Sports Utility / 4x4

Sports Utility / 4x4

  Sports Utility Vehicle and 4x4 cars and trucks news and reviews

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class SUV has soldiered on largely unchanged since its introduction in 1979 with only few cosmetic pieces, more elegant interior accommodations, and newer engine options separating the 30-year span. However, a report coming from AutoCar suggests the Germans will be changing more than just a few bits and pieces on the upcoming G-Wagen facelift.

Although it will retain its iconic boxy looks, the 2017 G-Wagen will have its width increased by around 100 mm (nearly 4 inches). The widening will allow the body to accommodate a redesigned front suspension with a three- or four-link setup and to improve stability and increase cabin space, the report adds.

Furthermore, the SUV is scheduled to get a modern electro-mechanical steering system and a redesigned structure that will include more aluminum parts. Consequently, the SUV could get rid of at least 440 pounds (200 kg) of the G350’s current 5,665-pound curb weight.

Changes are set to continue in the cabin with wider front and rear seats and a number of C-Class -inspired features. Of course, the Germans are looking to make the rugged SUV more comfortable and luxurious.

Engine-wise, the new 3.0-liter, inline-six gasoline and diesel mills currently developed by Mercedes-Benz for the 2016 E-Class will find their way into the G-Class with around 365 horsepower and 304 horsepower respectively. Both will be offered with a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission as standard.

Note: Current Mercedes G-Wagen pictured here.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Mercedes G-Wagen.

Source: AutoCar

With the 2014 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, scheduled for April 12th through 20th, Jeep and Mopar have announced plans to introduce a new batch of unique Wrangler -based concept SUVs .

Six off-road -capable vehicles will be shown in Utah next week, according to Jeep and Mopar — the two brands that have joined forces one more time — but the details are still in the vault, with only a couple of teasers up for grabs.

As you might have already seen earlier, the first one depicts the Cherokee-based Dakar concept , which comes equipped with all the necessary off-road gear and red window trim. The second one gives us a first glimpse at the Wrangler MOJO concept , which appears to be based on the two-door version of the popular crossover .

It features a custom bright orange exterior with black stripes and blacked-out front grille, and a winch bumper ready to get it out of any nasty scenario that may occur. As expected, the vehicle rides on bead-lock wheels wrapped in off-road tires, while a proper suspension system is hidden underneath the square fenders.

Considering the fact that Jeep brought five Wrangler concepts to the Easter Safari last year, the MOJO won’t be the only incarnation of the SUV to be paraded at this year’s event. We’ll be right back as soon as Jeep rolls them into the spotlight, so make sure you tune in next week.

Updated 04/10/2014: Jeep unveiled the official details on the new Wrangler MOJO concept, with just two days before its official debut at Easter Jeep Safari. Click past the jump to read more about it.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Jeep Wrangler MOJO.

Happy Thursday, everybody. We made it to the incredible milestone of five (5!) episodes. It may not seem like much, but it is our first step towards world Podcast domination. Also, for reasons that I can’t really explain, we spend a lot of time at multiple points in the podcast discussing the Ford Bronco. So, yeah.

In this week’s episode, Mark, Justin and myself find ourselves rambling about the Hyundai Equus , Mistubishi Lancer GT and the Ford Flex Ecoboost in the Weekly Wheels segment.

For the big news stories of the week, we cover the shenanigans that transpired over April Fool’s Day , and slowly built into a horsepower war. We begin with the BoldRide created Jeep rally hatchback , then we move to the deliciously powerful rumor of a Jaguar F-Type Club Sport . Moving the horsepower even higher, we talk about the rumored 700-horsepower SRT Challenger Hellcat , and finish the insanity with some talk of the 2,000-horsepower Trion Nemesis . There is a bit of talk about the current legal dustup with Ferrari and fan’s Facebook page, as well.

TopSpeed Podcast Episode 005 - "Apparently we like the Ford Bronco"

For the Q&A segment, we field a pair of great questions from you guys. The first involves our thoughts on the success of super-cheap superminis, like the Dacia, and if we think they would work in the states. Our second question involves our ability to maintain a critical viewpoint when dealing with cars or brands that we hold a certain loyalty to.

Both great questions that lead to some interesting discussion.

We finish with the new Own, Drive, Burn segment where we argue over the merits of the classic mud-slingers of the International Scout, Jeep Wrangler and Ford Bronco.

