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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.

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Magna Steyr is an Austrian company that specializes in designing cars and platforms. The company was involved in the development of many popular models including the BMW X3, Jeep Grand Cherokee, and even the Chrysler 300C.

At the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, the company revealed a pretty innovative concept named the Mila Alpin. Built as a compact SUV, the Mila Alpin concept features a modular platform that can be used to house a hybrid system or even an electric powertrain. Thanks to its modular design, the concept’s platform can be used as a base by more than one automaker.

The Magna Steyr Mila Alpin concept has a 3+1 seats configuration and is capable of climbing 45 degree inclines. After it was revealed to the public, the Magna Steyr Magna Steyr Mila Alpin managed to attract BMW and Mercedes Mercedes ’ attention which expressed their interest in the modular platform developed by the company. Both companies plan to launch new models and also want to reduce their costs of development, so the solutions offered by the Mila Alpin concept seem to perfectly fit their needs.

Hit the jump for more information on the Magna Steyr Mila Alpin.

With seemingly every automaker outside of Europe getting into the groove at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show , Mazda isn’t going to be left in the sidelines on this one.

The Japanese automaker is on hand in Las Vegas with a steady diet of customized CX-5 SUV’s, beginning with the CX-5 Dempsey.

In case there’s any confusion with what the name is alluding to, it apparently points to one Patrick Dempsey, the hotshot Hollywood actor who also moonlights as a Mazda driver in the Grand-Am series.

In dressing up the CX-5 Dempsey, Mazda opted for a glossy Grey Anatomy paint base with matching strips of Brilliant Black. Adding to the appeal of the SUV are Luminous Red graphic lines with Bright White borders and Black Mica matte finish details on the tailgate that run across the lower portion of the SUV. The CX-5 also carries a Thule Atlantis rooftop cargo box and a bike rack that carries a pretty sick performance called the Specialized Bicycle S-Work Tarmac racing cycle. Yep, that’s the same one used by Russian Olympian Alexander Vinokourov when he raced to the gold medal at the London Summer Games in July 2012. In addition, the specialized CX-5 sits on a set of 20" Mazda Design-customized black chrome alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Latitude Sport all-season tires. Each wheel, in particular, displays a single double-spoke in glossy Luminous Red, a color that Mazda only uses in limited edition cars.

At the rear of the CX-5 Dempsey, you’ll find the S-Works Tarmac SL4 Red that comes with a Carbon Satin carbon fiber frame with Red Keyline highlights and secured by a Thule T2 carrier.

Inside, there’s plenty of modifications to go around, too. Black perforated leather inserts come with gray aniline leather bolsters and red accents. This three-way color scheme is an allusion to the SUV’s dynamic exterior body colors. The interior also received a leather overload with Luminous Red stitching while the full-length decorative panel was custom painted in glossy Brilliant Black with a matching single Luminous Red outline and a Bright White vehicle model imprint. 

SUVs aren’t exactly the kind of cars that attract attention from tuners, but Mazda has shown up to the 2012 SEMA Show with a number of upgrade packages based on the CX-5 , just to highlight the amazing customization possibilities for this model. One of these packages is called the CX-5 Urban - a concept car inspired by styles found in fashion and architecture.

The Mazda CX-5 Urban features two shades of Black Mica exterior paint, with the darker shade showing off multi-dimensional shadows in a triangular-like design shape. The dark night appearance of the CX-5 Urban is highlighted by Ore thin pinstripes on the matte black wheels, in the headlamps, and in the five-point front grille. The SUV sits on a new set of 22" Ace Alloy Scorpio matte black wheels wrapped in sticky Nitto Tire NT420s 295/30R20 all-season tires. The last piece of the package is a new Racing Beat dual exhaust.

Kahn Design is keeping busy releasing a new tuning program every week. So far, they have been focusing on Land Rover models, but this week’s package du jour is for the Porsche Cayenne 3.0 Diesel .

