Sports Utility / 4x4

Sports Utility / 4x4

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

BMW i3

Merry Christmas TopSpeed readers. As you all know, the busiest person this time of the year is none other than Santa Claus himself.

The man is probably on his way back to the North Pole after his global voyage of spreading cheer and good tidings to children all over the world, so it’s probably not the best idea to go disturbing him and ask a copy of Gran Turismo 6 . We all know that Santa usually enlists the services of his trusted reindeer when he needs a lift, but after the long journey, they likely need a break.

Fortunately, we have a few suggestions on what cars Santa can use to get around while his reindeer take a well-deserved break.

After the jump are five cars that Santa would likely find useful to drive all around the North Pole, or maybe even to deliver next year’s gifts.

So without further ado, these are the five cars we’d suggest Santa get behind the wheel of so he can give his reindeer a nice tropical break in the Caribbean.

Click past the jump to check out the list!

Posted on by Tushar  

If you look into the history of the Toyota brand, the Land Cruiser has been around for more than half a century. It has long proven how capable it is on whatever terrain you throw at it. Where a Range Rover would fall apart, crying out for for maintenance, the Land Cruiser would continue to do its job. When it comes to reliability, the Japanese sure do have some secret formula.

For the 2013 model year, Toyota gave the Land Cruiser a mild makeover. New styling elements were added upon an already awesome-looking machine. The interior too was overhauled, with more standard features than before, while a rather potent V-8 engine provided the muscle required to take on the worst of rugged terrains. Added safety features and driver aides all made it easy to drive.

For 2014, Toyota has made subtle changes to the Land Cruiser . It still boasts the 5.7-liter, V-8 engine and a handsome-looking exterior, but the automaker has now standardized all optional features into one attractive package. So, the 2014 Land Cruiser will be available in just one trim level.

Click past the jump to read our extensive review of the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser

Posted on by Tushar  

When the going gets tough, it’s time to summon the Toyota Land Cruiser . When it comes to go-anywhere ability, the only vehicle that has managed to stand its ground against the Land Rover is the Toyota Land Cruiser, which in itself has earned a legendary status. For the year 2013, Toyota updated the Land Cruiser with added standard features and a styling overhaul.

Now, for the year 2014, Toyota has brought an evolutionary design change to the Land Cruiser. It may look different, but underneath it still is more or less the same burly, all-wheel-drive SUV with loads of features and creature comforts.

Like most heavy-duty off-roaders, the 2014 Land Cruiser is based on a body-on-frame platform that gives it added strength to take on the roughest of terrains the world can throw at it.

Over the past 60 years, the Land Cruiser has evolved from a manual select, all-wheel-drive utility vehicle into a luxurious SUV packed with the latest electronic aides, cameras and safety features. Has the addition of computer programs and guidance systems made exploring the farthest reaches of this planet child’s play? Lets find out.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser

Posted on by Tushar  
Land Rover Defender

WhatCar? reports that Land Rover could launch a pickup version based on the next-generation Defender. The news broke after Land Rover design boss Gerry McGovern explained that the pickup can only be launched when more conventional models of the Defender hit the market.

Now, Land Rover is planning to introduce the new Defender in the year 2016, this according to reports, which will be available in five- and seven-seat configurations, and permanent all-wheel drive. The WhatCar? report goes on to say that the upcoming Defender pickup would be a premium offering with all-wheel drive as standard. It is touted to rival the Volkswagen Amarok

The pickup version will only come in a five-seat, crew-cab configuration with permanent all-wheel drive. Traditionally, the Land Rover Defender has been available in various body styles, including hard top, soft top, wagon, utility wagon, chassis cab, double cab, etc. The rugged Defender platform has proven to be versatile, which can be tailored for specific applications.

Click past the jump to read more about the Defender pickup

Source: WhatCar?

Off-roading in an extreme or remote environment is always an adventure. Potential hazards lurk behind every rock, potential fun waits in every mud hole, and between every tree awaits life-long memories to be made. The opportunity for a great time is easily accessible when in four-wheel-drive.

The guys over at ExtremeTerrain know first hand the fun that off-roading entails and have decided to share the excitement with their EXTRME JEEP ADVENTURE CONTEST. One winner and one of their lucky friends will get an all-expense-paid trip to three of the most well-know off-roading locations within the United States. ExtremeTerrain will provide a Jeep Wrangler for the winning pair to explore the famous Rubicon trails of California, the hills of Moab, Utah, and the backcountry of Ouray, Colorado for three days and four nights at each location.

ExtremeTerrain, know for their array of aftermarket Jeep parts and accessories, will fly the two to and from each destination with hotel and meals provided. Entry into the contest ends at 6:00:59 PM on January 21, 2014, so if an off-road excursion sounds like your idea of a great weekend, head over ExtremeTerrain’s website to registe. And luckily, ownership of a Jeep vehicle is not a prerequisite.

Click past the jump for more information and photos

BFGoodrich has certainly made a name for itself over the years in all arenas of motorsports , but its last major victory was in the 46th annual Tecate SCORE International desert racing series within the 2013 Baja 1000. Drivers rolling on BFGs captured four of the top five overall positions in the series. Adding to BFGoodrich’s bragging rights, the company also equipped seven of the top 10 Trophy Trucks with its tires.

What’s more, BFGoodrich claimed wins in 10 vehicle classes, including defending its title in the Baja Challenge Class as Team BFGoodrich’s BC2 team emerged victorious by a clear four-hour margin to with the event for the second straight year. The BC2 vehicle was driven by Terry Earwood, the Lead Instructor for Skip Barber Racing School.

