Drive Type: 4x4
Newburgh, Indiana, United States
Plenty of us here at Autoblog have designs for epic drives. Whether it's bouncing around the country in an old International or heading from Alaska to Chile on a bike, we like to think we have big aspirations. Or at least we did until we heard about these four gentlemen. You see, Leslie George Carvall, Alan Butler, Glyn Maher and Charles Scott are all in their 70's, and they plan to pile into a pair of Suzuki Jimny SUVs and drive around the world. Sort of makes a hike across country seem like a trip down the block to the local corner store. They're calling it "The Ultimate Challenge," and they plan to undertake the journey for two reasons.
First, they want to prove that age shouldn't stand in the way of people doing what they want to do. Second, the group hopes to raise funds for the 'Heaven Can Wait I'm Busy' group, which aims to direct money toward worthy charities both in the UK and around the world. Save the Children and Oakhaven Hospice are the two currently designated charities.
The trip gets started in just three days, and you can head over to the effort's site to track their progress. The route should cover some 16,500 road miles and 10,375 sea miles. You can also catch up with the project on Facebook.
The Detroit News is reporting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened an investigation on the 2006-11 Suzuki Grand Vitara and 2007-11 Suzuki SX4 due to issues with the airbag and seatbelt for the front passenger seat. So far, NHTSA has received 128 complaints on these vehicles for airbag warning lights, airbag off lights and seatbelt lights, on a vehicle set that totals around 205,000 units, but there is no indication as to how many, if any, injuries have reported.
Via technical service bulletins, Suzuki has already acknowledged two airbag-related issues with front passenger seats on both vehicles, including a programming error for the passenger seat load indicator on 2009 models and an open-circuit problem for the sensor mat that determines if an adult or child is sitting in the front seat. Since this latter issue would not shut off or lessen the impact of the passenger airbag, Suzuki has already extended the warranty for the seat cushion bottom to 10 years or 120,000 miles. After ceasing new-car sales in the US and Canada, potential recall repairs (which still may or may not happen) would be handled by remaining dealers as laid out in the recent court-approved bankruptcy plan.
While turbocharging and supercharging may be nothing new in the automotive industry, motorcycle engines are almost always naturally aspirated. But even that's beginning to change. At the Tokyo Motor Show last week, two major Japanese companies showed off new forced-induction motorbike engines.
Kawasaki rolled in with a supercharged four-cylinder motorbike engine. It offered little in the way of details, disclosing only that the turbine blades were developed in-house to withstand the heat and vibration of spooling up at motorbike speeds.
Suzuki is taking a different approach, however. Its Recursion concept bike packs a turbocharged 588cc two-cylinder engine with a turbocharger and intercooler. The compact package churns out just under 100 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque, packaged into a motorbike that weighs just 384 pounds dry.