utility vehicle

utility vehicle

With the introduction of the Mini Countryman ALL4 , the number of four-wheel-drive models in the automaker’s lineup increases, giving us more choices on which of these models will suit our four-wheel-drive fancy.

Apparently, MINI has something in store for the Countryman ALL4 and it involves having a tricked-out tent on its roof. Camping season is upon us, and Mini ’s got the perfect outdoor companion in the form of the Countryman ALL4 Camp.

As the name suggests, the Countryman ALL4 Camp is a mobile camping machine in the sense that you can literally move your camp around without having to worry about packing it up and stuffing it into the cargo hull. That’s because the camp is already set up...on the roof!

All you have to do is use a ladder to head upstairs into the tent, fold out the upper half of the tent out of its storage box, fluff up the pillows and you’re ready to get that much-needed snooze time. Once you’re up and about, you can enjoy the spectacular view that the Countryman ’s higher ride height provides.

When you’re ready to head out for more adventure, you can stow away the tent into its box, climb down the ladder, and ride your mountain bike that’s stowed on the specially-fitted bicycle rack.

The Mini Countryman ALL4 Camp is the suitable partner for all those weekend camping trips, which at this time of the year, will undoubtedly pick up in volume.

Click past the jump to read about the MINI Countryman ALL4

Posted on by Simona  

At this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego Ford unveiled the F-150 "The Crimefighter" — a concept car that pays tribute to the original Batmobile . The first Batmobile was built by George Barris and unveiled back in 1965. It was based on a Ford Futura concept car and in January 2013 it was auctioned for a cool $4.2 million.

The new F-150 "The Crimefighter" was built in cooperation with Galpin Auto Sports and is based on a 2012 model year pickup truck. The Crimefighter is painted in tuxedo black with Ferrari red accents - similar to the original Batmobile. The bed of "The Crimefighter" has even been adorned with fins, just like the original Batmobile. Under the hood, this F-150 carries a 5.0-liter V-8 engine. Ford makes no mention of engine upgrades, so we assume this V-8 engine produces the stock 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque.

What’s very interesting about the Crimefighter is that Galpin Auto Sports is accepting orders for it, so if you want, you can feel like Batman too — if only Batman drove an F-150 pickup...

Click past the jump to read more the Ford F-150.

The San Diego Comic-Con opened up today and what better way to celebrate it than with a comic book-inspired ride? Well, Kia was happy to deliver the goods by way of a Justice League-inspired 2013 Sorento that took a whopping 10 months to complete.

For those that don’t know, the Justice League first appeared in The Brave and Beautiful issue No. 28, which was put on shelves in 1960. The original seven members of the famed comic book team were Batman , Superman , Aquaman , Flash , Green Lantern , Wonder Woman and Martian Manhunter, but many characters came and went through the years. This Sorento features all of the original characters with the exception of the lesser-known Martian Manhunter — in his place is more mainstream Cyborg — painted on each side of the vehicle by West Coast Customs. Each of the characters on this Sorento also had their own individual customized Kia and you can see each one by clicking on each name above.

Up front, the hood features a "Justice League" decal and nothing else, giving the crossover a clean, but still custom, look from the front end. The Kia also received blacked-out upper and lower grilles.

On the inside, the customization continues. West Coast Customs reupholstered all three rows of seats with one character’s colors and logo on each seat. Up front, the driver’s seat features the Superman logo and red piping, and the passenger’s seat features a batman logo on the headrest and gold piping. The three center-row seats features Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash logos with their respective colored piping. Finally, the third row of seats feature Aquaman and Cyborg logos with piping to match.

Also customized are the door panels, which feature comic strips on the upper inserts and color-coordinated piping, and the center console with its comic-strip covering.

What’s more, is that you can buy this custom rig on Ebay and bidding runs from today through July 27th here. The profits from the auction will go to help the We Can Be Heros campaign, which helps feed starving families in the Horn of Africa. So, not only can you own an awesome ride, but you also help a great cause, it’s a win-win situation.

