Tag: Off-Road

By on October 10, 2019

Trucks make money. A lot of it. Witness the relentless march of average transaction prices, hauled into the stratosphere by all things with a Crew Cab and four-wheel drive. Manufacturers have yet to find the ceiling so, spurred by consumer demand and financial reward, they continue to crank out ever-more outrageous (and expensive) variants.

This time, it isn’t the latest Platinum Southfork Rhodium Kryptonite festival of leather and wood. Chevy, keen to take some of Ford’s lunch, has been rumoured to be building a true competitor to the mighty F-150 Raptor. The race truck you see here is the best indication yet that someone on the Silverado team has dirt under their fingernails.

(Read More…)

By on August 20, 2019

2017 GMC Canyon SLT Diesel - Image: GMC

Adventurous types looking for off-road fun from their local GM dealer already have the option of choosing the brawny Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 and its butchier Bison variant, which leaves GM’s truck-only GMC brand as something as a spectator. GMC hasn’t gone whole-hog into the off-road midsizer niche, though it does offer its Canyon pickup in All Terrain trim. Cutaway front fenders are most definitely not included.

The same dynamic may exist after 2020, but the All Terrain will be gone, replaced with an AT4 trim that hopefully goes the extra mile in terms of off-the-beaten-track capability. (Read More…)

By on June 27, 2019

The new Tremor off-road package will bring a new 7.3-liter V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission to the heavy-duty F-250 and F-350 lineups. The 6.7-liter Power Stroke turbo diesel V8 will also be available, paired with its 6-speed automatic.

Ford’s Tremor package is a shot across the bow of the RAM Power Wagon. The 35-inch Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac tires are the largest diameter rubber available on any HD pickup and a 2-inch lift of the front suspension and shorter air dam enable real off-road prowess for the Super Duty trucks. (Read More…)

By on June 19, 2019

Just because the Lexus GX 460 rarely goes off-road, doesn’t mean it can’t. Despite the fact that most GXs prowl suburban malls, Lexus is still working to bolster its boulder-bashing bonafides.

The 2020 Lexus GX 460 will be available with an Off-Road Package with Multi-Terrain Select. Available on the top-level Luxury Grade model, this package should help with all that off-roading that Lexus owners are apparently known to do. This system combines surface-selectable traction- and stability-control modes with the Panoramic View and Multi-Terrain Monitors, all but negating the need for a spotter when doing some hardcore rock crawling.

Lexus is taking existing developed systems and technologies and incorporating them into the GX platform.  (Read More…)

By on June 17, 2019

When the invite from Fiat Chrysler came in, I hemmed and hawed. The event in question was an off-road drive of the 2020 Jeep Gladiator, along with other off-road-oriented Jeep and Dodge rigs, taking place at an off-road park in west-central Indiana. This was a regional event — media invitees all came from Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis.

If I hadn’t already driven the Gladiator in March, I’d have gone without a second thought. That’s why I hesitated – I’d driven the truck on the launch, and I’ll learn more from a second-look that takes place over a week-long loan (I have one scheduled) than I would from a few more hours of rock-crawling. Was it worth the time out of office?

(Read More…)

By on May 30, 2019

All-new 2018 Jeep® Wrangler Sahara

In the middle part of this decade, as sales of the Jeep Wrangler (and the Jeep brand itself) rose into the stratosphere, speculation cropped up that General Motors would not let its rival dominate the off-road SUV market unchallenged. The company offered hints that it might field something of its own.

A GM SUV with serious trail-rated chops is still talked about today, even after GMC brand boss Duncan Aldred, speaking in 2017, said, “I don’t think it’s worth trying to take on Wrangler.” Even after the reborn Chevrolet Blazer turned out to be an Acadia-based crossover. Blame Ford’s upcoming Bronco and the Wrangler’s continued popularity for the continued speculation.

Now, the internet is once again abuzz after photos revealed two Wranglers at GM’s Milford Proving Grounds. (Read More…)

By on April 10, 2019

Yes, the ZR2 is far from a base truck. But based on a suggestion from the peanut gallery  (*waves at PrincipalDan*) we thought it would be a good idea to see if a “base” off-roader is a healthier bet than upgrading to the full meal deal.

In fact, calling the ZR2 a base truck – with its DSSV dampers and other gonzo off-road kit – seems like heresy to your author. Jumping a Colorado ZR2 at 40 mph over an obstacle on a trophy truck track proves just how capable the thing is.

(How’s that Ranger Raptor coming, Ford? Oh, it isn’t? I see. Thanks for the mobility scooter, then.)

