Friday, September 13, 2013

GM Drops New Tahoe

I love me some Tahoe.
The manager of the local Enterprise rent a car and I are on first name basis, because I'm that guy who calls them up a few times a year and says "I need a Tahoe for a week."
Then, I hear a sigh on the line, as they start to say their corporate approved, (this call may be monitored) dialogue of  "Well sir, we cant guarantee a specific type of car..."

I  cut him off to say "Frank, you say this every time. Just give me the damn Tahoe for a week and I'll give you a ton of money."
So they give me a Tahoe. Works every time.
GM refreshed the Tahoe and its siblings yesterday in NYC. New features that utilitarians care about include:

  • Fold-flat second- and third-row seats that enhance cargo convenience – including an available power-folding feature
  • Approximately two inches greater legroom for second-row passengers, along with easier entry/exit
  • Available eight-inch color touch screen radio with next-generation MyLink connectivity
  • Up to six USB ports and six power outlets – including a 110-volt three-prong outlet –  to support electronic devices of all kinds (up to 12 charging locations)
  • Conversation mirror in the overhead console that provides a panoramic view of the rear seats

I'll frequently rent one for a few days or a week to do various corporate events, photo shoots, off-roading etc. The truck is a constant workhorse, with great manners on-road and off, and enough storage capacity for my many Pelican cases and all my crew. I'll drive them through the Sierra's, Mid Town traffic and everywhere in between.

The press release also states that the engine doesnt change that much, getting the EcoTec3 powertrain, a 5.3L V-8 with a different name that has direct injection, cylinder deactivation, continuously variable valve timing and an advanced combustion system, designed to make the most of power, torque and efficiency across a broad range of operating conditions.

click here for press release.

DETROIT – Chevrolet and GMC today revealed all-new versions of their segment-leading full-size SUVs – the Tahoe and Suburban and Yukon and Yukon XL. Thanks to a new family of advanced EcoTec3 engines, the four new SUVS are expected to deliver the segment’s best V-8 fuel economy.
The 2015 Tahoe and Suburban, revealed in New York, are designed to be more functional and refined while offering more safety features and a greater range of advanced technologies for today’s connected customers.
The all-new 2015 Yukon, Yukon XL and flagship Yukon Denali, models, shown in Los Angeles, will deliver greater capability and refinement, with more power, new fold-flat rear seats and a quieter interior.
Chevrolet and GMC together are responsible for three of every four vehicles sold. The sales and revenue generated would be equal to a Fortune 400 company. With a 74 percent market share through August this year, General Motors' dominance in the segment is clear. So far in 2013, Chevrolet and GMC have sold 125,000 Chevrolet Tahoes and Suburbans and GMC Yukons and Yukon XLs.
About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at
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About GMC

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Remember That Day I Was Mistakenly Targeted for a Criminal RICO investigation? Fun Times Indeed…

An interesting thing happened to me yesterday. Its early in the morning, about 6:45 am, and I’m stuck in gridlock on the Northern State Parkway. It’s the week after Labor Day, and traffic has returned with a vengeance.  In my rearview I see an unmarked Crown Vic, and I think nothing of it. Obviously, 4 mph is well below the posted speed limit, so I go on about my business.

Traffic started moving again, by the time I made it the Queens line, there is a marked NYPD unit about three cars back. I’m taking it easy, so I pay no attention to that car. I merge with grace onto the Clearview, (because the Cross Island is for suckers) and accelerate into the flow of traffic. Then there is another unmarked behind me, a blue Crown Vic.

At this point I’m thinking to myself, “wow, big police presence on the road today, they must be going after people texting or something.”

A few miles pass, and then a Marked NYPD Charger is on my ass. I mean to the point of giving me a V8 enema, this guy is not backing off. But I’m doing the speed limit, so I’m more confused. Obviously, this guy wants me to see him, and I see him in my rearview, on his radio, running my tags.

We make it to the Throgs Neck bridge, and he suddenly jumps two lanes and takes the ramp on the right to Willets Point Blvd. when he backs off, I see another unmarked unit behind him. This one is a blue Crown Vic, and he is staying about 3-4 cars back to my right.

Now I’m starting to sweat. I got a couple of points from a previous run-in, and I do not need any more. Again, I’m not doing anything wrong, so I am very confused, but the mere anticipation of getting pulled over makes me anxious.

I am now going over the Throgs Neck. I make a bee-line for the left lane to avoid the CIP marge, and the blue Crown Vic does the same two cars back. This pattern continues all the way to the tolls. I pick a lane, and go through the EZ Pass lane, ready to merge onto the Cross Bronx.

