By on August 27, 2019

Audi is teasing a new model slated to debut at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show — an off-road specialist called the AI:TRAIL Quattro. With massive wheels and a nonexistent approach/departure angle, the conceptual crossover certainly seems ready to scurry up a mountain. But the overall design is more hyper-modern RC car than traditional baja beast.

It’s not coming entirely out of left field. Audi has shown several electrified concepts using a similarly futuristic design language, among them the AICON luxury sedan, PB18 supercar, and AI:ME city vehicle. Like the AI:TRAIL, each is designed to tackle a very specific portion of the market. All will be on hand in Frankfurt to showcase Audi’s vision of what a car could be.  (Read More…)

By on February 6, 2019

The Chicago Auto Show is less a trade event for showcasing new models and more of an industry dumping ground for special editions and appearance packages. Toyota is already bringing one of those to the party with the Land Cruiser Heritage Edition, but that’s not all it plans to unload from its trailer.

With the event just hours away, Toyota felt compelled to issue a last-minute teaser of an unidentified TRD Pro model. However, we’re disinclined to believe it’s destined for the updated Tacoma display. (Read More…)

By on October 1, 2018

Earlier this year, we addressed speculation that there was a chance Nissan’s new body-on-frame SUV — and spiritual successor to the now-defunct Xterra — could go on sale in the United States. Unfortunately, the development team behind the Nissan Terra has advised us to keep it in our pants. It isn’t coming here, despite previous claims from the manufacturer that it could be possible.

“We can do anything,” Ashwani Gupta, global head of light commercial vehicles for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, said last March, while maintaining that a strong case would still need to be made for the model’s U.S. arrival, “[The Terra has] authentic capability to go off-road — even if the customer only wants to go off-road once a year.”

Nissan has since changed its tune on the Terra’s prospects. “Currently, that is out of our scope,” Hironori Awano, chief vehicle engineer of the Terra, said during a briefing at Nissan’s global technical center last week. “The U.S. market is one of the toughest, not just because of crash tests but also because of customer expectations.”  (Read More…)

By on August 21, 2018

Ford hasn’t confirmed the Raptor Ranger for the United States and it has really started burning everyone’s biscuit. The same is likely true in Canada — except for Quebec, where they would assumedly prefer the croissant. However, the collective annoyance doesn’t stem from fears that the middle-weight Raptor won’t make it to North America, as there’s already too much evidence to the contrary. Everybody just wants Ford to stop playing hard-to-get and cough up the details on their new pickup.

Using the Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany as a launching platform, Ford unveiled the Euro-spec Ranger Raptor to the public on Tuesday. While we’re still a little confused by the industry’s growing fascination with debuting new models alongside car-related video games, it is of little consequence. We don’t mind hearing about how it will be in the new Forza Horizon 4 as long as we get to hear some technical details.  (Read More…)

By on June 18, 2018

Suzuki’s automotive division may have retreated from the American landscape, but it left a lasting impression. While not overabundant in goodness, it did have a few bright spots and the Jimny was one of them. Of course, not everyone will recognize the name. But they’ll know the vehicle, even if they don’t realize it.

While the Jimny and Vitara (also known as the Escudo) have grown apart in more recent years, there was a time when the duo was responsible a multitude of incredibly small off-road vehicles sold in North America. You know them as the Suzuki Sidekick, Suzuki SamuraiChevrolet/Geo Tracker, and Pontiac Sunrunner (if you’re Canadian). They’ve had other names in other parts of the world but, regardless of where they were sold, the models were usually the cheapest way to hurl a small vehicle at some rocks.

This remained true for the Jimny, even as the Vitara evolved into a crossover and distanced itself from the wild modifications of dirt-obsessed enthusiast. Unfortunately, that left the Jimny stuck in its third generation since 1998. That’s twenty years of the same car, but Suzuki says the new model is just about ready.  (Read More…)

By on March 18, 2018

NissanTerra01-750px

Nissan has twice confirmed production for its Navara-based body-on-frame sport utility vehicle. Called the Terra, rumors of the new model had off-road enthusiasts cocking their hands in preparation for a round of high-fives. Unfortunately, the vehicle appears to have been specifically designed for the Chinese market and may be spending all of its time in Asia for a while.

That hasn’t kept people from speculating that the Terra might eventually replace the Pathfinder or return as a successor to the defunct Xterra. We’re dubious of any claims that the Pathfinder might return to body-on-frame status. Sales of the model have been steady in North America and have not been hurt by its unibody design. But, with Nissan’s Frontier badly needing an update, it is not inconceivable that it could spawn an SUV using the Xterra name in a couple years.  (Read More…)

By on February 6, 2018

Tacoma TRD Teaser CAS 2018

Toyota not-so-subtly confirmed that the Tacoma TRD Pro will soon be available with a factory snorkel via a teaser photo on Tuesday. The automaker wants to remind everyone that new Toyota Racing Development 4×4 models will appear at the Chicago Auto Show later this week.

Mounted high enough for the Tacoma to drive through miles of bumper-deep volcanic ash or water without suffocating the engine, the snorkel showcases Toyota’s commitment to off-roading — or at least the associated trappings. (Read More…)

By on August 12, 2017

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, Image: Stephen Elmer and Anthony Delacruz.

If you have dreams of racing in Baja, but lack a race team’s budget, it’s a good time to be in the market for a pickup truck. That is thanks to the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro, two midsize off-road focused pickups with a special emphasis on high-speed desert running.

The Ford Raptor, now considered the granddaddy to both of these two young trucks, started this push into credible high-speed off-road packages from the factory, and both Chevy and Toyota have applied the treatment to their midsize pickups, each with something unique to offer would-be racers. (Read More…)

By on March 30, 2017

Jeep ZJ Concept

For over half a century, Jeep has held an annual safari in Moab, Utah, where 4×4 enthusiasts come to tackle the rough terrain in all manner of off-road vehicles. It’s also become an opportunity for Jeep to showcase its modern concept vehicles.

While Jeep has in past years leveraged nostalgia as a theme for its based-on-current-model concepts, the crème de la crème from this year wasn’t even from the current millennium and comes to us — via Craigslist — in the form of a 1993 ZJ Jeep Grand Cherokee.

(Read More…)

By on January 25, 2017

2004 Ford Bronco Concept, Image: Ford

In a galvanized country shaken to its core by the looming reintroduction of the Ford Bronco, word comes of a component that could bring off-road prowess to every driveway in the union.

The solid axle.

Ford, which recently announced the official return of the storied 4×4, has reportedly handed over axle duties to Dana, noted supplier of beams to the Jeep Wrangler. (Read More…)

By on October 13, 2016

2017 GMC Sierra 2500HD All Terrain X, Image: General Motors

Do you want heavy-duty work truck wrapped in black sheetmetal fit for a henchman? You’re in luck, my productive and sinister friend.

GMC has expanded its All Terrain X series to include the Sierra 2500HD. It joins the midsize Canyon and full-size Sierra 1500 in offering the X trim, but it’s squarely aimed at its offroad-ready, crosstown rival — the Ram Power Wagon. (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2014

Jeep-Renegade-18

Though the Jeep Renegade already bowed at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show, the off-road brand has plans for not only a fullsize SUV similar to the discontinued Commander, but an A segment SUV slotted beneath the Renegade, as well.

(Read More…)

By on December 9, 2013

TTAC_Wrangler-chart

The general belief that no genuine Jeep Wrangler alternative sells in anything like the kinds of numbers achieved by the Wrangler is a belief that is completely, wholeheartedly supported by the facts.

(Read More…)

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