suv

suv

  A Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) is a type of passenger vehicle which combines the load-hauling and passenger-carrying capacity of a large station wagon or minivan with features designed for off-road driving. They have been the hot car to own for the past 10 years, but lately they are regarded as gas guzzler and substantially dangerous because of high potential to roll over.

With so many automakers looking to break free from the dull and stale auto designs, a few brands have been left to collect everyone else’s dust.

Mitsubishi is one of those brands that appears to have been content with rolling out models with designs that left a lot to be desired. But the Japanese brand seems to be turning the corner — finally! — and for the first time in seemingly forever, it will roll out a trio of new concepts at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show next month.

Not a lot of details have been divulged about these concepts, other than the fact that the company is preparing all three as the first batches of its new "@earth" philosophy.

One is an SUV that’s been dubbed as the Concept Grand Cruiser Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle, or Concept GC-PHEV if you find the other name too long. This concept appears to be a future version of the Montero SUV, highlighted by a new front profile with aggressive edges and a new headlight setup that’s eerily similar to the Range Rover Evoque .

The next concept is called the Concept Cross Runner Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle, or XR-PHEV. Mitsubishi says that this concept will be introduced as a compact crossover with coupe-like styling cues, possibly taking the place of the current Outlander Sport in the coming years.

Finally, there’s the Concept Active Runabout, or Concept AR. In addition to being the simplest-named of the three concepts, the Concept AR is being touted as a compact MPV that, unlike the two others, will come with a conventional gasoline engine with turbocharging and direct-injection technologies.

Based on the teaser photos of the concepts, all three appear to be a far departure from what we’re used to when it comes to Mitsubishi. That’s a great thing because, if for nothing else, the Japanese brand’s move to the present is long overdue.

Click past the jump to read about one current model that appears to have its next-generation successor in the pipeline, the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Posted on by Simona  
Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class

A few days ago, our spy photographers caught the next-generation Mercedes GLK for the first time on German roads. Today, our spy photographers managed to catch it again, and this time they caught it up close, giving us a better look at the upcoming SUV .

The prototype looks to be a little more than halfway through its development, so it still has plenty of camouflage hiding its goodies. Even with the heavy camo, it’s clear that the new GLK will be a bit larger than the current generation, so it will likely have more space for passengers and luggage.

The GLK will be built on the same platform as the soon-to-be-revealed C-Class, and it will finally drop the awkwardly proportioned, boxy style, and adopt a more rounded and refined crossover shape. We can’t express how happy we are to see that old body style hitting the scrap heap, as it is simply goofy looking.

From the C-Class it will borrow the engine lineup, so Mercedes will offer it with gasoline and diesel engines, with the possibility of a hybrid version.

The new GLK is expected to be unveiled sometime in 2015.

Posted on by TB +  

Off-roading can be just as challenging, scary and life-changing as a high-speed track session with a supercar .

With supercars, the chances of a costly mistake are present but manageable. The tracks are typically perfect, the guard rails are there to keep you out of the trees in the case of a spin out, and generally, backing off the throttle is enough to recover control before anything goes *crunch*.

Off-roading, however, brings a real chance that poor driving or the wrong car will result in serious damage to both that driver’s confidence and the car’s rolling ability.

While most racetracks are filled with other cars to help you get home after putting yours into a wall, the situation out on desolate off-road trails is much more grim is something really breaks. Being stranded becomes a real possibility, with bad results almost a sure thing.

After popping three tires and cracking an alloy rim of the 18-inch wheels and 35-section tires of my (poor, abused) Subaru Legacy GT wagon in Oak Ridge, Tennessee a few years ago, I had to limp down the mountain on two hideously-bent donut spare steel wheels. Tires sheared off long before, so it was a clunky and scary ride to a place that a tow truck could find me.

It was this moment I finally realized something: as with everything challenging, to go off-roading the right way, you need the right tools.

Those tools have adjustable suspensions, huge wheel travel, and tires so knobby that a 65 mph cruise on the highway sounds like a Monster Truck.

Great A/C, comfy seats and mechanical reliability are also key parameters for this list.

Click past the jump for the full Top-Ten Best Off-Road SUVs, featuring everything from Bowler Land Rovers to the Nissan Xterra .

