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2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Compact Crossover

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With crossover vehicles leading the sales lists, every manufacturer is rushing to the drawing board to capture this expanding market. Mazda’s simple improvements easily move the 2016 Mazda CX-5 high on the list of contenders.

Punctuated by the ever present fun and sporty personality of many Mazda models, this small 5 passenger crossover focuses on the driver experience. It’s upgraded interior features include plenty of amenities, comfortable seating, increased insulation for a quiet ride and more than ample storage areas, all in a beautifully trimmed cabin with an attractive dash, upgraded materials and an easy to read, recessed infotainment screen. The exterior follows suite with an aggressive design featuring an updated grille and all new LED head, tail and fog lamps. The real stars of the update show are a nice array of safety features including adaptive cruise control and two separate Smart Brake Support systems which actively apply the brake when it detects a possible front end collision at an array of speeds.

Additionally with Adaptive Front Lighting, Blind Spot Monitoring, Cross Traffic Alert, and All Wheel drive the 2016 Mazda CX-5 was named a 2016 Top Safety Pick Plus by the IIHS when equipped with available Smart City Brake Support.

At 2.5 liters the larger 4 cylinder power source is peppy and still delivers a solid 25/33mpg, just slightly below the fuel ratings for the 2 liter.

Mazda has kept your drive train choice simple, 2 and 2.5 liter 4 cylinders. You will only give up 2 miles per gallon when you insist on the 2.5 liter engine. You’ll notice the extra umphhhhh when you press the pedal, and barely notice the difference at the pump. Of course, you will also give up about $3400.

The 2.5 liter four cylinder coupled with a six speed automatic transmission produced adequate power for most driving conditions, but it lacked strong acceleration at highway speeds when navigating busy city traffic. It certainly was not quick enough to even consider downsizing to the 2 liter. If you are looking for a standard transmission, then your only choice is Mazda’s base model, the Sport combining a 5 speed standard transmission with the 2 liter engine. Starting at just $21,000 it may be tempting, but take a long test drive to be certain you are happy with the power.

While not the fastest vehicle I’ve driven, the MX-5 feels and looks sporty and has tight, aggressive handling features. With the feel of a much larger SUV and a high posture (almost that of vehicles on truck frames), Mazda has created a sporty family wagon that steers tight and smoothly in corners without any roll or sway.

FAVORITE FEATURE:

“Command Central”

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Easy, simple, and ergonomic…perhaps even intuitive the center console features a command center allowing you to switch between infotainment functions without looking away from the road. Just behind the gear shift lever Mazda has located an easy to use joy stick along with button and dial controls that make accessing navigation, music, the home screen and even volume adjustments as simple as using an old school radio.

Small footprint with great function.

Not so old school is the electric parking brake frees up tons of space in the console allowing Mazda to keep the shifter on the floor where it belongs and sporting compartmentalized cubbies for phone, keys and a good sized console box under the arm rest.

Passenger space is plentiful too with ample leg room and an expanded cushion in the rear seat. Second row passengers can sit normally instead of feeling perched on a park bench. Five adults fit, but second row center is tight. The narrow center in the rear does flip down for excellent long item cargo storage while still transporting 4 full size adults easily. Flip all three components of the rear seat down and this Mazda provides almost 65 cubic feet of cargo space.

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With key-less entry and ignition, text read back, Pandora internet radio, navigation with quiet speed reminders and pop up fuel and restaurant integration the Mazda CX-5 not only provided a sporty and quiet ride it also intuitively connected me both to the road and to my world.

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Note the change in the speed limit sign on the left side of the screen, it is white when you are within the limit and turns red when you go over it. Of course, I only sped to illustrate this feature! The third photo illustrates the clarity of Mazda’s back up camera, quite impressive.

Mazda’s design philosophy has embraced Skyactiv Technology to focus on driving pleasure, the environment and safety performance. Coupling that with KODO – the Soul of Motion – the CX-5 was the first Mazda model to go further than what consumers expect in utility and practicality to create a dynamic driving experience you will notice as soon as you take a seat.

Wishing you miles and miles of happy driving,

Lynn Beckwith

About the Author

With over a quarter of century in the car industry, journalist Lynn Beckwith helps radio listeners across the nation understand the sometimes befuddling world of automotive issues on The Auto MOJO Radio Show, KPRC 950AM Houston every Saturday morning. Listen to podcasts and follow Lynn at www.ThatCarLady.com www.twitter.com/thatcarlady www.facebook.com/thatcarlady

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Start your “Easter Egg Hunt” on your Jeep

My shiny 2012 Jeep Wrangler sadly spent more time on the road than in the dirt, but being a member of the Jeep community was an experience that I’m anxious to repeat. The culture surrounding Jeep drivers is one of committed friendship and support. Part of the magic behind Jeep ownership starts at the corporate design level. When you look closely you will find hidden surprises all over your new Jeep.

The one that I noticed first was a small graphic of Jeep crawling at the base of my windshield. As you hunt for adventure this Easter weekend, have a few moments fun, and start your “Easter Egg Hunt” on your Jeep.

“These Easter eggs – little designs left behind to be found later – can be found in the Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Renegade and even a few in the Jeep Grand Cherokee.” -Jen Herman

As always…Jeeps are full of surprises.

