Rescue Service

SEMRA modifies Land Rover Discovery for mountain rescues

The modded Land Rover will be aiding in mountain rescues in Ireland.

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

Very few use their Land Rover Discovery for what it was built to be capable of doing. The South Eastern Mountain Rescue Squad (SERMA) is one exception. They have modified a Discovery to aid them in their mountain rescues throughout the Galtee, Knockmealdown, Comeragh and Blackstairs mountains.

SERMA has attended 100 rescues over the last three years, in a variety of conditions hazardous to both themselves and vehicles. The team chose the Discovery to aid in their efforts because of its capability, comfort, and space.

SERMA Land Rover Discovery

Photo courtesy of Land Rover

The all-volunteer organization provides the only search and rescue service for those on the mountains of south east Ireland and covers one of the largest areas of any mountain rescue team in the UK and Ireland. They operate 24/7/365 attending to rescues in populated and remote locations.

"There is no other service available to go up the mountains, but we have the skills, the training and the vehicles to do it," Terry Brophy, SERMA Team Leader. "The great thing about the Discovery is that we can fit a stretcher in the back with the medic seated alongside. Land Rovers are synonymous with mountain rescue in the UK and Ireland and there's a reason for that – they are by far the best vehicles available."

The modifications to the Discovery include the addition of emergency and first aid kit, powerful emergency lighting, a roof box, additional interior lighting and rear stowage nets.

The nuts and bolts of the Discovery remain the same. It still has nearly 85 cubic feet of loadspace, which is enough to accommodate a stretcher, and three rows of seating, which helps to get crew members to an incident site.

SEMRA isn’t the first rescue and responder organization Discovery has enabled throughout its long tenure. Land Rover has a rich history of aiding the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, even enlisting them to help with the development of the new iteration of the Land Rover Defender.

Check out the SEMRA team in action during a live training rescue:

Land Rover Discovery – Reaching New Heights with SEMRA www.youtube.com

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

A new collaboration with lifestyle brand Kith gives BMW 150 special edition M4s to sell.

Photo courtesy of BMW

The Kith brand is two things: a multifunctional lifestyle brand and progressive retail establishment. BMW is also two things: a posh luxury automotive brand and a horsepower-happy precision-crafted automotive company. In both, the two sides of each brand are not mutually exclusive.

A new collaboration between Kith and BMW puts that premise to the pavement. The 2022 BMW M4 Competition x Kith interprets the redesigned 2022 BMW M4 Competition coupe as a showcase of the Kith brand. It is limited to 150 units worldwide.

2022 BMW M4 Competition x Kith 

Photo courtesy of BMW

New York native Ronnie Fieg is the founder of Kith and a lifelong BMW enthusiast. He owns a classic E30 generation BMW M3 that he's customized to his taste. Today's M4 Competition is considered the "spiritual successor" of the E30. Fieg has created a one-of-one BMW M4 Competition Design Study by Kith that mimics the specifications – and Kith design touches – of his own classic vehicle.

Additionally, Fieg has created a line of apparel and accessories inspired by classic BMW design. They're available exclusively through Kith's retail locations, including online, beginning today. The collection, featuring 94 styles of apparel and accessories, is Kith's largest single offering to date.

"Everything we work on at Kith has to come from an authentic place," said Fieg. "Some of my favorite memories from growing up came from going to visit my grandfather and riding around in his BMWs in the 1980s. I remember he had an E21 320i and that his prized possession was a white E30 M3. These moments in my life really shaped my passion for BMW, so working on this project with them has brought everything full circle."

BMW M4 Competition Design Study by Kith

Photo courtesy of BMW

The partnership features one major milestone for BMW. It's the first time that the company has altered its iconic roundel badge for a collaboration. Merging logos is a trademark of Kith design. The fused logo created for the BMW M4 Competition x Kith adds an extra ring around the BMW roundel in the BMW M colors of light blue, dark blue and red, as well as details in bright lettering focusing on Kith and the collaboration. The rear decklid of the BMW M4 Competition x Kith features a black Kith logo with the iconic tri-color BMW M stripes.

The BMW M4 Competition x KITH. True legends live on. www.youtube.com

BMW will sell the models exclusively in matte paint finishes of Frozen Black, Frozen Dark Silver and Frozen Brilliant White. They retain all the usual under-hood and underbody components. There are also unique interior color bursts and accents throughout the cabin.

