Sports Utility / 4x4

Sports Utility / 4x4

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

Ever since the Land Rover’s Range Rover trudged over its first rough ground in 1970, the SUV has been leading the pack in terms of off-road ability and useful amenities wrapped in a utilitarian package. Originally only sold outside the United States, the Range Rover didn’t make its first official (and non gray-market) U.S. sale until 1987. Since then, the Range Rover has undergone three generational changes, with each becoming more luxurious than the last. The fourth-generation Range Rover debuted for the 2013 model year with a heavily revised and highly stylized design, and a more rounded, aerodynamic look.

I recently spent a week getting to know the Brit inside and out. My tester came nearly fully stocked with every conceivable option available from Land Rover, including the ultra luxury Autobiography Package. The list of amenities reads like a dream car wish-list. Full Semi-Aniline leather seats; rear seat entertainment package; 18-way power front seats with memory, massage, heating, and cooling; 1700-watt, 29-speaker Meridian 3D surround sound system; exterior Surround Camera System; Adaptive cruise control; Parallel Park Assist; four-zone climate control; and Adaptive front headlights. And that’s just the most notable of the optional extras.

The list of standard features is twice as long and includes things like the 12.3-inch TFT gauge cluster screen, the full panoramic glass roof, 21-inch alloy wheels, permanent four-wheel-drive with Land Rover’s Terrain Response System, and of course, power everything.

Speaking of power, the Range Rover had no shortage of it under its aluminum hood. Perched inside is a supercharged, 5.0-liter V-8 cranking out 510 horsepower and a rock-crawling 461 pound-feet of torque. Guzzling back the required premium gasoline, the massive 5,100-pound SUV sprints to 60 mph in a scant 5.2 seconds. To say the Range Rover Autobiography is an exercise in excess is an understatement, but for a select number of buyers, it combines the right amount of high-end luxury with the go-anywhere capabilities Land Rovers are known for.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Range Rover Autobiography

Last time our spy photographers caught the upcoming Bentley SUV roaming the streets of Britain, the mule was cleverly disguised as an Audi Q7 . Not exactly surprising considering the two will share the same platform, but obviously disappointing for those anxious to see the looks of the new luxury SUV , us included. Less than a month has passed since then, and we can finally see some of the details adorning the company’s first ever SUV, as the Audi -like mule just turned into a proper Bentley prototype wearing a heap of familiar details.

As expected, the overall styling goes back to the EXP 9 F concept that previewed the production model. However, the large family ride is set to receive a host of cues already present on other Bentley models.

Essentially a beefier Flying Spur with a wagon -like rear end, the SUV shares the sedan’s massive mesh grille and headlamps. What sets this SUV apart are the large intakes flanking the grille, a more pronounced hood, and a more angular front end. However, the latter might be just an effect that could disappear as soon as the camo is taken away. Either way, the front fascia is imposing enough for a luxury SUV of this stature.

Click past the jump to read more about the future Bentley SUV.

Nissan is again turning to Internet crowdsourcing for help in building another one-off vehicle with the help of some 80,000 friends on Facebook. You might recall Nissan’s first crowdsourcing foray with the 370Z Project back in 2012, but this time, the automaker is getting down and dirty with a trail-ready truck that started life as a stock Nissan Titan.

Nissan has teamed up with the Wounded Warrior Project in building a capable off-road rig ready to tackle the rugged Alaskan wilderness with two WWP Alumni veterans in the cab. David Guzman and Kevin McMahon will set out on a week-long journey across Alaska with a little bit of mountain climbing, towing, and hauling along the way.

Like the 370Z Project before it, Nissan fans will get to vote on what equipment is fitted to the vehicle. A suspension lift, wheels, tires, and other modifications are among the listed items up for vote. Once the tallies are in and the truck is finished, the two vets will set out through Alaska followed by a camera crew. The end result will be several feature videos appearing on Nissan’s YouTube page in September.