Posted on by TB +  

The new Pathfinder is lighting up the sales charts with its seven seats and a newly luxurious, efficient and smooth driving experience. Far from going soft, the Pathfinder is still able to do all the truck-like things that made its previous body-on-frame models so memorable.

The TopSpeed Garage is much classier with the 2014 Pathfinder Platinum in "valet 1st position" out front.

Have kid-friendly features totally stomped out the lenedary toughness of the chiseled hardbody Nissan SUV’s from the 1980s? The irrelevance of this question is pretty clear. This is a business, and Nissan knows it.

We’re thrilled to report that the Pathfinder has not lost its way.

Guiding the trails like it did as one of the first semi-premium, imported SUVs in the 1980s, the Pathfinder is on a new trail now — a much smoother trail. One that has dual video monitors in back, a sliding/reclining second row to stretch out with the wireless headphones, and even a heated rear seats for the ultimate in couch potato lounge amenities in back.

But what about the irritating and non-premium character of most previous CVT automatics?

As confessed CVT haters and without rug-rats (yet), our expectations were quite mixed before the 2014 Pathfinder Platinum rolled into the TopSpeed Garage . The latest CVT automatic is standard and truly is a new breed of lightweight and economical transmissions, and we took a quick video of a brake torque launch to show how snappy this new Xtronic box is.

Click past the jump for the full TopSpeed Garage review of the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Platinum 4x4, by far one of the most impressive seven-seat crossovers on the market.

Posted on by Simona  

When debating Land Rover models, the Range Rover Evoque is our second favorite after the Range Rover Sport , of course. Apparently we are not the only ones with this particular interest in the British SUVs. Kahn Design also developed quite a passion for the Land Rover models, with most of its designs being based on various Range Rovers.

As we close out another Thursday, Kahn provides us with yet another wonderful Range Rover update, but this time, the design firm opted to customize the Evoque . And this Evoque is all about the color black. Everyone knows that black is the color of elegance, so the new Black Label kit transforms the Evoque into one classy rig.

Khan is typically all about the look and feel and doesn’t spend much time tinkering under the hood, and the Black Label is no exception, leaving the 240-horsepower, in-line four-cylinder engine unchaged.

Click past the jump to read more about the Range Rover Evoque Black Label Edition by Kahn Design.

Posted on by Simona  

Mercedes added the GLK-Class to its lineup back in 2008, and in just a few months it became one of the best-sold crossovers on the market. Still, the GLK has one little problem; because of its compact dimensions, it does not offer enough space for passengers and luggage.

With this is mind, Mercedes has started to develop the next GLK and our spy photographers managed to catch it testing today on German roads. As you can see, the next-gen GLK is still in its early stages of development because of the heavy camouflage, but even so, it’s pretty clear that the model will drop the current boxy style and will adopt a more rounded appearance.

The 2015 GLK will be based on the soon-to-be-released 2015 C-Class ’s platform, so we expect it to share the range of engines with the sedan too. This will give customers a wide range of gasoline and diesel engines, with a hybrid version also being a possibility.

Expect the new GLK to arrive a few months after the C-Class, likely sometime in late 2014 or early 2015.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes GLK.

Posted on by Simona  

At the end of 2012, Infiniti announced a new naming strategy where the letter Q would indicate sedans, coupes and convertibles models, and QX would indicate crossovers and SUVs.This new naming system takes over for the 2014 model year, ushering in the "new" QX60.

As of now, Infiniti offers four different crossovers and SUVs, including the QX50 (previously the EX35), QX60 (previously the JX35), QX70 (previously the FX35) and QX80 (previously the QX56). With the previous naming strategy, the numbers in the model’s name referred to the engine displacement, but now it indicates the model’s place in the lineup — the higher the number, the more expensive and luxurious the model; easy enough.

The QX60 carries over pretty much everything from the JX35 that Infiniti unveiled at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show , including the engine, exterior and interior look, and all the accessories. In fact, the new QX60 is little more than the 2013 JX35 with "QX" badges.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Infiniti QX60.

The Cadillac Escalade has always been a love-it-or-hate-it type of vehicle, thanks to its awesome styling but terrible fuel economy. Sales have been falling off lately and incoming CAFÉ regulations are really putting the squeeze on GM to increase the overall fuel economy of its sole luxury automaker. This led to talks of the Escalade getting the axe in coming years, but apparently GM is not ready to throw in the towel yet.