Kahn started by adding a very cool aerodynamic package which includes vented front and rear wide wheel arches with integrated front and rear air dams, a lower boot lid spoiler, and exterior Kahn enamel wing shields. The door handles are finished in matte black, while the brake calipers are finished in liquid gold. They have also opted to put in LED daytime running lights for the front wheel arch vents and privacy tinted glass. The final element of the exterior package is a new set of 22" Kahn RS wheels finished in a color chosen by the customer. There is also a sports lowering module which provides the car with a sportier appearance.

For the interior, the package adds black and carbon quilted and perforated leather with ivory contrast stitching, a black and carbon quilted leather center glovebox, a red and cream colored speedo and rev counter facia, and balck charcoal finish floor mats.

Alfa Romeo SUV

Alfa Romeo is preparing to make an impressive comeback to the US market with four new models. One of them is the company’s long rumored compact crossover SUV . The model - unnamed, but rumored to be called CXover - will be built on the same platform as the next generation Jeep Liberty and will target models like the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3 .

Alfa Romeo will offer both front-drive and all-wheel drive variants, and a full engine line-up including a 1750 TC GDI that delivers 200 HP, a 2.0-liter JTDm diesel unit with 140 HP, and a 3.3 liter variant of Chrysler’s Pentastar V6 engine that delivers a total of 275 HP. It has also been rumored that a new 9-speed automatic transmission will find its way into the new SUV.

Expect to see the new Alfa Romeo SUV launched sometime in 2013, more than likely at the Geneva Motor Show.


Hyundai’s Brazil division, aptly named Hyundai Motor Brasil (HMB), recently dropped a pretty cool, albeit Brazil-exclusive model at the 2012 Sao Paulo International Motor Show.

Called the HB20X Crossover, the vehicle shares many of the design characteristics of Hyundai’s current range of "Fluidic Sculpture" models. Where it differentiates itself is through a number of unique design details. Incidentally, the hexagonal grille, despite occupying a huge chunk of the front profile’s space, is similar to what we’ve come accustomed to on a lot of Hyundai’s models.

Then there’s the headlights with black bezel and chrome details, as well as the redesigned fog lamps, all of which, when taken together, convey a sporty and sophisticated image to the HB20X. The roof bars were also added presumably to provide more cargo space while the side black molding that wraps the whole body adds a svelte and tight look to the crossover. Rounding out the exterior features include a redesigned bumper with its own black moldings, stylish rear lamps, and a new set of 15" dark gray alloy wheels.

Inside, the Hyundai continued the HB20 styling treatment while adding a number of exclusive features, including the sports pedals, chrome-finished door handles, and controls for the air-conditioning.

For all of its stout characteristics, the HB20X’s performance doesn’t exactly lift its name off the page. Sure, Hyundai fitted the crossover with its own 1.6-liter GAMMA 16V FLEX engine with a Continuous Variable Vavle Timing and aluminum block. Having said all that, the HB20X only produces a pretty pedestrian 128 horsepower.

It’s only been a few days since rumors about a new Volkswagen baby-SUV began and now, at the 2012 São Paulo International Motor Show, the company has unveiled the new Taigun concept - a preview version of a new New Small Family by Volkswagen.

The Taigun is painted in a breezy "Seaside Blue" exterior paint finish and was designed using the latest Volkswagen design DNA. It measures 3,859 mm long, 1,728 mm wide, and 1,570 mm tall, but despite these compact dimensions, it still offers interior space for up to four passengers and a boot-space of 280 liters. This boot space can be increased to 987 liters when the rear bench seat is folded down. Its looks come from its bigger brother in the lineup - the Tiguan - and includes the same double-split front grill, sharp headlamps, and an overall look that is less rounded and more aggressive, much like the rest of the Volkswagen lineup. The look is perfected with a set of 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 205/50 R17 tires.

The Taigun is powered by a 1.0-liter TSI engine that delivers a total of 110 HP and 129 lb-ft of torque. With a total weight of 2171 lbs, the concept will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds and up to a top speed of 115 mph, all while delivering a fuel economy of 52 mpg.

