THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor | Episode #370
From race cars to vehicles with a bit of soul and on to a noble cause raising money for orphaned children with Down Syndrome, we’re covering a lot of ground on this episode of THE DRIVE with Alan Taylor. Co-founder of Cartender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, U.S. News and World Report, George Kennedy III, shares about his test drive of the $122,000 2019 BMW M850i, and we discuss the marriage of BMW and Toyota that is the 2020 Toyota Supra. Changing lanes, Long Range Strategy and Product Planning Manager for Kia Motors America, Paul Fisher, tells us exactly what makes the 2020 Kia Soul ‘all new’, from interior to drivetrain, and why you should consider getting a Soul of your own. Next up, Founder of RODS (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome), Brady Murray, tells the story of how he started the movement and how it’s affected his life so far. He continues to champion the cause of finding homes for orphans with Down Syndrome by fundraising to pay for adoption fees, and they’ve recently celebrated their 50th success. Then, we chat with automotive journalist for Autoweek, Automobile Magazine, Grassroots Motorsports, Steven Cole Smith, about his test drive of a 2019 Ram 3500 Crew Cab Dually, the Indianapolis 500, and Coca-Cola 600 news. Switching gears, President ClassicsDeadOrAlive.com and Social Media & Branding Manager for Black Mountain Jeep, Kelsey Collins, shares her experience with running the Tire Rack One Lap of America endurance race. Closing out the show, Executive Publisher of Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Dealer.com, Karl Brauer, ponders the question of whether the SUV market has become over saturated and whether tariffs play a role in the slowing of the automotive economy. Tune in for the latest auto news and test drives.
- [00:00:00] The Legacy of the BMW 8 Series
- [00:06:07] A Marriage of BMW and Toyota
- [00:12:30] 2019 BMW M850i and 2020 Toyota Supra
- [00:19:51] What’s So New About the 2020 Kia Soul?
- [00:27:36] Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome
- [00:35:51] RODS Looking to Expand to Auto Racing
- [00:42:12] RAM Makes an Amazing Truck
- [00:48:20] Bump Day Before the Indy 500
- [00:54:43] NASCAR 600 and Jayski.com
- [01:02:04] Kelsey Collins Races One Lap of America
- [01:12:28] Is the SUV Market Oversaturated?
- [01:18:05] Tariffs, Interest Rates Hit Auto Sales
Discover more about segments and guests below…
[00:00:00] The Legacy of the BMW 8 Series
The BMW 850 series coupes have always been known as a gentleman’s car, but with an added M in front of the name, it takes it to a whole new level. Co-founder of Cartender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, U.S. News and World Report, George Kennedy III, recently drove the 2019 BMW M850i Coupe and can attest to its faithfulness to the source material; it’s still just as much the 8 series coupe he grew up loving in the 90s. That said, all this car does come at a price – $122,000 to be exact. Learn more about this generation of the BMW M850i.
[00:06:07] A Marriage of BMW and Toyota
There are no doubts that the new 2019 BMW M850i Coupe is a big car with the classic long, swooping lines and BMW styling; but let’s not forget it’s engine. Speaking of legendary BMW engines, the brand new Toyota Supra has emerged from the ashes like a phoenix, reborn with the help of BMW. Co-founder of Cartender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, U.S. News and World Report, George Kennedy III, discuss the marriage of Toyota and BMW and how the combination of a turbocharged, 6-cylinder, 335-HP BMW engine and amazingly designed Toyota Supra exterior make for a one-of-a-kind experience. Did we mention the new Supra starts at just $49,000? You couldn’t ask for more bang for your buck. Are you a fan of this coupling of car companies?
