Sports Utility / 4x4

Sports Utility / 4x4

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

About a decade ago, Jeep came out with a pretty smart idea. With the Wrangler serving the purpose as the brand’s resident off-road warrior, the automaker decided to introduce a new variant of the Wrangler. Jeep called it the "Rubicon" model, an ode to the one of the most grueling off-road trails in the world.

A decade later and the Wrangler Rubicon is as popular as it was — maybe even more — than when it first came out. To pay tribute to the popular off-road vehicle, Jeep has decided to bestow it with the honor of having a 10th Anniversary model.

As such, the Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition is born.

Mike Manley, president and CEO of Jeep, knows the significance of the model to the brand’s most passionate enthusiasts. "This [special edition] Wrangler Rubicon is for them," Manley said.

"It is a unique vehicle that we expect will long be sought after; a Wrangler that offers an unprecedented level of capability once only attainable by long hours of custom aftermarket preparation crafted in the garages of the most avid Jeep enthusiasts in the world."

Find out more about the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 10th Anniversary Edition after the jump

X-raid Team’s Mini ALL4 Racing cars are preparing to defend their crown at the upcoming Dakar Rally set to begin on January 5, 2013. However, these are not the cars set to enter the competition, but the cars that will assist the team through the 5,000 miles of desert through Peru, Argentina and Chile.

These very special Countryman have been equipped with a full range of original Mini Accessories, including: 18-inch light-alloy wheels with run-flat tires, mud flaps for the front and rear wheel arches, auxiliary headlights, and all-weather floor mats plus a protective load compartment cover made from hard-wearing PVC.

They will feature matte black paint combined with red roofs and racing stripes, and, of course, those Monster Energy logos. The black paint has been combined with silver-colored add-on parts for the front and rear apron, and side skirts.

Each car will also feature an off-road package that will help it deliver the best driving experience on any kind of road, be it gravel, desert tracks or mountain passes.

With America celebrating Veterans Day over the weekend, Jeep decided to release a model dedicated to the U.S. military members by unveiling a special edition Patriot, dubbed the Freedom Edition. The model is priced at $21,445 and Jeep will donate $250 from each unit it sells to charities that benefit U.S. Military members.

This special edition is based on the 2013 Patriot Latitude and is available in two- or four-wheel-drive configurations. It is distinguished by a military-inspired star on the hood and the rear quarter panel, a bright lower front fascia and an "Oscar Mike" (military jargon for "on the move") badge on the lower part of the front door. It sits on a set of 17-inch high-gloss Mineral-Gray-painted aluminum wheels with bright lug nuts. Customers will have the possibility to choose between three exterior colors: Deep Cherry Red crystal pearl coat, Bright White clear coat or True Blue pearl coat. Also, as a unique feature for this model, Jeep is offering a Dark Gray "Cubic" cloth interior with vinyl bolsters and silver accent stitching, plus a black fabric "star" logo patch on the front seats.

As standard equipment the new Patriot Freedom Edition will offer a sunroof, Security and Cargo Group, all-season floor mats, and on four-wheel-drive models it gerts the All-weather Capability Group.

The Range Rover Evoque may be classified as a chic SUV, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it can’t be turned into an off-road monster that isn’t afraid to get down and dirty when the situation calls for it.

This is the Evoque Desert Warrior 3, an off-road race car that will be on hand for the yearly festivities of Bonfire Night. One look at the Desert Warrior 3 and you immediately understand why its named as such. The satin black paint finish and the corresponding aerodynamic modifications lend its part to distinguish this beast from the normally posh Evoque.

The Desert Warrior 3 was also fitted with a new set of 16-inch Comp.omotive Atacama Rally Raid wheels wrapped in BF Goodrich Desert Race G series tires, thus enhancing the SUV’s menacing look and improving its rideability when running roughshod on the off-road terrain. Improved handling was also taken care of by eight new Reiger coilovers.

Under the hood of the Desert Warrior 3 is a 3.0-liter diesel engine that carries 275 horsepower and an astounding 630 pound-feet of torque while mated to a six-speed sequential transmission. That power would probably be more had it not been for an FIA restrictor.

The real rub with the Desert Warrior 3 are the special features it carries. Find out what they are by clicking past the jump.

Jay Leno usually reviews some of the most extreme sports cars out there, but this time, he opted for something completely different. Jonathan More stopped by Jay Leno’s Garage to show Jay his re-imagined Toyota workhorse and together they shed some light on this bad boy.

The ICON FJ-44 is a replica of the traditional Toyota FJ-44 that ICON created in hopes of doing the original justice. The FJ-44 was designed and constructed from the ground up and features a powdercoated aluminum body powered by a General Motors sourced LS-Series V8 engine that delivers a total of 420 HP. For the lack of features, this car comes in at a whopping $160,000?

Check out Leno’s review and find out what he has to say of this Toyota FJ-44 replica, but keep in mind, Leno is certainly not an off-road type of guy.

The Toyota FJ Cruiser is a pretty unique - and paradoxical - car in its own right. It’s an off-roader that actually looks polished. It’s got great performance credentials yet you always feel that it could do much better.

The best part of the FJ Cruiser is that it always seems to be ripe for customization. At the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, that’s exactly what were going to get when Toyota and TRD present their latest FJ mash-up, called the FJ-S Cruiser Concept.

The folks from Toyota are all excited about TRD’s latest creation, particularly the company’s national manager of engagement marketing and motorsports, Keith Dahl, who said: "TRD’s work on high-performance off-road variants of Toyota vehicles goes back a number of years. The FJ-S is a great example of their off-road expertise."

