Tag Archives: Off Roaders

Am I the only one who likes the idea of a Jeep Renegade-like Toyota FJ?

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This is the Toyota FT-4X Concept, and it’s a clear hint that Toyota may be developing a small FJ SUV to take on the funky Jeep Renegade. A lot of people are hating on it, but I’m digging the idea a lot. I, for one, like a lot of things about the Jeep Renegade, and I think Toyota has a real opportunity to take a lot of that market. All they have to do is make a dependable small off-roader with some funky FJ style, and they will eat Jeep’s lunch.

I hope the FT-4X does make it into production, donning the FJ name when it does.

Call me the island in a sea of haters.

-Nick

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The Range Rover Velar Looks Incredible!

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I think this is the best-looking SUV on sale, and by a decent margin. BMW and Mercedes need to take notes, this is how you make an SUV look properly sleek. You don’t need some awkward “Coupe SUV” thing like the X6 or GLE Coupe. Instead of chopping off the rearward roof section, Land Rover’s designers chose to give the teardrop treatment to the entire SUV shape. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Even better, underneath, the Range Rover Velar shares its platform with the lovely-to-drive Jaguar F-Pace. The Jag handles great, and is a ton of fun on back roads, and I hope this Range Rover will retain that trait. Engine-wise buyers can choose between a turbo gas 4 cylinder, a diesel 4 cylinder, or the fun model with the 380hp supercharged V6.

The Range Rover Velar slots between the Range Rover Evoque and Ranger Rover Sport, competing with the Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5, and BMW X3/X4. It’s up against some decent competition, but with looks to kill, the Velar may have a leg up on the Germans. I was blown away by the style of the Evoque when it came out, but this takes the design past the next level.

I can’t wait to see the Velar in person because it will probably look even better than in photos.

-Nick Walker

Ford better to not screw up the new Bronco…

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The title may sound obvious, but the obvious has often proven difficult for the corporate mindsets in Detroit. Keep it simple, stupid, the people who want a new Ford Bronco want a Ford Bronco in the iconic sense. Give them the rugged functionality they need wrapped in the classic Bronco style they want, and you will sell units. This image has been making the rounds on the interweb, and people seem to really love it. Could the path forward for Ford be any clearer?

The new Bronco is supposedly going to take on the Jeep Wrangler, an off-road champ who’s style hasn’t changed since “retro” was brand new. People love that iconic style, and most won’t settle for a watered-down alternative from Ford. The new Bronco has to be the same sort of “special” that the original was. Anything but retro styling will be a huge mistake here.

I trust Ford to make the Bronco a decent functional off-roader at this point, but I’m worried the corporate big-wigs might try to water down the styling to try and make it appeal to everyone, and that’d be a dumb move. Let’s be honest here, most people who buy a Jeep Wrangler don’t do much serious off-roading, but they all love it’s distinctive style. In my opinion, the Bronco needs to compete with the Wrangler on style above all else. Whether or not it can climb a bigger rock or not is secondary for most people.

Continue reading Ford better to not screw up the new Bronco…

Classic Toyota FJ40 Spotted at Amelia Island

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That time Toyota made a better jeep than Jeep. These old FJs are highly sought after now, which means many people take the trouble to restore them to immaculate condition. We caught this green one at the Ritz on Amelia Island.

I really love the style of the old FJs, and between these, the Land Cruiser, and their trucks, Toyota has quite a history of making legendary off-roaders. I was a fan of the newer FJ Cruiser, from a few years back, too. Honestly, I think Toyota should make FJ into a sub-brand and take on Jeep head-on. Unfortunately, they seem too hell-bent on being bland to take such a bold step at this point.

-Nick

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Infiniti QX80 Limited Review: The Plush Utility Vehicle

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I believe the term is “Land Yacht.” A massive, expensive way of getting from place to place for people who like to take up their slightly-more-than-fair share of space in the world. It also works great if you have a large family, although, most forms of birth control are a lot cheaper than this $90,000 behemoth.

Either way, if this is the way you want to get around in the world, then the Infiniti QX80 Limited will do a lot to float your boat. Maybe a Cadillac Escalade is too “Tony Soprano” for you. Maybe you’d like a Mercedes GLS, but, unfortunately, your local dealer just sold their last one to another real estate agent who’s drowning themselves in payments trying to “project an image of success” to their clients. Have no fear, the QX80 is here to save the day, and you just might be glad you didn’t get the others.

Continue reading Infiniti QX80 Limited Review: The Plush Utility Vehicle

Bentley Bentayga at NYIAS 2016

Bentley Bentayga NYIAS 2016

We got our first look at the new Bentley Bentayga SUV at the New York International Auto Show. Part of me doesn’t think it quite fits as a Bentley, the other part of me sees how it was a no-brainer for the Luxury SUV segment.

I think there’s little doubt the Bentayga will sell well. I mean, pretty soon you’ll be seeing them sprinkled around the Apple Store side of your local mall, right next to the Teslas. The question is does it help Bentley or hurt their brand identity?

-Nick

Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6 at Amelia Island

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This is the Mercedes G63 AMG 6×6, a car for hardcore people who live hardcore lives filled with all manner of hardcoreness, as well as grotesque amounts of money (maybe legal, but probably not). It’s 6-wheel drive, and that means that even after the apocalypse, you’ll be able to get to the mall so you can still be the first one to get the new iPhone.

That’s what the modern luxury SUV is about, and the Mercedes 6×6 is the undisputed king. You don’t even have to worry about arriving early to get a good parking spot when you have one of these. If it’s crowded, just park on top some car in a handicapped spot. You’ve already paid for your privilege, they can get their own.

The 6×6 is definitely a Bond villains car if I’ve ever seen one. It’s for people who don conflict diamonds proudly and wear clothing made from the pelts of endangered animals. Someone with henchmen and offshore bank accounts with a good evil laugh, and a cat which they stroke constantly.

If this fits you, then you need a Mercedes 6×6. Sure they may be all sold out, but just assassinate someone who has one and pick it up cheap at the estate sale. Heck, with a few well-placed put options, you might even make money along the way.

-Nick

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Lamborghini LM002 Spotted at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island

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Lamborghini once made an SUV/Truck for the Italian military. This is the street version, the Lamborghini LM002. Think of it as a Humvee with more style, fine Italian leather, a manual gearbox, and the V12 from the Lamborghini Countach supercar. Yes, this is a V12 Lamborghini off-roader, and it’s badass as hell.

We caught this very rare green LM002 outside the Ritz Carlton, host to the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. We were in a hurry to get to an event, so I only shot it as we walked past, but it was unbelievably cool.

Dads, keep your daughters away from any guy who pulls up in one of these…

-Nick Walker

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