THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #360
As Emperor Palpatine once said, “Good! Use your aggressive feelings, boy. Let the hate flow through you!” We might not be letting the dark side take control, but we are most definitely letting off some steam about cars that confound us and the sterilization of motorsports. Starting off the show, Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, and U.S. News and World Report, George Kennedy III, gives a glowing review of the 2019 Infiniti QX80. This mammoth sized SUV sports a spacious, luxurious interior, V8 Engine, ample towing capacity, and… a busy infotainment system adorned by a slightly dated touch screen? Also, George discusses electric vehicle battery range in winter, the corporatization of motorsports, and delivers a critical review of the 2019 Nissan Kicks. Shifting gears, automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, continues the conversation on the decline of NASCAR and the public image issue that was the Daytona 500 race. Steven isn’t without suggestions, and he gives us some of his best (and worst) ideas on how to fix NASCAR. Also, Steven recently got to drive the Jeep Gladiator, and while he can’t tell us much, he can tell us that it is awesome! Closing out the show, Founder and CEO, Alex Littlewood, tells us about his new website, Motoroso. Offering a venue for car nuts to show off their latest projects, link to gear used for the build within a picture, and get inspiration from a community of gear heads, Motoroso is a must-see for all car enthusiasts. Don’t miss this episode of THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor.
- [00:00:00] World of Podcast and the Infiniti QX80
- [00:06:45] Touch Vs. Analog in Infiniti QX80
- [00:12:30] Nissan Kicks, Kicked to the Curb
- [00:19:51] Do Not Judge Too Harshly
- [00:28:33] Winter EV Battery Range Warning
- [00:35:52] Motorsports: Corporatized and Sterilized
- [00:42:12] Does Daytona 500 Make NASCAR Look Bad?
- [00:48:42] Steven Cole Smith’s “We Fix NASCAR”
- [00:54:43] Motorsports Well-Check
- [01:02:04] Attention to Detail in Jeep Gladiator
- [01:08:49] Tell Your Car’s Story On Motoroso.com
- [01:18:05] Find Inspiration, Start A New Project
Discover more about segments and guests below…
[00:00:00] World of Podcast and the Infiniti QX80
It seems like everybody has a podcast these days, but there’s still a prestige to a national radio show. Thankfully, whatever end of the spectrum you’re on, we have a solution for you! Listen to our broadcast Saturdays at 9 AM EST on radio stations across America, or check out our podcast afterward on iTunes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Changing gears, Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, and U.S. News and World Report, George Kennedy III, gives us a quick review of the 2019 Infiniti QX80; this vehicle is an absolute monster.
[00:06:45] Touch Vs. Analog in Infiniti QX80
The Infiniti QX80 is a mamoth sized SUV with a luxurious, spacious interior, and a 5.6L V8 engine; there’s no doubt that this vehicle is well worth the starting price of $65,000. Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, and U.S. News and World Report, George Kennedy III, notices that there is a particular analog feel to the vehicle, but the infotainment system is busy and the touchscreen is dated. This makes us wonder, what ever happened to all of the knobs? While the younger generations are touch-screen friendly, some of us that are entering our golden years still prefer the tactile feel of a knob. Do you think there needs to be a better balance of knobs and touchscreens in vehicles going forward?
[00:12:30] Nissan Kicks, Kicked to the Curb
Now that we’ve got our praising of the Infiniti QX80 out of the way, it’s time to give another vehicle its just deserts. Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, and U.S. News and World Report, George Kennedy III, recently drove the 2019 Nissan Kicks, which was marketed as a small crossover, but really feels more like a subcompact hatchback car. Sure, it has the stance, but Nissan neglected to offer an all-wheel drive train option, it had the same cargo space as a Volkswagen Golf, and came in at $2,000 more than its competition. Find out why George felt like the Nissan Kicks took the utility out of SUV.
[00:19:51] Do Not Judge Too Harshly
All-wheel drive is a very important feature in many parts of the country, whether you’re combating snow, or just want to go off-road for some fun. Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, and U.S. News and World Report, George Kennedy III, continues his attack on the Nissan Kicks, but Alan offers a different viewpoint. Einstein once said, “If you judge a fish for its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing that it is stupid”, so maybe we shouldn’t be holding the Nissan Kicks to the same standard as a Jeep Wrangler or Subaru Outback. Changing lanes, George fills us in on his recent test drive of the Subaru Ascent, it has a ton of cargo space, standard AWD, and power to boot. Learn more now.
[00:28:33] Winter EV Battery Range Warning
Did you know that cold weather negatively affects the range of an electric vehicle (EV)? People in cold northern regions are feeling the pain as they get less range out of their Jaguar I-pace, Tesla, or other EVs. Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, and U.S. News and World Report, George Kennedy III, thinks that any company selling an electric vehicle should have to disclose a winter weather range for their batteries. We also discuss the nose dive an electric vehicle makes in value at high mileage. Tune in for more.