BAM! Out of nowhere, a marked Impala NYPD unit is on my ass with lights flashing. Seriously, I had no idea where this guy could have possibly been. “He can’t really be pulling me over, can he?”  I slide right a lane. He follows. Shit. I manage to pull over, on the left side of the road closer to the 95 North split.

I get out my license and registration, and wait. A jolly old NYPD patrolmen resembling Santa Claus with a Glock approaches up to the car. His 9mm is holstered, but his hand is on it, which I assume is typical protocol. My hands are where he can see them, and the exchange is respectful and polite. He asked me for my license and registration and insurance. This is odd. In all my years of getting pulled over in NY, I have never once been asked for Insurance information. He asks me “is this your car?”

“yes, it is” I reply, cool as a cucumber as a slide off my sunglasses in my best David Carusoe. Not my best moment. 

“Are you sure it’s your car?” he asks again, and I nod. At this time, I did not realize the odd phrasing of this question, or why he was asking. So I ask, “What seems to be the problem officer?” I had to yell a little bit, because now there was a helicopter over us. Probably nothing right?

Digressing for a moment, we all ask this when stopped. You could be riding dirty at 80 MPH through a school zone with a pina colada in one hand, yet still ask the question. You always know why you are getting pulled over, but in this instance I was genuinely perplexed.

 “Your windows are tinted” he proclaims. “State law says there needs to be 70% light transmission.  Do you think this window lets that much light in?” I don’t know why it took me a moment to answer. I guess I got distracted when glint of light caught my eye, which vaguely resembled a sniper on the overpass about 300 yards away.

“I don’t know.” But yeah, I actually knew.  I purposely put on 20% tint the whole way around, because having a sleeper with no tint is about as cool as Saved by the Bell: The College Years.

He said this is 17%, and proceeded to go back to his car. He was in there a long time. Despite his being nice, and the multiple stickers on windshield from various law-enforcement buddies, I  still got an equipment ticket. My last car had 10% tint and I drove it for 5 years. This car has 20%, and I have been driving it about 5 years. I have never been pulled over for a tint violation.  

The ordeal is over. We exchange pleasantries, and now I have to merge hard across six lanes of morning rush hour traffic onto the Cross Bronx. I settle into the middle lane and begin to ponder what just happened.

 First of all, three units do not tail you for an equipment violation. Therefore, I am now under the assumption that a car similar to mine had been used in a crime, and they were checking me out. They needed to pull me over. That’s fine, making the streets safer, etc. now I am also realizing perhaps a murdered-out Maxima might be starting to be a little ghetto. I’ll address that another time.

Cruising along, rocking out to come classic A7x on the radio, and WTF THERE IS ANOTHER GOD DAMN UNMARKED UNIT BEHIND ME.

Remember that scene in that 90’s mafia movie, I think it was Good Fellas, where the guy looks outside his windows and he spots helicopters. Then the chopper is following him all day, and he is paranoid. And eventually it comes to pass that he was right and they totally were watching him? Well this is exactly how I’m feeling right now.

Now here’s where things get really weird. The NYPD unit pulls off about 1/8 mile from the GWB, and is immediately replaced; I kid you not, with an grey unmarked Crown Victoria interceptor unit with Jersey Tags. This is significant because this now means whatever these guys are trailing me for goes beyond state lines. I don’t know if was a sheriff, Fed, or Jersey trooper, but odd none the less.

I make it work without incident. Sure, some odd things happen to me during the day; my webcam liked to turn on by itself, “The CIA” asked me to friend them on Facebook, and there was some dude bird watching all day outside my office window. So nothing out of the ordinary.

I start on my way home. I was a little late, because some new I.T. guy at my company wanted to look at my computer and phone. Nothing weird about that.  I’m on the NJ turnpike heading toward the GWB, and out of the corner of my eye, I spot one of the new Ford Taurus unmarked units. These guys are stealthy. The only way to really tell they are cops is by looking in the grill to spot the tell-tale light array. I go Lower Level. He follows. I go CBX. He follows. He pulls ahead of me and takes the Throgs Neck. I take the Clearview. He shadows me. Northern state. Right behind me. Wantagh. This is getting creepy.

So now I’m sure that something is going down, so I call my buddy in the NYPD and ask him what’s up. He runs my license, runs my plate, and my information to look for possible APB’s.  It take a while, but he tells me it all comes back fine, and that I’m just being paranoid. That’s a relief. But then I also realize maybe he actually can’t tell me what’s going on.

It still troubles me though that the unmarked Taurus got off at my exit, and peeled off right before my street. I swung around that big, unassuming van parked on my curb, and pulled into my driveway, happy to be home. 

So that’s my story. Hopefully this is where it ends. However, for the CIA, FBI, RICO investigators readings this (and I know you are….) Can you please do me a real favor and see who isn’t cleaning up after their dog on my lawn? Much appreciated, XoXo.