Read more about Hunting For Adventure Show Us Your Easter Eggs!

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Jeep® and Mopar Unveil Seven Concept Vehicles Built for 50th Annual Easter Jeep Safari

Vehicles Showcase a Wide Variety of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts

  • Jeep® Crew Chief 715: a salute to legendary Jeep military service vehicles
  • Jeep Shortcut: inspired by the classic CJ-5 to handle tight, winding trails
  • Jeep Renegade Commander: built to blaze a trail deep into the secluded wilderness
  • Jeep Comanche: designed to be off-road ready with practical utility
  • Jeep FC 150: heritage cab-over design, rich in history and capable of tackling any terrain
  • Jeep Trailcat: Hellcat-powered off-roader capable of crawling or high-speed runs
  • Jeep Trailstorm: added capability with 2-inch lift kit, 37-inch tires and Dana 44 axles
March 10, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – Seven new, ultra-capable Jeep® concept vehicles, featuring an array of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts available to consumers, will conquer the famous and challenging trails of Moab, Utah, at Easter Jeep Safari, March 19-27. Thousands of off-road enthusiasts are expected to descend upon Moab this year to celebrate what will likely be the most popular Jeep Safari ever, as the 50th annual event coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Jeep brand.“Every year, the Jeep team looks forward to pushing the limits with new, exciting and capable concept vehicles for our most loyal enthusiasts at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, where we receive a tremendous amount of valuable feedback,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “This year is extra special, as together with our biggest fans, we celebrate Jeep’s 75th anniversary, as well as the 50th running of the Jeep Safari. We’re delighted to share seven of the most capable and eye-catching concept Jeep vehicles we’ve ever created at this year’s historic event.”

The 2016 crop of Easter Jeep Safari concept vehicles utilizes both production and prototype Jeep Performance Parts. The Mopar brand is responsible for developing, building and ensuring that all Jeep Performance Parts meet rigorous specifications and with 4×4 capabilities in mind, allowing Jeep owners to further enhance their stock vehicle.

“These seven vehicles have been modified with Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts to take on the toughest trails, to go beyond where the road ends,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “Mopar’s mission is to provide all FCA US vehicle owners with unique performance parts and accessories to tailor vehicles to their individual lifestyles. Nothing supports that more than demonstrating how we can equip Jeep owners to take on some of the more extreme trails in the world.”

The seven new Jeep concept vehicles built for Moab this year were created by a team of dedicated, passionate engineers, designers and fabricators that have been customizing production vehicles since 2002, and have introduced more than 50 concept vehicles for the enthusiasts who attend the popular Easter Jeep Safari.

The 2016 Easter Jeep Safari concept vehicles include:

Jeep® Crew Chief 715 Concept

Jeep Crew Chief 715
The Jeep Crew Chief 715 concept vehicle was built as a salute to legendary Jeep military service vehicles, in particular the Kaiser M715. This open-air Wrangler Unlimited-based concept vehicle showcases a burly design with heritage styling cues. The Crew Chief 715 utilizes modern-day construction with a rear seat and extra doors for additional passenger capacity while staying close to its classic military roots.

Original Jeep military service vehicles were legendary for getting troops through rugged terrain, and the Jeep Crew Chief 715 illustrates this legacy. Steel front and rear bumpers, 20-inch beadlock wheels and 40-inch NDT military tires pay homage to the original Jeep military vehicles. The Crew Chief 715 utilizes an on-board air system with a hard-mounted quick-disconnect fitting for airing up or lending assistance to other vehicles on the trail. Other features include a master cylinder brake upgrade, cold air intake and a modified exhaust.

Exterior features, such as Jeep Performance Parts off-road rock rails, a winch mounted into the front and rear bumpers, Dana 60 front and rear axles and a 4-inch lift kit with Jeep Performance Parts/Fox 2.0 Remote Reservoir shocks, give the Crew Chief 715 increased capability. The “Tactical Green” color scheme runs from the custom modified M715-inspired front-end to the tailgate. The Crew Chief 715 features a military themed 5-foot cargo bed.

Inside, the no-nonsense interior features leather bucket seats with canvas inserts, aircraft-inspired control switches and Mopar all-weather mats. The media center features a centrally located navigational compass.

The Jeep Crew Chief 715 is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

Jeep® Shortcut Concept

Jeep Shortcut
A carefully crafted take on the beloved Jeep CJ-5, this Wrangler-based concept vehicle invokes the spirit of 1950s Americana with a shortened body and functional simplicity.

Exterior styling cues include a unique grille, hood, tailgate, front and rear wheel flares and custom chrome front and rear bumpers. A modified exhaust, 17-inch red steel wheels and 35-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires help the Jeep Shortcut maintain the look of an icon.

Jeep Performance Parts featured on the Shortcut include a front and rear Dana 44 axle and a 2-inch lift with Fox shocks. Overall body length has been reduced by 26 inches including bumpers and spare tire to keep the Shortcut concept vehicle light and maneuverable on the trails.

Inside, the simple yet functional interior features low-back leather bucket seats with plaid inserts, a red ball shifter handle, four-point safety cage and Mopar all-weather mats.

