Connect with us

Cars

Tire Rack Street Survival Celebrated Its 1,000th School, And I Was There For It

Published

on

Tire Rack Street Survival

I don’t know about you, but my high school driver’s education class was pretty disappointing, teaching me just enough to pass my test and get my driver’s license, but not much else. Sure, I could parallel park and do a K-turn, but was I really prepared for the challenges of the road? Not by a long shot.

Sadly, most young drivers are let out onto the open roads without proper training, and it’s a contributing factor for the nearly 4,000 youths ages 15-20 that are involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes each year in the U.S.

Many of these fatalities could have been avoided if these young drivers were just better prepared, and that is exactly why the Tire Rack Street Survival School was started, to teach critical behind-the-wheel survival skills that can potentially help save lives. As they say, “safe driving is learned by doing.”

Tire Rack Street Survival

“Since our very first class in 2002, we have educated more than 21,000 young drivers about the maintenance needs of their vehicles and the maneuvers that will keep them safe in emergency situations,” said Bill Wade, national program manager for Tire Rack Street Survival. “This is our 15th year; we’re moving forward with new classes faster than ever.”

That’s right, this national, nonprofit advanced teen driving program has been instrumental in teaching smarter and safer driving habits to teens, and they reached a significant milestone this year, celebrating their 1000th Street Survival school a few weeks ago, which was held at Tire Rack’s headquarters in South Bend, Indiana.

I was on hand for this momentous occasion, where I got to experience the day-long program firsthand, riding along with a newly-minted driver (Quincy) as she received instruction from seasoned SCCA member Linda. The day started off with some classroom instruction, before heading out to the test course, where these newly-learned principals would be put into place.. in their own vehicles.

Tire Rack Street Survival

Over the course of the day, the young drivers learned about car control on a slalom course, how to handle a loss of traction on a skidpad, how to threshold brake in case of emergency, and how to do emergency lane changes. These exercises were designed to mimic real-world experiences, so that they would know what to do if something like this were to actually happen to them.

In addition, Street Survival gave an eye-opening ABS demonstration that showed how the system works (or doesn’t work if your car doesn’t have it), and what to do if/when you feel your brake pedal pulsate. They also had students get into the cab of a semi-truck so they could see firsthand the hundred-foot blind spot behind the trailer, and how they need to be mindful when following trucks like this. They also exploded an airbag to demonstrate the sheer amount of power that’s hidden just inches from your body.

Tire Rack Street Survival

Overall, I found the class to be very comprehensive, covering the same core driving fundamentals taught at professional driving schools costing thousands of dollars. The school is run by volunteers from the BMW Car Club of America, the SCCA, and other auto enthusiast clubs, allowing them to keep the cost down to a very reasonable $75 per student. Trust me, it’s worth every penny, and then some!

It was exciting to see Quincy’s progress throughout the day as she became more confident behind the wheel and her instruction sunk in. There’s no doubt that she’s a safer driver for having taken this class, and at the end of the day, that’s what this program is all about.

For more information, school calendar/locations, rules and example course visit www.streetsurvival.org.

Sujeet Patel is the founder of Guys Gab, and one of the biggest automotive enthusiast you'll ever meet. He's been fortunate enough to turn his passion for cars into a full-time job. Like they say, "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.

Cars

The 405HP BMW M2 Competition Really Is The Ultimate Driving Machine

Published

on

When BMW first introduced the M2, it was a clear indication that they had not forgotten about purists like me who wanted a small, lightweight, fun-to-drive sports car that could hang with the big boys come track day. And that it did.

But now they’ve taken things up a notch with the first-ever 2019 BMW M2 Competition.

As the name suggests, the M2 Competition is playing for keeps, with a new engine lifted from the M3/M4, a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter straight-six making 405 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque.

For those of you keeping score, that’s 40 horses and 63 more lb-ft than the outgoing M2, and it’s good enough for a 0-60 time of four seconds flat and a top speed of 174 mph.

Naturally, there’s a host of chassis improvements to make the most of the added power, with lots of raiding from the M3/M4 parts bin, along with new M Sport seats, larger M Sport brakes front and rear, a new dual exhaust system, and bigger kidney grilles up front (painted black).

Overall, it’s a pretty impressive update to a vehicle that was perfectly fine as it sat, taking this lightweight track beast and dialing it up to 11. Porsche owners had better watch out!

No word on pricing just yet, but it sounds like it will be worth every penny that they’re asking. And if it turns out to be too rich for your blood, you can always pick up one of the many used M2’s that will surely be hitting the market once the M2 Competition comes out..

Speaking of which, anyone wanna buy a kidney? 🙂

What do you think of the BMW M2 Competition?

Continue Reading

Cars

What Do You Think Of The 2019 Chevrolet Camaro And Its Bold New Styling?

Published

on

2019 Chevrolet Camaro Turbo 1LE

This morning, Chevrolet surprised all of us with the unveiling of the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro, which feature distinctive designs, new available technologies and the first-ever Turbo 1LE.