The customization is based on a Sorento EX with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that puts down 276 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque.

Click past the jump to read more about the Justice League Sorento.

Posted on by TB +  

The Cadillac Escalade is a legend in multiple segments: as a celebrity limousine, a wealthy outdoorsman’s shuttle and do-it-all hauler for large families. These core attributes continue for the new model year with detail revisions to the LED lights front and back and two new grille designs in the higher-dollar models.

The Cadillac’s exterior style and enhanced image is the main justification for its prices at the very top of the GM SUV line that also includes the Chevrolet Suburban and the GMC Yukon. The Escalade also has unique interior trims, much better noise/vibration/harshness ratings and top-level performance to match its flashy chrome exterior.

The Cadillac brings serious levels of style, luxury and power with a better drivetrain than its cheaper siblings, standard air suspension with electronically adjustable dampers and even magnetic ride control on the top Platinum model.

So the Escalade is a shortcut to get the most loaded truck possible. Making most options standard at the Cadillac’s $65,000 base price also ratchets up the competition to the seven-passenger Range Rover Sport , the Infiniti QX56 and the aging Lincoln Navigator .

Does the flagship Cadillac SUV still capture buyer wants and needs in the final years before its replacement in 2015?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Escalade and 2014 Escalade ESV with photo comparisons of the three available grille finishes.

Posted on by TB +  

When Buick recently decided to name 11 "greatest hits" from its back catalog, it wanted one vehicle to define each decade the company has been making luxury cars. The most current model on the list and the one representing the modern Buick brand? The Enclave.

This full-size crossover seats up to eight people in a giant interior that could also double as a moving van. Its luxury styling elements, quiet cabin and optional AWD have earned the V-6-powered Enclave not only prestige within Buick ’s history, but also a breakout sales success rank that few expected when the model was launched as a 2008 model.

The name is pronounced “On Clave” and loosely means "to surround and protect." The name matches the mission of this family friendly wagon: offer almost all of the normal minivan space and safety benefits in a more fashionable SUV shell - with optional AWD and 4,500-pound towing capability.

The latest 2014 Buick Enclave packs a few updates to its interior amenities, new safety tech and a light exterior refresh that includes LED lights front and rear. How does it fare versus its primary competition in the $45,000 luxury crossover segment: the Infiniti JX35 and the new Acura MDX ? Does it have enough luxury to justify the extra spend over the latest seven-passenger Hyundai Santa Fe ?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Buick Enclave with mega photo gallery of the revised exterior and interior.

Scion tC Sports Coupe

We have seen nearly every gimmick under the sun with various automakers, from Saturn and its "No Haggle" pricing — see where that got it — to Volkswagen with its "Sign Then Drive Event." One gimmick that we’ve been waiting for is for when dealerships start renting out their cars for extended test drives or just a weekend trip.

Well, the wait is now over, as Toyota has done just that. From the looks of things, about 85 percent of Toyota and Scion dealers across the U.S. participate in this program and Toyota claims that its rental rates are competitive with local car-rental companies. According to the Toyota Rent a Car website, you can rent cars, trucks, SUVs, Hybrids and even the 2013 RAV4 EV for a day, week or even months. Unfortunately, the 2013 Scion FR-S isn’t on the list of available models, but the almost-as-cool Scion tC is on the list.

So, we can now check brand-new rent-a-buckets off of our wish list, now we are just waiting for all of the dealers to morph into rental showrooms and Internet-based car buying — now that is "no haggle pricing!" Those two will likely never happen, but at the rate that Tesla is changing the car-buying experience, you just never know what will happen.

Your move, Elon Musk...

Click past the jump to read about some of the coolest models that Toyota is renting out under this program

Posted on by Simona  

The new-generation Jeep Cherokee was just unveiled at the 2013 New York Auto Show to rather mixed reviews, thanks to relatively over-the-top styling. Even with its odd styling, it is starting to grow on us a little. An now, rumors of an SRT version have us thinking even more fondly of this new model.

