Off-Roading

Lexus and Blackberrry Mountain team up for new off-road adventure

Lexus GX SUVs take to the trails at Blackberry Mountain, a luxury resort in the Great Smokey Mountains.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

Blackberry Mountain in Walland, Tennessee is the newest home of the Lexus Off-Road Adventure. The 5,200-acre Relais & Châteaux-designated resort will now offer the 90-minute program to guests.

Located in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, the Lexus Off-Road Adventure at Blackberry Mountain puts guests behind the wheel of a Lexus GX on a course designed to hone their off-roading skills. Participants are offered instruction on six off-road challenges: Rock Crawl, Side Tilt, Hill Climb and Descent, Balance Beams, Log Crawl and Axle Twist.

In addition to the obstacles, the scenery of the resort envelops drivers as they're shown landmarks and waypoints of the mountains and Tennessee Valley.

"Lexus and Blackberry Mountain are a terrific fit as we're both passionate about delivering amazing experiences for our guests," said Lisa Materazzo, vice president of Lexus marketing. "Our GX 460 has off-road capabilities that few luxury SUVs can match, and there's no better way to experience them than a drive on this rugged and scenic trail."

Blackbery Mountain joins sister resort Blackberry Farm in offering the program, which also includes a complimentary two-hour test-drive of Lexus vehicles for all guests of the resort.

Each Lexus Off-Road Adventure has a maximum of three guests. Drivers must be 21 years old or older and passengers much be 10 years old or older.

To find out more about the program and to reserve your stay to take part in the Lexus Off-Road Adventure, contact Blackberry Mountain directly.

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The 2021 Lamborghini Urus has six drive modes for on- and off-road driving.

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

The Lamborghini Urus is a whole lot of race car packed into one SUV. It's dynamic and engaging and immensely practical, but not very fuel efficient. It can conquer city streets, trails, ice, and tracks. The Urus may be more car than you realize.

That starts under the hood where the Urus packs at 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engine that puts out 640 horsepower and 626 pound-feet of torque. That propels the two-row SUV from zero to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds. Its top speed is 190 mph.

Lamborghini engineers have developed six different driving modes plus EGO, a fully customizable drive experience, for the Urus. Drivers are able to select the way their vehicle's rigidity with selections enabling everything from sporty and aggressive riding to a comfortable cruise, steering, and traction.

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

Anima in Italian means "soul" but in Lamborghini speak, the word is short for Adaptive Network Intelligent Management. Using the Anima selector in the center console to the left side of the electronic shifter of the Urus, drivers can select from Strada, Sport, Corsa, Sabbia, Terra, and Neve drive modes. Three of the modes are for on-road driving and three are for off-road experiences.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Neve

This mode is designed for winter weather driving conditions. Slick, slippery, and snowy conditions that require extra traction tech are this mode's speciality.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Sabbia

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

When you're heading off-road and require more ground clearance, the Sabbia drive mode is here to help. It's especially effective on sand dunes like those in Nazarè, Portugal, where the above picture was taken.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Sport

There's comfortable cruising and then there's an engaging drive in the country.This drive mode is for the latter. It is ready and eager for the Urus to traverse uphills, downhills, and turns, giving the driver the agility they need to tackle the terrain.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Corsa

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

The Lamborghini Urus is track-ready in Corsa mode. The drive mode is the most performance oriented of the bunch. It works to minimize roll to deliver a thoroughly engaging drive experience.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Strada

Use your Lamborghini as a daily runaround? The Lamborghini Urus has a drive mode for that. Strada ups the comfort factor of the ride and enhances the height of the Urus at speed.

Lamborghini Urus drive modes: Terra

2021 Lamborghini Urus

Photo courtesy of Lamborghini Automobili

When drivers are ready to turn off-road, it's time to turn on the Terra drive mode. Drivers looking to spend more time on the trail will want to switch up their performance tires for something more substantial.

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The 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV is set to arrive on U.S. lots in the spring of 2023.

Photo courtesy of GMC

When it debuted over the weekend, GMC promised that the 2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV would be packed with "tactical technology". Today, the company is giving a more in-depth look at what technologies you can expect to see in the SUV when it finally makes its way to U.S. dealerships in early 2023.

"GMC's Hummer EV SUV offers an exceptional balance of on-road performance and off-road capability, enhanced by a unique structure that allows for our signature open-air experience," said Al Oppenheiser, Hummer EV chief engineer. "New features debuting on the SUV reinforce its role as a tactical tool in almost any situation."

Among the new technologies are trail mapping, an available Power Station generator, Extract Mode, and CrabWalk. They combine with the Hummer EV SUV's dimensions, which make off-roading hospitable, to create a compelling vehicle, at least on paper.

Satellite-rendered trail mapping

2024 GMC Hummer EV SUV

Photo courtesy of GMC

Think of this tech as trail navigation plus energy monitoring all in one. The redesigned myGMC app allows users to plan and navigate off-roading adventures while keeping an eye on charging locations and their distances fro off-road locations. This all results in a community-based energy forecast. Routes and plans can be downloaded from the app on the driver's phone and projected on the vehicle's infotainment screen to be used while driving.

"It's technology that adds to the Hummer EV's immersive driving experience," said Mike Colville, senior manager for EV complex feature integration and execution. "More than simply locating a destination, we help you find an epic one, create an EV-unique navigation experience when you get there and allow you to share your trip with others."

Once pushed to the in-vehicle system, the Hummer EV SUV's 13.4-inch infotainment screen and 12.3-inch driver information display share the appropriate information in the correct places for easy use.

Cameras everywhere 

From the same company that brought you 15 different camera views in the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado comes the available technology known as UltraVision. UltraVision offers 360-degree high-definition views with 14 camera views standard and up to 17 camera views the available underbody cameras that come on the Extreme Off-Road Package.

Selective power allocation

The Hummer EV SUV is nine inches shorter than the Hummer EV pickup. That allows it to be more maneuverable, with a turning circle of just 35.4 feet and four-wheel steer. That turning circle is tighter than what the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Toyota RAV4 offer.

The SUV's platform allows for 13 inches of suspension travel while climbing up to 60 percent grades, scaling 18-inch verticals, and fording water more than two feet deep. To do this, the Ultium drive system is able to allocate all the SUV's power to one wheel or split it between several.

This power allocation ability also enables the SUV's CrabWalk mode. Standard on 2X, 3X, and Edition 1 models. CrabWalk enables diagonal drive functionality.

Extract Mode

GMC is touting the Hummer EV SUV's adaptive air suspension with Extract Mode. Though details are scant on what Extract Mode may entail, the general thought around the industry is that it will be something similar to Mercedes-Benz's Free Driving Assist. That Merc tech is an off-road mode that helps drivers get free when they've managed to get their SUV stuck in sand or mud via a bouncing effect.

An onboard power generator

GMC will offer the Hummer EV SUV with generator technology that is similar to what Ford already offers in the F-150. The available Power Station generator enables 19.2 kilowatts of AC charging, generator functionality (120v/25A/3kW), and ability to charge other EVs (240v/25A/6kW). The Ford model's Pro Power Onboard system offers 7.2 kilowatts of charging capability. Earlier this year, theHyundai Ioniq 5 was teased with similar technology.

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