The BMW M4 Competition x Kith will be available for preorder with a starting MSRP of $109,250 plus the usual destination and handling fees.

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The 2021 Ram TRX is the chief competitor to the Ford F-150 Raptor.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Ram Trucks calls the 2021 Ram TRX an "apex predator", serving it up as a direct rival to the 2020 Ford F-150 Raptor. The new TRX is a heck of a truck, and that's an impressive feat considering just how bloody good the Raptor is.

A quick recap of the TRX's impressive stats. Its 702 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque are generated by a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that sends power to all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. The sprint to 60 mph takes just 4.5 seconds off the line, and it'll hit an electronically-limited 118 mph.

2021 Ram TRX The Ram TRX has a beefy exterior with bits and bobs that give it a more aggressive appearance.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

It's a Hellcat in pickup truck form, so it drives a lot like you'd imagine. At least, on the street. The truck's full-time all-wheel drive system prevents you from doing burnouts, but it will bias power to the rear so you can get your slide on. Sport mode stiffens up the suspension a bit and tightens up the steering. It's by no means a sports car, but engineers have done everything they could to make the truck drive well on the street. You can quickly forget you're piloting a 3-ton brick; but fortunately the 15-inch front brakes save you from getting into real trouble.

Once you get off the tarmac, as expected, the TRX really shines. The truck has 13-inches of front suspension travel, and 14-inches of travel in the rear. The truck is designed to use every inch of travel, and handle it well, thanks to the 2.5-inch Bilstein Black Hawk e2 adaptive performance shocks. These shocks are state-of-the-art, and the same quality you'd find in bespoke off-road racers. While the Fox LiveValve in the Raptor is a good setup, driving the TRX on any off-road surface quickly shows the weaknesses of the Ford's setup. Ram's suspension feels expensive.

The TRX sits on a frame that is lengthened and beefed-up compared the traditional 1500 setup, giving it much improved body rigidity. During the product development stage, Ram engineers took a few Raptors and drove them until they broke, then made sure that they beefed up those components on the TRX. That means the TRX can handle more ridiculous terrain at more ridiculous speed, and still drive you home at the end of the day.

2021 Ram TRX The TRX is capable of having a good time, whether it's on the trail or on the track.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

While driving on a high-speed, 3-mile off-road route, the investment in strength was noticeable. It's hard to make a ladder frame rigid, even a fully boxed one. While on the Raptor – even the new one – the bed will shake a bit off-road, the TRX's bed hardly moves in similar situations and speeds. It feels solid, and it feels controllable.

Ford calls the Raptor the "911 of off-roaders," and they're right, because it's one of the best handling trucks off road. But the TRX has more stability in the same driving situations and feels just as predictable and controllable. If the Raptor does have an advantage at off-road speed, it's that it's lighter. Especially in the front where a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 naturally weighs less than a 6.2-liter V8 with a supercharger attached. The TRX's nose just feels heavier.

A raptor is a bird of prey, and I've jumped my share of Raptors in my day. The TRX is just as capable at getting airborne. In fact, the extra horsepower makes it easier to leave Terra Firma. That Bilstein suspension, though, makes coming back down easier.

2021 Ram TRX The 2021 Ram TRX has a more robust frame than the traditional Ram 1500.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Even at high speeds, when the truck returns to the ground the body motion is controlled. There's no excessive bouncing while the suspension tries to sort things out. The suspension simply compresses, rebounds, and then you're on your way. The whole time the wheels are on the ground you have traction and are in control. This truck makes jumping easy.

The TRX comes in a few different trim levels, depending on how much luxury you want in your truck. You can spec the truck to almost $100,000 and have all the amenities in a Ram 1500 Limited but be able to pre-run the Baja 1000 in comfort and style.

Or, pick up a base truck at $71,690 with destination and get the least expensive FCA product with the Hellcat engine in it and with all-wheel drive, plus a comfortable daily driver with all of the trick off-road features.

2021 Ram TRX The 2021 Ram TRX is plenty capable on paved roads as well.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

It sounds better than the Raptor. It's faster than the Raptor. It flies better than the Raptor. For now, at least, the claim that the TRX is the Apex Predator of the truck world is accurate.

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