Off-Roading

Here's how to be one of the first to drive the new Land Rover Defender in the U.S.

The Land Rover Defender has debuted and it's getting ready to go on sale in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Land Rover doesn't just make adventuremobiles. They also make luxury lifestyle transportation solutions. As capable as a Land Rover SUV is, it's also as stylish.

The idea behind that blend is the anthesis of the 4xFAR live music festival event. 4xFAR combines lifestyle, culinary, adventure, and music experiences on January 18-19, 2020 at the Empire Grand Oasis in the Coachella Valley.

"The new Land Rover Defender is an iconic vehicle reimaged for the modern era. We've created the 4xFAR Festival to introduce the Defender back to the U.S. in a fresh and exciting way by bringing together a unique experience combining adventure, culinary arts, and music in an unforgettable weekend," said Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing, Jaguar Land Rover North America.

4xFAR event poster Land Rover will host the 4xFAR festival, where event goers will be the first in the country to drive the new 2020 Land Rover Defender.Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The festival was created in honor of the arrival of the 2020 Land Rover Defender on U.S. shores. Alongside the traditional lifestyle elements, event goers will be able to test out the Defender on a purpose-built off-road course, alongside the full range of current Land Rover vehicles. There will also be displays of Land Rover heritage vehicles and parking corrals for Land Rover Club members.

The musician lineup is impressive. The line-up is led by Grammy-winning Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals with Mark Ronson & Q-Tip, as well as two-time Grammy nominated live electronic duo Sofi Tukker. The unique programming continues with former The War on Drugs frontman turned solo artist Kurt Vile and the Violators, and British-Japanese electronic house producer Maya Janes Coles. Additionally, Young The Giant, English songwriting prodigy Mahalia, surf-rock icons Tijuana Panthers, synthesizer expert LP Giobbi, and Brighton's Chappaqua Wrestling join the lineup. More artists will be announced closer to the event date.

An adventure area will include workshops in slacklining, rock climbing, yoga & mobility, mountain biking, campsite mixology, navigation & wilderness safety, along with other demos and activities throughout the weekend.

Celebrity brand ambassadors including professional volleyball player Gabby Reece and big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton, the United States Equestrian Federation and the United States Ski and Snowboard teams will be at the event.

There will also be activations from art and design companies, interactive photo moments, VIP amenities, and exclusive branded and curated goods and apparel.

Tickets for the event start at $185 and can be purchased at www.4xfar.com.

Trending News

Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Motor racing boss Tony Vandervell (standing behind car) inspecting a new motor car with a group of mechanics, April 12th 1952.

Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In the early 1950s, Tony Vandervell took the considerable money he made producing thin-wall bearings and his passion for speed, marrying them together and forming Vanwall. The racing team constructed their first Formula One cars for the 1954 season and achieved their first win at the 1957 British Grand Prix, becoming the first British-built car to win a World Championship race. The company won the first F1 Constructors' Championship in 1958 with six wins.

In those days Vanwall cars, with Stirling Moss behind the wheel, were known for their unique engineering. Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus Cars, designed their chassis. Famed automotive engineer Frank Costin, best known for his advancement of monocoque chassis design, created the car's aerodynamics.

1957 Pescara Grand Prix Stirling Moss of Great Britain driving the #26 Vandervell Products Vanwall VW5 takes the checkered flag to win the Pescara Grand Prix on August 18, 1957 at the Pescara Circuit near Pescara, Italy. Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Their cars used disc brakes rather than the drum brakes that were popular in F1 at the time. This is cited as the main advantage Vanwall had over Ferrari on the track.

By late 1959, the failing health of Vandervell caused the team to pull out of racing. The Vanwall name was dormant until 2013 when Iain Sanderson purchased the trademark.

Sanderson will now offer five continuation cars for sale out of six constructed. The remaining car will be heart of a Vanwall Historic Racing Team.

"The Vanwall name is too important to consign to history," said Sanderson. "The Vanwall story is untold to many, but it is a great British tale of innovation and achievement and shows what happens when the right team come together and push themselves fearlessly to reach a clearly defined goal. On this anniversary, we think the time is right to celebrate this great British story of success. Faithfully recreating the iconic 1958 championship winning car with six 100-percent accurate and authentic continuation cars is a fitting tribute to their historic success. The DNA that made those cars so successful also serves as an inspiring foundation for the future of the Vanwall marque, which I look forward to sharing in due course."