The Jeep Shortcut is powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Jeep® Renegade Commander Concept

Jeep® Renegade Commander Concept

Jeep Renegade Commander
The Jeep Renegade Commander concept vehicle is equipped with an assortment of Mopar and Jeep Performance Parts for the ultimate off-road adventure. A 2-inch lift kit and 17-inch Rubicon aluminum wheels with 29.5-inch BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 tires increase the off-road capabilities of the Jeep Renegade Commander.

The “Fluorescent Gray” exterior features Renegade’s MySky open-air roof with removable panels, custom body decal, Mopar off-road rock rails, skid plates and a modified exhaust. Also featured are the Mopar brand’s trailer hitch receiver and front and rear auxiliary lights.

Inside, the Renegade Commander includes Katzkin seat covers, body color bezel accents, a pedal kit, Mopar off-road kit and Mopar all-weather floor mats.

The Jeep Renegade Commander is powered by the 2.4-liter Tigershark engine with MultiAir2 mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with Jeep Active Drive Low.

Jeep® Comanche Concept

Jeep® Comanche Concept

Jeep Comanche
Based on the Jeep Renegade, the Jeep Comanche concept vehicle is designed to be off-road ready with practical utility. A nod to Jeep pickup trucks of years past, the Comanche concept takes styling cues from military and civilian Jeep heritage.

The Comanche’s “Beige Against the Machine” concept exterior paint is accented with a Satin Black hood, a concept lower front fascia, winch, steel rear bumper, soft top and spare tire in the bed. The wheelbase has been stretched an additional six inches versus a production Renegade to accommodate Comanche’s 5-foot bed.

Inside, the Comanche features custom seat covers, pedal covers, door sill guards and Mopar all-weather mats. Jeep Performance Parts like off-road rock rails, a 2-inch lift kit and a winch bolster the Comanche’s off-road capability. The Comanche rolls on 16-inch painted wheels and 32-inch BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A tires.

The Jeep Comanche is powered by a 2.0-liter diesel I-4 engine and mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with Jeep Active Drive Lock, which includes low range and a locking rear differential.

Jeep® FC 150 Heritage Vehicle

Jeep® FC 150 Heritage Vehicle

Jeep FC 150
A true American workhorse, this 1960 Jeep FC 150 concept vehicle is rich with heritage and built to tackle both challenging rocky trails and the harshness of a western cattle ranch. Originally built from 1956 to 1965, the FC 150 is based on the CJ-5 and offers a clever packaging solution by keeping overall length to a minimum for maneuverability, but maintaining a full-length cargo box for utility.

This heritage Jeep vehicle continues to utilize its original steel body that proudly bears battle scars while components underneath have been revamped. The FC 150’s off-road prowess has been enhanced courtesy of a 2005 Jeep Wrangler chassis modified to accept a Dana 44 front axle, Dana 60 rear axle and 17-inch white steel wheels wrapped in 33-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM2 tires.

Inside, the FC 150 features vinyl seat covers, a custom headliner wrapped in a vintage duck hunting pattern, CB radio, analog compass and Mopar all-weather mats.

The Jeep FC 150 heritage vehicle is powered by a 4.0-liter PowerTech I-6 and is mated to a 3-speed automatic transmission.

Jeep® Trailcat Concept

Jeep® Trailcat Concept

Jeep Trailcat
The Jeep Trailcat concept vehicle is the ultimate off-road machine, equally at home on Moab’s rugged trails or a high-speed section. Utilizing the supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI® Hellcat V-8 engine, and mated to a 6-speed manual transmission with a custom shifter ball featuring an embossed Hellcat logo, the Trailcat concept vehicle leaves everything else in a cloud of dust.

To get the 707-horsepower Hellcat engine into the Trailcat, designers stretched the wheelbase an additional 12 inches while chopping the windshield two inches for a sleeker look. Mopar exterior enhancements include a power-dome vented hood, Satin Black grille, LED headlamps and fog lamps and rock rails.

The robust off-road look is further aided by steel front and rear bumpers, 17-inch beadlock wheels and 39.5-inch BFGoodrich Krawler T/A KX tires, front and rear Dana 60 axles and Fox shocks.

Subtle design cues, such as a Hellcat decal on the front quarter panels and a “Trailcat” decal on the side of the hood, hint at the horsepower that lurks beneath, making this much more than a typical production Wrangler. The Trailcat’s interior is simple yet functional and features sport bucket seats from the Dodge Viper, made from carbon fiber and featuring Katzkin leather seat covers with accent stitching.

Jeep® Trailstorm Concept

Jeep® Trailstorm Concept

Jeep Trailstorm
The Trailstorm concept vehicle is the ultimate Jeep Wrangler for exploring off the beaten path. Offering room for extra gear and fuel tanks, it is based on the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, and delivers elevated capability to conquer trails with ease.

Off-road capabilities are enhanced with several Jeep Performance Parts, including 17-inch concept off-road wheels wrapped in 37-inch tires, a 2-inch lift kit with Jeep Performance Parts/Fox shocks, a Jeep Performance Parts Rubicon winch, and Dana 44 front and rear axles. Half doors offer a clear view of obstacles ahead and a bedlined interior makes cleaning up after a day on the trails easy.