We’re not really sure why Chevrolet chose not to unveil the new Camaro at the 2018 New York Auto Show a few weeks ago, given the sheer number of consumers and media who come out to the show. But they must have had their reasons..

In any event, we got our first glimpse of the 2019 Camaro this morning, and it’s… different.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS

According to Chevy, the 2019 Camaro’s updated designs “are not only striking but also help to improve performance. For instance, the grille details and hood and fascia vents were designed for optimized air flow, either to cool components or help minimize drag or lift.”

Maybe so, but at what cost? The 2018 Camaro was a great looking ride. But the new Camaro has already got the Internet buzzing, and not in a good way. The front-end treatment is a bit much, and it’s even worse in SS trim, where the grille is mostly blacked out.

Still, if you can look past the looks, there’s a lot to like about the new Camaro. The SS model’s 6.2-liter LT1 V8 can now be paired with a 10-speed automatic, complete with custom launch control and line-lock. This transmission, co-developed with Ford, replaces the eight-speed automatic, and until now it’s only been available in the ZL1 model.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro SS

In addition, a new Turbo 1LE joins the V6 1LE, SS 1LE and ZL1 1LE to round out Camaro’s line of 1LE track stars. The 275 HP Camaro Turbo 1LE comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission and a tailored chassis package that includes a performance suspension with larger diameter front and rear stabilizer bars, specifically tuned dampers, stiffer rear cradle bushings and cross-axis ball joints in the rear tow links that enhance lateral stiffness

The Turbo 1LE also gets wide summer tires (275mm in the rear, 245mm in the front), Brembo brakes, a drive-mode selector with sport and track modes, a suede flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob, and optional Recaro seats, along with nearly 50-50 weight distribution.

As you can see, there’s a lot to like about the 2019 Camaro, and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of one so I can test it out for myself. And while I’m not 100% sold on the styling of the new Camaro, maybe it’s one of those designs that looks better in person than in photos.

2019 Chevrolet Camaro RS Convertible

What do you think of the 2019 Chevrolet Camaro?

Continue Reading

Cars

Review: 2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t

Published

on

2018 Infiniti Q50

Of all of the vehicles in the Infiniti line, the Q50 is probably the most timeless. For the 2018 model year, the Q50 shuffles a few things, but remains as it’s been for some time. Unlike many in the luxury segments, however, the 2018 Infiniti Q50 holds its age well and after a week in this sedan, we still like it for everything that it is.

Key to the Q50’s nature are its understated good looks, comfortable interior, and a strong road presence. Like most in the luxury sport sedan market, the Infiniti Q50 is offered in a variety of performance flavors from the daily driving 2.0t model with its turbocharged four-cylinder to the powerful Red Sport 400 and the fuel-sipping Q50 Hybrid model. We spent our week driving the middle-road 3.0t model with its turbocharged six-cylinder engine and would recommend it as the Q50 of choice for most buyers.

2018 Infiniti Q50

The 2018 Infiniti Q50 3.0t combines strong performance with a likeable price point. Much of the focus gets put on the Red Sport 400 model, which deserves that notice, but which most will likely find overpowered and too highly priced to compensate. The well-done 3.0-liter V6 in the 3.0t model outputs 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, which are more than enough to make a midsize luxury sedan feel powerful and go fast. The solid range of output the engine has is well managed by the smart automatic transmission that comes attached and the tight and balanced chassis all of it sits upon.

We drove the all-wheel drive model and would recommend it for not only its added control, but its peace of mind when the weather goes sour. We had snow and bad weather during our time with the 2018 Q50 3.0t and it proved itself capable in those conditions.

2018 Infiniti Q50

Fuel economy in the 2018 Q50 is good, with the 3.0t model returning 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway on paper and a little better than that, we found, in real life. Compared to the less powerful 2.0t’s 23/31 and the more powerful Red Sport 400’s 20/26, the 3.0t’s V6 seems to balance power output and economy well.

Key to the 2018 Infiniti Q50’s appeal is its timeless exterior design, which starts with an understated front grille and hawkeye-shaped headlamps. A hoodline shaped for speed, fenders bulging with power, and an unobtrusive rear fender design all combine to make for that timeless, sport-tuned quality that the Q50 carries with it.

2018 Infiniti Q50

Our chief concerns with the Infiniti Q50 are in the interior, where the dual screen infotainment often vies with itself to see which screen will glare more often and the somewhat cramped trunk space. The latter being especially true if you prefer to carry a full-sized spare tire.

Where the interior shines, however, is everywhere else. Quality materials and high-end workmanship are seen in the cabin with ergonomics and layout being very well done. We like the low-slung dashboard, which keeps the cabin cozy without impinging on legroom, and the cushioning way the rear seating is shaped to keep rear headroom high despite the sloping roofline.

2018 Infiniti Q50

The 2018 Infiniti Q50 2.0t has a base price of $34,200 while the 3.0t starts at $38,950. We recommend bumping that over forty thousand to get the 3.0t Sport model with AWD for the best mix of accoutrements and drivetrain.

Continue Reading