4th Annual “Fit Fathers Day” Celebration: Silver Spring, MD

— Empowering dads, father figures, families and children —

Sunday June 18th 10am to 12pm

— FREE —

Silver Spring Civic Center, At Veterans Plaza
8525 Fenton Street
Silver Spring, MD 20910

— workout begins at 10am and the yoga warmup at 9:30am —

On Father’s Day join us for a “fun-for-all” group exercise with trainers Michelangelo Bance, Tiffani Jenkins, Styves Exantus and the Ravens’ Kyle Arrington. Also enjoy fitness games, Zumba by Z Sweat Dance and Fitness and Ray & Roze Zumba, healthy snacks, yoga led by 5 Sense Wellness, an interactive playground and music from DJ Blinks and PanLara steel drum. Attendees can compete for over $2,500 in prizes from Nike, Bose, Road Runner Sports, Modell’s, Soul Cycle, Strider Bikes, Thule, Live Nation, Yokohama Tires and Vibram in the Mr Fit Fathers, Fit Mom, Fit 50+ and Fit Kid contests. Also the reigning 2-time Mr. Fit Father, James Paul Swink, will be back to defend his Gym Source title against any takers of the grand prize.

Hosted by Fit Fathers Founder Kimatni D. Rawlins

[Read more…]

2018 Toyota C-HR: Coupe High-Rider Enters the Stage

By Kimatni D. Rawlins

To experience what Toyota dubs their Coupe High-Rider Fit Fathers ventured to the diversity of Austin where the eclectic vibe is more like Portland and Venice Beach than Texas. The all-new 2018 C-HR CUV fulfills a niche market that clamors for value, fuel efficiency, and daring designs. Entering the stage this April newcomers will be introduced to an array of technological standard features presented in two renditions: the $22,500 C-HR XLE and the $24,350 C-HR XLE Premium. [Read more…]

2017 Toyota Prius Prime: Green Mobility Defined

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If you don’t believe in Global Warning and the erratic climate changes it produces then you must be living on Mars. I took note yet again when my leaves began falling in early August which was quite frightening. Who would have thought I’d be raking in the summer? Yes, the auto industry and every other major production sector that utilizes Earth’s great resources also contribute to this degrading phenomenon in some fashion or form. So the goal is to become a minimalist and engineer products that are healthier for the planet such as green vehicles whether they are hybrid, electric or hydrogen.

With an official EPA estimate of 133 MPGe the new 2017 Toyota Prius Prime set the bar high for competitors to step up their e-mobility game. During a media event in Ojai, CA I was able to experience the front-wheel drive Prius family which includes the Prime Plus, Prime Premium and Prime Advanced. Its powerful name alone — Prime — is enough to attract attention. Maybe it’s my love for the Transformers and their fearless leader Optimus Prime who could probably use an EV upgrade. Prime represents the best of what Toyota has to offer green and is their most efficient hybrid powertrain. With 55 city mpg, 53 highway mpg and an estimated 640-mile range the latest Prius will far exceed your expectations. Also, the plug-in hybrid’s 25-mile electric range (up to 84 mph) is up from 22. This means you can make your daily, local runs without burning any fuel at all. Of course I would like to see this stretched out to at least 50 miles of electric range in the near future.

With a stable totaling 13 hybrid models between Toyota and Lexus, the Japanese auto manufacturer has a whopping 70% chunk of the industry segment. For almost two decades Toyota has been leading the charge and revolutionizing the hybrid market with the Prius brand. That’s pretty major and convincing for potential consumers looking to make the switch.

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The poplar Prius looks and feels like something different and eco-conscious. For the 2017 model Toyota has lowered it by 1”, widened it by .6” and lengthened it by 4.2” over the Prius Plug-in while increasing torsional rigidity by 60% over the 2016 Prius Liftback. However, the Prime is heavier and drives less dynamic even though weight savings were achieved by reducing the size of the power control unit and optimizing the battery which can now be charged faster through regular home 120v outlets (less than 5.5 hours). With public level 2 charging or other 240v sources your Prime will be fully energized in about 2 hours. In addition, the Charge MGT System lets owners set specific charging times.

Engineered with Hybrid Synergy Drive the Prius is now empowered with Dual Motor Drive for increased EV range. Furthermore, the battery charges from regenerative braking. The 121-horsepower hybrid system consists of a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, larger Lithium-Ion battery (moved up front), an electric motor and the electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. Three drive modes consist of the EV default mode, the HV hybrid mode and EV Auto which switches between the two to optimize efficiency.

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With some of the styling emulating the Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle, the LED headlamps specifically, the Prime is more aggressive than ever. Of course this Trekky design theme has alienated many but if I’m going “auto 2.0” I definitely want my ride to play and look the part. You get 15” wheels, patterned acrylic grille overlay, carbon-fiber-reinforced-polymer rear hatch, heated and folding mirrors, LED taillights and dual-wave rear glass to help reduce drag. Though, the rear window still obstructs the full view which forces you to utilize the integrated backup camera.