Mopar exterior enhancements include a winch guard, Satin Black grille, LED headlights and fog lights, high top fenders, power-dome vented hood, Mopar off-road rock rails with a step, Big Brake Kit, a concept fast-back soft top, tail light guards and a Mopar fuel filler door. Finishing the Trailstorm’s exterior upgrades are a steel front and rear Rubicon bumper and a Jeep Performance Parts tire carrier. The Trailstorm is wrapped in camouflage allowing it to blend into its surroundings in the Utah desert.

The Trailstorm’s bedlined interior also features Katzkin seat covers and Mopar all-weather floor mats. The Jeep Trailstorm is powered by a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine and is mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Jeep Brand
Built on 75 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence.

The Jeep vehicle lineup consists of the Cherokee, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Patriot, Renegade, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. To meet consumer demand around the world, all Jeep models sold outside North America are available in both left- and right-hand-drive configurations and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options.

Mopar Brand
Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked in 1937 with the launch of an antifreeze product, but it truly made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era. From Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use, the brand soon expanded to include technical service and customer support.

Today, Mopar is FCA’s service, parts and customer-care brand and distributes more than 500,000 parts and accessories in over 150 markets around the world. With more than 50 parts distribution centers and 27 customer-contact hubs globally, Mopar integrates service, parts and customer-care operations in order to enhance dealer and customer support worldwide. Mopar is the source for genuine parts and accessories for FCA brands.

Mopar parts are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles. This offers a direct connection that no other aftermarket parts company can provide. A complete list of Mopar accessories and performance parts is available at www.mopar.com.

Jeep Performance Parts
The Jeep Performance Parts portfolio, created in 2012 and offered by Mopar for the Jeep brand, provides enthusiasts with high-end, hard-core, quality aftermarket accessories and performance parts, including axles, lift kits, bumpers, winches, skid plates, suspension components and more. These aftermarket offerings are engineered together with the same teams that create factory-authorized specifications for FCA vehicles and help elevate the Jeep vehicles’ already best-in-class off-road performance to the next level. Each part and accessory is specifically designed, built and quality tested to help transform stock rides into even more capable trail performers.

Easter Jeep Safari
Easter Jeep Safari consists of trail rides, mostly day long trips, departing from Moab, Utah, throughout the nine-day-long event. The Jeep Safari was started in 1967 by the Moab Chamber of Commerce as a one-day trail ride. Over the years, as participation grew, the Safari expanded until it finally reached the current nine-day event. “Big Saturday” still remains the culmination of the event on the Saturday of Easter weekend.

About FCA US LLC
FCA US LLC is a North American automaker with a new name and a long history. Headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. FCA US designs, engineers, manufactures and sells vehicles under the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT brands, as well as the SRT performance vehicle designation. The company also distributes the Alfa Romeo 4C model and Mopar products. FCA US is building upon the historic foundations of Chrysler, the innovative American automaker first established by Walter P. Chrysler in 1925; and Fiat, founded in Italy in 1899 by pioneering entrepreneurs, including Giovanni Agnelli.

FCA, the seventh-largest automaker in the world based on total annual vehicle sales, is an international automotive group. FCA is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FCAU” and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario under the symbol “FCA.”

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Toyota Texas Fest presented by JBL Announces Musical Lineup and Food Fest

Toyota Texas Fest brings star-studded concert lineup and two-day food festival to Toyota Stadium

FRISCO, TX – The Toyota Texas Fest presented by JBL (TTF) has released the star-studded concert lineup for the 2016 event at Toyota Stadium, May 20–22, 2016. Daily concert lineups will be headlined by Lee Brice, Kip Moore and Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy. To further enhance spectator entertainment, TTF has announced the Lone Star Food Fest hosted by Dean Fearing.

The Lone Star Food Fest is a fun-filled culinary showcase event that will take place on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 at Toyota Stadium in conjunction with TTF. The Lone Star Food Fest will showcase the best food, drinks and restaurants that Texas has to offer. This hospitality ticket provides the opportunity to taste top Texas cuisine and enjoy premium beverage sampling together in an extraordinary atmosphere at Toyota Stadium. “I look forward to being part of the inaugural Lone Star Food Fest” said Dean Fearing. “It provides an exclusive opportunity for premier North Texas restaurants to showcase their menu favorites to a family friendly audience for a great cause.” Lone Star Food Fest tickets will also include access to premium seating during the TTF concerts with a great view of the main stage as well as access to the Stage Pit to get up close to the performers.

All tickets, including Lone Star Food Fest tickets, will go on sale Tuesday, March 8, and will be available online at ToyotaTexasFest.com or the Toyota Stadium Box Office. Toyota Texas Fest General Admission tickets are available for just $10 per day or $20 for a 3-day pass. Children ages 15 and under will be given free General Admission when accompanied by a ticketed adult (limit two children per ticketed adult). Military members and their families will be given free General Admission all weekend (with valid military ID).