[00:12:30] 2019 BMW M850i and 2020 Toyota Supra
Alan Taylor and Co-founder of Cartender and Freelance Automotive Journalist for CarGurus, Boston Globe, U.S. News and World Report, George Kennedy III, wrap up their thoughts on the 2019 BMW M850i and 2020 Toyota Supra. With the 2019 BMW M850i’s twin turbo V8, 520-HP engine, this rocketship is a true blend of upscale luxury and gentleman’s car. The 5th generation Toyota Supra sports a 365 lb-ft torque BMW engine that comes on at 1600 rpms, a top speed of 155 mph, and a decent 0-60 mph of 4.1 seconds. While the underpinnings are BMW, the body and interior are all designed by toyota, providing a true marriage of these two car manufacturing behemoths.
[00:19:51] What’s So New About the 2020 Kia Soul?
The 2020 Kia Soul is redesigned and all new, but what’s so new about it? Long Range Strategy and Product Planning Manager for Kia Motors America, Paul Fisher, is here to tell us exactly that. In the last 10 years, the Soul has acquired a fairly huge base of over a million buyers, so Kia decided to broaden the lineup and spice up your Soul experience. Find new trims aimed at efficiency, being more rugged and off-roady, offering a more premium feel, or a more sporty look. The 2020 Kia Soul GT has a 201-HP, 1.6L, 4-cylinder engine and redesigned back end that scream fun and unique. Find out why you really can’t put the Kia Soul in a box.
[00:27:36] Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome
When Founder of RODS (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome), Brady Murray’s son was born with Down Syndrome, he didn’t realize he had hit the jackpot until a few days later. For years after Nash (Brady’s son) came into this world, his family hit a turning point at a Down Syndrome function. It was there they found out that kids with Down Syndrome in other countries are very often abandoned and put into orphanages. It was heartbreaking news to Brady, but he didn’t say “that’s sad” and move on, he decided to do something about it. Find out how Brady put that ambition to work and found a home for a boy named Eli from Lithuania, and kept going.
[00:35:51] RODS Looking to Expand to Auto Racing
Ever since his first fundraiser, Founder of RODS (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome), Brady Murray, has been running Iron Man competitions to raise awareness and funds to find homes for orphaned kids with Down Syndrome. To this date, Brady has found homes for 50 children, even adopting a RODS orphan of his own. When people see ‘Rods.org’, they often ask if that is an automotive website, to which Brady responds “No, but it should be.” Now he wants to race for the cause with more horsepower behind him. Find out how you can help at Rods.org.
[00:42:12] RAM Makes an Amazing Truck
How much truck is too much truck? Well, according to Automotive Journalist for Autoweek, Automobile Magazine, Grassroots Motorsports, Steven Cole Smith, there is no such thing as ‘too much truck’; there just… ‘more truck than I need’. That’s exactly what the RAM 3500 Hemi 6.4L Dually that Steven is driving this week is. This solid black beauty is the first vehicle in 17 years that Steve could not turn around on his property. That said, this behemoth still gets 18 mpg, and could pull the Titanic off the bottom of the ocean if it wanted to, with its 1000+ lb-ft torque. Steven also had a Ford Raptor last week, which is a pretty fun truck, but for all the times in his life he wished he had a bigger truck, he’s never wished for a smaller truck. Are you a huge truck lover?
[00:48:20] Bump Day Before the Indy 500
For the last few years, bump day before the Indianapolis 500 hasn’t mattered much because there haven’t been 33 or more racers looking to qualify. This year is different. Automotive Journalist for Autoweek, Automobile Magazine, Grassroots Motorsports, Steven Cole Smith, fills us in on the 36 cars on the entry list, from Fernando Alanzo’s small wreck to the previous winner, Simon Pagin, hanging back in 6th place. Tune in for more Indy 500 details.
[00:54:43] NASCAR 600 and Jayski.com
Sunday May 26th, 2019 is a busy day for racing. Not only is the Indianapolis 500 going on, but later that night the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 kicks off as well. Automotive Journalist for Autoweek, Automobile Magazine, Grassroots Motorsports, Steven Cole Smith, tells the story of the time he missed his bus leaving the Indy 500 and made a plane of journalists late for the NASCAR 600. He’s definitely not going to both races on the same day again. Changing lanes, we chat about Jayski’s progress after being dumped by ESPN and picked up by NASCAR. Keep up with all NASCAR news at Jayski.com.
