VW Unveils Alltrack
It doesn’t have the off-roading chops that the Touareg used to, but VW’s Alltrack concept vehicle sounds like it could be fun on the right trails. Revealed at the New York Auto Show, the Alltrack gets off on the right foot with its 2.0L TDI powerplant, which makes 140 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and VW’s 4Motion AWD system, which in the Alltrack is modified with an electronically controlled “off-road driving program.” At the push of a button the program changes the throttle map to give the gas pedal a longer, more precise feel; the ABS to allow for longer brake intervals on loose surfaces; the diff locks so they’ll react more quickly; and the shift points to hold gears longer before upshifting. Or, if the DSG is set to manual, the trans won’t upshift automatically at all.
This sounds like it could be a lot of fun on graded roads, packed sand, or anywhere you’d like a diesel’s grunt but don’t need low range and a lot of wheel travel.
Three trails have earned the Outstanding Trail designation for 2012, which is awarded by BFGoodrich in collaboration with Tread Lightly! and United Four Wheel Drive Associations. The Blanca Peak Trail in Blanca, Colorado; Mirror Lake Trail in the Sierra National Forest, California; and Bents and Dents Trail in Mount Olive, Alabama, were recognized for their uniqueness, terrain type, and enthusiast following. As part of the award, local clubs—the Creeper Jeepers Gang for Blanca Peak, the Lock and Low 4-Wheel Drive Club for Mirror Lake, and the Central Alabama Offroad Society for Bents and Dents—received a $4,000 grant from BFG to help preserve and maintain the trails.
Tread Lightly!, the land-use organization, has a new blog with news and information. Check it out at treadlightly outdoors.wordpress.com.
U.S. Wins Eco Driving Challenge
The Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles du Muroc is unique in motorsport: an eight-day rally raid that traverses the Moroccan desert and is open to female competitors only. Teams cannot use GPS; instead, they must rely on old-fashioned navigation techniques to get through the rally stages.
There is an environmental component to the rally too. In the Logica Challenge teams are judged by the emissions their vehicles produce. Organizers developed a tool, hooked to the vehicle’s OBD-II port, to measure carbon dioxide emissions in real time.
In the 2012 rally, Americans Amy Lerner and Tricia Reina drove their AEV-modified Jeep Wrangler efficiently enough to win the Logica Challenge. “If I can perform strongly during the dunes and this intense competition, that means a driver can practice eco-driving on the road as well,” said Lerner. She and her sister finished Fourth in the Logica Challenge last year and came back in 2012 “hypersensitive” to her driving techniques shooting for the win.
July 28–Aug. 4: All-4-Fun Week by the Mile-Hi Jeep Club, Empire, CO. Info: mhjc.org
Aug. 2-4: Coal Mountain Jeep Jamboree, Shamokin, PA. Info: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
Aug. 2-4: 4x4 Blast by the Two Rivers Jeep Club, Pittsfield, IL. Info: 866.483.3982, trjc.com
Aug. 4: Getting Started Off-Road Driving Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Hungry Valley SVRA, Gorman, CA. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
Aug. 4-5: 4Wheel Parts Truck & Jeep Fest, Atlanta Cobb Galleria, Atlanta, GA. Info: www.4wheelparts.com/events
Aug. 4-5: W.E. Rock Western Pro Series Round 4, Goldendale, WA. Info: werocklive.com
Aug. 5: Advanced Beginner Off-Road Driving Clinic by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, El Paso Mountains, Mojave, CA. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
Aug. 9-12: Rubicon Trail Jeep Jamboree, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Northern California. Info: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
Aug. 9-12: Sierra Trek by the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, Meadow Lake near Truckee, CA. Info: www.cal4wheel.com
Aug. 10-11: Dirt Riot Pacific 2, Straddline Offroad Park, Olympia WA. Info: werocklive.com
Aug. 10-12: Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival, Butler, PA. Info: www.bantamjeepfestival.com
Aug. 11-12: 4Wheel Parts Truck & Jeep Fest, Orlando Orange County Center, Orlando, FL. Info: www.4wheelparts.com/events
Aug. 12: All Breeds Jeep Show by Adirondack Jeeps, Saratoga Springs, NY. Info: 888.310.2939, www.adkjeepshow.com
Aug. 13: Rubicon Trail by Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Northern California. Info: 310.374.8047, www.4x4training.com
Aug. 16-18: General Tire Vegas to Reno desert race by Best in the Desert, Las Vegas, NV. Info: www.bitd.com
Aug. 17-18: Great Northern Trail Ride by the Wisconsin Off-Highway Vehicle Association, Mole Lake, WI. Info: email firstname.lastname@example.org
Aug. 23-25: Big Horn Mountains Jeep Jamboree, Dayton, WY. Info: www.jeepjamboreeusa.com
Aug. 23-25: Tall Corn Cruiser Classic by the Toyota Land Cruiser Association, Hamilton, IA. Info: www.tlca.org
Aug. 25-26: Applegate-Lassen trail ride by Off Road Experience, near Reno, NV. Info: 925.606.8301, www.offroadexperience.com
Aug. 25-26: Iron Range Off-Road Driving School, Iron Range OHV Park near Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN. Info: www.ironrangeoffroad.com
Aug. 29–Sept. 2: Gravelrama, Cleves, OH. Info: www.gravelrama.com
Aug. 31: HDRA Point-to-Point desert race, Pahrump, NV. Info: hdrarace.com
Aug. 31–Sept. 3: Superlift Fall 4xAdventure, Superlift ORV Park, Hot Springs, AR. Info: 501.625.3600, www.orvpark.com
Note: If you have a 4WD event you want us to publicize, please send the date, location, a description of the event, and contact info—phone numbers and/or email/website address—to Calendar, 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine, 831 S. Douglas St., El Segundo, CA 90245; fax 310.531.9368; email email@example.com. Please submit your info at least four months in advance of the event due to our press lead times.