Percentage wise, BFGoodrich was the clear leader with nearly 65 percent of all four-wheeled, race-finishing vehicles rolling on BFG-branded tires. Everything from BFG All-Terrain and Mud Terrain tread designs to desert-race specific tires and tread designs were represented.

The grueling high-speed, off-road race is 883 miles of huge dips, gullies, jumps, and deep sand that begins and ends at Ensenada, Mexico. Nearly 300 racers representing more than 20 counties must endure the incessant pounding and jostling of obstacles that would shred any stock vehicle. In fact, more than 50 percent of racers failed to finish the race within the 36-hour time limit. Adding to the Baja’s difficulties are booby-traps scattered across the course set by ill-willed spectators looking for a harrowing crash. More than a few vehicles each year are claimed by such a fate.

Click past the jump for more on the 2013 Baja 1000

Posted on by Simona  

Jeep found a very cool way to pay tribute to the earliest civilian Jeep vehicles used during the World War II with the unveiling of the special-edition Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition. The model is based on the Wrangler Sport model and features a series of upgrades that help to distinguish it from the rest of the lineup.

Under the hood, the special Wrangler keeps the usual 3.6-liter, Pentastar V-6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The Pentastar mates to a standard six-speed manual or an available five-speed automatic transmission.

The new Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition will make its world debut at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show tomorrow, and it will hit the market in early 2014. Prices will start from $25,795 for two-door models and from $29,595 for the Unlimited (four-door) model.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler Edition.

For those of you who enjoy off-road racing — and who doesn’t like to see overpowered 4x4s getting thrashed around in the desert — the 2013 Baja 1000 is set to start today at approximately 9:00 a.m. PST. After that, the cars and trucks competing have 36 hours to complete the 883-mile, loop-style race through some of the most treacherous terrain in Mexico, which starts and ends in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.

Over the years, the Baja 1000 has become rather high-tech, and now you can track the vehicles as they make the big loop by checking out the race’s Live Tracking page. There will also be plenty of news, videos and photos going up at the Baja 1000 Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages. According to the Score International website, the Baja 1000 will also be streamed online, so if you are sitting at home and want to have a look, you can check out the live feed here.

This year’s Baja 1000 has a total of 254 entries this year between the ATVs, which started last night, and the cars and trucks, so there should be plenty of dirt- and sand-slinging action to see. We expect to start seeing the first vehicles cross the finish line about 17 hours after starting, which would be approximately 4:00 p.m. on Today for ATVs and 2:00 a.m. on Saturday for cars and trucks . The course will remain open until 11:00 p.m. on Saturday to allow slower drivers and late starters to complete the race.

Enjoy the race, and we’ll bring you any important updates as they roll in.

Posted on by Tushar  

Land Rover has done it again! This time with the Range Rover Sport, Land Rover has broken the land speed record for crossing one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. It’s no secret that despite their relative softening over the years, Land Rovers are still synonymous with land exploration. That’s what its cars are meant to do and what better place to explore the limits of the 2014 Range Rover Sport than to attack the desert of the Arabian Peninsula.

The Range Rover Sport completed the journey in record time, setting the fastest average speed of 50.87 mph in the process. The starting point for the record run was Wadi Adda Wasir in Saudi Arabia, and the challenge was to cross the "Empty Quarters" over to the border with the United Arab Emirates. The Land Rover team crossed the vast expanse of the desert in 10 hours and 22 minutes, covering a distance of 527 miles.

Moi Torrallardona, Dakar Rally veteran from Spain, was at the helm of the Range Rover Sport. With years of off-road experience under his belt, Torrallardona was the perfect man for the job.

“Desert driving requires a unique combination of speed, finesse and technical skill. It is crucial that you tackle the dunes with precision. Knowing the right time to go full throttle and the right time to slow down, takes experience and clear judgement,” said Torrallardona.

“This unique way of driving requires a vehicle which has the same skillset - it must be both incredibly fast but also agile, responsive and well planted. The Range Rover Sport is exactly that. It is massively capable and is truly the best tool for conquering the desert,” he added.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Range Rover Sport

At first glance, this 1978 Chevy Silverado looks like a nicely restored project truck and nothing more. First glances can often be wrong. With a second glance — and third and forth... — this Silverado is sporting something special beneath that beautiful bodywork.

Lurking under the hood is a brand-new, fourth-generation 5.3-liter, V-8 crate engine straight from General Motors . However, the new small block is only part of an entire package GM is showcasing this year at SEMA : the E-ROD engine with the Connect and Cruise package.

The Connect and Cruise package includes many of the necessary bits to make an engine run, including all the emissions-friendly equipment to make it 50-state legal. The new 4L70-E transmission, control modules, wiring harnesses, fuel tank evaporative emissions canister and catalytic converters within the truck were all ordered with one part number.

GM currently has three E-ROD packages available: the 5.3-liter LC9 found in GM trucks and SUVs, the 6.2-liter LS3 V-8 normally found in the Camaro SS, and the supercharged 6.2-liter LSA V-8 straight from the Cadillac CTS-V.

The E-ROD engines are designed for such restoration projects as the ’78 K1500 Silverado. GM says they wanted to streamline the restoration process, making it easier for customers to build their dream vehicle without having to use third-party tuning.

The advantages for installing an E-ROD engine with the Connect and Cruise package in a project are evident. Even more so considering the 5.3-liter (327-cubic-inch) V-8 makes 320 horsepower, or roughly 80 more than the truck’s original 454 big block produced in 1978.

Cost is always a factor in restoration projects, but $7,750 seems like a sweet deal for such a reliable V-8 while the whole Connect and Cruise package starts at $12,017.

Click past the jump to read more on the 1978 Chevy Silverado E-ROD


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