First details from the Jeep experts over at AllPar suggest that this hopped-up Cherokee will come equipped with an all-wheel-drive system in place of the standard front-wheel drive, a nine-speed automatic transmission and an engine that oozes power.

Anyone that knows anything about Chrysler ’s SRT group knows that the Cherokee SRT will feature an engine with tons more power. However, the origins of the engine and the exact output is still up for speculation. One suggestion is a 3.0-liter V-6 sourced from fellow Fiat subsidiary, Maserati . This may be a little too much for the petit Cherokee, as that would put it over the 400-horsepower mark. There is also the idea of it using a 2.4-liter boosted engine with an output of about 300 horsepower, but that’s likely not enough power to drum up interest in this model.

The most likely of scenarios is to use one of the existing Pentastar V-6 engines — 3.2- or 3.6-liter — which can be tuned to well over 400 horsepower, using a pair of turbochargers. If Chrysler chooses to only use one turbo, it would still put it in the 350- to 375-horsepower range. Either way, the Pentastar would have to undergo some big changes, including strengthening the internals and dropping the compression to around 9-to-1.

No matter what engine the Cherokee SRT uses, we can’t wait to see what it can do.

Click past the jump to read more about the Jeep Cherokee SRT.

Source: Allpar
Posted on by Simona  

1,750 horsepower vs. 510 horsepower doesn’t sound like a good competition, right? But Land Rover did it, as the SUV manufacturer put a new Range Rover Sport head-to-head against a 1945 Spitfire TR9 V12 Merlin. Car vs. plane all over again!

The Range Rover Sport was driven by Mike Cross, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Vehicle Integrity Engineer, while the Spitfire was piloted by Matt Jones from the Boultbee Flight Academy. So, which one won the race?

To help you see just how one-sided this competition is on paper, we remind you that the Range Rover Sport is powered by a 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine with 510 horsepower on tap, while the Spitfire TR9 V12 Merlin gets a 1,750-horsepower V-12 Merlin engine and it has a maximum airspeed of 400 mph.

Both the car and the plane are considered British legends of land and sky, so picking a winner can be pretty difficult. All we can say is watch the video to see which one won the race.

Posted on by Simona  

Mansory has a long tradition of upgrading the Land Rover SUVs, and after a very successful kit offered for the third-generation Range Rover , the tuner decided to do the same with the recently launched fourth-generation . With this kit, Mansory focused on making the SUV more powerful, luxurious and sophisticated.

In order to obtain these results, Mansory started with some upgrades under the hood. The V-8 engine was upgraded with a new sports air filter and an optimized engine electronic system. As a result, the V-8 engine’s output jumps by 68 horsepower and 51 pound feet to 578 horsepower and 512 pound-feet of torque. Mansory is also testing a kit that pushes output to 650 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque in initial testing — a boost of 140 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque.

The kit continues with a very cool aerodynamic kit, a new set of wheels and an updated interior.

Click past the jump to read more about the Range Rover Vogue by Mansory.

Posted on by Simona  

The new generation Jeep Grand Cherokee was unveiled at the 2010 New York Auto Show, and for the 2014 model year it got even better thanks to the addition of a new diesel engine and a new eight-speed automatic transmission. There is also a new Grand Cherokee Summit version added to the lineup, plus a new array of advanced user-friendly technology features.

Thanks to the new diesel engine, the Grand Cherokee will deliver the best-in-class fuel economy and driving range. Next to the new diesel engine the 2014 Grand Cherokee will continue to be offered with the usual V-6 and V-8 engines, that transformed the SUV into a leader on the market.

Jeep also decided to make some improvements on the exterior look and added new bi-xenon headlamps with signature LED daytime running lamps, while for the interior the model was updated with premium amenities including Natura leather, exotic open-pore wood trim and new color offerings.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.


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