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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.


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.

Land Rover DC100 Concept

Back in 1993, the Land Rover Defender was the first “Land Rover” branded vehicle to grace the U.S. soil as a new model since 1974. The Defender was ultimately a victim of government regulations, as the 1998 rule changes that required fitting all passenger vehicles with dual front airbags and side-impact protection enhancements caused Land Rover to pull the model from the U.S.

Well, now we have confirmation that the Land Rover Defender will indeed make its way back to the U.S., per an Automotive News interview with Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover. The model will arrive in 2015 and will be based on the DC100 Concept SUV that we saw at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Since its debut is still three years away, it will probably look nothing like the Defender that currently roams the streets of the UK .

What’s more, this new SUV will be ready and in the U.S. as soon as 2015 and will become the entry-level model for Land Rover, just under the all-new Evoque Pure . Speth also noted that the Defender will be priced below $42,000, but did not provide any hint as to what the price range may be.

There was also no mention of the engine that Land Rover will plop under the new Defender’s hood, but we have a pretty secure guess that the 2.2-liter diesel engine in the current UK Defender will not make the journey across the pond. Diesel-powered vehicles, sans large trucks, rarely ever make a big splash in the U.S. It may even borrow a V-6 from its sister company, Jaguar, or possibly a slightly detuned version of the Range Rover Evoque’s 2.0-liter engine.

We’ll keep an eye out on what’s happening with this upcoming rebirth of the Defender and let you know what other information we can dig up.

If we got a nickel for every time British tuning company Kahn Design came out with a program, we’d already have enough money to buy...well, probably one of their tuning packages.

Known for being one of the finest aftermarket companies around, Kahn Design is no slouch when it comes to quantity of programs released. After all, it was only two months ago when they presented a program for the Jeep Wrangler called the Chelsea Truck CJ 300 Expedition Vehicle .

Not content with just one option for its customers, Kahn Design has returned with new vigor to present another program for the rough and tough American utility vehicle. This time, though, they’re calling it the Sahara Chelsea Truck Company CJ300 Expedition.

Extremely long name notwithstanding, the Sahara CJ300 Expedition comes chalk full of new goodies as per Kahn Design. The most noticeable is the choice of a Bright Yellow body finish that we reckon would stick out like a sore thumb when it’s out running around the trails and woods. But if you can take the body color as is, you’ll be pleased to know that Kahn did yet another fabulous job upgrading the Wrangler’s digs.

The horizontal LED daytime running lights is a Kahn Design specialty, as are the carbon side wing blades, the xenon crosshair headlamps, the smoked side repeaters, the stainless steel door entry sill plates, the mud flaps, and of course, the 20" Kahn RS wheels fitted into the all-utility vehicle. The British tuner even threw in a Chelsea Truck Company spare wheel cover and stainless steel cross air exhausts for good measure.

All told, the Wrangler Sahara Chelsea Truck Company CJ300 Expedition is everything Kahn Design represents: meticulously built with an eye towards improved looks and performance.

Or in other words: another winning product from a winning tuning company.

Acura MDX

The next generation Acura MDX was first caught testing back in May 2012, but since then, nothing much has been heard about it or its new features. That is, until today, when our spy photographers were able to grab a few images of the future generation SUV as it rounded out a bit more testing. As you can see, the car is still heavily camouflaged, hiding just about everything, but we still expect to see big changes in the design of the future MDX , including some design elements from the RLX Concept .

The future Acura MDX will also be borrowing the engine line-up from the RLX, meaning customers will choose between two engines. The standard model will be powered by a V6 engine with about 300 HP, while a new hybrid model will feature the Acura Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system. In the RLX, this version delivers a total of 370 HP.

The Acura MDX will be out on the market in late 2013 as a 2014 model.


We’ve seen some pretty zany graphics done on a lot of cars over the years. What we haven’t seen before is a zipper. Yeah, a zipper.

Somehow, though, Jeep and Mopar managed to do that to a Grand Cherokee . It’s called the Cherokee Half & Half and as the name evidently suggests, it’s so named because of the dual identity Jeep and Mopar wanted to convey to the SUV. Hence, the use of an actual oversized Mopar zipper attached to the front bumper. SEMA would be so proud.

On one half of the Grand Cherokee is actually a perfectly fine, albeit non-customized Deep Cherry Pearl Coat Grand Cherokee Laredo. As for the other half of the SUV, that’s where Mopar used a plethora of its own accessories to illustrate a "before-and-after" look to the Grand Cherokee. Even the wheels are of different sizes with the regular model boasting of 17" wheels whereas the Moparized side was fitted with 20" chrome wheels.

This odd example of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was also translated in other parts of the exterior, including chrome on the mesh-grille insert, tube steps, mirror caps, a hood air deflector and fog lamp bezels. The SUV also has a trailer hitch with a wiring harness, front tow hooks, a bright license plate frame, roof rack cross bows and, and a luggage carrier - or half of it, as we should say.

Moving to the interior, one half is normal and the other part comes dressed with Mopar goodies, including a premium Katzkin Tuscany Leather interior, logo door-sill guards, a bright pedal kit, all-weather mats, a cargo tray, and a cargo net.

Talking about weird aftermarket projects, this one’s definitely on top of that list.

Alfa Romeo Spider

Everyone is expecting Alfa Romeo ’s long-rumored return to the US market in 2014 after almost 20 years of absence. This return is part of a large revamping of the brand and its alliances with Fiat, Chrysler, and Mazda. Now, we’re learning that this comeback with bring four new models to the U.S.

The first will be the new Giulia sedan - Alfa’s competitor for models like the Audi A4. The upcoming Giulia will be built in the USA so it will share most of its components with the upcoming Chrysler 200, including the Pentastar V-6 engine.

Next, there will be the long rumored compact crossover SUV that will be built on the same platform as the upcoming Jeep Compass. The model will be manufactured alongside the Jeep in Belvidere and will be offered exclusively with Chrysler engines.

The third stop on Alfa Romeo’s return to the U.S. will be the most important one in many people’s eyes: the 4C Coupe and Roadster . The 4C will arrive in the US one year after the Giulia and will be powered by a 1.8 liter turbocharged engine that delivers a total of 296 HP.

The final model that will grace U.S. soil is the rear-wheel-drive Duetto sports car. If this name doesn’t ring a bell, don’t worry, many know it as the Spider . This new sports car will be built in Japan and will share its chassis with the next-generation Mazda Miata. The upcoming Duetto will be powered by a longitudinally mounted turbocharged 1.8-liter engine delivering about 170 HP.

Source: CarAndDriver

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