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. Full story
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. Full story
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. Full story
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. Full story
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!
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!
Just like the Grand Cherokee Trailhawk Concept II, the Wrangler Sand Trooper II is a follow up on an earlier concept Jeep revealed last year.
We all remember the original Sand Trooper that caught a lot of eyes at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show. This time, the Sand Trooper II is headed to the Easter Moab Safari and it comes chock-full with new accessories and upgrades, thanks to Mopar.
Chrysler’s in-house aftermarket company really did a number on this Wrangler, complete with a new satin black grille, a hood lock, a Warn winch, Mopar flat fenders, rock rails, a vented hood, and LED off-road lights and headlamps.
Catch your breath because Mopar’s not done yet.
It also installed front and rear half-door and window kits, front and rear off-road “Shorty” modified bumpers, a Rubicon 10th Anniversary swing away rear tire carrier, a trailer-tow hitch receiver, black tail-lamp guards and locking fuel door, a Jeep Performance Parts badge, and last but most definitely not least, a set of enormous 40-inch prototype forged bead-lock wheels.
The interior also features its share of new components, although not as extensive as the exterior upgrades. Most of the modifications feature storage compartments and that includes: a center-console locking storage, locking below-floor storage box and a trunk storage box. There are also leather seats, Mopar slush mats, a Trailside winch kit, black door-sill guards, sun visors and a rear back-up camera display.
Finally, the Wrangler Sand Trooper II carries the same powertrain as its predecessor: a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 that produces an output of 375 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque and mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
UPDATE 04/02/13: More photos of the Jeep Wrangler Sand Trooper II have been released. Browse through the fresh batch in the gallery below!
For the 2013 Easter Safari, Jeep has found a solution to combine design elements from the SRT Viper with the amazing off-road capabilities of the 2013 Wrangler Rubicon. This daring combination has been made in the Wrangler Stitch - a concept car that delivers a power-to-weight ratio similar to that of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.
Tons of modifications have been made in order to reduce weight: all the interior comfort systems have been removed, the rear seats have also been removed, the front seats were taken from an SRT Viper and the doors were completely removed.
The exterior went on a diet too, as the hood is made of carbon fiber and the roll cage is made from chrome. All the weight-saving changes lead to a total weight of just 3,000 pounds.
In order to make it even more off-road capable, Jeep installed a Mopar cold-air intake, a Mopar exhaust kit, DynaTrac Pro Rock 44 axles with 4.88 gears, ARB front and rear lockers, King shocks, Tom Woods drive shafts, and new 17-inch aluminum wheels wrapped in Mickey Thompson 35-inch off-road tires.
UPDATE 04/02/13: More photos of the Jeep Wrangler Stitch have been unveiled. Check them out by hopping over to the gallery below!
As usual, Jeep has found a very interesting way to celebrate Easter: with an annual Easter Jeep Safari taking place in Moab, Utah. The event is already in its 47th edition and will be attended by thousands of diehard off-road enthusiasts. Jeep and Mopar will be presenting a series of concept cars specially developed for the event.
The first from the list is the Wrangler Mopar Recon. It features an authoritative gray exterior paint combined with numerous Mopar add-ons: front and rear half-door and window kits, front and rear off-road bumpers, rock rails, a canvas soft top and headlamps with LED lights. For the interior, the concept adds custom seats made from Navy blankets and Navy camouflage material.
Under the hood, the concept gets something that all Wrangler traditionalists have been craving: a nasty V-8 engine. Just how nasty? Oh, “only” a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 crate engine that delivers a total of 470 ponies to help you better tackle just about any terrain or hillside. This massive 6.4-liter engine comes mated to a five-speed automatic transmission – boo – with a set of Dana 60 front and rear axles with 4.10-to-1 guts on the inside.
Being an off-road concept, Mopar opted for Jeep Performance Parts prototype forged eight-lug beadlock wheels wrapped in 39-inch off-road tires. Also to help you take on the toughest terrain, the Wrangler Recon also features a long-arm lift kit.
Oh, how badly we want to see this nasty machine hit production. Unfortunately, the Wrangler is only becoming tamer at its ripe old age. Maybe someday…
UPDATE 04/02/13: Jeep has released a new set of photos of its Moab Easter Safari line-up. Check out the off-road shots of the Wrangler Recon in the gallery!
The Toyota FJ Cruiser is not your typical off-road vehicle.
Browse through the entire lineup of Toyota models and you’ll notice that the FJ Cruiser is the only that looks completely out of place. Before you start questioning Toyota’s rationale for giving the FJ Cruiser a retro look, understand that there’s a reason behind that. The model is actually inspired by the iconic FJ40 4x4 utility vehicle that sold in the U.S. from 1960 to 1983, so that explanation fits why the FJ Cruiser looks the way it does.
If being different is what the FJ Cruiser is going for, then Toyota certainly hit this one out of the park. But the real question is if being "different" means that the FJ Cruiser is a good purchase relative to the kind of off-road vehicles it’s been slotted against.
Whatever the case may be, what we can all agree on is that the FJ Cruiser is definitely a good conversation piece.
Find out what we think of the FJ Cruiser after the jump Full story