Reports are pointing to an all-new Cadillac Escalade arriving in 2014 as an early-2015 model year. Instead of Caddy going the direction that many other SUV builders have gone, it will keep the Escalade on a truck frame, whereas many builders are changing SUVs to sit upon car platforms. This means that the 2015 Escalade will ride on the same platform as the soon-to-be released new Chevy Silverado and Sierra.

Unfortunately, we have nothing to really offer except speculation on the incoming Chevy and GMC trucks, as we have only seen heavily camouflaged models. All we can say for certain is that the Cadillac will share the same platform as its pickup brethren. Some experts are anticipating a change in the Silverado/Sierra twins that rivals the 1996 space shuttle treatment that the F-150 received. If this is the case, we can also expect a vastly redesigned Escalade.

We also know that GM has to work on the fuel economy of this luxury SUV to help it meet CAFÉ regulations in the future and the 18 highway mpg that the 2012 Escalade gets is simply not going to cut it. Look for GM to develop an engine that rivals the Ford’s EcoBoost V-6, like the 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine that has been mentioned, and toss it into the Escalade. The only other option would be to go turbo diesel, which may not sit well with Cadillac owners.

We will continue to bring you more information as it becomes available on the upcoming 2015 Escalade.

Updated 9/23/2013: Cadillac has unveiled a pair of teaser images of the 2015 Escalade, and it announced that it will reveal the 2015 Escalade on October 7, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. EST. You can see the reveal live, by clicking here. Additionally, Cadillac also released a series of teaser videos outlining some of the highlights of the model. You can see these videos after the jump.

Updated 10/01/2013: With just a few days before its official debut, Cadillac unveiled a new teaser image, this time revealing the interior of the 2015 Escalade. As expected the new SUV combines luxurious handcrafted elements with state-of-the-art advanced technology, this way offering the latest features in luxury, connectivity and safety for up to eight occupants.

Read more about the 2015 Cadillac Escalade after the jump

Posted on by Simona  

For the most part, the 2013 Range Rover Sport doesn’t really need too many updates, since it is already quite the looker and rather powerful straight off of the showroom floor. Also going against it is the fact that the 2014 model is all-new. Despite that, tuners seem to be flocking to this model in recent weeks

The Range Rover Sport received a new upgrade kit from the German tuner, CDC International GmbH. It focused most of its work on updating the exterior and the interior look of the car, but CDC also managed to squeeze a few extra horsepower from the 5.0-liter, V-8 supercharged engine.

To milk the extra power, CDC adjusted the supercharger system via a gear change and an updated control unit. As a result, the Range Rover Sport now delivers a total of 580 horsepower and 695 Nm (512 pound-feet) — up from the standard 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque.

The tuner also installed a new stainless-steel exhaust system equipped with a valve system that helps further improve the incredible sound delivered by the V-8 engine.

Click past the jump to read more about the Range Rover Sport Nighthawk by CDC International.

Toyota is coming back to this year’s SEMA Auto Show , and it’s bringing along the Dream Build Challenge for an encore run.

Last year, the competition was won by NASCAR racer Kyle Busch , who took home the title for his work on the 2013 Toyota Camry , or as he later on christened it: the Rowdy Camry .

This year, another NASCAR driver, Parker Kligerman, will team up with Kyle Busch Racing to be one of the four participants in the complete custom build of four unique Toyotas. In the case of Kligerman, he has the task of using another Camry and create a rally -inspired version that has been dubbed the "CamRally".

Meanwhile, freestyle skier Simon Dumont will be teaming up with Oakley to work on a Toyota 4Runner , or as it will be built and called, the "Ultimate Dream Ski 4Runner".

Representing the world of Supercross are a pair of the sports biggest stars, Justin Brayton and Josh Grant, both of whom will collaborate with Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross to build the "Let’s Go Moto Tundra " pickup.

And finally, BMX rider Drew Bezanzon has the Toyota Corolla all to himself. He’ll still get help from Skullcandy to build what we can only imagine to be an audio box on wheels, thus its aptly named handle, the "Corolla Crusher".

All four entries will be in attendance at the SEMA Auto Show where just like last year, the fans get to decide which build stands out ahead of the pack.

Click past the jump to read about last year’s winning build, the 2013 Toyota Camry Rowdy Edition by Kyle Busch


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