Chevy has, however, added another layer onto the ZR2 cake. Called the Bison, is its extra gear worth the cash? Or are gearheads better off with a “base” ZR2 and spending the money on mods of their own? Let’s see.

(Read More…)

By on December 27, 2018

On Thursday, Jaguar Land Rover announced that an all-new Defender SUV will be sold in the United States and Canada come 2020.

“On behalf of Land Rover and our retailers, we are proud to announce the voices of American and Canadian customers have been heard: the all-new Defender will be for sale here starting in 2020,” said Kim McCullough, Vice President of Marketing at JLR North America. “This announcement is a holiday gift to our Defender fans in North America and a hint of what’s to come in the New Year.”

While giving individuals the opportunity to buy themselves an expensive item with their own money is a pretty shitty gift idea, it’s nice to learn the Defender’s twenty-year hiatus will soon come to an end.  (Read More…)

By on December 10, 2018

Ford announced some HR news today, saying that Trevor Worthington has been appointed vice president, Global Product Development Operations & Vehicle Programs. Worthington has served as veep of Product Development for Asia Pacific since 2013. You may recognize that part of the Ford empire as the area which just got the Ranger Raptor.

Also today, Ford product guru and prolific tweeter Mike Levine promised “Some cool Ford Truck news coming later this week.”

Coincidence? We think not!

(Read More…)

By on July 25, 2018

The machine you see before you isn’t a Jeep CJ from the ‘70s. Nor is it a Jeep CJ from the ‘80s. Despite its familiar shape, googly round eyes, and a front bumper sticking out like a spoilt child’s bottom lip, not one cent of the cash outlaid by customer will line FCA’s coffers.

It’s the Mahindra ROXOR – an off-roader from an Indian company, built in America, the Willys way. Got that?

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By on May 4, 2018

The old mining track descends from the shattered and tilted tablelands toward an imposing palisade of Wingate sandstone running to the horizon in each direction. This is one of the more dramatic and violent geologic upheavals on the Colorado Plateau and the road across it isn’t kind.

Sunbaked boom-time miners once hacked out jeep tracks across this wilderness, scouring for uranium to feed America’s nuclear frenzy. Only a few made it big, but if there ever was a more intriguing landscape in which to lose your mind seeking fortune, I’d like to see it. We’re here for lighter reasons, though, blithely rolling over rocks and ruts that would have halted most CUVs miles before, dropping into steep wash crossings that would stub the long front overhang of an Outback, and confidently inching up a stepped bedrock shelf that would trouble the long wheelbase of a full-size pickup.

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By on April 20, 2018

Jeep really loves touting its off-road heritage, along with the capability of its current stable of SUVs. To that end, FCA invited Chicago-area automotive media out to play in the mud at an off-road park in central Illinois.

The very same off-road park in which I stuffed a Ford Raptor into the mud, multiple times.

Even though this was not a traditional first drive, and I’d driven both the new Wrangler and new Cherokee off-road – one in Arizona, the other in California – I wanted a little more time with both away from the pavement. Especially since the never-ending winter of 2018 provided rain and snow in the days leading up to the drive.

That meant there’d be mud, and lots of it.

(Read More…)

By on April 11, 2018

Image: GM

With its jacked suspension, cutaway front fenders, and upgraded rubber, the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 appeals to midsize pickup buyers who aren’t in the habit of staying on dry, safe pavement over the course of a weekend. But, while the ZR2 is the General Motors vehicle most cut out for Oregon Trail work, there’s always room for improvement.

In a bid to satisfy these adventurous customers, GM appears ready to offer a better off-roader. (Read More…)

By on March 27, 2018

2019 GMC Sierra AT4

GMC has determined there’s gold in them thar trails, witnessing Ram hoovering up dollars from off-roaders and wannabe off-roaders with the Rebel variation of its 1500 pickup.

The tri-lettered half of The General’s truck duo latched onto the off-road life in the previous Sierra with a trim called All Terrain. It’s back and beefed up on the revamped 2019 model but, taking a page from the Cadillac Book of Alphanumerics, it is now called the AT4.

(Read More…)

By on March 2, 2018

Mahindra ROXOR

What’s that? You want a Jeep but don’t care for one at its current size? Does a 62 horsepower turbo-diesel engine, four-wheel drive, and front/rear leaf suspension appeal to you? And you have just $15,499 to spend? Does Mahindra now have a deal for you.

Just keep it off-road, mmmkay?

(Read More…)

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