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.

The second-generation Hyundai ix35 (also known as Tucson for the American market) was unveiled in 2009 and this is the first time the company is working on a facelift for it. Our spy photographers have caught the SUV testing for the first time, before the car’s official unveiling at the 2013 Frankfurt Car Show in September.

Even though the SUV is heavily camouflaged, we expect it to feature design elements we have seen on both the Santa Fe and i40. This means we will see a three-bar hexagonal front grille, new headlamps, wraparound taillights and a new rear spoiler. Our spy photographers managed to also catch a shot of the interior, reveling that it will also receive small changes, most likely inspired by previously unveiled Hyundai models.

Under the hood, you should expect some all-new or modified engines to meet the demand for more fuel-efficient engines and less CO2.

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Land Rover recently unveiled the new-generation Range Rover , but we haven’t heard anything about the more powerful Range Rover Sport . Well, the model is now back into the picture, as our spy photographers managed to catch it during its cold-weather testing in the Arctic Circle.

To help you differentiate it from the standard Range Rover, Land Rover made the Sport version slightly wider and lower, with a more sloped roofline.

Under the hood, Land Rover will borrow its engine lineup from Jaguar, meaning we will see a choice of both diesel and gasoline engines, with the 510-horsepower supercharged V-8 engine from the Jaguar XK-R at the top of the lineup. Land Rover also announced it will use lots of aluminum in the Range Rover Sport’s construction, making it a lot lighter than the current version.

Expect the new Land Rover Range Rover Sport to be unveiled in September at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

The Land Down Under is fixing to get an infusion of M awesomeness after BMW’s Australian division launched a series of limited-run M Sport models as part of the company’s "Festival of M".

That’s really great, made even more so by the fact that the M Sport lineup will feature a number of models, each coming with their own unique modifications. The biggest of the bunch is the X5 M Sport Limited Edition and BMW Australia decked with a bevy of new components. The M Sport body kit is obviously fitted into the SUV, as was a chrome M Sport tailpipe finisher, bi-xenon headlights and a set of 20-inch M double spoke alloy wheels. Looking at the photo of the SUV, though, there doesn’t appear to much of a difference from the standard model.

Meanwhile, the interior is dressed up too, at least to a certain extent. There’s the M leather-wrapped steering wheel with gearshift paddles and electric seats. Other components include a Navigation Professional package, an automatic tailgate, a rearview camera, voice control and anti-dazzle exterior mirrors. This one isn’t exactly our cup of tea, at least compared to what the other M Sport limited edition models.

The next two are the 5-Series and Z4 , both of which will receive an M Sport package that includes an M Sport suspension, a new aero kit, a leather steering wheel, a set of bespoke 18-inch alloys, blue leather-piped velour floor mats, chrome-plated "Limited Edition" door sill finishers, an anthracite headliner for the coupe, and blue-stitched upholstery. Now this is more like it. The mixture of aesthetic and aero upgrades is definitely right in our wheelhouse. If you can get aftermarket performance upgrades on that Z4, then you really have something there.

Finally, the 1-Series and 3-Series Coupe and Convertible have received M Sport Plus packages, comprising of an aluminum glacier silver interior trim with glossy-black kidney grilles. The 3er, in particular, also has new sport seats, black exterior mirror caps, and stainless steel foot pedals.

If given a choice, we’re definitely rolling with the Z4 M Limited Edition. Its program is comprehensive enough without being too tacky.

Check out the price list of all M Limited Edition models after the jump.

The Super Bowl is set to air this Sunday, but we still have time to see a few more commercials. The latest one comes from Hyundai and it reveals how much fun, or trouble, a family can have in the new seven-passenger Santa Fe .

The new "Epic PlayDate" ad stars rock band The Flaming Lips who play the song "Sun Blows Up Today" specially for this ad. If you like it, you can buy it from iTunes starting today, or you can wait until band’s new album called “Terror” arrives in April.

To our knowledge, this is the final Super Bowl ad for the Korean automaker, unless they happen to have something else up their sleeve. If the Santa Fe impressed you, it will be available for order starting this spring. It can be yours for a price of $28,350.

We’ve already seen three of Hyundai’s five Super Bowl-bound commercials, and if we do say so ourselves, they’re getting a lot better with each release. Their latest ad for the Santa Fe, called "Team," is the best one yet.

Evoking a kind of Little Giants meets Bad News Bears feel to it, a little kid gets his football taken away from him by some unruly bullies who tell him that he could only get it back if he brings a team together. With the help of the kid’s rather intimidating mom, he proceeds to round up his posse, except that his posse is comprised of friends that each bring a unique skill set to the table.

All together, they go back to the field and stare down the bullies, each with the intent of inflicting as much pain as possible. Well, except for one little dude who looks like he’s about to decapitate someone.

Overall, it’s a pretty good commercial that ties up well to the actual game itself.

We know that the 2013 Geneva Motor Show is still more than a month away, but there are makers out there that have already announced their lineup for the show. For example, Fab Design will unveil its Emperor II tuning kit for Porsche Cayenne S Diesel .

The wide-body kit includes a new front spoiler with oversized air intakes, a carbon-reinforced hood and two ventilation ducts. The kit continues with new wings, side skirts, a carbon rear spoiler with integrated diffuser, and numerous other carbon-fiber elements. The tuner also installed a new exhaust system with four trapezoid end pipes. However, if you are interested you will have to pay a total of €16,490 (about $23,000 at the current exchange rates) for this kit.