Tickets to attend the Lone Star Food Fest are available for $25 per day or $50 for a 3-day pass. Ticket price includes unlimited food and a defined number of beverage samples. For spectators looking for an upgraded experience at Toyota Texas Fest, Lunker Club Hospitality Tickets are available for $250 per day. Ticketholders to the Lunker Club will have access to a climate-controlled hospitality suite, catered buffet and a full bar (must be 21+ to consume alcohol), access to premium Stage Pit, as well as access to the Lone Star Food Fest.

“We just love how this event supports our department” said Dave Terre, TPWD’s Chief of Fish Management. “This event provides a place where youth and families can connect and learn about the outdoors. We’ll have hands-on activities available for children of all ages and department staff available to help you plan your next outdoor adventure in Texas.”

All tickets give spectators access to explore the TPWD Outdoor Adventures Area, outdoor consumer expo, Kid Zone, and enjoy music performances happening on stage all day long. Opening acts include Eric Paslay, Chase Bryant, Roger Creager and more.

CONTACT: Kevin Wyman, Event Coordinator (713) 580-3682 or kevin.wyman@octagon.com Lenny Francoeur, Event Director (704) 746-4754 or lenny.francoeur@octagon.com

About the Event: The Toyota Texas Fest is a three-day outdoor festival that will take place May 20-22, 2016 at Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas). The mission of the event is to raise awareness and funding for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. One of the festivals’ main events is the Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC), which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016. TTBC is a world-class bass fishing tournament featuring the top 36 bass anglers competing on Lake Ray Roberts (Denton, Texas). Additionally, the festival will include exceptional entertainment and a wide variety of outdoor programming for the entire family. Activities include games and interactive displays at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Outdoor Adventures Area and an outdoor consumer expo featuring the latest products and services from event partners. Throughout each day, country music’s biggest stars including Lee Brice, Kip Moore, and Big & Rich with Cowboy Troy and more, will entertain thousands of fans.

Our Cause: Proceeds benefit the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. For more information click here to visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife page. www.tpwd.state.tx.us

About Lee Brice: Double ACM winner Lee Brice kicked off 2016 on the road with his “Life Off My Years” Tour. In addition to being the only Country artist to perform in all 50 states last year, Brice has appeared on ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” ABC’s “Bachelor Live,” NBC’s “The Voice” and performed on the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend telecast. The “evocative, rough-edged singer” (New York Times) recently debuted the song, “More Love” with long-time friend, Jerrod Niemann, exclusively on SiriusXM’s The Highway. For more information visit www.leebrice.com.

About Kip Moore: A relentless road warrior, Multi-PLATINUM singer/songwriter Kip Moore recently wrapped the second leg of his headlining Wild Ones Tour with four sold-out weekends in a row. Hot on the heels of his sold-out tour, Moore will head over to Australia for the first time next month, followed by headlining shows in The UK and Ireland in April. Fan demand has led to bigger venues being scheduled in Birmingham, UK; Dublin, IE; Manchester, UK and Glasgow, UK and Moore will close out the run with a headlining sold-out date in London, UK. Moore recently released the “beautifully shot music video” (Country Weekly) for “career song” (Billboard) “Running For You,” which was taken from Moore’s sophomore album WILD ONES that VICE declares “sprinkles a little late-night Bonnaroo magic…that’s made to be witnessed live.” For more information visit www.kipmoore.net.

About Big & Rich: Big & Rich is comprised of Big Kenny and NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” winner John Rich. The multi-platinum hit duo have garnered multiple Grammy, ACM, CMA and CMT Music Award nominations. The first single, “Look At You,” from their latest studio album, Gravity, smashed into the top 10 on the Country chart. The follow-up single, “Run Away With You,” kept the momentum rolling, also hitting the top 10. Their latest single, “Lovin’ Lately” featuring Tim McGraw continues to climb the charts. The Country superstars’ first studio album, Horse of a Different Color, includes their hit infectious single, “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy).” Other hits include “Comin’ to Your City,” “8th of November” and their No. 1 hit, “Lost in this Moment.” Meanwhile, “Comin’ to Your City” is nearing a decade as the theme song for ESPN’s “College GameDay. For more information visit www.bigandrich.com.

About Eric Paslay: Eric Paslay, delivers a powerful punch as a renowned, Platinum-selling, hit songwriter and dynamic performer. Paslay has celebrated five No. 1 hits including “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (Eli Young Band), “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” (Jake Owen), “Angel Eyes” (Love & Theft), “Rewind” (Rascal Flatts) and “Friday Night,” the smash lead single from his critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. The Temple, Texas native is a recent GRAMMY nominee (first as a recording artist) in the Best Country Duo/Group category for “The Driver,” performed by Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley, featuring Eric and Dierks Bentley and a current “Song of The Year” nominee for “She Don’t Love You” at the upcoming ACM Awards on April 3. A true artist’s artist, USA Today calls Paslay “flat out-brilliant” and American Songwriter names him an influencer of country music. Paslay recently released his back beat-driven groove “High Class,” the lead single from his highly-anticipated sophomore album, and takes the stage on tour with Brad Paisley this winter. For more information visit www.ericpaslay.com.

