emerged.
The new Tacoma features a strengthened chassis and frame, powered by a 160hp 2.7L 4 cylinder in 4×2 Access Cab and SR5 trim, and an all new 270hp 3.5L Atkinson cycle V6 featuring both direct and port fuel injection for improved performance and efficiency in the TRD Off-Road, TRD Sport and Limited trim. TRD options such as suspension will be available in various trims, and not limited to the TRD specific models.
The updated interior comes standard with a GoPro mount, as well as premium features such as Qi wireless charging, push button start, power moon roof, dual zone climate control, heated front seats, and a touchscreen audio system. Safety features are also new, including blind spot monitoring, as well as cross traffic alert systems. A new traction control system helps you navigate any situation with a multi terrain system, automatic limited slip and locking rear diff, hill start assist, and crawl control.
Production of the 2016 Tacoma begins in September at the Toyota plant in San Antonio, Texas. Expect the all new Tacoma to arrive in Canadian dealerships in mid October. Prices have not been announced, but we will update you as soon as it’s available.
Mercedes-BenzCanada is set to introduce the C Class Estate to the Canadian market in the spring of 2016. The wagon version of the newly introduced C Class, previously only available in European markets, will hit showrooms in February of 2016. The 2016 C300d 4MATIC Wagon will be powered by a 2.1L diesel 4 cylinder motor, making 190hp and 369lb-ft of torque. Power will be routed through the 7G-Tronic Plus gearbox to all 4 wheels, making it a great year round car for our Canadian winters.
Like the C Class Sedan, the C300d 4MATIC Wagon comes packed with safety features such as Collision Prevent Assist, Attention Assist, Blindspot Assist, and my favorite, Distronic Plus with Steering Assist which allows the Wagon to drive itself up to 60km/h.
There are no plans for a C63 Wagon (currently available in Europe), but that could change in the next 2 years if the C300d 4MATIC Wagon sells well.
Pictures from this past weekend’s Driven 2015 show in Winnipeg are finally being posted, I tried to get every car but if I missed anyone, my apologies. This was my first time in Winnipeg and let me tell you, I had no idea it was so humid there! Shooting the Formula Drift Canada demo on hot pavement in that humidity was no fun at all, but luckily there was also the main Driven 2015 show which was inside an air conditioned building at the Red River Exhibition grounds.
I took a few of the shots while up on a mobile lift to give a bird’s eye view of the show and you’ll notice a gentleman in the shot above taking a picture of me. He was quite upset that I was not certified (read: union) to operate the lift and that I wasn’t harnessed in. If anyone knows him, please let him know I survived the lift (and Winnipeg!).
I’m going to highlight some of my favorites at the show here in the post, but you’ll be able to find the rest of the shots in the gallery at the end of the post. First up was this “KRX” K-swapped CRX, easily one of my favorites.
As part of the Driven 2015 tour in Winnipeg, Formula Drift Canada came out to put on a spectacular drift demo for all of those in attendance. Ben Woo, VP of Formula Drift Canada put on a great demonstration of the sport by going over the basic rules, explained how drifting is judged and went over the main techniques that drivers use to drift their vehicles. Drivers put on solo, tandem as well as triple drifts burying the fans and the venue under a thick wall of tire smoke. Based on how loud the crowd got at some points, it is safe to say they loved it.
We captured a few shots of the event which you can check out in the gallery!