[01:02:04] Kelsey Collins Races One Lap of America
Not every car survives the Tire Rack One Lap of America endurance race, but President of ClassicsDeadOrAlive.com and Social Media & Branding Manager for Black Mountain Jeep, Kelsey Collins made it to the end in her 710HP Stage 3 ROUSH Mustang. Kelsey fills us in on this insane 8 day, 3,500 mile, 8 tracks and 18 events, racing tour that spans the Great Lakes states. The fact that this was Kelsey’s first true on-track racing experience didn’t hold her back. WHile McLaren 720’s, Porsche 911s, and 1000-HP Nissan GTR’s were breaking, flying off tracks, and racing hard, Kelsey kept it steady in the Stage 3 ROUSH Mustang. Horsepower is not everything, a point driven home by Andy Smengard’s homebuilt Honda S2000 that took 5th place overall. Catch more details of the One Lap of America race and what Kelsey learned from the experience.
[01:12:28] Is the SUV Market Oversaturated?
It seems that every car manufacturer has an SUV (or two, or three) in their lineup these days. This raises the question: Is the SUV market oversaturated? Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book & Dealer.com Executive Publisher, Karl Brauer, thinks that if the market isn’t oversaturated, it’s definitely at the point at which manufacturers need to differentiate their SUVs to make them stand out from the crowd. A good example of this is the 2020 Kia Telluride; it checks all the boxes – value, styling, exterior and interior design. Gone are the days of ‘any old SUV will do’. Tune in for more on the SUV market.
[01:18:05] Tariffs, Interest Rates Hit Auto Sales
It doesn’t seem possible for our SUV crazed world, but Jeep sales are down! Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book & Dealer.com Executive Publisher, Karl Brauer, reminds us that it isn’t just Jeep sales that are down, everything is down. The entire automotive industry is taking hits this year from higher interest rates, higher transaction prices, harder-to-get credit, and tariffs. The looming threat of tariffs also preemptively boosted automotive sales in 2018, which in turn makes 2019 sales look worse by comparison; and now the tariffs are here, and they’re huge. 25% is no joke and the end users and manufacturers ultimately will feel the ripples. On the positive side, this should eventually encourage businesses to make more in America, even if markets suffer in the meantime. Do you think international tariff policy is good for the automotive industry in the long run?
Explore More with Helpful Links:
- Contributor: George Kennedy III | Co-founder, Cartender | Freelance Automotive Journalist, CarGurus/ Boston Globe/ U.S. News and World Report
- Contributor: Steven Cole Smith | Automotive Journalist, Autoweek/ Automobile Magazine/ Grassroots Motorsports
- Contributor: Karl Brauer | Executive Publisher, Autotrader/ Kelley Blue Book/ Dealer.com
- Special Guest: Paul Fisher | Long Range Strategy and Product Planning Manager, Kia Motors America
- Special Guest: Brady Murray | Founder, RODS (Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome)
- Special Guest: Kelsey Collins | President, ClassicsDeadOrAlive.com | Social Media and Branding Manager, Black Mountain Jeep
- Website: Indianapolis 500
- Website: Coca-Cola 600
- Website: Jayski
- Website: One Lap of America
- Vehicle Mention: 2019 BMW M850i
- Vehicle Mention: 2020 Toyota Supra
- Vehicle Mention: 2020 Kia Soul
- Vehicle Mention: 2019 Ram 3500
- Program Host: Alan Taylor
- Producer: Dave Milligan
- Production Assistant: Joanne Bolden
- Audio Engineer: Dave Milligan
- Copy Editor: Cody Castleberry
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- Austin Hatcher Foundation
- Foundation of Human Understanding
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- Patriot Outreach
- The Little Rock Foundation
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