About Chase Bryant: One of the most celebrated new artists in today’s Country music landscape, 23-year-old Chase Bryant was raised in Orange Grove, TX (pop. 1,200). Bryant’s grandfather played piano for Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings. His uncles co-founded the group Ricochet. Conway, Merle, Petty, Vince, Bob Wills, Steve Wariner, Bryan Adams and more were early influences as were records by Keith Urban, Sarah Buxton and Jedd Hughes. Bryant’s guitar-wielding Top 10 debut single “Take It On Back” has reached three million combined views on YouTube/ VEVO, spent 15 consecutive weeks on the CMT Hot 20 Countdown, seven weeks to-date on the GAC Top 20 Country Countdown, and was a Top 20 Most Watched Video on VEVO TV Nashville. Internationally, the single was a Top 20 hit in Canada and earned the #1 spot on Australia’s CMC Countdown. Bryant has scored his second consecutive hit – the critically lauded Top 15 “Little Bit of You” – which continues to ascend the Country single charts. Bryant’s debut EP, which he coproduced alongside Derek George (Randy Houser), is available at digital retailers now. For more information visit www.chasebryant.com.

About Roger Creager: Roger Creager is an adventurist; he does not like to sit still while the world passes by. Whether it’s climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, jumping off his boat to snorkel with wild dolphins, snow skiing in the Rockies, catching tuna 100 miles from shore, piloting his airplane to far-off concerts, spearfishing around oil rigs, scuba diving coral reefs, surfing in Costa Rica, or playing music through the Italian countryside, he tries to get the most out of what the world has to offer. All of this finds its way into Roger’s music and live shows. His passion for life invigorates everyone around him including his fan base. Those who get hooked on his charisma and high energy come back show after show, year after year, and record after record. For more information visit www.rogercreager.com.

About Dean Fearing: Known for the “Elevated American Cuisine – Bold Flavors, No Borders” of his Dallas restaurant, Dean Fearing’s food philosophy is simple: “I cook what people want to eat.” Not one for glorified or complicated menus, Dean is inspired by tastes that show off the flavorful best of every ingredient. Whether a dish blends sweet with savory (a Fearing’s specialty), the sizzling aroma of molasses-mopped Texas rib-eye cooked over live mesquite, the juiciness of newly-plucked Texas produce, or the ice-cold zing of a Dean’s Margarita — or whether Dean is creating his legendary tortilla soup, signature Southwestern barbecued shrimp tacos with tropical mango salsa, exquisitely prepared seafood, or the all-American comfort of banana cream pie, he delivers what he promises: Bold Flavors, No Borders – and great-tasting food of the highest quality. The unique, unforgettable tastes of Fearing’s cuisine can be found nowhere else. They are one-of-a-kind.

Current sponsors: Toyota, JBL by Harman, Bass Pro Shops, NITRO Boats, GEICO, Anheuser-Busch, Embassy Suites Dallas Frisco Hotel Convention Center & Spa, Frisco Convention & Visitors Bureau.

For additional information, visit ToyotaTexasFest.com or call 1-866-907-0143. Make sure to “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for tournament news, updates, contests and more!

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Extended Maintenance Intervals Mean More Repairs

For the last decade most of us in the auto repair business have bemoaned the extended service intervals promoted by most car makers. Simply stated, this means that vehicle manufacturers have been extending the time and mileage between oil changes and other fluid services. We have tried to educate our customers that good service will prevent costly repairs. Now, courtesy of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, we have the numbers …Read More

For the Love of Cars

Many would argue that America’s newest drivers, from Millennial to Gen Xer, are ambiguous about their vehicles. However, driving itself is too addicting for America’s love affair with vehicles to fade. Like all affairs, the focus may change, but we not only love our current cars, we dream of our next and even covet our neighbor’s.

A simple glance at a new driver purchasing their first car will renew your faith in automotive lust. Stand amidst a parking lot full of classics and watch a 6 year old’s jaw drop when a built ’57 starts its engine. Watch a seasoned driver receive their first text or email from their vehicle. Better yet, spend a moment exploring the safety features that are available right now on new vehicles and wonder at the reality of autonomous driving. We have moved from fuel dumping carburetors to sleek and silent beasts pushing more torque from electric motors than we ever imagined. We are intrigued by the vast technology packed both under the hood and into the cabins of our beloved vehicles.

Classic vehicles continue to gain value and 2015 brought record new car sales to the industry. We spend money on what we love and economic indexes have always been the American way of gauging success. 2016 brings our aging love affair a new line up of ready to customize vehicles that feature increased performance, continually improving safety and vehicles that we can feel good and even green about.

The manufacturers have adapted both the vehicle and their marketing strategies to bolster the interest of all ages. They are responding to the aging baby boomers with dynamic drive train combinations that provide the performance we coveted as teens while salving our new found needs for fuel economy and preserving the planet. The sophisticated cabins are driver focused with infotainment systems stronger than any component tower we previously created in our homes.