The vehicles will take thousands of hours to build and will be crated by historic racing and vehicle restoration experts from Hall and Hall in Lincolnshire, England. The continuation cars will have a 270 brake horsepower 2,489cc Vanwall engine powering them. Each engine has been engineered using original drawings and blueprints from the 1950s.

The cost of each car is £1.65 million excluding VAT.

Trending News

 
 

The Subaru Crosstrek has been revised for the 2021 model year.

Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is an excellent example of what can happen when a car company stops spending its time, efforts, and marketing dollars on chasing the biggest competitors in the room and chooses instead to focus entirely on building and selling what its customers want.

The Crosstrek received a significant overhaul for the 2018 model year, but it's the updates that Subaru put in place for 2021 that have genuinely made it a complete car. Headlining the changes is a newly available engine, which at 2.5 liters is both larger and more powerful than the 2.0-liter mill that powered the Crosstrek line before. The car also got a nose job and new standard safety gear for 2021.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport The Crosstrek has been given a new face.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is adequate but lacks power where it counts. With the lesser engine on board, reaching highway speeds is a real chore. There's far more noise and vibration involved than there should be, which accentuates the fact that, no matter how hard you stomp the accelerator pedal, it's not going anywhere fast.

The available 2.5-liter four-cylinder spices things up considerably, with 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. It's still paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), but the extra power mitigates many of the transmission's annoying quirks and makes the vehicle much more engaging overall. It's more refined, has great low-end grunt, and is much quieter in everyday use.

As you'd expect, a tall ride height makes the car more useful when the pavement ends, but what you might not expect is how well Subaru has tuned the suspension and chassis to gracefully deal with the lifted body. For the most part, the ride is sublime, as the beefy suspension and tires soak up all but the worst potholes and broken pavement. Despite that, the Crosstrek, which comes standard with all-wheel drive, remains surefooted when pushed, and like many crossovers, doesn't feel floppy or soft in the corners.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport The dimensions of the Crosstrek have remained basically the same for the 2021 model year.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

The Crosstrek's surprisingly spacious interior is a pleasant place to spend time, but luxurious is not a word that comes to mind to describe the cabin in any of the car's trim levels. Form here follows function, but that's not a terrible thing. Headroom is generous in both rows, though the driving position can lead shorter drivers to feel like their face is uncomfortably close to the windshield. Even so, there's plenty of hip and shoulder room, both front and back, and the back seat can squeeze a full-size rear-facing car seat without breaking a sweat.

The Sport trim I tested comes with synthetic leather upholstery that Subaru calls "StarTex," which is essentially a high-tech polyurethane material made from recycled plastics. It's far from leather, but it's equally as far from feeling entry-level or cheap. It's a different thing altogether, and while I didn't get to take my dog for a ride or take the car camping, I can see several situations where a water- and dirt-resistant synthetic upholstery material could come in handy.

The optional 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen sits high on the dash, making for excellent visibility and usability from either of the front seats. The upgraded screen in the Crosstrek Sport is a 1.5-inch step up from the standard display and makes good use of the extra real estate with bright, crisp text and images. It comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, voice controls, and HD Radio. The top-level Limited trim gets the same display with navigation, but most people will be just fine with maps provided by Apple or Google in other trim levels.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport The interior of the Crosstrek is perfectly functional.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

It'd be irresponsible to write this entire review without mentioning Subaru's safety efforts in the new car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) hasn't crashed the 2021 Crosstrek yet, but the organization awarded the 2020 model, which has the same core body structure, a Top Safety Pick designation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated it five stars overall.

Those successes come thanks in part to Subaru's standard EyeSight technology, which brings driver assistance features like pre-collision braking, lane departure alerts, and adaptive cruise control. The Sport trim adds high beam assist and is available with blind-spot monitors.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport Dark accents and wheels make the Crosstrek Sport stand out in a crowd.Photo courtesy of Subaru of America Inc.

If there's one thing that Subaru does better than anybody else, it's listening to its customers. The automaker knows that its buyers want a comfortable car but need one that won't fall apart at the first sign of abuse. It also knows that many people who walk onto a dealer's lot looking for a new Crosstrek are doing so because they believe it will be better for their active lifestyle, better at transporting their pets, and better at keeping them safe. The best part about all of that for buyers, besides the fact that their car company listens to them, is that Subaru hit the mark on all accounts.

Trending News