Another day, another cool tuning package from Kahn Design. Based on the Land Rover Range Rover , their latest RS300 Cosworth package features the typical exterior and interior upgrades found on their British luxury lineup, but this time, there’s a little more juice as well.

The RangeRover was painted in a sleek Santorini Black exterior paint finish that was then accentuated by an elegant RS300 styling package that includes a lower bootlid spoiler, RS front grille and mesh, fixed side steps, and Kahn privacy tinted glass. There are also a series of Cosworth specific elements like stainless steel entry sill plates, bonnet and tailgate branding, a numbered carbon engine cover, and an enamel tailgate logo. The last piece of the exterior kit is a new set of 22" Kahn Cosworth RS wheels.

The interior has also been updated with an RS center arm rest in black perforated leather with white stitching, a Cosworth time clock, Cosworth vented foot pedals in machined aluminum ,and a Cosworth speedo and rev counter. This minor interior upgrades are combined with the usual option for expressing the owner’s individuality within their vehicle’s cabin.

Under the hood, the LR-TDV8 4.4-liter engine has received an arrangement of alterations to the supercharger and ECU programming so it now delivers an impressive 350 HP, up from the standard 313 HP.

Of the four vehicles that are set to take part in the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge, NHRA Top Fuel points leader Antron Brown’s Sequoia Family Dragster Concept is just about the most ridiculous of the bunch. And we mean ridiculous in a good way.

This SEMA -bound project, aptly nicknamed the "DragQuoia" was built with one goal in mind: straight line speed.

So Antron Brown went to work to make sure that no stones were left unturned in making this vehicle the fastest of the four in the competition. The first and most important order of business was to give the Sequoia a TRD-supercharged engine with nitrous, netting an insane output of over 650 horsepower. From there, Brown and his team fitted a new set of 21.5" rear tires and worked on customizing the chassis fabrication to remove well over 1,600 lbs in what they describe as "non-essential" weight.

From there, the team took the interior to fit the Sequoia with four individual racing seats, each coming with its own five-point racing harness. There’s also a child-size version with its own harness in the back for the little one, further illustrating the massive irony of this build. Finally, to enhance the vehicle’s safety credentials, Brown added a full custom roll cage and a tail-mounted parachute.

"It’s...a special vehicle with a little hint of NHRA twisted all the way in it, with a lot of horsepower,” Brown said. “It’s fast…from my house to the grocery store!”

The man isn’t exaggerating.

The DragQuoia will be one of four vehicles that are part of the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge. Fans will get the chance to vote once per day on their favorite model via Toyota Racing’s Facebook page from October 20 to 29. The winning vehicle will take home $50,000, which will go to the driver’s charity of choice.

UPDATE 11/03/12: The Toyota Sequoia Family Dragster didn’t take home the hardware of the Toyota Racing Dream Challenge, but it did walk away with the Sony Computer Entertainment America’s Gran Turismo Award for Best Truck or SUV at the 2012 SEMA Show. Big ups to the "DragQuoia" for the achievement!


Some may think that the 2012 SEMA Auto Show is just for sports cars getting a boost here and there, but in reality, every car segment is represented at this tuning free-for-all, including the Ford Escape . Ford is showing up to Las Vegas with the Urban Escape Adventurer developed by VACCAR. According to Ford, this project aims to "visually express the potential of the all-new Ford Escape . It represents the ideal balance of rugged off-road attitude, upscale comfort and potent EcoBoost engine."

Not many details have been provided for the Escape just yet, but it looks like the Urban Escape Adventurer will feature a very cool body kit, a gray exterior paint finish, and a new set of wheels.

As far as power is concerned, the Urban Escape Adventurer is run by a 2.0 liter EcoBoost engine combined with a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. Nothing has been said on whether or not this engine will bring some boosted power or not, but we’ll find out as soon as the 2012 SEMA Auto Show opens its doors.


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