[00:35:52] Motorsports: Corportized and Sterilized
Is over commercialization and corporatization of motorsports sterilizing brands like NASCAR and NHRA? Co-founder of CarTender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, and U.S. News and World Report, George Kennedy III, thinks there are more issues than that, like Darrell Waltrip’s corny commentating, but agrees that motorsports in general seems to have lost its shine. When looking back at late 90s and early 2000s rivalries like Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, today’s crew just doesn’t keep our attention. Are you losing interest in motorsports?
[00:42:12] Does Daytona 500 Make NASCAR Look Bad?
The recent Daytona 500 race left many wondering, “what the heck?” Automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, comments that the multitude of crashes during that race, in which only 3 cars out of the lineup of 40 made it out unscathed, made NASCAR look unprofessional. On the brightside, at least advancements in NASCAR safety have made a pileup on the scale of Daytona 500 results in no injuries. Get Steven’s full take on the Daytona 500 race.
[00:48:42] Steven Cole Smith’s “We Fix NASCAR”
NASCAR may be losing its way, but automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, has ideas for how to fix it, ranging from good to wacky. First off, the races are just too dang long, Steven thinks it’s time to turn 500 mile circuits into 500 kilometer races. Maybe we can break a race into stages, two or three mini races within a larger overarching competition, perhaps with a halftime show, like the Super Bowl has. We’ll let you decide which of these ideas is wacky. Moving on, Steven explains why he thinks short track racing, sprint cars, and modified racing are the motorsports events people should be paying attention to. What is your favorite motorsports event?
[00:54:43] Motorsports Well-Check
Alan feels like motorsports is waning, but he doesn’t want to! Automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, describes how the length of time it takes to complete a race and its over commercialization on TV, combined with the shorter attention spans of people today have given motorsports events, like NASCAR, a bad rap. We miss the days where motorsports was just motorsports and happened to be on television, rather than it trying to be a TV sport. If NASCAR isn’t the auto enthusiasts sport of choice anymore, what is? Find out why Steven thinks people should be paying attention rally cross and the NHRA.
[01:02:04] Attention to Detail in Jeep Gladiator
There is a lot of buzz and excitement that has followed in the wake of Jeep’s announcement of the Gladiator. Automotive journalist, Steven Cole Smith, recently got to drive the anticipated pickup truck in the redwoods of Healdsburg, California and can confirm that it is an amazing vehicle, worthy of the hype. While he can’t reveal much, due to being under embargo, Steven fills us in on the vehicle’s possible best-in-class power, towing, and off-roading. One aspect that particularly impressed Steven was the inclusion of containers for all the bits and prices that come off when removing the top, windshield, or any other piece. Jeep’s attention to detail will pay dividends for them in the end, as Steven would not be surprised to see them sell over 100,000 units of the new Gladiator.
[01:08:49] Tell Your Car’s Story On Motoroso.com
So eBay has millions of parts, and numerous forums across the internet provide a platform to tell your car’s story, but wouldn’t it be great if there was a place that did both? Well, look no further than Motoroso.com. Founder and CEO, Alex Littlewood, how they’ve constructed a destination for anyone who wants to share their automotive creations. Simply post a picture, and tag it with links to parts used or relevant videos. Explore over 60,000 builds to get inspiration for your next project and buy the parts they used in just a few clicks! Learn more at Motoroso.com.
[01:18:05] Find Inspiration, Start A New Project
Motoroso is the real deal, and the fact that they’ve partnered with Ford to provide touch screen interaction in their booth at the SEMA Show. for the past four years. Founder and CEO, Alex Littlewood, unveils his plan to increase the current roster of 250,000 SKUs to well over a million by June. With a goal to bring all of the best products to you in an easily viewable format, Alex hopes to minimize your time hunting for parts, and maximize your time wrenching. Discover a world of cool projects and quality parts at Motoroso.com.
Explore More with Helpful Links:
- Contributor: George Kennedy III | Co-founder/ Freelance Automotive Journalist, CarTender/ CarGurus/ Boston Globe/ U.S. News and World Report
- Contributor: Steven Cole Smith | Automotive Journalist, Racer.com/ Automobile.com/ Autoweek.com
- Special Guest: Alex Littlewood | Founder and CEO, Motoroso
- Website: NASCAR
- Vehicle Mention: 2019 Infiniti QX80
- Vehicle Mention: 2019 Nissan Kicks
- Vehicle Mention: 2020 Jeep Gladiator
- Program Host: Alan Taylor
- Producer: Dave Milligan
- Production Assistant: Joanne Bolden
- Audio Engineer: Dave Milligan
- Copy Editor: Cody Castleberry
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- Foundation of Human Understanding
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- The Little Rock Foundation
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