Sports Utility / 4x4

Sports Utility / 4x4

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

Posted on by Simona  

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen multiple spy shots of the 2015 Ford F-150 , but none of these spy shots were of the SVT Raptor version. This, of course, does not mean there won’t be an SVT Raptor variant of the next F-150 . Because the SVT Raptor is a virtual certainty for the next F-150, we decided it was time to throw together a rendering for you.

On the outside, you should expect to see some inspiration from the 2013 Atlas Concept unveiled at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, but with a meaner appearance. We expect to see a distinct headlight setup that is partially separated by a body-colored strip, more squared-off front fenders, "SVT" badges on the side-view mirrors, defined rocker panels, taillights that match the headlights and an aggressive-looking tailgate.

Just like on the base 2015 F-150, Ford will focus on reducing the truck’s total weight by making use of lightweight aluminum materials. Under its hood, the new SVT Raptor will likely retain the same V-8 engine found in the current model, but with the output increased somewhere in the 450-horsepower area. Ford will also work on reducing the fuel consumption by about 10 to 15 percent.

We expect the new-generation SVT Raptor to arrive a few months after the base F-150 hits the market.

Click past the jump to read more about the next Ford F-150 Raptor.

Posted on by TB +  

A monster 6.4-liter V-8 joins the Ram Heavy Duty ranks for 2014 along with two new air suspension designs for the rear ends of the 2500HD and 3500HD. Big motors and soft rides make sense at some of these hefty entry prices.

In bottom Tradesman trim, the 2500HD is a capable hauler with new fifth-wheel towing abilities but a stripped interior. In top trims, the Ram 3500HD Cummins diesel can do all the dirty work and heavy lifting. The goal of the both 2014 Ram HD series models is to do all this with new levels of cabin tech, quietness and ride comfort.

There are typically big trade-offs when moving from the half-ton class upwards. The new Ram HD line aims to literally smooth some of the edges from one of its most distinctive vehicles and make it an easy – but pricey – transition to a real work truck.

Paired with the big purchase price comes some of the most capable and sophisticated technology ever to grace one of these full-size middleweights.

Where Ram Trucks loses points for the generic Ram HD name, it regains face with 2014’s new intake design called… Ram Active Air – or just Ram Air for short.

How do the Ram HD trucks carve out appeal beyond bragging rights for best-in-class towing and cargo loads? Is the evolutionary look too cautious in the face of the Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500 and the Ford F-250 SuperDuty ?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ram 2500HD and 3500 HD pick-up trucks with details on all the latest changes and updates.

Updated 10/23/2013: This article has been updated with the latest specs, photos and even full 2500HC and 3500HD Tow Charts, in downloadable PDF form from Ram Trucks.

New-for-2014 Laramie Limited and Outdoorsman trims also join the Ram Heavy Duty line, with high-res images of both new trucks after the jump.

Posted on by TB +  

The Lexus LX 570 is an important model that’s reaching near-icon status by delivering a blend of luxury and off-road ability that sets it apart from other $80,000 full-size SUVs. It helps define the brand and add some much-needed cool points based on its redesigned exterior and massaged features for the 2013 model year.

It is easy to dismiss the LX 570 as a big player on the super-SUV scene that also includes the Audi Q7 , Infiniti QX56 and the Land Rover Range Rover . After all, the core Lexus high-dollar models like the LS and LF-A make up an increasingly slim portion of sales for the luxury heavyweight, as prices ratchet ever upwards and the competition grows increasingly fierce.

In fact, the biggest, toughest Lexus has a strong global following in high-dollar markets as diverse as Russia, North Africa and the Middle East region. The reasons are easy to fathom: unstoppable off-road, a seriously opulent interior, and the hard-earned reliability of the LX’s Land Cruiser sibling all bolstering its image.

The LX has been a fixture since launching in the U.S. exclusively in 1996 as the LX 450, a true bruiser only slightly dressed up for the occasion. The most recent iteration has been around since 2008 and is on a bit of a sales up-swing to nearly 28,000 units globally in 2012. The United States only accounted for 18 percent of that number, but remains a trend-setting market among international consumers.

As such, the 2013 model features heavily updated styling to bring the LX into the latest “spindle grille” and “arrowhead LED” styling themes embraced by the rest of Lexus line. Dozens of detail tweaks also help the LX 570 stay current with the leading luxury off-roaders.

Click past the jump for the full review of the legendary Lexus LX, plus a mega photo gallery of the new exterior and interior and a video from INKAS Armored about their bullet-proof LX 570.

Posted on by Simona  

Next to the Insignia Sport Tourer, Opel is also testing a new addition to the Insignia family: a Cross Four version aiming against models like VW Passat Alltrack or Audi Allroad. This decision shouldn’t be such a surprise for you considering that in Europe offering Off-Road look on wagons has become very popular.

This car was in fact previewed by Opel ’s in house tuner Irmscher back in 2011, but now Opel finally decided to make it official in order to improve sales on the Insignia . The new Cross Four version will be based on the Insignia Sport Tourer version, but it will add a raised ground clearance, bigger wheels, black flared fenders and different bumpers with aluminum details. There will also be different and wider side sills.

We expect the new Cross Four version to arrive in the same time with the revised Insignia lineup, so keep an eye on the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Click past the jump to read more about the Opel Insignia Cross Four.

Posted on by Simona  

Land Rover is celebrating its 65th anniversary with a special event that will also include the launch of a special-edition Defender LXV (65 in Roman numerals). Is not a surprise that Land Rover has chosen to base this special edition on a Defender model, especially when you consider it i the best sold model on the company’s lineup with over two million units sold since its official launch.