Inside, the Prius receives major updates starting with the sporty, redesigned and heated seats that are now lower to the floor. My Magnetic Gray Metallic Prime Advanced model had the 8-way power adjustable driver seat and Moonstone SofTex trim which also outlined the multifunction steering wheel. The base model features the Entune Premium audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite with the 7” touch-screen, but both the Premium and Advanced follow the Testla route with the massive 11.6” iPad-like HD multimedia screen. It’s the largest display for Toyota and can be swiped and pinched and will always show the map on the top half of the screen no matter what menu you select. The Advanced receives the Entune Premium JBL Audio system with 10 GreenEdge speakers. I’m also fond of Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging but unfortunately the iPhone 6 doesn’t support that technology.

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Safety is a top priority with Toyota Safety Sense available in 18 Toyota models. It includes an array of safety systems from Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist to Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Then you receive the Star Safety System with Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction control and Smart Stop Technology to name a few.

With a variety of hues to decide from such as Blizzard Pearl, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Classic Silver Metallic, Hypersonic Red, Titanium Glow or Blue Magnetism, Prius Prime pricing is $27,100 for the Prime Plus, $28,800 for the Prime Premium and $33,100 for Prime Advanced. Your carbon impact on society will always be measured by the foods you consume to the clothes you wear to the cars you drive. It’s the reason why I’m a vegan and choose any assortment of EVs over tradition. Expect the plug-in hybrid to go on sale late 2016.

 

 

 

3rd Annual “Fit Fathers Day” Celebration

1 Fit-Fathers-Day-2016

 — Empowering dads, role models, father figures, families & children —

Sunday June 19 from 10am to 12pm

(workout begins at 10am so please arrive by 9:45am!!!)

— FREE —

Silver Spring Civic Center, At Veterans Plaza
8525 Fenton Street
Silver Spring, MD 20910

On Father’s Day join us for a “Social Workout” with celebrity trainers Michelangelo Bance (Fitness Gratitude) and Tiffani Jenkins (Game Changer Development), Fit Fathers founder Kimatni D. Rawlins, the Baltimore Ravens’ Kyle Arrington and 12-year-old fitness guru Jodi Evans who will lead the youth exercise activities. Enjoy games, healthy snacks from Whole Foods, the interactive kid’s area, giveaways (REI, Yokohama, Bose, Road Runner Sports, Thule, Mothers, Washington Sports, Club, Soul Cycle, Live Nation, Modell’s) live music from DJ Blinks and the Fit Mom, Fit 50+ and Mr. Fit Father contests ($3,500 in Prizes). Additionally, come meet, greet and work out with Grammy-nominated artist Raheem DeVaughn! [Read more…]

2015 Toyota Highlander: Southern Comfort

2015 Toyota Highlander

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

When I recently visited family and friends in Charlotte, NC I experienced nothing but southern hospitality from various aspects of the spectrum including my test ride. I felt like an urban cowboy as I rolled through high land in Toyota’s latest AWD SUV. Upon arrival and vehicle pickup my host set the seats to “cool” since it was blazing hot that day, inputted my next destination in the intuitive 8” navigational system and let me ride out in style.

It was a pitch perfect day for cruising since the weather met my expectations. Locals were out riding their mountain bikes and jogging, lunches were served outside on patios and the hustle and bustle of business was taking place at a rapid pace. Charlotte is becoming trendier by the day and the new Highlander fit right in. I must say the Japanese auto brand has become keen on offering Lexus-like amenities in their expansive vehicle lineup. With seating for up to 7 passengers, AWD (Snow Mode), Hill-Start, Downhill Assist Control, a hitch, and cargo cross bars hovering over the one-touch open/close and tilting Moonroof with sunshades, the Japanese SUV offers niceties for active lifestylers such as myself! [Read more…]

Toyota Camry Teams Up with Pro Athletes to Celebrate All-Star Dads

2015_Toyota_Bold__Dad_K_WarnerThe bold, new 2015 Toyota Camry has earned a much-deserved place in the most talked about sporting event of the year. Today, America’s best-selling car for thirteen consecutive years kicks off the next phase of its “One Bold Choice Leads to Another” marketing campaign for Super Bowl XLIX.
“We are excited to celebrate one of America’s biggest cultural holidays, Super Bowl Sunday, while honoring the relationship between dads and their children,” said Jack Hollis, group vice president of marketing, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “Much as we did for the Camry launch last fall, we will take a bold and unconventional approach, one that matches the content of the vehicle and invites our guests to engage with the new Toyota.”

[Read more…]

Auto Fit: 2014 Toyota Highlander

2014_Toyota_Highlander_Limited_PlatinumWords by Brian Armstead

The Weather Channel is my nickname for the all-new, 2014 Toyota Highlander. You see, it’s adorned with all-weather capability including AWD which is an option or standard depending on trim level. With three zone climate control, it’ll keep you warm and toasty or cool as a cucumber, in keeping with your temperate desires. Finally, during the national launch for Highlander in Charleston, South Carolina, it got us around town during one of the south’s rare ice storms that paralyzed Atlanta, Georgia and Charleston. Charleston was pretty much a ghost town as we drove around, with the exception of live reporting from you guessed it – The Weather Channel. [Read more…]