Action sports superstar Travis Pastrana made his much anticipated return to rally racing this weekend with Subaru Rally Team USA at The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood. The Salem, Missouri based event represents round two of the eight event 2014 Rally America National Championship series. Pastrana returns to Subaru, and rallying, after three years competing in NASCAR. Pastrana teams up with defending series champion and last year’s 100 Acre Wood Rally victor David Higgins. Both Subaru drivers drove Vermont SportsCar-prepared 2014 Subaru WRX STI rally cars featuring Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive.
Named after the storybook home of Winnie the Pooh, The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood is set in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. Based in and around the town of Salem, the event features very high-speeds on smooth and flowing gravel roads that are a favorite of many rally drivers. However, in recent years the weather has unleashed freezing rain, sleet or snow in the days leading up turning the roads treacherously icy.
After three years away from the sport Pastrana expected to need some time to get back up to speed again. He had both a new car and new co-driver to get accustomed to. Pastrana was joined by veteran co-driver Chrissie Beavis.
“The 100 Acre Wood Rally [was] a learning experience for me. The cars are much faster than when I last competed, I’ve got a new co-driver, and the competition is stiffer,” explained Pastrana. “Winning the Rally America Championship in my last full season (2009) will mean there will be a lot of expectations. It will take some time adjusting to my new co-driver, (Chrissie Beavis) and for her to adjust to me. The speeds of the team’s new Subaru will mean that I will have to do more than knock the rust off. I will have to improve if I want to keep up.”
After a win at the season opening Sno*Drift Rally in January, as well as a win in Missouri in 2013, David Higgins’ confidence level was high. “This is always a tricky event with the variable weather conditions. Hopefully this year will be less wild. This year the competition will be stiff and now I’ve got a fast teammate to worry about too!”
The Rally in the 100 Acre Wood will broadcast on NBC Sports to a national audience of 80 million households on May 3rd, 2014 at 6:00pm ET.
In 1974, precisely 40 years ago, the first generation Scirocco made its debut at the Geneva International Motor Show. Volkswagen now presents for the first time – once more in Geneva – the latest generation of the icon which has sold more than one million units. It has been developed further technically and visually.
Here are 10 key facts that highlight the latest Scirocco:
- New engine range (92 kW to 206 kW) with more power but up to 19 per cent more economical. EU 6 as standard.
- With 2.0 TSI (132 kW and 162 kW) engine, the new Scirocco consumes just 6.0 l/100 km.
- With entry-level 1.4 TSI (92 kW) Scirocco consumes only 5.4 l/100 km.
- With the most economical diesel engine, the new Scirocco 2.0 TDI (110 kW) only consumes 4.1 l/100 km.
- New Scirocco generation (92 kW to 162 kW) and Scirocco R (206 kW) debut at the same time.
- Newly styled front and rear sections. Including new H7 und bi-xenon headlights, LED rear lights and swivelling VW logo as the boot lid handle.
- Modified interior with auxiliary instruments paying tribute to the original Scirocco.
- New technical features include Dynaudio Excite sound system and park steering assistant.
- New colours, materials and alloy wheel designs (17, 18 and 19-inch).
- Market launch in Europe starting in August 2014.
The Lexus IS F CCS-R represents the ultimate refinement of the IS F concept yet it was designed to be suitable for all types of drivers, on or off the circuit. In this video,Yukihiko Yaguchi talks about how this perspective will continue to be applied to future F models.
This winter has been one of the worst on record and millions of residents across the United States were left in the dark due to massive power outages. What if a car, or parts of it, could provide power during an emergency? That’s what Toyota engineers are looking to find out.
Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle will find its way onto U.S. roads come 2015. Highly efficient while producing zero emissions, when fully charged, this vehicle has enough juice to power a small house for a week in an emergency. Toyota engineers are working to develop an external power supply device to connect the car to the house.
What about hybrids? Toyota has millions of hybrids on the road around the world. From the Prius to the Camry to the Highlander, what they all have in common is batteries. In Japan, Toyota has given new life to the used hybrid battery packs as part of a stationary power storage system. Since 2013, the system has been providing peak power to Toyota dealerships around the country.
