I’ve already given the introduction to how much Texans love their trucks and how every year the Texas Auto Writers Association gathers to crown the winner; the coveted “Truck of Texas” award. Now let’s get down to some results.
Besides the main award, there were 17 other categories that each of the 75 vehicles fell into. These consisted of titles like “Midsized Crossover Utility Vehicles” and “Luxury Pickup Trucks.” Awards were also given for best connectivity, best powertrain, and best technology.
Each vehicle was subjected to a battery of tests that measured its ability to perform its intended function, whether that be towing, going off road, surrounding its occupants in luxury, or proving a great all-round family hauler. The vehicles were all competing within their respective category for the win.
So which truck, SUV, or crossover took home the Truck of Texas award? Continue reading to find out.
Not much goes together quite like Texas and trucks. It’s the U.S.’ largest truck market by a long shot and it’s plain to see as you peruse any given parking lot. Texans love their trucks. That’s why the Texas Auto Writers Association crowns a Truck of Texas winner every year after an extensive evaluation process.
As a member of TAWA, I spent the better part of a week in the dusty hills outside San Antonio testing 75 contenders vying for the prized top spot. Eighteen automakers from around the world were in attendance, the majority bringing more than a handful of vehicles.
Ground zero for testing was the famed Knibbe Ranch, with hundreds of acres of sprawling across the Lonestar state. Muddy creek crossings and rocky hill climbs, combined with twisty country roads and newly paved highways provided the test beds. Those trucks, SUVs and crossovers brave enough to tackle the off-road section were subjected to rock-strewn dirt roads that punished suspension parts and underbody skidplates. More road-biased crossovers were thrown around narrow roads and up steep hills. The new pavement along the Texas highway was still covered in loose asphalt with orange caution cones proving a tempting (yet highly illegal) slalom course. Thankfully no one attempted that obstacle.
The 60 journalists judging the event had a huge decision to make. What truck, SUV or crossover would be crowned the Truck of Texas? Well, you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out. We’ll announce the top winner and the winners of sub-categories on Wednesday.
Click past the jump for a full photo gallery
In 2013, Land Rover introduced a totally new generation of its flagship Range Rover and Range Rover Sport SUVs. The brand is known to produce some of the finest premium off-road luxury vehicles in the world and it did not come as a surprise to us when the world bestowed it with praise, as has been the case with Land Rovers historically.
Yes, the Range Rover has grown into a mature off-road vehicle and is in league of its own, when it comes to luxury motoring. While, the Range Rover sits at the top of the food chain, its smaller sibling, the Range Rover Sport, has had its fair share of successes. MotorTrend magazine honored the RR Sport with the coveted ’SUV of the Year’ and now Four Wheeler Magazine has awarded the Range Rover Sport with "Four Wheeler of the Year" for 2013.
This is the third time a Land Rover SUV has won this award after intense and grueling testing both on tarmac and on rugged terrain designed to test the off-road capabilities of the vehicle.
"It is a great achievement for the very luxurious and performance oriented Range Rover Sport to be named ’Four Wheeler of the Year,’ by the country’s oldest four-wheel drive enthusiast publication," said Kim McCullough, Brand Vice President, Land Rover North America.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Range Rover Sport
Let’s face it, the vast majority of production cars don’t look like the concept cars they’re based upon. Sure, various features may be carried over, but concept cars allow designers to go crazy and that’s exactly what they did when designing the original Land Rover LRX Concept.
It was so new and innovative that most people believed it would never reach production and if it did, it would undergo massive changes. To the world’s surprise, when it went into production in July 2011 as the Range Rover Evoque it looked almost identical to the stunning concept car. As a result of the car’s incredible styling and its on-road and off-road capabilities, the Evoque has received 103 awards to date from websites, magazines, and newspapers all across the globe.
But arguably the most prestigious award the Evoque has received so far was awarded at the 2012 New York Auto Show where the Evoque was crowned World Car Design of the Year for 2012. No less than 46 nominations were given for the award and the Evoque was shortlisted by five world renowned design experts along with the Citroen DS5 and Volkswagen Up!
Final deliberations were handed over to a panel of 66 automotive journalists from 25 different countries, before the Evoque was crowned the winner. And we can’t say we’re surprised, as it’s an immaculate bit of design and also created a completely new segment in the market.
Land Rover Design Director Gerry McGovern had the following to say, "We are honored that the Range Rover Evoque has been named 2012 World Design Car of the Year. This prestigious accolade recognizes the overwhelmingly positive response that we have received to the Evoque’s bold and dramatic design. It is a car that truly resonates on an emotional level."
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