Make sure to keep all those comments, questions and suggestions coming. You can hit us up here in the comments, reach us on Twitter using our new podcast account @TopSpeedPodcast or you can reach us via email: Podcast@TopSpeed.com

Thanks for hanging with us for five episodes, everyone!! See you next Thursday.

Hosts: Christian Moe, Justin Cupler, Mark McNabb
Weekly Wheels: Ford Flex, Mitsubishi Lancer GT , Hyundai Equus

As spring kicks in each year, Jeep and Mopar are gearing up for the annual Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, by creating some of the greatest off-roaders which, unfortunately, we can’t buy.

Last year, for instance, the Chrysler -owned brands have come up with the extreme Wrangler Sand Trooper II perched on 40-inch bead-lock wheels, the lightweight Wrangler Stitch , and the production-friendly Grand Cherokee Trailhawk II Concept .

For 2014, Jeep and Mopar are storming Utah highly-anticipated event with another half-dozen of unique climbing-capable machines. Among them, visitors will be able to get up close and personal with a more extreme take on the redesigned 2014 Jeep Cherokee.

Dubbed Cherokee Dakar, the crossover concept pays tribute to the grueling African (err, South American) safari rally with its off-road-spec suspension, massive sand-digging tires and flared wheel arches. From the teaser, it appears that the dark-grey body is complemented by a red window trim, while the two-tone rims benefit from the same contrasting hues. Additionally, the concept will get to keep the Cherokee’s standard red tow hooks.

There are no clues as to what might be hiding under the hood, but we’re not hoping for more than a 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6. Not that we wouldn’t love to see a Hemi V-8 in there, but the Cherokee’s bay is not roomy enough for a 6.4-liter mill

Updated 04/10/2014: Jeep unveiled the official details on the new Cherokee Dakar concept set to be unveiled on April 12 at the Jeep Easter Safari.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Jeep Cherokee Dakar.

2014 Geneva Motor Show Preview

This year’s Geneva Motor Show sure provided a lot of new metal to be covered with automakers from around the world choosing to debut their latest vehicles on the world’s stage. The level of excitement about the show had been building for quite some time and to be honest, many of the vehicles were rather polarizing.

Even designs that were generally liked garnered a few nay-sayers regarding their lack of originality, while other designs only attracted drool and positive feedback. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but in this article, the TopSpeed editorial staff cover their top five best cars of the show along with the bottom five bombs.

Don’t forget to check out more of TopSpeed’s Geneva coverage on our Podcast pilot episode . And be sure to pipe up in the comments section telling us your thoughts on our choices.

Click past the jump for our list

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a 2013 Toyota 4Runner , and while it missed Toyota’s 2014 mild refresh , it still had the guts of a true off-roader and honest-to-goodness sports utility vehicle. My 4Runner was decked out with the Trail package that included part-time four-wheel-drive, a locking differential and Toyota ’s KDSS suspension system with Multi-Terrain Select. With all the right option boxes checked, this 4Runner was set to live up to its name.

It was 1984 when the 4Runner began making its name known to Americans as the SUV adaptation of Toyota’s popular pickup. In fact, the 4Runner was basically a Toyota pickup, or Hilux as its known outside the U.S., with a removable fiberglass camper shell over the bed and a removable rear seat installed inside. It competed directly against the Ford Bronco and Chevrolet Blazer and won a loyal following with its nimble size and bulletproof powertrain.

Over the years, the 4Runner has undergone many changes and became its own vehicle apart from the pickup. But that body-on-frame construction, four-wheel-drive, and nimbler size still lives on. Even in a time when the traditional SUV is becoming an endangered species, the 4Runner hasn’t lost its rugged appeal. The crossover crowd has the Highlander , and that’s just fine, as it leaves the 4Runner to cater to a more adventurous crowd who still use low range and the trailer hitch.

Click past the jump to continue reading our review of the 2013 Toyota 4Runner

The Skoda Octavia Scout will make its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show and it should mark Skoda’s intention of becoming a player in the crossover market.

To be fair to Skoda , the new Octavia Scout does possess some notable elements, even though the crossover does follow some of the same characteristics of its predecessor. The notable rough and sporty exterior is a big plus, given the rather bland public perception the company has in the industry.

More than that, the Octavia Scout also gets a choice of engine and a four-wheel-drive system that should improve the car’s performance and handling credentials.