Old or new, vehicles will always have a special place in our hearts. As Valentine’s day approaches remember that four wheeled “Love” sitting in your garage or driveway. A little tender loving care will go a long way in keeping her safe and dependable for miles and years to come. Be assured that the smiling service station attendants who topped off your fluids, aired your tires and checked your oil for years are alive and well at the neighborhood garage you have come to trust.
wishing you miles and miles of happy driving in the vehicle you love,

Lynn Beckwith

That Car Lady, KPRC 950am Houston and The Car Counselor Show

To find a smiling technician ready to help you service and maintain the vehicle that you love visit Beckwith’s Car Care or Freedom Automotive.

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Debut Vehicles Highlight the 2016 Houston Auto Show

HOUSTON (January 25, 2016) – Coming off the heels of the Detroit Auto Show, Texas will have the first chance to see a number of all-new vehicles. Nearly 20 models from various manufacturers will make their debut at the 2016 Houston Auto Show coming January 27 through January 31, 2016, along with 700 other new, classic and modified vehicles.

Produced annually by the Houston Automobile Dealers Association (HADA) and presented by the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Auto Show covers 700,000 square feet of display space at NRG Center and offers Houstonians the opportunity to see, touch and drive todays latest in automotive innovation.

Vehicles debuting in Texas at the 2016 Houston Auto Show are:

2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Headlining the Houston Auto Show for the Alfa Romeo brand is the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, the first of a new-generation of Alfa Romeo vehicles built on an all-new platform that embodies the brand’s La meccanica delle emozioni (the mechanics of emotion) that delivers race-inspired performance, advanced technologies, seductive Italian style and an exhilarating driving experience to the premium mid-size sedan segment.

2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider

The 2016 Alfa Romeo 4C Spider will also be on display with its race-inspired performance, advanced technologies and seductive Italian design. The Alfa Romeo 4C Spider offers driving enthusiasts a technical, mid-engine design inspired by the brand’s legendary racing history to represent the essential sportiness embedded in the brand’s DNA: handcrafted in Modena, Italy.

2016 Buick Envision

Sitting between its Encore and Enclave siblings, the Buick Envision is a luxury crossover that features a sleek look with smooth lines. QuietTuning technologies promise a peaceful drive while the well-appointed, modern interior and controls make it a comfortable and fashionable one as well.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The 2017 Chrysler Pacifica reinvents the minivan segment with an unprecedented level of functionality, versatility, technology and bold styling. Re-engineered from the ground up on an all-new platform, the Pacifica delivers class-leading gasoline and hybrid powertrains to the minivan segment. With more than 100 available safety and security features, the all-new Uconnect Theater rear seat entertainment system, and a full array of comfort and convenience technologies, the Chrysler Pacifica is a no-compromises minivan ideally suited for today’s families. The Chrysler display also will feature the Chrysler 300―the reigning “Car of Texas” and the Chrysler 200, the “Mid-size Car of Texas,” from the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA).

2017 Ford Raptor

The Ford Raptor is a commanding pickup that features four full-sized doors and plenty of muscle. Weighing 500 pounds less than its predecessor, the Raptor will work hard efficiently. Rocks, sand or road, the Raptor’s EcoBoost V6 engine is ready for any adventure out there.

2017 Ford Escape

When the open road calls, the Escape answers with a revamped bold and sporty style. Look for an impressive list of cutting-edge features such as adaptive cruise control, parking assist, lane departure warning, and start/stop technology. Coupled with a fresh and functional interior and the Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system, drivers are in for quite a ride.

2017 GMC Acadia Denali

The Acadia Denali is an exciting crossover that begs to be noticed – the custom Denali grill, chrome accents, signature LED lighting and confident design don’t mind being stared at. The most modern technology and safety innovations are artfully blended with a premium interior to make the Acadia Denali a true attention-grabber.

2017 Infiniti QX30

All new for 2017, the Infiniti QX30 looks to take the crossover standard to new heights – filling the needs of both city and country drivers who are looking for safety, refinement, and comfort – with just a touch of attitude. Created for a new generation of premium buyers who appreciate category-defying design inside and out, the QX30 boasts a purposeful appearance that makes a bold visual statement as part of Infiniti’s premium model line-up.

2016 Jeep 75th Anniversary models: Cherokee, Renegade, Wrangler

2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT Night & 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland

To celebrate the unparalleled history of the legendary Jeep brand, all 75th anniversary special-edition models feature Jeep-exclusive green exterior paint (Sarge Green, Recon Green or Jungle Green, depending on model), Low Gloss Bronze wheels, bronze and orange exterior accents, unique interiors, including exclusive seats with embossed 75th Anniversary logo or one-of-a-kind Ombre Mesh fabric, open-air freedom and a 75th Anniversary exterior badge.

2017 Lexus GS F

Find yourself on the fast track with this sophisticated sedan. The engine is backed by 467 horses while the show-stopping interior style is crafted with high-contrast colors, race car inspired seats and gleaming trim.

2017 Lotus Evora 400

Clocking in at 186 mph, this is the speediest production Lotus to date. A dramatic new cockpit, complete with racing line indicator on the steering wheel, puts this vehicle squarely in the fast lane.

2016 Nissan Sentra

Retooled, refreshed and ready to roll, the Nissan Sentra enters the New Year with a polished interior and redesigned exterior. Advanced technology and safety features enhance this fuel efficient and energetic sedan.