And right here in North America, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama (TMMAL) is now studying the used battery system to help power their operations and provide back-up power during an emergency.
What do you think of these efforts?
California Governor Brown recently declared California’s drought a state of emergency and with that some very important people — President Obama among them — will convene in California this week with a singular goal: to help Californians as we endure the drought. Last year was the driest year on record for California, and while we enjoyed some light rain last week, the drought hasn’t let up by any measure.
It’s not just a lack of precipitation that’s causing the problem. For far too long Californians have used more water than we can sustain and have not done enough to learn more efficient ways to use this precious resource. This system of too little supply and too much demand is finally catching up with us. And as climate change becomes the “new normal,” our water woes will only get worse.
While we can’t make it rain, we can prepare for drier days. The task at hand requires us to cope with the disaster today, prepare us for the chronic water shortages to come and protect this and future generations from the widening water scarcity impacts of climate change.
There is also a lot the public can do to help. Governor Brown has asked all residents of the state to voluntarily cut their water use by 20%.
Here’s how you can do your part:
Repair Leaks in Your Home. Add a small amount of food coloring to the water in the tank behind your toilet, and if any color shows up in the bowl within 15 minutes you’ve discovered a leak that may have been running for months undetected. If you have a faucet or shower head that drips, or a toilet that runs all the time – that is water you could save.
Use the dishwasher rather than wash by hand. Although some people are very efficient at washing by hand, most of us aren’t and that means up to 27 gallons of water per load. A new Energy Star-rated dishwasher can consume as little as 3 gallons per load.
Use a car wash. Washing your car by hand not only uses 100 gallons of water or more in one go, but may also result in contaminated water containing brake fluid, oil, and other automotive fluids entering waterways through storm drains. Car wash services are required to channel water to treatment plants and the most efficient use less than 40 gallons of fresh water per wash.
Expanding “Cash for Grass” or “Lawn to Garden” Programs. Cities can incentivize homeowners’ switch from grass lawns that require watering to native landscaping that does not. Many are already doing so. For example, the Long Beach Water Department landscape conversion program provides a $3 per-square-foot incentive to replace grass lawns with more water-efficient landscapes. As a result of this and similar conservation efforts by Long Beach, water use declined from 167 gallons per person per day in 1980 to 110 gallons in 2010.
Shop for only what you need and reuse as much as possible. Water is a precious resource. It is used to process all sorts of goods that we use everyday from coffee, to chocolate, to jeans. Did you know it takes 713 gallons of water to produce and manufacture 1 t-shirt?
Eat less meat. It takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce 1 lb of beef.
The average American uses 80-100 gallons of water every day, that’s two full bathtubs! By conserving water we can lower the demand for natural resources, reduce the emission of air pollutants, improve air quality, reduce the accumulation of solid waste, and reduce climate change impacts.
John Adams Middle School and the Body Shop
The school has set a goal of reducing their lunch trash from 40 bags a day to 18 bags.
Magruder Middle School and Audi Pacific
Magruder held its kick-off assembly on January 17th and on their very first day they were able to make a 20 percent reduction in their trash output. They went from 20 bags of trash to 2 bags! Since then, they have gone even lower to 1.5 bags per day. They have an awesome lead teacher, a very supportive principal and PTA and an all-in custodian. They are actively composting and are planning a Trash Free Lunch parent education night in the coming months.
Parras Middle School and Pacific Volkswagen
Parras continues to do extremely well. Their daily trash output is 3 bags and under. Students were initially leaving lunch waste on the tables rather than sorting it but they managed to motivate students by instituting litter laps. Photos of abandoned lunch trays are posted on the gym wall as a warning. If abandoned lunch litter continued after the warning photos. extra laps are added to the weekly PE run. It seems to have worked wonders!
St. John Fisher and Pacific Porsche
Saint John Fisher school also continues to do very well. They are hosting an e-waste drive to raise money to purchase a composting system. They are well under their trash goal of 2 bags producing only 12 a bag to 1 bag a day!