Whether it’s enough to attract a new segment of buyers is another thing; Skoda still has some work left to do in that regard. But it’s pretty comforting knowing that the company is trying and at this stage in its ascent, you can be sure that it’ll have more surprises for the Octavia Scout when the vehicle makes its debut in Geneva.

Click past the jump to read more about Skoda Octavia Scout

Those January winter blues are in full swing and dreams of summertime fun and easy livin’ are incessant. Eluding those dreams just got even more impossible when we stumbled upon this amphibious beauty. Half SUV , half boat — the Panther is a completely custom vehicle designed and built by the small California company WaterCar; and it’s our idea of a good time.

The Panther’s obvious main attraction is its ability to transform from a road-going SUV to a seafaring boat within seconds, giving passengers the ultimate go-anywhere capability without huge compromises in either department. WaterCar says the Panther will do an impressive 80-plus mph on the road and 44 mph (38 knots) on the water. It will even tow a wakeboarder or skier at a decent clip.

A rear-mounted Honda 3.7-liter, VTEC V-6 sends power through a proprietary four-speed manual transaxle/transfer case that can switch between powering the rear wheels or the “Panther Jet” water-propulsion system. The Jeep Wrangler -like body is constructed of lightweight fiberglass and features a non-lawsuit-inducing six-slotted grille (seven slots on a real Jeep ), a folding windshield, half-doors, and a roll bar.

Under the bodywork lies a fiberglass V-type hull that allows for the high on-water speeds. Unlike the Titanic, sinking isn’t an issue. The Panther is filled with 32 cubic feet of U.S. Coast Guard-approved closed cell Styrofoam. Holding everything together is a custom chromoly tube chassis that’s impervious to corrosion. Huge hydraulic shocks retract the wheels up and down in second for quick changes between land and water modes.

All told, the WaterCar Panther is one awesome machine that somehow makes regular boating appear boring. Selling for $135,000, the Panther isn’t cheap, but it seems like a deal if life becomes as fun as the video above depicts.

Click past the jump to see another video of the Panther in action

Posted on by Simona  

The first Jeep Wrangler Altitude special edition was revealed back in 2012 when the company combined it with the Wrangler Unlimited version. Now, for the 2014 model year, this special edition returns, but this time Jeep combined it with the Wrangler Sahara.

The new Wrangler Altitude is offered in Amp’d, Black, Granite Crystal and Hydro Blue exterior paints combined with a matte-black grille with gloss-black throats, headlight rings and Jeep badge, and gloss-black front and rear bumper appliques.

Under the hood, the model gets a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine delivering a total of 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and mated to a either a standard six-speed manual or an available five-speed automatic transmission.

The new Jeep Wrangler Altitude is offered in Jeep Wrangler two-door models priced at $31,595 and Wrangler Unlimited priced at $35,395.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Jeep Wrangler Altitude.

While we admittedly enjoy the aesthetic spectacle that comes with an exterior tune-up, what really gets our juices flowing is when an aftermarket company can turn an interior cabin straight into one you normally would find in a luxury car . One of the best in the business at doing that is Vilner and recently, the Bulgarian aftermarket company took up the task of dressing up a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited . And the results are glorious.

First of all, pay no mind to what you believe a Wrangler stands for. Sure, it’s an off-road SUV, and one of the best at that . But it’s also more than that; it can also be turned into it’s own luxury ride, and that’s where Vilner comes into the picture.

With generous helpings of Alcantara and leather appointments, Vilner was able to turn the interior of the Wrangler Sahara Unlimited into a two-tone blend of red and black, the likes of which you normally don’t see in an off-road SUV. From there, Vilner also painted the metal components found on the roof in black while also adding chrome treatment on the steering wheel, doors, and air outlets.

Outside, the Bulgarian specialist was also nice enough to toss in some new duds, including new LED headlights, rear turn signals and fog lights, more chrome finishes on the mirrors, grilles, door handles and tank cap, and a new set of 20-inch gloss-black rims.

Finally, Vilner gave the Wrangler a modest performance tune, ratcheting up the output from the vehicle’s 2.8-liter diesel engine to 261 horsepower and 412 pound-feet of torque, which is a nice bump from the standard 200 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque numbers of the off-road SUV.

Click past the jump to read more about Vilner’s work on the Wrangler Sahara Unlimited


Back to top