Best Of America Tour
Agroup called the EcoTrek Foundation has launched a tour called Best of America that will feature American-made vehicles fueled by cellulosic ethanol and equipped with American-made aftermarket products. The tour will travel to historic sites and events across the U.S. in an effort to raise awareness of renewable fuels and materials and the preservation of natural resources. We heard about this through Line-X, which provided spray-in bed and wheelwell protection for an F-250 pickup going on the tour.
Tom Holm, founder of EcoTrek, said his goal for the tour was to "emphasize our ability to be gentler to the environment while bolstering America's economy, national security, and independence from foreign oil."
The ethanol used to power the pickup is a biofuel made in America from diverted waste materials and landfill. According to EcoTrek, the production of cellulosic ethanol could create tens of thousands of jobs, increase unsubsidized revenue to farmers, and lower demand for foreign fuels. You can track the tour's progress at www.ecotrek.com.
•Apr. 2: Getting Started Off-Road 4x4 Skills Clinic, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
•Apr. 2: Lucas Oil Regional Off-Road racing series, Glen Helen Raceway, San Bernardino, CA. Info: www.lucasoilregional.com
•Apr. 2-3: JeepSkool, NE Ohio. Info: www.jeepskool.com
•Apr. 3: Advanced Beginner Off-Road Driving Clinic, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, CA, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
•Apr. 8-9: 7th annual Wisconsin OHV Association off-highway vehicle enthusiast's workshops, Mole Lake, WI. Info: www.wohva.com
•Apr. 9-10: IOK Four Wheelers spring swap meet, Cleves, OH. Info: www.iokrock.com
•Apr. 13-16: Tennessee Mountains Jeep Jamboree, Oak Ridge, TN. Info: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
•Apr. 14: North Rim Grand Canyon trail ride, Parashant, NM, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
•Apr. 14-16: Cajun Jeep Jamboree, St. Francisville, LA. Info: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
•Apr. 16-24: Easter Jeep Safari, Moab, UT, by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers. Info: www.rr4w.com
•Apr. 18: Easter Safari for first-timers, Moab, UT, by Badlands Off-Road Adventures. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
•Apr. 29-May 1: Bilek Racing Silver State 300 desert race, near Las Vegas, NV, by Best in the Desert. Info: 702.457.5775, www.bitd.com
•Apr. 29-May 1: Ultra4 Tour, in conjunction with Silver State 300, near Las Vegas, NV. Info: 702.457.5775, www.bitd.com
•Apr. 30-May 1: Big Dog Offroad Ice Breaker Trail Ride, The Cove, Gore, VA. Info: 410.440.3670
Changes for Liberty
We had an opportunity to sample Jeep's lineup for 2011 at a special media drive in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where we first encountered the redesigned Compass and updated versions of the Liberty, seen here. Like the '11 Wrangler, the Liberty has some interior improvements-a new steering wheel and wheel-mounted audio controls-as well as some new colors.
In mid 2010 a Renegade model was added to the line, which features new skidplates and Hill-Start and Hill-Descent controls. The '11 Liberty Jet (right) is an upscale model with 20-inch wheels, chrome trim, and blacked-out headlights.
Leduc Wins Challenge Cup
Kyle LeDuc, pilot of the Toyo Tires-equipped Rockstar/Makita Pro 4 Class Ford F-150, had a lot to celebrate when the 2010 season of the Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series came to a close in Arizona. He kept his head about him during a chaotic running of the Rockstar Energy Challenge Cup-which pits the Pro 2 trucks against the Pro 4s in the final race of the season-and squeezed through the carnage to win the race and a $30,000 payout.
LeDuc also came in second in the Pro 4 series championship, finishing behind a dominant Rick Huseman. Huseman and his Traxxas/Monster Energy Toyota Tundra won 10 of the series' 14 events, earning him his second championship in a row.
New Hot Rod RZR
Polaris has raised the bar on side-by-side performance with the introduction of the RZR XP 900, which the maker is calling "the only extreme performance side-by-side on the market." Powered by an 88hp fuel-injected twin, the XP 900 also features a new three-link trailing-arm IRS that offers 14 inches of travel out back. There's 131/2 inches of travel up front, 13 inches of ground clearance under the new RZR, adjustable Fox shocks at all four corners, and four-wheel disc brakes. The RZR XP 900 is available now with an MSRP that starts at $15,999.