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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Gamechangers: As Autonomous Cars Pose to Change The Reasons We Drive, Invest in Driving Dynamics and Off-Road Capability for Fun Now; Nostalgia Later

Have you stopped to think about what’s going to happen to…our love of speed... the thrill driving the open highways…the status associated with owning a particular car... once autonomous vehicles take over the roadways?  Will the governing powers restrict human driving?

There’s disagreement on whether the impending autonomous era will help or hurt future auto sales.  John Krafcik, who held positions with Ford and Hyundai prior to becoming the chief executive officer of Google's self-driving car project, says we will still have “as many – or maybe more – exciting, emotional, wonderful performance cars in the future.”  Ford concurs it will continue to build cars for driving enthusiasts even as autonomous vehicles become more commonplace.

The 2020’s self-driving cars may just get the people who are not driving enthusiasts off the streets, while racetracks, dirt rally courses and hill climbs will become the weekend passion of true car enthusiasts.  Is that such a bad thing?  Driving becomes a sport, instead of the dreaded, stressful and dangerous daily grind?  If this is the case, perhaps now would be a great time to invest in tomorrow’s nostalgic speedster or off-road toy.


Here are a couple of considerations to put on your “Buy and Enjoy Now / Keep for Nostalgia” List:

BMW X4 M40i --0 to 60 in 4.7



Unique to the X4, the high-performance BMW X4 M40i model builds on the outgoing xDrive35i model. It sports a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 good for 360 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque. It, too, has all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic. BMW says the car that it classified in a segment all its own—Sports Activity Coupe (SAC) – will hit 60 mph in 4.7 seconds.  Its specially tuned sports chassis provides excellent driving dynamics at an advanced level with stronger springs and stabilizers, increased camber on the front axle, and adaptive dampers specifically tuned to M Performance specifications.

Jeep Compass Trailhawk climbs anything, wades in 19 inches of water, and tows up to 2,000 lbs.



Gone is the old Jeep Compass and Patriot, the new Jeep Compass takes it styling cues from the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee and chassis capability from the Renegade.  The base model Sport starts at a little over $20K followed by the Lattitude, Limited and Trailhawk versions.  Still, for those who seek adventure off the beaten path today and tomorrow, paying more for the Compass Trailhawk model with ultimate 4x4 capability will give you:  standard Jeep Active Drive Low 4x4 20:1 crawl ratio; Selec-Terrain with exclusive Rock mode; Increased ride height of almost one inch; skid plates and Jeep signature red front and rear tow hooks; unique fascias with 30 degree approach angle, 24 degree breakover angle a 34 degree departure angle.  There’s also hill-descent control and aggressive 17-inch off-road tires.  It’s good for up to 19 inches of water fording and up to 2,000-lbs. towing capability.  Today, while you still need it for your daily driving, you’ll enjoy its on-road driving dynamics and numerous creature comforts and conveniences.

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