Crandon, Wisconsin for the past 42 years has held an exhilarating off-road race; Todd Kaho in “Crandon World Championship Off-Road Races” explains this excitement from a firsthand experience. This race consists of off road power trucks that top speeds of 101 mph and going airborne for more than 100 feet. The first race started way back in 1970, riding on a 101 mile trail through the woods. The race evolved to a short-course competition and moved to his current location in 1984. Crandon is a town of less than 2,000 people but graciously welcome off-road fans for the Spring Run and the Labor Day weekend “World Championships.” The Crandon raceway is a “13/4-mile circuit is natural terrain carved out of the rolling hills in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.” The course continues to go through alterations, which has led to track records falling.
Image Courtesy of Petersen's 4 Wheel & Off-Road
The weekend is capped off with the running of the Amsoil Cup, which consists of pitting the Pro 2WD trucks against Pro 4x4s. “The Pro 2WDs are given a head start, since their lap times are a little slower. To win, a Pro 4×4 must catch and pass the entire Pro 2WD field.” This feat was actually reached last year, when Scott Douglas broke away to lead the 4x4s then weave through the 2WDs to take the checkered flag. The rush you receive from off-road truck racing is very addicting, leading to the religious return to “the best short-course off-road racing in the world.”
Some may think that if you have a Mercedes-Benz ML you are the envy of your town, however, that is not the case when it comes to off-roading. A video was released spotlighting the crossover going off-road, which is, according to In Auto News, comical. In their article, “2012 Mercedes-Benz ML goes off-road,” In Auto News alludes that “the automaker has something to do with this off-road test, or this is someone with big connections who just got his brand new Mercedes-Benz ML and wanted to brag himself.” Throughout the demonstration you can tell that the videographer is highlighting the crossover’s ability to go through ponds and up and down a hill. This video shows its viewers “what we already knew, that the Mercedes-Benz ML doesn’t have anything in common with off-roading, just like the BMW X5 dosen’t or the Audi Q7, or the Volkswagen Touareg, and so on.” The best use for the ML is to drive your children to school, “and if you see a pond on the way, don’t worry, you won’t get wet.” If you are into off-roading, get an appropriate vehicle and start altering, not the ML-class.
The Jeep Wrangler may have the same illustrative look and feel but according to Motor Trend’s “First Test: 2012 Jeep Wrangler” it has gone through a few alterations. Allyson Harwood, the author making the critique, was able to drive the new Wrangler on the Rubicon, “one of the hardest 4×4 trails around.” One change that happened in 2011 was when the Jeep Wrangler JK “(the current generation’s code name) received a new interior”, plus a body color hard top, and fender flares; which may seem minor, but actually drastically changed the Jeep’s appearance. The new Wrangler also includes a Pentastar engine, which has “more horsepower, more torque, and better fuel economy.” Harwood started the road test with changes in elevations and large openings, which gave the testers the chance to put the Pentastar’s acceleration on trial.
2012 Jeep Wrangler (Picture Courtesy of Motor Trend)
This new engine allows for noticeable improvement, offering exceptional response and an enhancement in power. The new Wrangler “hit 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, while all of the 3.8-liter Wranglers took between 9.8 and 10.2 seconds.” Before taking on the Rubicon trail, the testers switched from the unlimited Sahara to the Wrangler Rubicon. The trail allows for incredible scenery, while the Jeep takes on treacherous terrain due to the harsh winter. The Jeep got passed the territory without many problems, with the new engine and transition working well. The Jeep’s goal is to make the Wrangler a better day-to-day vehicle, while keeping its “off-road ability.”