The new Defender LXV can be ordered in either Santorini Black or Fuji White. Both colors will get contrasting Corris Grey roof, grille and headlight surrounds, plus a set of 16-inch Sawtooth alloy wheels.

For the interior, Land Rover has opted for a unique orange contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel and center cubby compartment. There are also "LXV" logos embossed on the front headrests. As an option, customers can also get a union flag decal placed on the rear of the vehicle.

The new Defender LXV will be put on sale in August.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Land Rover Defender.

Posted on by Simona  

The Japanese market has received yet another special edition in the form of a very cool Mercedes G550 Night Edition. It will be limited to only 100 units and is priced at 13,900,000 Yen (about $141,663 at the current exchange rates).

The new special edition features special AMG fenders and is painted in a titanium gray combined with 18-inch five-twin-spoke aluminum wheels. While these are pretty much all the updates offered by the exterior, the interior does offer a wider list of options.

Customers can choose between two colors — classic red or white porcelain — for the door panels and the seats. They can be combined with a piano-lacquer wood interior trim, a dashboard wrapped in Kana jet black leather, an Alcantara roof liner and dedicated floor mats.

The new G500 Night Edition will be unveiled on April 22nd at Mercedes-Benz Connection in Roppongi.

Hit the jump to read more about the standard Mercedes G550.

Posted on by TB +  

RallyRaid International brings 16 years of hard-fought distance rallying expertise to the creation of their latest model, the Desert Warrior 3. The DW3’s rise and current dominance of FIA endurance rallying is an interesting “underdog” story. Exclusive interviews with team principle Paul Round and lead designer Mike “BD” Jones reveal the details of the BMW-powered DW3’s exotic in-house design and the current two-model range.

The RallyRaid DW3 looks like a simple body-style evolution on the familiar Bowler template for Land Rover-based Dakar rally cars. In fact, the Evoque appearances are just a cosmetic touch to provide continuity between the DW3 and RallyRaid’s previous generations of Defender -inspired Desert Warriors.

UK-based RallyRaid International is a small, battle-hardened operation that shies from the limelight much more than others in the high-dollar rally prototype scene. The competition schedule demands the bulk of the team accompany the race cars on their frequent two-week-long, 1,000-plus-mile off-road races in some of the most desolate, inhospitable corners of the globe. There is no road-legal variant and there’s no fancy customer showroom - aside from the dusty podiums of the Dakar finish line.

Please follow the jump for the full mechanical specifications, an awesome video montage of the car’s design and construction and image gallery of the Desert Warrior 3 inside and out.

Posted on by TB +  

Rally cars modified for the road are some of the most exciting cars ever made, like the Lancia Stratos , Audi Quattro and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution all of which have followed that sideways gravel path to glory on the road.

The Bowler EXR S is one of these very special vehicles. A road-biased handling package, safety features, and a finished interior are the key additions that separate it from the pure Motorsport EXR .

The spec sheet for the road-going EXR S variant is to die for. Researching the details of its construction, it’s as though the Derbyshire-based Bowler team simply doesn’t compromise. Every bolt and brace is simply the best and strongest possible, period. Better ingredients. Better pizza. Or something to that effect.

Click past the jump for the full review, details on ordering a Bowler, and high-resolution images of the exquisite interior and rolling roll-cage chassis.

The annual Moab Easter Safari is upon us and as always, Jeep will be presenting a total of six concepts to show off when the event kicks off this coming March 23-31 in Moab, Utah.

One of the models that Jeep released is the Wrangler "Slim" Edition, a rather adventurous-looking utility vehicle that’s been dressed up in what Jeep describes as the Rock Lobster color exterior — a fancy name for a fancy color.

We don’t know where the "Slim" name plays into the picture, but apparently, Jeep is using a plethora of lightweight components on this Wrangler, highlighted by a special 10th Anniversary Rubicon front bumper to with an extremely lightweight rear bumper. The special-edition Wrangler also comes with lightweight rock rails, a fancy black grille, black hood decals, LED headlights, a Mopar cold-air intake, a locking gas cap, and a set of 17-inch Jeep Performance Parts forged bead-lock wheels wrapped in Rubicon tires.

Meanwhile, the interior of the Wrangler Slim only gets a few choice upgrades, particularly leather seat covers, a hard-top headliner, all-weather slush mats and a CB radio.

Powering the Wrangler Slim is a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that produces a stout 260 horsepower and 237 pound-feet of torque while mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.

UPDATE 04/02/13: Interested to see more of the Jeep Wrangler Slim? Well, Jeep has released more photos of the special edition off-road vehicle in the photo gallery below!

Posted on by Simona  

Another Wrangler concept to be displayed at this year’s annual Easter Jeep Safari will be the Wrangler Flattop, a vehicle described as "a paradox of sorts." Though no updates have been made under the hood, all the exterior and interior changes, plus some of the most hard-core off-road updates transformed it into a real eye-catcher.

On the exterior, the concept features metallic sandstone paint with copper accents on the hood hinges, tow hooks, grille slats and headlamp surrounds, and brown accents for the bumpers, side rails, side mirrors and hood decal. There is also a custom one-piece, windowless hard top, plus the hood and bumpers were inspired by the Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition.

For the interior, Jeep opted for dark saddle Katzkin leather seats combined with copper insertions on the steering wheel spokes, vent rings and passenger grab handle.

The concept sits on aluminum five-spoke wheels wrapped in 37-inch Mickey Thompson off-road tires that transform it into the perfect car for the Safari.

UPDATE 04/02/13: A fresh batch of new photos featuring the Wrangler Flattop has been released. Check ’em out by heading over to the gallery!


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