General Motors Pickup RecallThe General is recalling about 4 million pickups to fix the tailgate cables. The recall includes certain Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierras, Chevrolet Avalanche, and Cadillac Escalade EXT trucks made between 2000 and 2004. The cables that hold the tailgate level when opened may corrode and fracture, causing the tailgate to drop down onto the rear bumper, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Customers will be notified in phases about when to come in to their dealer for a free cable replacement. In the meantime, don't put excessive weight on the tailgates of your truck.
Land Rover LR3 High-Tech, High-Performance Powerhouse
The competition must be white-hot in the midsize SUV market. All the new product for 2005 is packing serious performance heat, and the new LR3 from Ford's Land Rover brand is no exception.
At the press briefing in New York, Land Rover asserted that great on-road refinement and performance was a priority for the LR3. And the company's backing that assertion up with a 300-bhp 4.4L Jaguar-sourced V-8 engine that's specially adapted for Land Rover. We're assuming the torque curve is fattened up toward the bottom, and if so, we're in agreement with Land Rover that it's an excellent starting point for a great road car - er, truck.
Land Rover is backing the motor with a six-speed electronically controlled automatic gearbox and stuffing the powerteam into the chassis, built in a manner it's calling "Integrated Body-Frame Architecture," which to us reads as a properly rigid frame; it should be a great foundation for on-road ride and handling, fitting the LR3's image. To this chassis, Land Rover is adding a fully independent cross-linked air suspension to further improve off-road ride and handling as well as its on-road manners.
The LR3 will come with Land Rover's new Terrain Response technology that the company says optimizes driveability and comfort as well as maximizing traction. The driver simply chooses one of five terrain settings - from on-road to extreme off-road - via a rotary switch. Terrain Response then automatically selects the most appropriate settings for the vehicle's advanced electronic controls and traction aids, including ride height, engine torque response, hill descent control, electronic traction, and transmission settings.
Factor in a height-adjustable fully independent air suspension, high- and low-range transmission that's electronically selected, and infinitely variable locking center and rear differential, and the LR3 looks to be a formidable player in this upscale sector of the market.
Window Tint Troubles?
In our unofficial survey here at Sport Truck magazine, we've found that the crazy quilt of state laws regulating window tint for automobiles confuses everybody, except, of course, our fine state and local law enforcement officers. Fortunately for the rest of us, the International Window Film Association (IWFA) has a chart that explains it all. Think of it as the map of the universe from the film Time Bandits. You can access the chart on the association's Web site at www.iwfa.com or you can contact the IWFA at the following coordinates: International Window Film Association (IWFA), P.O. Box 3871, Martinsville, VA 24115, (276) 666-4932, Fax: (276) 666-4933, firstname.lastname@example.org