Here at TopSpeed, we love the veteran’s of our armed forces; be it from wars from decades ago or ones currently stationed in war zones across the globe, we salute you all.
Along with the brave men and women, there are also animals and automobiles that play integral roles in our armed forces. One of the original wartime automotive veterans was the 1941 Willys-Overland MB, which was informally dubbed the "Jeep."
There are a few rumors about how exactly the name "Jeep" came to be, but the most commonly accepted story is that the MB was a "General Purpose" vehicle that officials often abbreviated as "G.P.", and slurring of the abbreviation was how the name came to be — there are also reports that the "jeep" name was used as far back as 1914.
The Willys-Overland Jeep first became available for civilian purchase, known as the CJ-2A, in 1945, and the automaker filed to trademark the "Jeep" name in 1943, but it was not granted until 1950. The CJ endured several buyouts, transfers and sales, but it only lasted a short time longer after Chrysler bought the company in 1987.
The above video is a 1943 film name "The Autobiography of a Jeep," which highlights the how this automotive veteran helped the real veterans in WWII.
Of course, Veteran’s Day is all about celebrating the brave men and women of the U.S., so we end with recognizing the men and women of the armed services for protecting us and our freedoms. Whether you are simply a reservist that has never seen a battlefield or a multi-tour veteran, the entire TopSpeed team thanks you for you service!
Back in 2010, Conquest Vehicles unveiled the Knight XV - a badass SUV designed for professional athletes, government officials, and heads of corporations around the globe. Now, the Canadian maker has unveiled the Evade, the new standard in luxury handcrafted SUVs, or so they say.
The Evade is based on a Ford F550 Super Duty Chassis and was built using an aluminum-mild steel blend to make it significantly lighter then its armored cousin, the Knight XV. It shares some of the features found in the new Knight XV such as the new wraparound headlights and taillights, narrower fender flares, a redesigned grille, hood scoop, the addition of a third tandem sunroof, and a wider backdoor and integrated step to accommodate the EVADE’s wider body frame. Additional standard features solely for the Evade include front and rear commercial grade air ride suspensions, power windows, 360-degree roof mounted, joystick-controlled searchlights, and FLIR night vision camera systems in the front and rear of the vehicle.
For the interior, the Evade gets a new ergonomically designed cockpit and cabin with over 400 cubic feet of room to stretch out in. The company states that the Evade carefully blends military inspired design cues with elegant and rich finishes. The vehicle’s steering wheel, proprietary hinges, running boards, and even the key are all made of stainless steel, while the vehicles’ handles are machined out of a solid block of aluminum. The driver and passengers can relax in the newly designed ergonomic 2+2 limousine-style seating with two electronic executive style reclining seats as an option. Other options include a driver partition or retractable flat screen television. The interior will also offer lap top trays and a third sunroof.
This may all sound fantastic, but the price tag gets us off that new car high. The exclusive Conquest Evade comes in at $579,000, which is still cheaper than the Knight XV’s price tag of $629,000.
We love vehicles that have two and four wheels, so why shouldn’t we love those that have six wheels? No, we’re not talking about the latest Ford F-350 Dually. We are talking about the technological marvel that has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue lately: the Mars Science Laboratory, which is better known simply as the Curiosity Rover.
Recently, we showed you an infographic that pitted the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor against the Curiosity Rover, and that was obviously done in jest. See, the Curiosity Rover is set to go where no F-150 could ever go... the red planet – Mars to those that are not also Sci-Fi nerds.
With the Curiosity’s touchdown coming in just a few days, we thought it was time to give it the TopSpeed once over to see if it is really ready to embark on this 253-day journey, which is quite a commute...
UPDATE 08/07/2012: The Curiosity Rover has touched down on Mars and has officially taken its first color picture of the surface of the Red Planet. The picture was taken with the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) at the end of the rover’s robotic arm. Check out the image, as well as many others, in the gallery provided!
Click past the jump to read our full review on the Curiosity Rover.
When Jeep revealed the Mighty FC Concept at the 2012 Easter Safari in Moab, Utah, we could really just think one thing, “bad-ass.” The Mighty FC is essentially a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon on ‘roids, as the designers hacked off the Wrangler’s hood and rear quarter, jacked it up into the sky a little, bolted an eight-foot bed onto it, and threw a set of nasty 40-inch tires under it.
Just the outward appearance of this thing is overwhelmingly awesome, but knowing that Jeep didn’t skimp out on it makes it even cooler. In the above video, you can actually witness the Mighty FC frolicking through the desert with the original Jeep forward control army vehicle, which features a two-cylinder two-stroke diesel engine, trailing it.
Watching this beast climb the rocks in Moab is awesome, but what really blew us away was the care that Jeep put into the interior. Unlike a lot of forward control vehicles, the Mighty FC has a regular old steering wheel, just like its donor Wrangler, and not that funny feeling bus-style steering wheel. It also features a carefully crafted plaid design that was actually one a part of a snowboard bag – some of the zippers and trimming are still on the fabric too.
Ultimately, the Mighty FC will likely never see production or it may be offered only as a fleet-type of vehicle, but it’s a sweet looking and performing concept nonetheless. Take a look at the video for yourself and also watch as one of the Mighty FC’s designers talks about this machine like a kid describing an awesome Christmas gift. We wouldn’t mind seeing this under the TopSpeed Christmas tree this year, that’s for sure.
BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman, and Meritor Defense have been working on a military project dubbed the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) program in an attempt to manufacture a lightweight vehicle that the U.S. armed forces can use anywhere in the world. This project had yet to be officially proposed, as its equipment was still in the developmental phase, but as of today, testing is over and the proposal is to be submitted.
You may be wondering “what does this have to do with production cars?” The driving force of this new military device, which is ultimately the replacement for the Humvee, is shared with one of the best-selling pickups of all time, the Ford F-Series SuperDuty . Yup, this large-caliber-gun-toting machine will come fitted with Ford’s now famous 6.7-liter Power Stroke engine.
The exact specifics of the engine have not been released, so we are not certain if this will be the same 6.7-liter you would see under the hood of a 2012 F-250 SuperDuty . Unfortunately, that will likely never be known, but we do know that the Power Stroke engine is up to the task, pumping out an impressive 400 horsepower at 2,800 rpm and 800 pound-feet of torque at 1,600 rpm.
This will likely end up similar to the Allison military transmissions vs. civilian models deal. The Power Stroke’s basic technology will remain the same, but the engine will be highly modified for combat usage. If the military accepts this design as one of the three it will select, this could mean that the Power Stroke could see much advancement in upcoming years, as the military tinkers with the engine and Ford mimics the modifications. This also means that we are in for a slew of “Ford’s so good, we power military vehicles” styles of commercials, oh boy.
On a semi-ironic aside to this announcement, Ford was once a part of the JLTV program, but dropped out earlier. We guess there are no hard feelings between Ford and BAE.
Comparing it to the previous show, the content for this week was a lot better, but in a weird twist, the show only had 59 minutes on it - the regular slot usually lasts for 62 to 63 minutes - because, apparently, BBC wanted to show the MotoGP race exactly on time.
That became a running gag during the whole episode as Hammond and May kept speeding up Clarkson in order to fill out the entire episode in the 59 minutes they were given.
In the end, the military destruction challenge proved to be the most entertaining segment of the episode - we’d argue that it’s the best one all year, too - filled with child-like shenanigans from the three hosts that make us love the work they’re doing.
Some people might slam them for wasting their precious time on something so inane, but if you were walking in their shoes, you’d be having a ball of time using military vehicles in trying to put down a cement house.
Details on Top Gear Season 17: Episode 5 after the jump
One of the beautiful things about being a host of Top Gear – among other things, of course – is the chance to get behind the wheel of some of the most insane machines on the planet. Whether it’s a high-powered go-kart or a sports car dressed as a gypsy tent, there’s no shortage of vehicles that can escape the sharp eyes – and impeccable driving – of Clarkson, Hammond, and May.
But of all the cars that they’ve driven in their time as Top Gear hosts, there’s a good chance that they’ve never seen anything quite like the Marauder. Built in South Africa by the Paramount Group, the Marauder is quite arguably the baddest, meanest, and gnarliest set of wheels we’ve ever seen.
The gargantuan machine was even featured in the pilot episode of Top Gear’s 17th season, where folks from the Paramount Group asked Richard Hammond to drive the vehicle in some of the most impossible stunts known to cars. There’s no shortage of cupcake stunts here; the car was driven over, around, and just about all other directions to determine whether it can live up to its name as the world’s toughest vehicle. It even went through a McDonalds drive-thru so Hammond could order a burger and survived a lion attack.
What does the military do for fun? Well, aside from going to war, learning how to shoot, participating in some hardcore training, and other stuff like that, a couple of them have taken apart a Jeep and then rebuilt it... in less than four minutes! In fact, they did it in less than three minutes if you subtract the time they spent driving and making preparations!
The particular Jeep they broke down and then built back up was a Jeep that they trained on for months in order to obtain this type of skill, but that does not make it any less impressive! Just take a look at the video and be amazed, be very amazed! It takes us more than four minutes to decide what we are having for breakfast! These guys are awesome!
Shadow Hawk Vehicles has announced the Street Hawk "Super Terrain Vehicle", a €1 million vehicle that combines the performances of a road machine with the capabilities of an off road vehicle. It will be limited to just 12 units per year with sales beginning in late 2011 and will be built upon request.
The Street Hawk develops a total of 1100 HP and 1805 lbs-ft and returns a fuel economy of 22mpg. With a total weight of 4,800 lbs, the Shadow Hawk can make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in 3.5 seconds and has a calculated top speed of 208mph. The vehicle is all-wheel-drive and sits 40 inches tall with 15.5 inch wide tires and 22 inch wheels.
Customers will be able to chose from a two door or a four door version as well as being able to choose the exterior color, interior fabrics, satellite systems, five-point harnesses, run flat systems, sleeper, towing packages, right-hand drive, armament, and much more.
Does anyone else think this vehicle looks like a cross between a Hummer and a Winnebago with a killer instinct? Anyone?
Conquest Vehicles are not widely known, but this Canadian company surely makes ultra-luxurious, fully-armoured SUVs. Okay, we can’t really use the plural version. So far, they have only made one; the Conquest Knight XV, but Conquest lives up to their mission on this vehicle.
The Conquest Knight XV doesn’t qualify as an everyday kind of ride, but for professional athletes, government officials, and heads of corporations around the globe, it should fit perfectly amongst their stable of high-priced vehicles. This extravagantly large and armored vehicle was first unveiled at the 2008 SEMA Show and since then, has had an abundant amount of comfort and security features added to it.
The vehicle is the picture of insanity and utter viciousness. We would just like to say that it would be an awesome choice for the next Decepticon in any upcoming Transformers if the production could afford it. It looks ready for the job already.
Find out more about the Conquest Knight XV after the jump