If you want to get involved, jump on over to Nissan’s Facebook page to cast your vote. Then keep an eye out for the video series debuting on Nissan’s YouTube channel starting sometime in September.

Updated 08/08/2014: Nissan unveiled the first video in which explains the development process of its new "Project Titan" The video explains how Nissan fitted the Titan with hardcore tires and a high articulation suspension system.

Click past the jump for more Titan info and speculation of Nissan’s future plans

Edo Competition has made a business out of building aftermarket programs for some of the finest European cars in the world. But it’s been a while since the German tuner developed a program for a Mercedes , let alone the obnoxious G63 AMG. But we work in an industry of surprises, so by essence, Edo’s new program for the high-powered utility really is a welcome addition.

If it’s power you’re looking for, the Mercedes G63 AMG has you covered. Still, some vehicles can’t have enough of it, and Edo Competition has that covered.

That’s par for the course for an aftermarket specialist like Edo Competition. It’s built an impressive lineup of programs that have turned sports cars into supercars . Just ask the Porsche 911 Turbo S , the BMW M5 , and yes, even the mighty Ferrari Enzo .

This program for the G63 AMG is another feather in the tuner’s cap that’s already full of it. Or as some would call it, just another day in the life of Edo Competition.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mercedes G63 AMG By Edo Competition.

As Americans give pause to remember those men and women who honorably gave their lives in defense of the United States, we take a look at the top-five military vehicles that our troops used. It’s by no means a comprehensive list, but one of that celebrates a wide variety of military muscle spanning over the last 70 years of American history.

These vehicles have demonstrated their ability to perform their duties with amazing skill, while traversing all sorts of hostile terrain from hilly landscapes riddled with mud and ruts to sandy deserts miles away from civilization. Some have rather specialized tasks, while others are more general purpose. Either way, they’re fascinating to look at.

These vehicles not only inspire cheers of patriotism and pride, but also awaken our inner child for all things military. And while there are tons of military vehicles the world over that demand just as much respect, our list focuses on those hailing from the U.S.

Click past the jump for our list of Top Five Military Vehicle

Jeep has finally confirmed that the highly-anticipated Grand Wagoneer nameplate will return to its lineup. Unfortunately, that won’t happen until 2018, according to the Chrysler five-year plan that was unveiled today by Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne.

There are very few details we can cling on right now, but we do know that the Grand Wagoneer will offer seating for seven and will climb atop the Jeep lineup in both size and premium features. It is currently unknown whether or not the SUV will share underpinnings with the Dodge Durango , which is scheduled to receive a mid-cycle refresh in 2017.

But until that happens, Jeep has numerous goals to achieve, like expanding its lineup from five models built in one country to 6 nameplates assembled in six countries. Specific details haven’t been released, but the brand is expected to start building vehicles in Asia and South America as well. So far, we only know that the 2015 Renegade will be built in Italy, alongside the Fiat 500X .

Aside from that, Jeep is also looking to increase global dealerships from 4,706 to 6,023, with the largest expansion to come from South America and Asia to help double its sales by 2018.

As far as new models are concerned, a yet unnamed C-segment SUV will arrive in 2016, the year that marks the iconic brand’s 75th anniversary. Details are slim to say the least, but the new SUV is likely to replace the Compass and the Patriot , both scheduled to retire the same year. Also in 2016, the Cherokee is scheduled to get its first facelift since being revived.

The larger Grand Cherokee will also get a refresh, but that will happen in 2015, two years before a brand-new generation will be unveiled. 2017 will also see the introduction of an all-new Wrangler to replace the current JK. And if previous reports are correct, the new iteration will arrive with a redesigned frame, a power-retractable top, and a fixed windshield.

As you might have noticed, there’s no word in regard to a future Grand Cherokee SRT . With the SRT performance brand axed and its entire lineup handled over to Dodge , the Grand Cherokee might have to do with upgrades provided by Mopar.

More details after the jump.

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.


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