2016 Nissan Altima

Stepping out from behind the curtain, the made-over Nissan Altima boasts a more aerodynamic, sleeker look, improved fuel economy and the next steps in safety advances. Drivers and passengers alike will appreciate the spacious interior and special touches that make for a first-rate ride.

2016 Shelby F150

Featuring the unmistakable stripes of a Shelby, this pickup roars into 2016 with a 700 horsepower engine and legendary inspiration from top to bottom. With a nearly six-figure price tag and a limited production number, it will be a lucky few who land one of these in their garage.

At this year’s Houston Auto Show, not only do attendees get to see the latest in automotive innovation, sixteen manufacturers offer car lovers an opportunity to test drive more than 70 brand new vehicles.

The Aftermarket Expo of the Houston Auto Show includes everything from the exotic to the extreme, from ultra-luxury to off-road and everything in between. New to the aftermarket areas this year is Canada’s Campagna Motors, the world leader in three-wheel motorcycles and the creators of the T-Rex. EVS Motors, who cater to the most discriminating auto enthusiasts, will once again display one-of-a-kind dream cars fresh from their Performance Studio. MSR Houston returns with new partner, Fittipaldi Exotic Driving. Sports Car Club of America will display a Formula Mazda racecar and Allout Off-road will present a half million-dollar H1 Hummer on tracks.

The 2016 Houston Auto Show at the NRG Center is open daily, Wednesday, Jan. 27 through Sunday, Jan. 31. Show hours are:

Wed. – Fri. Noon 9:30 p.m.

Saturday 10:00 a.m. 9:30 p.m.

Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Adult tickets are $12 and $5 for children 6 to 12 years old when accompanied by an adult. Coupons for $2 off are available online and at participating Houston area new car dealerships. For more information, visit www.houstonautoshow.com.

About the Houston Automobile Dealers Association

The Houston Auto Show is produced annually by the Houston Automobile Dealers Association (HADA). Comprised of approximately 175 franchised new car and truck dealers employing over 30,000 people in the Houston area alone, HADA is proud to serve as the local backbone for Houstons automotive industry. By providing educational seminars and workshops, legislative representation, community service programs and services designed to assist franchised new car and truck dealers, HADA is committed to promoting and maintaining a competitive automotive industry in Houston and the individual communities its members serve.

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FIRST Robotics Teams Gear Up for “First Stronghold” With $250,000 From FCA Foundation

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Working in an industry that is not only hungry, but desperate for new talent can be challenging for everyone involved. The automotive industry presents an outstanding opportunity at many levels. FCA is helping create interest and even passion for innovation among American youth. Kudos to FCA for the large donation to this robotics competition. FCA continually invests in youth programs through the FCA Foundation and since its origin in 1953 has contributed more than $500 million to initiatives that help empower and build strong communities. – Lynn Beckwith

From the Chrysler Newsroom:
FIRST Robotics Teams Gear Up for “First Stronghold” With $250,000 From FCA Foundation

2015 frc msc

  • Grants enable Arizona, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan teams to compete for robotics championship. For a complete list of competing schools, you can read more here.
January 5, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. – The FCA Foundation, the charitable arm of FCA US LLC, today announced $250,000 in grants to FIRST Robotics Competition (grades 9-12) and FIRST Tech Challenge (grades 7-12) teams in Arizona, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. The grants will offset the costs associated with items such as registration fees, parts and materials and team apparel for an estimated 650 students.“The real-world experience that students gain through their participation in FIRST programs is invaluable in preparing students for the future,” said John Nigro, Vice President – Product Development, FCA – North America. “We are equally proud of our employees who generously give their time and skills to help mentor students and serve as competition coordinators.”The FCA Foundation’s grant announcement coincides with the official start (Jan. 9) of the 2016 FIRST Robotics design and build season. During this six-week phase, teams will build, program and test robots with the guidance of adult mentors. It’s estimated that more than 3,100 teams comprised of 78,000+ students from around the world will compete for glory in First Stronghold, this year’s design challenge. Teams that win their regional qualifiers will compete for the 2016 FIRST Championship at the Edward Jones Dome, April 27-30, in St. Louis.
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“We are proud to support an organization that taps into such formidable minds and encourages deeper levels of ingenuity within the pillars of STEM,” said Lesley Slavitt, Head of Civic Engagement, FCA US LLC, and CEO of the FCA Foundation.

2015 frc msc

2015 frc msc

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Veterans Day Open House Celebration at Beckwith’s Car Care on November 11, 2016.

Veterans Day Open House Celebration at Beckwith’s Car Care on November 11, 2016. 10am to 4pm We will have an open house all day with a special gift for Veterans, as well as, treats and beverages. For all who have served our great country it is an honor to celebrate Veteran’s Day and pay tribute to you – the Veteran’s of the American Armed Forces. We hope that you will stop by …Read More

Constitution Day Celebration 2016

Join us on Saturday, September 24th from 2pm to 4pm to celebrate patriotism at our Constitution Day Celebration! It celebrates the foundation of our nation and honors our soldiers and veterans. The Atascocita High School Marine ROTC will present a flag ceremony. If you have a community or Veterans group that would like to join us in any fashion please give Jason or Lynn a call at 281-540-2000 or send …Read More