Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.
The all-new Jeep Wrangler Red Rock Concept looks like the type of package that Jeep would have revealed at the Easter Jeep Safari earlier this year. Although Jeep saved it for SEMA, the package is inspired by the 50th anniversary of the annual Jeep lovers' gathering in Moab and the Red Rock 4-Wheelers club that organizes it. The concept's upgrades make the already-rugged Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Hard Rock even bigger and tougher.
Flashlight multi-tools tend to be highly unintuitive designs with flip-out implements integrated awkwardly into the flashlight body or tiny flashlights bolted into multi-tool casings. The Life+Gear Survival Utility Flashlight (an SUF to store in your SUV?) docks a standalone multi-tool in its handle, so you get a full-sized flashlight and six-in-one folding tool to keep you prepared for all types of situations.
We knew the Toyota Ultimate Utility Vehicle would be one of the most delightfully odd vehicles of the year the minute we heard about it months ago, and now that Toyota has released all the details, we find it better than expected. Not only is it the gnarliest minivan you've likely ever seen, but it's packed inside and out with innovative solutions and high-tech equipment that allows it to navigate the world's nastiest terrain and serve as a mobile workstation.
We've seen a number of European camper-in-a-box solutions over the years, including the Swiss Roombox, German Ququq and French Yatoo systems. The Austrian Qubiq system may be the most versatile of them all, finding a middle ground between those all-in-one integrated systems and smaller, single-purpose modules like Buddy Boxes. With Qubiq, campers can mix and match units that cook, wash, refresh and sleep.
The annual SEMA Show kicked off on Tuesday in Las Vegas. For a few days, the auto industry's focus drifts away from reality and into a fantasy world of big, wild, extreme builds of all shapes and colors. Some interesting themes flow through this year's show, including unlikely off-road vehicles, re-engined classics and potential world record breakers.
Kia isn't known for rough, tough trucks or athletic sports cars, but it's showing its fun side at this year's SEMA show. It's revealed four heavily modified cars that celebrate the spirit of the American road trip. Its open-top A1A Optima helps drivers experience the open road, while the other three concepts veer off that road for dirt, rock, mud and views.
For generations, the backpack has been the go-to means of hauling gear and clothing into vehicle-free stretches of the outdoors. Wheeled man-trailers are trying hard to catch up, though. In the past few years, we've covered the Monowalker and Armadillo trailers and have seen one or two similar designs rolling through crowdfunding and design sites. The Trailpod is yet another option, utilizing a unique triple-wheel, floating-axle construction to roll your provisions over sand, mud, grass and anything else that gets in your way.
Van artists love nothing more than to have new clay to mold, and the Volkswagen T6 has already served to make some very nice sculptures. We've seen it as a versatile camper van in the Tonke Van, and now Redline shows it can be an equally convincing luxury limo. The Russian tuning studio has transformed the T6 Multivan into an ultra-comfy chauffeured van with 2 + 1 cabin.
Koenigsegg may be the one pushing the idea of a 1 hp/1 kg car, but Hennessey beat it there by a few years with the 1,200-kg, 1,200-hp Venom GT. That car set an unofficial world speed record a hair under 270.5 mph (435.3 km/h) in 2014. And it's still not good enough for John Hennessey, who has stuffed another 207 horses into his supercar in a bid to ensure it remains one of the world's most powerful cars. Gotta keep up with the Koenigseggs and Bugattis, after all. It's all part of the 2,875 horses that Hennessey will storm SEMA with next week.
The Korean auto industry is getting its wheels dirty this November. We've already seen a sneak preview of two highly ruggedized Hyundai Tucsons – the Adventuremobile and the Rockstar. Kia, meanwhile, will roll into SEMA with no less than six adventure concepts. Each will celebrate a different region of the United States and, based on the Pacific West and Deep South versions, they'll be a whole lot of messy fun.