Milestones

12 of McLaren's finest spiders have arrived in America

Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

The McLaren 600LT Spider's run has come to an end. The company has allocated 12 of them for the U.S. and 11 of them are currently spoken for.

The final run features a unique McLaren Special Operations (MSO) design that was inspired by a venomous arachnid, Segestria Florentina, earning them the official name McLaren 600LT Spider Segestria Borealis by MSO. McLaren has given the models the nickname "Spider Spider".

McLaren 600LT Spider Segestria Borealis by MSO The long green lines on the exterior of the car are inspired by spider fangs.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

The design theme features twin Napier Green stripes that run from front to back that designers say represent the green fangs of the venomous spider. Its black body is represented by the Borealis black MSO Defined paint. The paint is designed to shimmer with deep green, purple and claret undertones as the position of the light around the car changes.

Further design features include MSO Bespoke Napier Green brake calipers; 10-spoke lightweight forged wheels in gloss black; a web motif in Napier Green on the rear wing and door mirrors, and pinstripe detailing on front fender, side skirt, and rear diffuser vanes.

The car is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V8 that produces 592 bhp and 457 pound-feet of torque. It can get from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds.

It has a forged aluminum double-wishbone suspension system with recalibrated dampers, firmer engine mounts and a lightweight braking system. It rides on bespoke Pirelli P- Zero Trofeo R tires.

McLaren 600LT Spider Segestria Borealis by MSOT The model features green accents on its interior that match those on the exterior.Photo courtesy of McLaren Automotive

The car's retractable hardtop can be can be operated at speeds up to 25 mph.

The models all come standard with the MSO Clubsport Pack, which includes Super Lightweight carbon fiber racing seats, a carbon fiber interior upgrade, lightweight titanium wheel bolts and MSO Defined Gloss Visual carbon fiber front fender louvres all feature as standard.

The car's cabin continues the bold accents with MSO Bespoke bright green stitching and webbing design on the Alcantara trimmed racing seats, unique headrest embroidery, steering wheel stitching, and 12 o'clock highlight mark.

McLaren has also given the car a Bowers and Wilkins 12-speaker sound system, McLaren Track Telemetry, rearview camera, parking sensors, volumetric alarm upgrade, and vehicle lift to allow the nose of the car to be raised when required.

McLaren is pricing the model at $275,500. The remaining model is now available for purchase.

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The Nissan Pathfinder is just at home on the trial as it is on the road.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". The message is about making choices and, how the road taken made all the difference. Often in life and on the road, we have to make one choice. Take one road. No turning back. I thought of this poem on my recent test drive in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the hinterlands of Montana, when I could take two different roads—paved and dirt—and that made all the difference!

Nissan has redesigned and retooled its fifth-generation Pathfinder instilling greater latitude for buyers who want to travel both types of roads and expand their adventure footprint. After seven decades of off-road development, 35 years in the business of selling Pathfinders, and with more than 1.8 million sold in the U.S., this Japanese automaker has moved the needle with a ground-up revision of the previous-gen model.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable off-roader.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The full-sized sport utility is available in four trims (S, SV, SL and Platinum) and two- and four-wheel drive versions; Nissan expects that nearly 60 percent of buyers will choose four-wheel drive. The Pathfinder is in a segment that has grown larger each year as more families want a vehicle for around-town, school and playdate runs and for weekend getaways with traction technology that allows travel in the backcountry and good towing capability. Direct competitors are the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Ford Explorer.

A day-long drive of approximately 150 miles on tarmac and over a variety of dirt roads and tracks provided the opportunity to assess the Pathfinder's updates. A late-spring snowstorm added slickness to all the road surfaces in the region and allowed the Pathfinder to show off its traction capabilities at both slow and higher speeds and with lane change and emergency-braking maneuvers, when towing. I concentrated my evaluation on the augmented hardware and software designed to enhance the crossover's capabilities for backcountry travel and towing.

What I found most notable over every road surface was the comfortable ride and responsive handling that come from a collection of upgrades—and, in particular, as a result of the following: the gearing on the new nine-speed transmission, with paddle shifters for personal and more precise shifting for sport driving and slowing over rough terrain; the new terrain mode system that's engineered for different driving conditions; the four-wheel drive system that moves torque more quickly to avoid wheel slip; the improved suspension system; and new tires with a larger contact patch and more aggressive tread pattern, among other changes.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Pathfinder provided sure-footed motoring and comfort over uneven surfaces. Its 7.1 inches of ground clearance easily maneuvered over the small obstacles on the trail and hill descent control took the reigns without hesitation for steeper and longer downhills on traction-compromised surfaces.

I was also impressed with the Pathfinder's towing competence and appreciated the standard trailer sway control onboard all trims. It offered notably strong, mannered acceleration from a standing start and excellent straight-line braking without porpoising for either exercise.

The new 2022 Pathfinder brings off-road and towing attributes that are important to families who are seeking to spend time in the backcountry for days trips and longer and for overlanding in terrain that doesn't require a true off-road vehicle with a low range. It's will appeal to buyers who want don't want to have to choose only one road.

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The 2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition is a fresh addition to the company's lineup.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Double takes aren't always good. In a curious twist, Toyota has decided to give its Highlander SUV bronze accents as part of a special edition model for 2022. The 2022 Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition will be positioned between the Hybrid XLE and Hybrid Limited in the company's lineup.

Each 2022 Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition gets bronze-colored accents on the exterior and interior, including 18-inch bronze wheels, bronze interior stitching, illuminated bronze door sills, and SofTex-trimmed seats with a fabric insert and bronze stitching. The SUVs also have unique floor and cargo mats.

Toyota will offer the new model with either a Cement or Wind Chill Pearl paint job.

2022 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Bronze Edition

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

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The new three-row SUV builds on the Highlander Hybrid XLE and is available in front- or all-wheel drive. It has the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine and two electric motors as other Highlander Hybrids. It gets an EPA-estimated 36 mpg combined.

It gets hands-free power lift gate, rain-sensing wipers, a digital rearview mirror, 1500-watt power outlet, puddle lamps with the Highlander logo, in-dash ambient lighting, driver seat memory, 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, and LED daytime running lights.

Some of the model's equipment is part of revisions to the Highlander product line for 2022 including a height/tilt power-adjustable passenger seat. For 2022, that feature will be standard on Highlander XLE and above trim levels.

Every new Highlander comes standard with Toyota's 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty. A 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty is also standard. Highlander Hybrid models have their hybrid components covered by a eight-year/100,000-mile warranty and the hybrid battery is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles. The battery warranty is transferrable between owners.

The 2022 Highlander Bronze Edition also comes with ToyotaCare, which covers normal factory-scheduled maintenance, for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first, and two years of Roadside Assistance, regardless of mileage.

Pricing for the new SUV has yet to be announced.

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