The tuner is also offering a set of multi-part forged wheels in ten double-spoke design and sized 10-by-22 inches up front and 12-by-22 inches on the rear. For the interior, the tuner used high-quality leather for the seats and dashboard, and numerous other insertions in double clear-coat finish, leather, carbon, or Alcantara.

Fab Design also made a few updates under the hood where it installed a sports exhaust system, sports air filter, and an optimized engine electronic system. The result is an extra 48 horsepower and an extra 60 pound-feet of torque to the V-8 diesel engine. This bumps the SUV’s top speed to 257 km/h (159.7 mph) and gets its o to 100 km/h (62 mph) time down to just 5.4 seconds.

A few days after releasing a teaser of their Super Bowl ad, Kia has officially unveiled their "Space Babies" commercial commercial. Now, we’ve seen some pretty interesting Super Bowl ads over the years, but this one by Kia for the Sorento is probably right up there as far as making you "aww...oh, wait, ok I get it!"

The ad starts off with a little boy asking his dad where babies come from. Dad, apparently caught off guard with the question, goes on a soliloquy about how babies come from a planet called Babylandia and come to Earth nine months later to meet their families. Fantastic storytelling, might we say.

Apparently, the son was a lot smarter than the dad gave him credit for and just as the little one was about to say where babies really come from, dear dad interrupts him by asking the Sorento’s sound-activated infotainment system to play a kiddie song.

At that point, you’re lost on what the connection of the story is to the SUV. That is until Kia rolls out their slogan that essentially says the Sorento has "an answer for everything".

It’ll make you snicker, but it’s certainly not on the level of Little Darth Vader. In any case, good job by Kia on this ad. Money well spent, we say.

When Toyota released a teaser ad for their "Wish Granted" Super Bowl commercial featuring “Big Bang Theory” star, Kaley Cuoco, they established the premise that she’s a dog-loving, purple-power-suit-wearing, wish-granting genie.

With the release of Toyota’s first official Super Bowl commercial, we got to see Cuoco perform her role as wish granter to a tee, giving the Henderson family all that they’re wishing for, including the dad who asked for the spare tire to be gone, the mother who wished for unlimited chocolates, the daughter who wished for animals to talk, the son who wished he was an astronaut, and the father who wished (again) for unlimited wishes...except that Genie Cuoco thought she heard something else.

The whole point of the commercial is Toyota’s attempt in selling the RAV4 as an SUV that grants its customer’s wishes; it’s a cute approach made cuter with Cuoco’s presence. Let’s just hope that buyers don’t take that notion too literally because once someone does, then it’ll probably be cause for a whole lot of disgruntled customers.

Until Audi drops the next-generation Q7 SUV onto the market, the guys over at Hofele Design have unveiled an awesome tuning kit based on the 2011 and 2012 Q7 . The kit is called Strator GT 780 and can be yours if you have an extra €6,900 ($9,300 at the current exchange rates) in your pocket.

The Strator GT 780 kit includes a new front bumper with bigger air intakes and four additional lamps, more pronounced wheel arch extensions, a wide rear apron diffuser and a new exhaust system with four oval tailpipes. For the interior, the tuner adds a bi-color leather treatment on the seats, the door elements, the front and rear armrests and the steering wheel.

The kit also includes a set of 20-inch wheels combined with an electrical lowering module that can lower the car’s ride by 40 mm (1.57 inches). Once the SUV hits 80 km/h (49.7 mph), the lowering module lifts the Q7 back to its normal ride height to retain its normal ride and safety.

If you have extra money in your pocket you can also opt for some engine updates. Hofele offers up tuning packages for all five engines that the Q7 has available, which includes the 3.0 TDI, 3.6 V6 FSI, 4.2 V8 FSI, 4.2 TDI and 6.0 V12 TDI. From the factory, these engines crank out 240 horsepower, 280 horsepower, 350 horsepower, 340 horsepower and 500 horsepower, respectively. With the Hofele engine updates, these engines get bumped up to 275 horsepower, 305 horsepower, 375 horsepower, 370 horsepower and 555 horsepower, respectively.

Regardless of whether you want only aesthetics or a little pep to go along with the show, Hofele has the right kit for you.

Only during the Super Bowl will you see commercials - yes, commercials - have their own teasers. But that’s how lucrative that precious airtime is during the big game; the idea of teasing your million-dollar commercials with separate and cheaper spots leading up to the Super Bowl has kind of become an industry norm.

This year, Toyota is taking that route with the release of a teaser for their Super Bowl commercial(s). We already know that Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco will be the face of the commercials, but what we don’t know is the direction the campaign is going. In the teaser, Cuoco is strutting her stuff to “I Wish” by Skee-Lo – a song that hit No. 13 on the charts in 1995 – where he sings about wishing to be taller and wishing to be a baller. As these wishes are laid out, the passersby get these wishes – a short man grows taller, a delivery-truck driver dunks a basketball and a normal guy gets a good looking woman to call.

The part of the song that is the strangest is when Skee-Lo says “I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat in a ‘64 Impala.” We get the ’64 Impala, but the “rabbit in a hat with a bat?” What the??? Well, your wish is Toyota’s command, obviously, as waiting in Cuoco’s car is just that.

Stay tuned for the rest of Toyota’s Super Bowl commercials; they are bound to be sweet. We’ll have them all here following the game!

Click past the jump to see the original Skee-Lo video to see where this all stems from.


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