It’s a little curious when you hear that TRD actually upgraded the FJ-S Cruiser Concept’s chassis and body structure by adding what they’re calling an "exoskeleton," especially when you consider how already imposing the stock model is. But with the upgrades, Toyota now has even more room to work on the off-roader’s suspension and wheel/tire set-ups.

Aesthetically, the FJ-S Cruised Concept received a boatload of new modifications, including a new front nudge bar, rock rails, and a cat-back exhaust. Inside, the FJ-S Cruiser Concept was create to a two-tone leather interior with matching FJ-S logos on the headrests.

Under its hood, the FJ-S Cruiser Concept’s 4.0-liter V6 engine was given a TRD supercharger system with a Twin Vortex System and a large air-to-water intercooler. All this nets the off-roader with an increased output of 345 horsepower and 345 lb/ft of torque, numbers that represent a 30% and 25% increase from the stock model.

UPDATE 11/01/12: More official photos of the Toyota FJ-S Cruiser Concept by TRD have been released by Toyota. Check them all out in the gallery below!

Mercedes G-Class

We were just getting used to the idea that Mercedes was preparing a crossover based on their new A-Class platform and we are already learning that there in fact be two different crossovers based on the new A-Class family. The first crossover will be called the GLA and the second one will be the GLG. The GLG will actually be a baby version of the current G-Class and an off-road version of the GLA.

The first details suggest that the next GLG will feature a taller, more upright stance and design elements inspired by the G-Class . The model will be offered in a front-wheel drive configuration, but a 4Matic version is also being rumored. The engine line-up will be identical to the one used in the A-Class and will range from a base 1.6-liter with 122 HP up to a 211 HP 2.0 liter engine. An AMG version will also be offered. It will deliver about 350 HP and will be offered with stronger brakes, a seven-speed automatic gearbox, quicker steering, and a re-engineered front axle.

The new Mercedes GLG will be unveiled sometime in mid 2015 and will be just one of the ten all-new models planned by 2020.

Source: CAR

Jeep will be showing up to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show with a very cool Wrangler Sand Trooper Concept developed in cooperation with Mopar. This concept is powered by a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine that delivers a total of 375 HP and 410 lb-ft. of torque.

The Jeep Wrangler Sand Trooper is painted in a very cool Dune-in-Matte tan color combined with numerous matte-black elements on the front and rear off-road bumpers, grille, fuel-filler door, tail lamp guards, and black door-sill guards. The concept doesn’t feature a top, but comes with Mopar half-doors to show off its exclusivity. The tuner also added in a new set of matte-black wheels wrapped in massive 42" Super Swamper Bogger tires. Additional exterior parts include a skid plate, Warn winch, LED off-road lights, rock rails, and trailer-tow hitch receiver.

The interior package starts with some very cool premium black Katzkin leather seats, while the list of accessories include a rearview camera, Mopar prototype CB radio, all-weather slush mats, hood lock, and a locking trailside winch kit.

Mini Countryman WRC

The Mini Portugal team, along with its WRC partner, Prodrive, actually started off pretty well in the 2012 WRC season, but things turned sour for the MINI rally team following its breakup with said partner. Following the March split, Mini never reached the podium again. Though the 2012 season is not quite finished, Mini has announced that it will withdraw from the World Rally Championship following this season.

In all honesty this really comes as no surprise, as Mini is thought to have only raced as a factory sponsored brand this year to get WRC homologation. Why is that so important? Well, this means that Mini now can sell its rally cars to private racing companies, make profit, and have zero racing overhead. This was all backed up by Dr. Kay Segler’s statement “By the end of the season WRC Team Mini Portugal will have competed in every rally in 2012. As such, in accordance with FIA regulations, we will have achieved the WRC homologation for the Mini John Cooper Works.” Well, don’t make it too obvious that you played the system, fine Doctor…

In all honesty, this is just one of the necessary evils of the racing world, as car manufacturers simply want all of the free advertising at these events without any of the corporate responsibilities. So in all honesty, we can’t fault Mini for its obvious using the rather loose WRC homologation rules.

With the Mini John Cooper Works WRC car pumping a wild 300 horsepower and 400 Nm (295 pound-feet) of torque from its little 1.6-liter Bimmer engine, we doubt that MINI will have any issues selling it to private teams. Since 2011, the rally Mini Portugal team made it to the podium three times and had its biggest success in the January 2012 running of the Monte Carlo Rally when it finished 2nd.

We’ll keep an eye out to see if any private teams select Mini as its WRC car.

Click past the jump to read Mini’s presser.

Posted on by Alexander + 24

The Range Rover Evoque has been stealing the show for the past year or so, but come 2013, the new Landrover Range Rover will be back in the saddle showing off its svelte aluminum body while still maintaining its offroad capabilities.

As promised, the new generation Range Rover is lighter, stronger, and more refined. Land Rover mostly focused on reducing the SUV’s total weight, and thanks to a revolutionary all-aluminum monocoque body structure combined with weight savings throughout the chassis and driveline, the new Range Rover is now 350 kilos (771 lbs) lighter than the outgoing model.

The new Range Rover will be offered with a choice of two diesel engines, plus a V8 supercharged with 510 HP. However, a diesel hybrid will join the line-up later in 2013.

The fourth generation Land Rover Range Rover will go on sale at the end of 2012. On the British market, prices will start from £71,295, or about $114,000 at the current exchange rates.

UPDATE 10/02/2012: Land Rover USA has announced prices for the new Range Rover unveiled in Paris. On the US market, the standard LR4 will be priced at $49,950 and the LR4 HSE at $54,175. Price includes $850 destination and delivery.

More on the 2013 Landrover Range Rover after the jump.

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