Last week, Subaru introduced the all-new 2015 Legacy which delivers a more compelling blend of standout features, interior refinement, safety technology and higher fuel efficiency along with the largest interior passenger volume in the midsize sedan segment and still the only car in its class with All-Wheel Drive as standard.
Watch the following video as National Manager, Product Communications, Dominick Infante takes us through an in-depth overview of the changes and improvements made to the 2015 Subaru Legacy:
U.S. News and World Report has named two Volkswagens on the “2014 Best Cars for the Money” awards list: the GTI and the Jetta SportWagen. The 2014 GTI earned the title “Best Upscale Car for the Money” and the 2014 Jetta SportWagen was named “Best Wagon for the Money.”
“Known for their exceptional performance, practicality and value, the GTI and Jetta SportWagen are strong competitors in their respective segments,” said Michael Horn, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America. “Volkswagen is committed to bringing German-engineered cars to the U.S. market at an accessible price, so we’re very honored that these two vehicles have been recognized as great buys by U.S. News & World Report.”
U.S. News considered 225 cars for the Best Cars for the Money awards. The Best Cars for the Money methodology combines quality and value data into a composite score. Within each of 21 categories, the vehicle with the highest score is named the Best Car for the Money in that category. Quality is measured by the overall score a vehicle achieved in the U.S. News car rankings at the time the awards are published. Value is measured by a combination of a vehicle’s five-year total cost of ownership and the average price paid for the vehicle at the time the awards are published.
Opening with an MSRP of $25,095, the award-winning 2014 GTI is offered in two trims: the well-equipped Wolfsburg Edition and fully loaded Driver’s Edition. Both dynamic editions are offered in four-door form, powered by an advanced 2.0-liter 16-valve turbocharged and direct-injection TSI® four-cylinder engine matched to an available six-speed manual or six-speed DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The 2014 Jetta SportWagen, with a starting MSRP of $20,995, is celebrated for its versatility. It is available with two powertrains: a 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 170 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque and the highly-acclaimed 2.0-liter four-cylinder TDI® Clean Diesel engine, which produces 140 horsepower and offers 236 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. Buyers of the 2.5-liter engine can opt for a six-speed automatic, while the TDI has an optional six-speed DSG transmission. When paired with the manual transmission, the TDI engine can return an EPA-estimated 42 mpg on the highway.
The RC 350 F Sport will feature enhanced driving dynamics in addition to exclusive exterior and interior design features. This new model completes the RC model range which includes the sporty RC 350 and RC F performance coupe with more than 450 horsepower.
Lexus will introduce the RC 350 F Sport at a press conference on March 4, at 8:45 a.m. at Palexpo’s hall 4, stand number 4211.
In addition, the RC F GT3 racing concept will be revealed. This concept signals Lexus’ intent to enter the GT3 racing series. Other vehicles on display in the Lexus space include the all-new RC F and the 2014 CT 200h F Sport with new spindle grille.
The national consumer publication U.S. News & World Report named the 2014 Scion FR-S its “Best Sports Car for the Money” for the second year in a row. The judges evaluated 225 cars across 21 categories to name the winners.
The annual awards help consumers find a good value, while considering industry praise, high safety and reliability scores. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently tested the 2014 FR-S, giving it an overall five-star rating.
“The 2014 FR-S ‘Best Sports Car for the Money’ award from U.S. News and World Report underscores what our drivers have already discovered – thrilling performance doesn’t have to break the budget,” said Scion Vice President Doug Murtha. “The FR-S continues to bring together affordability, experience and safety in a way that excites drivers and the industry alike.”
Enthusiasts call the FR-S one of the best-handling sports cars on the market with its lightweight design and low center of gravity. The 2014 FR-S costs $24,700 MSRP with a six-speed manual transmission or $25,800 MSRP with a six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Dynamic Rev Management technology.
The Toyota Camry and Tacoma also earned spots on the U.S. News & World Report winner’s list. For more information on the awards and a full list of the 2014 winners, please visit http://usnews.com/cars-money.