Archives for posts with tag: new

Honda will release the CT125 in Japan this year. This light, little off-roader has been updated with front and rear disk brakes, front-wheel ABS, a bash plate, and optional heated grips. The 124 cc engine is mated to a semi-automatic, 4-speed gearbox, a combination which is said to take you 220 miles on a 1.4-gallon tank. That’s about 157 mpg!

Incidentally the Honda 125 Super Cub is the most popular motor vehicle ever with over 100 million sold since it was released in the late 1950s.

Thanks to my friend Nathan from Northwest Resilience for the tip about this!

2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude

On Tuesday Jeep generated a lot of buzz by announcing the release of its first entry into the small SUV market, the 2015 Jeep Renegade. Why the buzz? With the Renegade, Jeep claims it’s designed a gas-pump-and-city-parking-friendly vehicle with “best-in-class” trail capability. Is that such an impressive claim when the class is filled with Honda CR-Vs and Kia Sportages? Read on and decide for yourself.

A couple notes to start: in this article I’ll be focusing on the Trail Rated edition, since that will be the one with the off-road chops. Also, Jeep can really slather on the marketing speak, so I’ll cut through that as much as possible and explain the Renegade in plain English.

OK, on to the drive train! The Trail Rated Renegade comes with a low-range gearbox (20:1 crawl ratio) and and an available 9-speed automatic transmission, neither of which I’ve ever seen on a small SUV. It also features a rear axle that disconnects to save fuel when it’s not needed. When the terrain warrants it, however, the axle engages instantly, and the Renegade becomes a 4×4. If the little truck needs even more traction, the 4-wheel-drive system can send up to 100% of the engine’s torque to any one or more wheels, most likely by applying the brakes to wheel which has lost traction.

2015 Jeep Renegade Latitude

The Trail Rated edition is powered by a 2.4-liter gasoline engine, good for a 2,000-lb towing capacity. In other markets, where the diesel engine will be available, towing capacity jumps to 3,300 lbs. Unfortunately that not in the U.S.—sorry American drivers.

And what does Trail Rated mean exactly? It’s Jeep’s way of saying that they’ve paid attention to five key areas that make a vehicle trail worthy: traction, water fording, articulation, ground clearance, and maneuverability.

How does that play out in detail? Well, the Trail Rated Renegade has enhanced approach, breakover, and depature angles over the stock model, 19″ water fording ability, and front and rear tow hooks. Jeep has also included its Selec-Terrain system, which sets up the car’s 4-wheel-drive system for different types of terrain (Sand, Snow, Mud, Rocks, and an Auto mode). Hill-descent control is also included.

2015 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

Underneath, the fully independent suspension allows the wheels to articulate just over 8 inches, and makes use of Koni’s frequency selective damping (FSD) system. This basically means that the front and rear struts have valves in them that remain closed when the suspension is articulating at low frequencies, like during cornering and braking. This provides more damping and keeps the suspension firmer for those situations. During high frequency articulation, like driving over bumpy roads, the valves open, providing less damping and therefore a softer suspension, and more ride comfort. Ground clearance on the Trail Rated version is 8.7 inches, a 1″ improvement over the stock model.

As nod to its open-air past, Jeep is also offering two versions of a dual-panel, removable roof. One version is manually removable, the other includes a power sunroof and tilt option. When removed, the panels stow in the rear cargo area. It remains to be seen how practical that will be, if the truck is loaded up for a trip.

What else? A slew of electronic gadgets and quite a nice looking interior are on offer.

Will in be a hit? The realities of city parking and fuel costs certainly can’t be ignored. Jeep doesn’t say what the expected mileage of the gasoline version will be but expects to get a staggering 52 mpg from the 2.4-liter diesel.

If you can fit all of your gear in it, the Renegade might just hit the sweet spot.

More photos after the jump.

2015 Jeep Renegade on Expedition Portal

2015 Jeep Renegade, Official Site

Read the rest of this entry »

Unimog T-shirt • West County Explorers Club

Over 10 years ago a friend and I had a clothing company called Snowday, it featured images of two stylish women who were perpetually out doing cool stuff. You can see images here on L-Dopa, on my illustration site. It was mostly t-shirts—we had fun with it. I drew the scenes—my friend Stephanie drew the girls. I’ve loved drawing since I was a kid and now it’s what I do for a living. Still, I sometimes miss just drawing for fun.

Well, I just started drawing for fun again and I thought I’d turn the results into WCXC t-shirts. Here’s the first design. Picture it on the chest of a grey t-shirt and costing about $28. (Click the image for a bigger view.)

What do you think? Would you wear it? We’re happy to hear all thoughts, suggestions, questions in the comments below.



Feedly, a very nice looking news aggregator

If you follow WCXC on Google Reader, you’ve probably already heard that Reader is going down on July 1st. If, like me, you’ve delayed transferring your feeds to a new reader, you’re in luck. We’ve just discovered Feedly, a very nice looking web-based news aggregator. With it, you can organize your feeds by category and view them as a text list, as brief descriptions with images, as Pinterest-style boards, or as stream of full articles. On mobile devices the content scrolls in whole pages, which is easier on the eyes.

If you haven’t discovered the joy of RSS feeds, they enable you to view content from all of your favorite sites in one place. Links to our RSS feeds can be found at the bottom left of every page.

Apologies for the recent lack of posts, btw. We’ve moved onto a boat in the Pacific Northwest and there’s been a ton to do. As we knock projects off the boat list, I’ll be able to post more.

All the best,





Speaking of Unimogs, Matt at Expedition Portal wrote a great post the other day about the latest iterations of the iconic line. There are some great wallpaper images there as well. See the post here: The Unimog Grows Up.

Let’s lighten things up with today’s video. I’m pretty sure the new VW Beetle Convertible is useless out on the trail but the commercial is funny.